Squirrel Nest Learn about squirrel nesting season

Squirrel Nest – Learn About Squirrel Nesting Season

Trees that are in backyards and public spaces in an urban setting offer sufficient shelter and food for squirrels. Squirrels are agile climbers and will be heard and seen scurrying to the top of trees leaping from one branch to the next as they look for nuts and berries. Squirrels are also known to chew the bark of trees that often leave visible signs of damage. As autumn approaches and leaves begin to fall, squirrel nests that are mostly comprised of twigs and leaves can be seen securely nestled in the crook of sturdy branches of its host tree off the ground.

Their tendency to nest in attics is perhaps the sole reason that squirrels are regarded as pests in the first place and should be removed by squirrel removal Toronto. Squirrels living in trees will at some point try to chew their way through small openings, climb on drain spouts or jump onto the roof from an overhanging branch to gain access to unoccupied attics. Once they get access into your household, they will contaminate the house with excrement and parasites. They will also gnaw through your electrical wires posing a potential fire hazard. They will also tear out your insulation looking for nesting material that will negatively affect the heating of your home.

Squirrels living in trees are very difficult to get rid of for the average homeowner. However, residents can reduce the possibility of damages by placing squirrel baffles around trees that they would not want squirrels to inhibit. However, the only sure way you can completely get rid of squirrels for good is to call professionally trained personnel to remove the pest from your trees or attic.

Expert squirrel removers have the capability of identifying entry points, sealing them off and also trapping pests. They will also implement measure to makes sure that once the squirrels are removed they do not return. Squirrels on trees near your home are not a threat. However, when they begin to pry into your household, it could be potentially harmful. Squirrels are a hazard to structures; they are known to punch multiple holes in buildings weakening their support beams. If this goes on for a long period, your house could collapse.

How to Identify Squirrel Nests

One of the ways of identifying squirrels on your property besides actually seeing the nimble critters scurrying around is by looking out for squirrel nests. Squirrels build two types of nests, one called a drey which looks a lot like a birds nest and the other a den build into tree cavities and other hollow spaces.

Squirrel Dreys

Squirrels typically build their dreys from leaves, twigs, moss and other natural debris. They begin with the base of the nest where the squirrels weave twigs together loosely. Next, come moss and damp leaves to strengthen the structure before weaving a sphere around the base to form the outer shell of the structure. Finally the squirrel’s stuff twigs, moss and leaves on the exterior of the structure and then line the interior with leaves, grass and bark. The drey can be up to 30 feet from the ground and is surprisingly sturdy.

Squirrels choose a sturdy spot to build their drey such as where limbs branch off at the base of the trunk or between strong limbs. Squirrels seem to like maples, beeches, oaks and elm trees.

Squirrel Dens

These are made in tree cavities such as hollow tree trunks and previous woodpecker nests. The squirrel stuffs the den with moss, twigs and leaves to make it warm and comfortable. The animals prefer dens during winter since they offer more protection from the elements and predators. The squirrels will, however, make dreys in the absence of tree cavities to make dens. The winter dreys are significantly thicker and more insulated than during warmer months.

Researchers have discovered that squirrel kittens born in dens have a significantly higher chance of surviving to adulthood than those born in dreys.

Indoor Nests

Squirrels will take any opportunity to break into your home especially during the winter or breeding season. Squirrels prefer garages, attics, under sheds, inside walls, in the chimney and in crawl spaces. These locations offer optimal protection from the elements and from predators. Pay mind to the fact that squirrels break into the house to breed. Make sure that you have a good plan for the baby squirrels before evicting the mother otherwise the kittens will die of dehydration and starvation.

Multiple Homes

Squirrels spend most of their active daytime hours foraging for food and often build auxiliary nests. These alternative dreys or dens are usually built haphazardly compared to the main ones but offer great protection if the squirrel needs to escape from predators quickly or if the weather turns suddenly. The squirrels may also store extra food in these alternative homes or use as pit stops to rest before going out to forage again.

all about squirrel nests - infographic
all about squirrel nests – infographic

Squirrel nesting season

Squirrels can be found all over the world. This is natural considering the number of different species of squirrels available. Even though they all belong to the same genus Sciurus, their mating and gestation periods are often differing from one species to the next.

The grey squirrel will normally have two breeding periods in a year, one will be in mid-summer, and the other will be in early spring. The young squirrels are normally born between March and April and the second litter will arrive between July and August. The female squirrels will give birth to up to nine babies at a time. However, it is more common to find three to five babies at a time.

During this time, the mothers will seek protected safe areas where they can raise their babies. This is because trees often live their young ones vulnerable to predators. It is during this nesting period that squirrels will move closer to humans. They normally like making their nests in between walls, in attics chimneys and sheds.

