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Squirrels normally enter attics looking for a safe, comfortable place to start a family. Once that happens the squirrel's babies (which are called juveniles for the first year) will also make your attic their home, bringing food and other materials from outside into the attic to make their nesting areas. Some of the holes squirrels use to enter your attic will soon become an interstate for other wildlife such as rats.

Squirrels can easily do as much damage as a rat. Their teeth grow their entire life requiring them to chew to keep them filed down. Squirrels have to chew constantly to prevent their teeth from protruding outside of their mouth leaving them unable to eat. A squirrel will chew on electrical wires, ducting from your ventilation fans, copper AC condensate lines, fascia, wood trim and pretty much anything else in or on your home.

Although squirrels are not a "rat with a tail" as some customers describe, they are classified in the same family and are scientifically considered rodents.  A squirrel's tail has several uses. The main use is for balance. If you ever watch a squirrel at play and their acrobatics, you'll see the tail does this very effectively. In the event that a squirrel does fall, the tail is used much like a parachute. Their tail is also used as a blanket in the winter. The squirrel will also quickly flicker his tail to communicate with other squirrels. It is thought that the flickering is telling the other squirrels to stay away.

Squirrel noises in your Florida home or business can be very loud and irritating keeping you awake at night wondering what is scratching around in your home's attic. The chattering & scampering noises a squirrel makes can be extremely nerve racking when it's overhead or in the walls of your home. Squirrels have no problem living side by side with humans

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For a minute, it might have been easy for Brooke Dayton to believe it was really raining cats and dogs – until she saw another creature that fell to earth during the recent storms.

Dayton, who lives at Mount Vernon Apartments at 2370 SW Archer Road, said she was walking her dog around the complex recently when another resident brought her a hairless baby squirrel in a towel.

The squirrel had fallen out of one of the waterlogged trees.

“I was just like ‘Oh dear, what do I do with this?’” said Dayton, who is a second-year student at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. “Because it could bite me. It could have diseases.”

After taking the squirrel to the vet school with no luck, she turned to Florida Wildlife Care Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Gainesville, which took the squirrel in.

Nan Soistman, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator with Florida Wildlife Care Inc., said it’s common for baby squirrels to fall out of their nests during the fall season, which is when gray squirrels usually have their second round of babies.

“The weather has added to the load because all the trees are saturated. The nests are wet, [so] the babies come down,” Soistman said. “They come in, [and] they have respiratory issues sometimes.”

Once the baby squirrels fall from the trees, they can get swept up in any subsequent flooding, she said.

“This weather has definitely affected how many squirrels come down,” she said. “And if we would have had that tropical storm come through that they were predicting, that would have probably been catastrophic.”

One past hurricane left Florida Wildlife Care Inc. overwhelmed with more than 400 baby squirrels, Soistman said.

To lighten the burden of taking care of so many squirrels, Florida Wildlife Care Inc. has a volunteer system in place for those who are interested in fostering a healthy baby squirrel.

“The squirrel program is the starter species for all volunteers to get started to see if they want to go further and be permitted,” Soistman said. “Gray squirrels are one of the species that do not require a permit to rehabilitate.”

Fostering a baby squirrel is a commitment that requires time and money from the volunteer. Volunteers need to buy formula for the squirrels and a scale to make sure the squirrels gain weight. The squirrels need to be fed every three to four hours, five to six times every day, Soistman said.

“At first, it’s a commitment to be home and try to foster,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be on the dot every three hours, but you have to be pretty consistent or they don’t develop correctly. We teach people all of this; we don’t hand people a squirrel and walk away.”

For those who happen to come across a downed baby squirrel, the first thing to do is make sure the squirrel gets warm, Soistman said.

“If you’re sure it’s an orphan, get it in, put it in a small box with some towels or blankets or T-shirts or something. Keep it warm, just so it’s safe,” she said. “Do not try to feed the baby, because people tend to feed them the wrong thing. We can give you instructions if you need to hydrate it.”

If you're noticing a squirrel issue please contact a Professional such as Rodent Solutions for rodent removal in your Sarasota and/or Bradenton Home and/or Office. - Call 941-704-0063

Source: http://www.wuft.org/

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Squirrels are not just sharpening their incisors on power lines in town, causing power outages or “blinks” — they are also chewing on vehicle wires, leading to costly repairs.
Larry Bergner, Rogers County Health Department Regional Director, said squirrels cost his department $327 in repairs by chewing through wiring under the hood of a state-issued vehicle.
He said one employee complained that her, “car was jerking, and not running properly.”

The engine was not firing in all cylinders, Bergner said, and the engine’s computer signaled something was wrong.

“The check engine light was on and we did not want to take any chances, so we took it in to get looked at,” Bergner said.

He said he had no clue squirrels had chewed through the wires until a service technician told him. The technician told Bergner several car owners in town have the same problem each week.
The attraction? Soy-based wiring insulation. The insulation attracts not only squirrels, but all rodents.

