Grey squirrels are cute and their babies are even cuter. That doesn’t mean you want them as house guests. Here are some helpful facts about the breeding habits and behavior of grey squirrels, a frequent target of NJ pest control.
When Do Squirrels Breed?
You may sometimes hear grey squirrels referred to as cat or migratory squirrels. This species, commonly found in New Jersey and the eastern United States, usually lives in forests and other natural outdoor areas. Since grey squirrels have little fear of humans, it’s not unusual to see them in urban areas as well.
Grey squirrels breed from December to February and again from May to June. While female squirrels can’t breed until they’re at least a year old, males are extremely active during these periods. Breeding squirrels may even engage in mating dances.
Birth and Lifespan
During the 44-day gestation period, pregnant squirrels may become more aggressive. Litters generally produce two to six squirrels, although there can be as many as eight babies. According to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, grey squirrels have an average lifespan of 1 to 2 years, but wild grey squirrels can live up to 10 years.
While groundhogs are part of the squirrel family, they tend to be larger, nearly two feet in length and a weight of 10 pounds or more. The most distinctive feature of groundhogs, or woodchucks as they’re also known, is their powerful front feet used for digging burrows.
A groundhog’s burrow may reach as deep as five feet. There is often more than one entrance, and they are expanded to accommodate the groundhog’s growth. Eventually, a fully developed network of burrows can cover anywhere from eight to 66 feet.
Since groundhogs are herbivores, eating mostly vegetation, they can cause major damage to vegetable and flower gardens. Their burrows may also extend under sheds and other outdoor structures
DIY NJ Groundhog Control
Keep groundhogs out by surrounding gardens with a sturdy four-foot fence that reaches one foot below ground. Add an electric fence wire four to five inches off the ground to prevent groundhogs from climbing over. Live traps can be set with fresh fruits or vegetables as bait.
The eastern gray squirrel is an animal everyone who lives in New York and New Jersey is aware of. In fact, most of us see them every single day. While they’re cute, they can be a real menace too. Still, there’s a lot that you probably don’t know about them. As your NJ pest control specialists, we’d like to fill you in.
Breeding Habits of Gray Squirrels
Because squirrels hibernate during the winter, most people assume that they probably breed only once per year. However, as long as their food supply is good, most females will have two litters every year. When the females give birth, they can have as many as eight babies. This means that they multiply much faster than a lot of people realize.
In as little as eight months, those babies are adult size, and ready to have babies of their own. That spells trouble for anyone who already has a serious gray squirrel problem in their home, or on their property.
When to Contact NJ Pest Control Specialists
If you think you hear squirrels in your attic, or elsewhere in your home, it’s important to have a professional inspect the space right away. These pests can do a lot of damage in a very short period of time and, as we mentioned previously, they multiply quickly.
Please contact us at Stern Environmental for help right away!