In case you bump into squirrel babies in your attic or wall, they have not been abandoned. The mother might have just stepped out to gather food for the babies. After some time, the babies will begin to venture out with their mother to seek more natural shelter. This is the best possible time to block re-entry into your walls, attic or chimney. In case you make a mistake of blocking the babies inside, the mother will take every necessary step to try and gain entry back, damaging your structures in the process. The young ones could also starve to death.

It’s important to note that squirrels are extremely aggressive and especially if they need to protect their young ones. Also, young squirrels are fearless of humans and may approach and climb onto your pants. The best solution to take to control squirrels and their babies during nesting is to contact a professional. They will be in a better position to find, locate and remove the squirrels and they’re young in a humane way. In case you notice squirrels in your attic, they are likely nesting, a good line of action will seek professional help.

Do Squirrels Come Back to the Same Nest?

Squirrels are animals that have habits that are not as selective as other warm-blooded mammals of their order. Whereas some animals in the rodent order do not favor returning to previous habitats or nests, squirrels have no problems in returning to previous locations. This is likely due to the mating habits of squirrels which occur bi-annually (winter and summer).

If you are not bothered by a recurring family of squirrels on your property then you can rest assured in their revolving behaviors throughout the year. If you do not want the animals to keep mating and living on your property, there are some important factors to keep in mind. It is illegal in Canada to personally disrupt or move a squirrel nest, therefore, any action you wish to take must be handed over to a ​squirrel removal specialist.

Since squirrels will frequently reuse the same nest, you should base any possible consultation with a removal specialist to a time frame corresponding to the maturation of the babies. Squirrels will typically give birth in early spring and late summer. Any possible removal of live babies cannot be performed and the young will typically mature to the point where they will leave on their own within ten to twelve weeks.

You can monitor the gestation period and a squirrel removal specialist will also monitor the nest to ensure that the young squirrels have abandoned the nest to strike out on their own. Removal can then occur. If you choose not to have the nest removed, you will find that a mother squirrel may continuously reuse the nest year after year. Squirrels do not believe in messing up an already good thing.

If you see an abandoned nest, you can even take measures to keep the nest intact and well-insulated if you are comfortable with having squirrels on your property.

What Time of Year Do Squirrels Build Nests?

Squirrels will typically start to build their nests in either summer or autumn depending on the particular species. Ontario will typically see squirrel nest construction in late September, which corresponds with cooling temperatures and shorter days. Squirrels will build a variety of nest types dependent upon the time of year.

Squirrels will build nests in tree limbs, tree trunks, attics, sheds, or any large structure that will support the nest from predators below. During the spring and summer, squirrels will usually

concentrate on building their nests in tree limbs, since these seasons are their most active. Using leaves and twigs, nests located in branches are primarily used for sleeping. Nests located inside of the interior of a tree will usually be used for nursing young and a safe harborage during the winter months.

Likewise, when you discover a squirrel nest in your attic or garage, these nests will primarily contain babies, due to the safety and warmth that comes with placing a nest in a safe place. Each nest may be the home of one squirrel or possibly up to two squirrels and each squirrel you see likely has more than one nest for easy access. During the winter, you will likely not see nests in tree limbs or openly exposed.

What Kind of Nests Do Squirrels Make?

For most of their lives, squirrels will typically seek to construct their nests out of surrounding material outdoors. This can include leaves, tree limbs, moss, grass, and even dirt. This is particularly observed in nests that appear out in the open, such as on tree limbs. Nests that appear in tree limbs are usually only for sleeping and a quick reprieve from a very active day. Other nests are more complex and can be found in tree trunks, as well as attics, sheds, and any structures that go up high enough and contain small, isolated areas.

For exterior nests, squirrels will typically form these with a mixture of leaves and twigs which they gnaw and chisel down into sturdy little piles that will support the animal’s body weight. For nests that squirrels wish to keep concealed, the material will likely be a mixture of anything they can find that would be comfortable for sleeping and taking care of their young. Attics, for example, have been known to contain squirrel nests made of paper, old clothing, and even electrical wire that is then twisted into a twine of sorts.

Squirrels are always on the move and more often than not their nests can become infested by insects, which is why squirrels will have a multitude of nests to rotate from.

Do squirrels nest in houses?

Squirrels are known to enter our homes. They are agile rodents and will get in through the tiniest of holes. They do this by finding entry holes in already damaged areas of your home or construction gaps chewing their way in. Sometimes, squirrels get stuck in attics, crawl spaces and in between walls, they will cause significant damage trying to get to their freedom.

squirrel nest with babies and mother
squirrel nest with babies and mother

When squirrels get into your home, they will likely do this through the roof. They are normally looking for nesting shelter, and our attics offer the best spot. Squirrels seek out the attics since their young ones get vulnerable to predators when they nest in trees. When squirrels get into the eaves of your building, they will often cause damage by chewing through the holes. They are also known to chew through your attic insulation and electrical wires looking for nesting material. After some time, the baby squirrels will leave the nest to seek a more natural shelter. This is the perfect time to make repairs for the damages left behind. It is also the right time to seal off all entry points to ensure that the squirrels do not gain entry back into your attic.

