You may have spotted squirrels only on nice, warm days wrecking havoc on your yard or scurrying around and wondered where these critters actually live. The question of where squirrels hide and sleep and can be answered with – it depends on the type of squirrel. Tree squirrels (along with flying squirrels) have distinctly different shelters than ground squirrels. Learn about squirrel behaviour to understand how properly book squirrel removal services.
Where Tree Squirrels Live
The name gives away their usual hiding spots. Tree squirrels and flying squirrels typically live in or on trees. Their accommodation may vary depending on the weather and location.
A tree squirrel den is usually natural-made such as a tree cavity or woodpecker hole that the squirrel will spruce up with leaves and moss to make it more comfortable. You will find squirrel dens on the side of trees which offer great protection from predators, moisture and wind. Tree and flying squirrels prefer dens during the winter.
Tree-dwelling species make drays (nests) on branches using twigs and leaves. A dray is not much unlike a bird nest. These squirrels will sometimes take over empty bird nests and fix them up to their liking. The squirrels prefer drays during the warmer summer months where they hide, sleep and raise their young ones. The squirrels may make nests during the winter if the area lacks natural tee cavities where they can build dens. The winter drays are definitely thicker and reinforced to keep the critters warm in the harsh weather.
Squirrels are meticulous about their drays which are why you will rarely ever see one that has fallen from a tree. They make sturdy foundations and build the dray on strong limbs or where smaller branches interconnect. Construction can take up to several hours.
Where Ground Squirrels Live
As the name implies, ground squirrels typically live in the ground. The grey squirrel is a common example of ground squirrels. The rodents burrow into the ground to create the home. The burrow may be a simple hole or a system of interconnected underground tunnels.
Ground squirrels pick the ideal location for the burrow. They prefer sloped ground so that their homes don’t flood. They also prefer protected areas such as under logs or rocks to keep them safe from predators. Many ground burrows have alternative entrances and exits for an easy escape when threatened.
Most squirrels build multiple nests and drays which offers them survival benefits. For example, the squirrel can dash to a nearby home if threatened by a predator or if caught in bad weather. The auxiliary nests may not be as well built as their main ones and are usually loosely piled tree bark and leaves.
Squirrel Sleeping Habits
Squirrels are active during the day (diurnal) and spend most of their days foraging for food and water. The squirrels may go back to the nest during the day to rest or take care of their young but are mostly indoors at night when they sleep.
Squirrels also hibernate in their nests during winter and aestivate during hot summers. Aestivation is the opposite of hibernation during periods of extremely high temperatures or droughts. Just like during hibernation, the squirrel will store body fat and become inactive and sleep for up to three months. The squirrel will also prepare its nest accordingly beforehand.
Where do squirrels go at night?
At the end of a long day, everyone wants to return to a warm, inviting, comfortable and familiar home. Many different homes exist depending on the person that is being considered. For some people, the home consists of a simple dwelling within a complicated maze of steel structures that contains themselves and a few necessities. For others, home is a bustling palace in the countryside involving generations of humans and companion animals alike. However, just like humans, all animals like to have a place to call home where they go to during the night. This is especially true for animals that are considered diurnal. Diurnal animals, such as humans, are animals that are active during the day and sleep at night. All animals have certain places that they call home which differs among species. For example, bears often create dens in caves found along the side of a mountain. In contrast, a bird will often build a nest in a tree high off the ground from various forms of materials ranging from man-made substances like plastic strands to natural divers such as blades of grass. To continue, squirrels are no exception to this concept of coming home when the night hours arrive. After all, squirrels are a diurnal species. Although there are many different breeds of squirrels, there is a standard home for the common tree-dwelling squirrel. A usual home of a squirrel is a nest made from dried leaves. You can often tell the difference between a squirrels nest from a bird’s nest as a squirrels nest is suitably larger than most urban birds’ nests. Also, another notable difference between a squirrels nest and a bird’s nest is the materials that it is made from. A bird’s nest is must neater than a typical squirrels nest as a bird usually uses thin fibres of natural and artificial that are thin strands and thus can be tightly woven together. On the there hand, squirrels almost exclusively use dried leaves which results in a messy finished product. Although a squirrel usually builds their nest in a tree, they have been known to build a nest anywhere. Sadly, this also includes an attic.
