Eastern Gray Squirrels

Gray squirrels are a bushy-tailed, tree living rodent weighing about 1 – 1.5lbs and are about 18” long including the tail. They are gray witheastern_gray_squirrel_48_by_easterngraysquirrel-d5spwen rusty tinges on their face, sides and legs along with a white underside. Their tails are flattened, bushy and gray with silvery-tipped hairs.
Gray squirrels build large nests composed of leaves and twigs generally 20’ off the ground in trees. They also utilize old woodpecker holes or natural tree cavities as dens to live in and raise their young. Gray squirrels are social and can tolerate other squirrels to share their nests during certain times of the year.
Gray squirrels mate twice a year from December to February and from May to June. A squirrel litter ranges from 2 – 6 young that are born hairless, blind and helpless. Spring litters are born in a tree cavity or inside a structure while the late summer litter is born in a leaf nest. The female will move her litter back and forth from a tree cavity to a leaf nest to escape predators and weather changes. The young are weaned in about 50 days. Gray squirrels typically live up to 3 years.
The diet of gray squirrels typically consists of an assortment of seeds, nuts, and berries. Such food sources include acorns, walnuts, pine seeds, wild grapes and American holly berries. If these food sources become scarce, they will feed on insects (adults and larvae), young birds and bird eggs. At the end of the summer, gray squirrels will store seeds and nuts to feed on when food is hard to come by during the winter months.
Squirrels will readily take up residence in a building or home if access to a sheltered areas such as eaves and attics in accessible. Scratching, gnawing, scurrying and pattering sounds in the early morning or daylight hours as well as the presence of droppings are typical signs of squirrel activity inside an attic space of a house. Torn insulation, dried leaves and twigs could help identify the nesting site, however, the young may be concealed within the eaves or in a wall void. Squirrels occupying the eaves and attics can damage insulation as well as electrical wiring and should be removed and excluded by professionals.