Now serving Greater Chicagoland, Northwest Indiana and Greater Indianapolis
North West Indiana is the home of many squirrel species: Eastern Gray Squirrel, Eastern Fox Squirrel, Northern Flying Squirrel and the Southern Flying Squirrel and home to the ground squirrels: The Eastern Chipmunk and the Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel.
Eastern chipmunks are quite small, from head to the tip of the tail, it has an average length of 30 centimetres or 12 inches and can weigh anywhere between 66 to 150 grams. Its torso is covered in fur that has a coppery-brown color and has five black-brown striped markings on its back. The fur covering its bushy tail is darker than the fur covering its body. It also has beige-colored markings on its face that runs through its whiskers up to its ears.
Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel have a very unique appearance. These tiny mammals got their name from the thirteen brown and white lines that run along its back. Some of these lines are broken into shorter lines that look like spots. They are diurnal animals, which means that they are more active during the day. Around the end of summer, these squirrels will start to prepare for the cold winter. They will start eating ravenously in order to store as much fat reserves as they can. This keeps the animal warm and also provides it with some of the necessary nutrients. The arrival of winter signals the beginning of their hibernation period. They will then enter their nest or burrow, curl up into a tight ball, and sleep all throughout the season. Its breathing rate drops from 100-200 breaths a minute to about 1 breath in every 5 minutes. This technique helps save the animal’s energy and fat reserves. The ground squirrel will leave its nest around March or April, when the weather is already warm enough. Trapping an adult squirrel can also pose another threat. Adult female squirrels may sometimes give birth inside attics, they may even nest inside until their babies are old enough to handle themselves. If you accidentally trap a mother squirrel, the babies may still be left inside. Without their mother, these babies almost have a zero percent chance of survival. Now, I’m pretty sure that nobody wants to have dead baby squirrels (or dead animals in general) stuck inside their homes. This can stink up your whole house and may cause some serious health problems if not handled properly.
We have caught gray squirrels in attics and flying squirrels in attics. Ground squirrels and chipmunks each have their own distinctive damage traits based on their burrowing activities. Often we see them entering the home behind some siding at ground level and making their way up into the walls or attic.
The ground squirrel’s burrow can be 15 feet (4.6 metres) to 20 feet (6.1 metres) deep. This burrow can have several entrances and tunnels. The biggest part of the burrow is located not so deep underground, just about two feet below the entrance, but the deeper areas are used for hibernation purposes.
These burrowing squirrels may not cause too much problem in urbanized areas but they are considered a significant nuisance in farms, gardens, and suburban areas. They can damage your plants, they can eat your fruits and vegetables, and their burrows will look unsightly in your perfect, lush green lawn. Farmers and gardeners despise these creatures because they usually dig up freshly planted seeds and flower buds. Crops and pastures can also be extensively damaged, especially if the number of squirrels are high.
The squirrels’ diet mostly consists of the following: seeds, grains, corn, crickets, grasshoppers, nuts, grass, weeds, berries, and caterpillars. Although these animals, especially the Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel, have been documented by scientists having predator-like behaviour. These squirrels have been seen attacking and eating young chickens, birds, and they have even been cases where they are seen killing and eating small snakes.
Squirrels can chew through any exposed wooden surfaces to gain entry into your home or attic. For you do it yourselfers, squirrels can be caught in a live trap by putting some peanut butter on some nuts. We, however, do not recommend this. Trapping the animal yourself can be dangerous to both you and the squirrel. Most of the time, the squirrel will just escape, or they may even be harmed in the process. They may be small, but they also have very strong jaws and sharp teeth. They can easily bite through your hand if you aren’t doing it properly, so try to avoid handling the squirrels as much as you can. It is always better to let trained professionals handle these kinds of situations.
It is interesting to note that squirrels are a member of the rodent family. They chew to wear down their continuously growing front teeth. This gnawing can be very destructive to the exterior of your home and once they get inside they have been known to chew on electrical wires. Don’t live with a potential fire hazard in your attic. Squirrels will often create small holes in your walls and ceilings, these holes can be the perfect entrances for bats, raccoons, flies, and other animals.
People may not be generally aware of it, but squirrels may carry several diseases that are harmful to humans. The diseases which they usually carry are: rabies, tick fever, and powassan virus encephalitis. As a rule, do not attempt to go near a squirrel that are not afraid of humans, this can be a sign of rabies.
The hardest part about catching squirrels is usually the heights at which one has to work. We have the ladders and the traps to get the job done. When we are called to a squirrel job we like to do a full inspection. Once we understand where the animal is entering the home we set our traps near the hole and remove the squirrels. Then we seal the hole so that no more can get in. Get rid of squirrels and call us for all your squirrel control needs today!