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Fat Squirrels in Chicago

Fat Squirrels in Chicago
Do the squirrels in your yard look a little plump to you this year? Maybe even fat?

If you have noticed the squirrels in Chicago are getting bigger then it’s not just your imagination. In fact, the squirrel population in Chicago has increased because of two straight mild winters and fewer squirrels freezing to death.

November was very mild, giving squirrels plenty of time to feast and stock up on food. Most of December was very mild as well, with no significant snowfall or cold weather until the last week of the month.

These factors have given the squirrels plenty of time to gorge themselves.

Late December and early January is peak fat squirrel season.
Tree Squirrel, SquirrelsIt’s their natural instinct to eat as much as possible in late fall. It’s natural to think that squirrels would be skinnier in winter, and they will be by spring, but in early winter they are fattened up.

Squirrels are fatter than ever right now. They don’t have a Tom Skilling to talk to them about the weather; they need to get ready for winter, and the best way to store calories is on themselves.” – – Squirrel expert and founder of Project Squirrel Steve Sullivan.

Squirrel diets consist of high-fat nuts such as acorns and walnuts, as well as berries, fruits, worms, and insects. In fall they will also eat unpicked garden vegetables and plenty of corn, gourds, and punkins from homeowners fall displays.

You may have seen them eating from bird feeders and been frustrated with squirrels digging up and eating your flower bulbs.

Squirrel eating pumpkinThey will basically try almost anything, especially when other food is not easily available. Squirrels have been known to put down whole hamburgers, potato chips, slices of pizza and other fatty human foods.

Some Chicago squirrels have been known to run right up to people and eat food out of their hands. It is rare, but they have even been known to attack their human enemies.

There are over 265 species of squirrel worldwide. The two common squirrels in Chicago are gray squirrels, which have gray fur, white bellies and tails, and the fox squirrel, which are brownish with an orange rust-colored belly and a black-fringed tail.

Both speeches have rarely lived next to one another in the Chicago metropolitan area. While gray squirrels resided in wealthier neighborhoods, fox squirrels preferred less affluent areas.

Squirrel in atticThey build their nests high up in trees to keep away from predators and in areas that they find to be warmer than the outdoors, for example, your attic. Squirrels have been known to cause thousands of dollars in damages to roofs and attics and even start fires by chewing on electrical wires.

Related: Protect your home from animals in winter

You don’t want those fatties in your home

If you find out that you have squirrels in your attic, then you’re going to have to remove them from your home. It’s cold outside, but wild animals belong in the wild. Squirrels are wild animals, not pets, even if you are one of those people who find them cute.

If squirrels are in your attic, then they are also likely to raise a family there, and then you’ll have anywhere from 4-8 squirrels in your attic causing mayhem. It’s not something you want to deal with and they can be a threat to your health and safety.

Attic restorationDo you need help removing a squirrel from your home?

Attic Solutions can provide you humane squirrel removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

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How to Squirrel Proof Your Home

Squirrels are a pesky creature known for their bushy tails and nesting behavior. They often take residence in homes or outdoor building structures, causing trouble for homeowners. They may tear up insulation in an attic, use it for nesting material, chew through electrical wires, and cause damage to your home. Once squirrels have settled in your home, they can be quite difficult to remove. Follow these tricks to squirrel proof your home.

Squirrel proof

5 Squirrel Proof Home Tips

1. Repair damaged potential entry points to home like eaves, soffits, and roofing. Squirrels can scale trees easily and have excellent jumping skills, making few heights off limits. Any tiny home damage should be examined seriously and repaired quickly to prevent squirrel entry.
2. Use squirrel proof bird feeders. Squirrels love bird food and they can overrun your feeder, if it easy an easy source of food. Install standing bird feeders that are far from bushes and tree branches.
3. Install a chimney cap. Squirrels can enter chimneys if they are left open. Prevention is easier than removal!
4. Manage your trees and minimize squirrel likelihood. Trim your tree limbs so that they are at least eight feet from your home, to prevent them from jumping to your roof. Wrap a piece of sheet metal around your tree trunks about 6 feet up to prevent trees from climbing up.
5. Do not leave food sources outside. An obvious and simple fix, keep any pet or human food inside. Be sure to bring food and water dishes in at nighttime as well. Keep your garbage sealed tightly.

If you discover squirrels in your home or infesting your property, call pest control to safely remove the pests. Attempting to do so on your own can result in more damage from the squirrels’ wily, erratic behavior.