The best way to keep squirrels from nesting in soffits is by plugging the holes. Squirrels are known to chew holes in the soffits to make way into their nests. However, before you begin plugging the holes, it’s important to make sure that all the squirrels are out of the soffit. The best way to get the squirrel out of the soffit is to use a bait trap. A professional squirrel removal expert can be able to get rid of squirrels out of your soffits and keep them out for good.

In case you notice squirrel activity in your home, you could have a nesting squirrel, at this point the nest line of action to take is to call a professional squirrel removal agent to help you get the squirrels out of your home. They will implement several methods of control to get the squirrels out.

squirrel nest on the tree
squirrel nest on the tree

How Do Squirrel Nests Stay Together?

The construction of a squirrel nest is really a marvel to behold, especially considering that the average squirrel can build a nest within twenty-four hours. You may find yourself wondering how the nest is able to stay intact since most nests are located several feet off of the ground. This is all to do with skilled precision on the squirrel’s part. Twigs, leaves, moss, grass, and sometimes dirt form the material that makes up a nest, but it is the work done by the squirrel during its construction that keeps it all together.

Squirrels will usually start their nest by constructing the base first. After gathering a large number of twigs, squirrels will then start gnawing and breaking down the twigs into smaller parts, which will then be fastened together by grass and moss. They will continue to build in this manner until both the base and the walls of the nest are completed. After this, squirrels will line the inside of the nest with leaves and sometimes dirt to create an area for bedding, or, a comfortable bed for babies to lie in.

The binding material that keeps the nest intact are twigs that are fastened together with grass sharpened down into a twine-like material.

Should I Remove a Squirrel Nest from a Tree?

When it comes to squirrel nests, we are likely able to easily observe the nests that we see in tree limbs, perhaps even tree trunks as well. Squirrels will typically build a nest inside of a structure to house their young, but this is not always the case, and they can also keep their young in well-concealed nests on tree limbs as well. There are a few different things to keep in mind if you are wanting to remove a squirrel nest from a tree.

If there are baby squirrels inside of a nest, it is illegal to attempt to remove the nest. Baby squirrels are blind for the first few weeks of their lives and are completely helpless until they reach maturity. More often than not, adult squirrels can also attempt to attack any invade rummaging around the nest, including humans, so you will want to avoid getting too close. It can never be an absolute sure thing that a nest has been abandoned since squirrels will frequently reuse a nest.

To stay on the safe side, never attempt to remove a nest from a tree on your own. Always consult with a squirrel removal specialist as these professionals will be able to determine if a nest is abandoned, or, more importantly, if there are any babies inside of a nest.

How to Remove a Squirrel’s Nest

If you hear that sound, the sound of animal feet above your head in the attic, or behind your walls, it is not a good sign. Squirrels are opportunistic creatures who often take up residence within your home.

They find your home to be an appropriate shelter where they can build their nest, and even have their babies. Knowing how to remove a squirrel’s nest from your home is important so you can put a stop to the damages the critters can cause.

DIY Squirrel Nest Removal

There are many things wrong with DIY removal. In fact, this section will not emphasize how to remove squirrels yourself. Instead, it will explain why DIY removal is not in your best interest. For starters, you may come in contact with bacteria and infectious diseases carried by squirrels that can make you ill should you attempt to remove the nest yourself.

What you can do, however, is call in a professional. A professional has the knowledge and gear needed to remove the nest without any risks. Further, the professional can ensure the removal of the next without harming the squirrel or any possible offspring.

Professional Squirrel Nest Removal

To begin with, a pro will don the proper gear to deal with the squirrel and nest removal. Gloves and even protective gear that covers exposed skin is common. If the professional knows the area is saturated in feces and urine, they may also wear an eye mask and a protective covering over the nose and mouth.

A live trap is often used to capture the animal before removing the nest. Once the squirrel is captured, the professional will inspect the nest to see if there are any babies in there. If there are babies present, they will remain with their mother so they can be released into the wild together.

Using gloves, the nest will be dismantled and removed. Afterward, the professional may clean the area using an antimicrobial fog to rid the area of any bacteria and infectious diseases. Allowing the professionals to handle the nest removal and clean-up process is best because then you can rest easy knowing it is done the right way.

If you suspect there are squirrels invading your home, contact a professional to assist you with squirrel nest removal. Even after the squirrels vacate, you will still need to remove the nest. Leaving any trace of the squirrel’s presence behind still puts you at risk for bacterial exposure and diseases.


Article Updated: January 22, 2020

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