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.
It’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.
They 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.
They 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.
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.
Do 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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