Squirrels are small to medium rodents that are found in almost every habitat. Although typically herbivorous, squirrels will consume meat like small birds, snakes or lizards and other smaller animals in dire times. While generally not too harmful in the yard, they have been known to wander into attics and set up shop. They can cause severe damage to attics and insulation, as well as create an unhealthy environment inside homes.
Grey squirrels are diurnal, or active during the day, feeding on seeds, nuts, buds, insects and bird eggs. They are well known for their habit of hoarding food in the autumn to aid in their winter survival. In Ohio, grey squirrels can be a hassle when they invade attics and other spaces to stay warm.
Red Squirrels (American)
The Red Squirrel is a small squirrel with a reddish to reddish gray fur on top and a white or cream underside with white circles around its eyes. Its tail is not as long or bushy as the tail of other tree squirrels. The Red Squirrel eats a wide variety of foods including insects, seeds, bark, nuts, fruits, mushrooms and pine seeds or cones. In the fall, it will cut green pine cones from trees and store them in the ground along with nuts and seeds. About a month after mating, the female will have a litter of between 3 to 7 babies.
The Easter Fox Squirrel is the largest squirrel measuring in at about 10 to 15 inches. They can be found in deciduous and mixed forests feeding on acorns, hickory, walnut, beech, mulberry and hawthorne seeds. They also consume shoots, buds, fruits, berries, corn. insects, moths and beetles. Fox squirrels are mostly solitary but have been known to share feeding areas with other squirrels.
Flying squirrels have silky grey fur with a white belly and can measure up to 10 inches in length. They can be identified by their large, black eyes, prominent ears, bushy and flattened tails and of course the loose folds of skin, called a patagium, which serves as the gliding membrane when the its limbs are fully extended. Flying squirrels can be especially troublesome during their breeding periods (January to February, June to July) when they often times will raise broods in attics.
Fox (Red and Grey)
Foxes are small to medium canids with long, bushy tails. They can be found in small familial groups, but not necessarily packs. They are omnivorous, feeding on small animals, bird eggs, insects and fruits. They are not as invasive or as intimidating as coyotes but can still be a threat to small pets and backyards.