Where do squirrels sleep at night in the winter?
In some species, the winter season brings about changes in an animal’s usual day to day routine. For example, some animals hibernate in the winter. Some of these hibernating animals include brown bears, marmots and skunks to name a few. Some animals hibernate due to a lack of food in the winter months. The action of hibernating involves eating a large amount of food and then going into a deep and long sleep for the winter season. On the other hand, some animals migrate south in the winter. Some of these migratory animals include Canadian geese, monarch butterflies and salmon to name a few. Some animals migrate due to lack of food in the winter months but also to stay in an environment with a warm climate or to give birth to their young. The action of migrating involves travelling long distances across the earth to go to a new location for the winter months and then to return to their original location once the weather was up again during the spring months. Also, some animals have a routine that is not disrupted by the onset of winter. Some of these animals include humans and squirrels for example. These animals carry on their day to day lives in the sun and snow. This being said, squirrels and humans and other animals that do not migrate or hibernate during the winter typically remain in year-long dwellings that they call home. In the instance of squirrels, a year-round home involves a nest. The nest of a squirrel is made of dried leaves for the most part but can also include anything that a squirrel might find in their environment. Such materials can include natural fibres such as wood and other plants or it can also include artificially created materials such as plastics and papers. A squirrel can build their nest in any structure, such as a tree or in a house. Typically though, a squirrel will want to build their nest high off the ground to avoid potential dangers from other animals. Squirrels will spend both winter and summer nights in their nest.
How many hours a day does a squirrel sleep?
It’s a well-known fact that everyone loves to sleep. Sleep is a relaxing experience where one can rest their body after a hard day’s work. To add on, sleep is not done just for fun. Sleep is as enjoyable as it is necessary. It’s a world-known statement that every animal needs to sleep to live. Every animal, from the largest whale to the smallest insect, needs an efficient amount of sleep to carry out its daily duties. Sleep has numerous health associations connected to it. For instance, sleep allows the body to repair muscles that have been strained or even damaged during the physical activity taken on throughout the day. Sleep, therefore, allows the body to repair its self and prevents permanent physical damage or deterioration in the process. Likewise, sleep can also help the brain. During the day, the brain is constantly at work. From memorizing important details to solving problems by coming up with solutions and even being aware of potential hazards when navigating through an environment, the brain needs a rest as much as a body does. Thus, it’s clear to see that the brain needs a suitable amount of sleep regularly to carry out important mental functions such as memorization, navigation, thinking, and more. From these examples, it’s obvious to see that humans need sleep to be functioning members of an active and coherent society. Likewise, a squirrel also needs sleep so that it can also be a functioning member of their own active and coherent society. Although this may seem contradictory when a person observed a squirrel’s rambunctious behaviour of climbing, playing and running during the day, squirrels need and do, sleep. A squirrel sleeps for a considerable amount of time every day. Although many different breeds of squirrels exist and all squirrel breeds have different and unique personality traits, it has been researched that the average squirrel sleeps for about 60% of the day. This translates to approximately 15 out of 24 hours a day that a squirrel will sleep.
Call an Expert to Get Rid of Squirrels
Aside from their natural habitats, squirrels love to nest indoors and will break into your house at the first opportunity. The house offers a warm, cozy and safe place to nest and raise young ones. Squirrels prefer wall cavities, attics, garages, under decks and under sheds.
Hire an expert to remove squirrels from your home or around your property. Only a professional wildlife removal service in Toronto can guarantee that the job is done safely and that other wildlife won’t simply come to take the place of the evacuated squirrels.
Article Updated: January 27, 2020.