*Commonly Asked Squirrel Questions*
Q: I've found a baby squirrel. Now what do I do?
A: First and foremost, contact a local wildlife rehabilitator. Check local veterinarians for contact information. Please visit my rehab page for tips on how to correctly care for the animal in the meantime.
Q: Where can I find some general information about squirrels?
A: Click here to read more about squirrels. However, most of this general information is about the North American Sciuridae family.
Q: What is Squirrel Appreciation Day, and who is the founder?
A: I am the founder of Squirrel Appreciation Day, which was started in 2001. It falls on January 21st, and while there are no official events scheduled, you can help celebrate by putting out extra food for the squirrels.
Q: Help! Squirrels are digging in my potted plants! What can I do?
A: Try putting river rocks on top of the soil after you've potted your plants. Make sure no soil is visible to the squirrels. Your pots and boxes will be heavier, but this has proven to be a valuable aid to keeping squirrels from uprooting my plants.
Q: How can I keep squirrels away from my bird feeder?
A: You can purchase "squirrel-proof" feeders, but squirrels are intelligent animals and will most likely find a way to get to your feeder. Keep feeders away from trees and/or other objects where they can leap from and land on the feeder. Try putting food out specifically for the squirrels to distract them from the birdseed. Squirrels will eat unsalted sunflower seeds, unsalted peanuts, bread, and a number of vegetables and fruits. However, remember that unsalted peanuts and other treats are just that--too many treats will lead to health problems for the squirrels.
Q: Do squirrels make good pets?
A: No! It is illegal to keep a wild animal, such as a squirrel, without a permit in some states. Secondly, it's not fair to the animal. If for no other reason, please consider the damage a squirrel could do to your house!
Q: How do I get squirrels out of my attic?
A: Try soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil and placing them around the attic. It's not an unpleasant smell for humans, but it is too strong for squirrels. Please consider doing this before setting live traps and relocating the squirrels. The squirrel you relocate could be a mother, and the babies won't survive without her.
Q: How long do squirrels live?
A: That really depends on the type of squirrel. For example, Eastern gray squirrels can live up to 15 years, fox squirrels can live up to 10 years, red squirrels can live up to 9 years, and Southern flying squirrels can live up to 13 years. But due to weather, predators, and other dangers, wild squirrels rarely live long lives.
Q: Do squirrels remember where they bury their nuts?
A: No. While some of the nuts are retrieved, the rest are either found by other squirrels or remained buried. The good news is that some of those buried nuts sprout into saplings.
Q: Do black (or white) squirrels really exist?
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A: Absolutely! Black and white squirrels are just different phase colorations of the gray squirrel. Click here to read about the white squirrels from Brevard, North Carolina.