What are squirrels’ natural predators

What are squirrels’ natural predators?

Squirrels have so many predators in the wild that without their incredible ability to breed rapidly they would have quickly gone extinct. The primary defense, just like it is for all rodents is numbers. Mice and rats and squirrels come in hordes, not like raccoons who show up on your property one at a time. Squirrels, being rodents, are a food source for countless creatures but in the city, many of these predators cannot easily hunt. So in the city squirrels get a slight reprieve from being eaten, but they are not safe. 

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Toronto has many flying predators, hawks circle the city buildings looking for pigeons and small mammals like squirrels. Though they are not common they are present enough to pose a serious threat to squirrels. Even more common is the owl which essentially survives exclusively on rodents. Owls are one of the greatest threats to the squirrel. Thankfully for squirrels, Toronto is a city of trees with very few open areas like fields. Rodents can hide in the tree-filled areas and become nearly invisible to flying predators. 

Snakes, they are also an animal that almost exclusively feeds on rodents. They are all over Toronto but due to our severe winter, most of them are not poisonous or very large. Most snakes in southern Ontario are small snakes that could only eat a mouse, definitely not a large adult squirrel who may be able to defend themselves. However, if a snake or a flying predator finds a squirrel nest with babies there is a good chance they will eat every last one. 

Now animals are not the only predators of squirrels. Humans often kill squirrels accidentally by running them over with a car, or even a lawnmower. While it is illegal to harm a squirrel intentionally, they are protected wildlife under the SPCA, accidental death is far too common to be able to find someone for running over a squirrel. However, if you attempt to use poison, or deadly traps on squirrels you may get a very high fine and possibly a year in jail, depending on how intent you were on killing the animal. 

Human pets are also a threat. As we often have large dogs to guard our property, a squirrel who loses their way and finds themselves on your, or more specifically, your pet’s territory will most certainly end up dead on your front step the next morning. To remove squirrels from your attic humanely and safely, hire Squirrel Control.

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