Tree Squirrels - School IPM - USU Extension

    Tree Squirrels

    Sciurus spp.

    Fox squirrel

    Fox squirrel (Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

    Red squirrel

    Red squirrel (Michael Mengak, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org)

    tree squirrel nest

    Tree squirrel nest (NatureServe, Flickr.com)

    Identification

    • head and body 6 – 15 inches long
    • tail 4 - 14 inches long
    • white, grayish, yellowish, reddish or brownish above with pale or dark underside
    • short, thick fur and bushy tail

    Nesting Habits

    • build nests in tree cavities or on tree branches
    • occasionally enter attics and garages for food and shelter or to nest

    Diet

    • mainly feed on nuts and acorns seeds, berries, tree bark and fungi

    Significance

    • minor health concern; carry diseases, but transmission to humans is rare
    • can enter buildings and damage walls, wires and insulation

    IPM Recommendations

    • Exclude squirrels by blocking entrances into buildings with hardware cloth.
    • Keep squirrels from climbing trees by installing a 2-foot-wide collar or metal 6 feet off the ground around the tree, or using 2 foot sections of 2-3 inch pipe over utility lines (consult the electrical company for assistance if placing sleeves over electrical wires).
    • Use live traps to remove squirrels from buildings, seal entry points and then release outside. Lethal traps are also available for squirrel control.