A question on many peoples’ mind is whether squirrels hibernate in winter. Most of these critters do not hibernate and instead spend most of their time in their nests when they would otherwise be active. A few species such as the thirteen-lined ground squirrels hibernate for up to six months.
How Squirrels Survive Winter
Exactly how squirrels survive the harsh winter months largely depends on the species.
The eastern grey squirrel, for example, hoards food during warm weather when it is in plenty. The critters burry nuts in the ground and retrieve them during winter. The grey squirrel uses its keen sense of smell to find the hiding-spots and can detect the nuts through up to 1 foot of snow. This species can spend days at a time in the nest if the weather is too cold, only venturing out occasionally at midday when the weather is fairly warm.
The southern flying squirrel lowers its metabolic rate and body heat to survive winter although it does not enter hibernation. The animal ventures out occasionally in warmer weather to find nuts, acorns and seeds. The squirrels huddle together in the nest to keep warm.
Unlike the grey squirrel which hides its own nuts, red squirrels pool resources and accumulate nuts in a communal hoard.
The thirteen-lined ground squirrel hibernates and drops its body temperature to just above 0 degrees centigrade. This species relies on its body fat for sustenance. It lowers its metabolic rate and fluctuate body temperature (from just above zero to almost normal and back) a few times throughout the winter.
Removing Squirrels during winter
Squirrels spend more time in their nest during winter which is a problem if you have wildlife nesting in your attic or crawl spaces. They continue to be destructive and it is only natural you want to remove them as soon as possible.
Hire a squirrel removal expert in Toronto to remove squirrels from your home during winter. Squirrels continue to nurse their young during harsh weather so removing the mother without its litter condemns the baby squirrels to die of starvation and dehydration.
It is also very unlikely that the squirrels will find another warm, safe place to nest for the rest of the season. A professional will assess the situation and decide the best course of action that is safe for the animals and your property. The service also includes cleaning squirrel feces and urine, repairing attic damage and sealing the home permanently to keep wildlife out. Insist on a warranty of at least two years before signing the contract.