Preventing damage to wires or rodent infestation requires checking under the hood routinely, especially if a vehicle is parked outside.

Another option, according to a car dealer’s website, is to purchase “rodent tape” coated in a hot, spicy substance to wrap around the wiring, deterring the rodents. The tape contains capsaicin, the, “stuff that puts the fire in a bowl of five-alarm chili,” according to a 2010 issue of Honda Service News.

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U.S. electric utilities are battling a bushy-tailed, nut-loving menace that has wreaked havoc on far more Christmas tree lights, TVs and cellphone chargers than any terrorist plotting against the power grid.
That's right. Beware the squirrel.

Even as utilities have spent millions on "wildlife protection," squirrels routinely outsmart plastic animal guards on energized equipment, gnaw through rubbery insulation and squirm into power substations, zapping electricity to thousands of homes and businesses while meeting untimely deaths.

Storms still tend to cause the longest and most widespread outages, experts say. But the American Public Power Association, which represents municipal electric utilities and uses a "squirrel index" to track outages nationwide, says the critters remain the most frequent cause, even if those outages are more limited than storms.

Washington-area utilities say the number of squirrel-related outages comes in third, behind failing equipment and tree limbs touching power lines but far ahead of weather-related incidents. Birds and animals - namely squirrels - accounted for 9 percent to 21 percent of unplanned outages in the region in 2013 and 2014, according to utility reports.

"They're very difficult to protect against because they're all over everything - in and out and across," said Rick Landis, a reliability manager for Dominion Virginia Power, which had more than 4,700 animal-related outages this year. "They're everywhere, and there are so many of them."

By fighting off squirrels, Landis said, "We're not only protecting animals from being killed. We're also keeping the lights on."
Utilities are stepping up their wildlife-protection efforts, lining power poles with slippery materials to stop claws and covering as much electrically charged equipment as they can afford. Although animal-related outages have begun to wane, utility officials say, some persistent and unlucky squirrels still get through.

Earlier this year, a family of squirrels that chewed through an electrical line in Richmond left a high-rise full of senior citizens in the dark for three days. And 45,000 homes in several cities in the San Francisco Bay area lost power this summer when a squirrel took out a substation.

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Drunk Squirrel Viral Video

There are few things cuter than a drunk squirrel, except perhaps a viral video featuring a drunk squirrel. The little guy reportedly feasted on crabapples. Unfortunately for the squirrel, the crab apples had fermented. The result was a hilariously cute incident that was captured on camera. When the man who recorded the video first noticed the squirrel, he assumed the animal fell out of a tree because it was hurt. He then observed the animal’s bizarre behavior and quickly made the connection. In the video, you see the drunk squirrel tumble from a tree into the snow below. Bewildered, the furry drunk decides he’s going to look for another tree. He hops and hops, but fails to make any progress forward despite his best efforts. At the rate the squirrel is moving, it’s hard to tell whether or not the creature even realizes that he isn’t making any progress forward. The drunk squirrel tumbles backward a few times in a less than graceful fashion. After several attempts, it climbs through a fence and make its way into the woods.

From there, the squirrel hops through a wooded area in a manner that confirms it is absolutely intoxicated and that it thinks its going farther than it actually is. That’s when it arrives at a tree. The squirrel makes it up the base of the tree, almost suggesting that it might have a successful climb. However, the squirrel then turns and heads down. The cute little drunk clearly cannot tell up from down. Eventually, the squirrel gives up and drunk-hops away, no doubt looking for a warm place to “sleep it off.”

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ORLANDO, Fla., April 12 (UPI) -- A visitor to a Florida golf course captured video of an unusually large squirrel wandering around the fairway.

The video, recorded at the Rio Pinar Country Club in Orlando, depicts a golfer's brief encounter with a massive squirrel.

The squirrel appears equally fascinated by and wary of the human.

The filmer said the large rodent was a fox squirrel, the largest species of tree squirrel in the United States. They can grow up to 15 inches long.

WATCH VIDEO

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On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers took a small break during the first quarter when an unexpected guest ran across the field.

A squirrel--like literally a small furry animal--made a break for it by trying to join the football game and running around the field.

The squirrel quickly gained fame and became an internet sensation.

The squirrel even prompted the creation of its own parody account, committed to tweeting as the infamous "Minnesota Squirrel."

Contact Rodent Solutions, a professional wildlife pest control company, for rodent removal in your Sarasota and/or Bradenton Home and/or Office - 941-704-0063

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On Tuesday afternoon, a Great Falls man called 911 reporting that there was a reptile in his toilet.

According to Great Falls Animal Control, the man closed the toilet and put a book on it to prevent it from escaping.

When Animal Control officers arrived, the man told them that he was not on drugs and had not had anything to drink.

When they searched the man's toilet, they did not find a reptile - or anything else.

Officers told him to call back if the creature returned.

The man called back a short time later, and when Animal Control officers responded they found a dead squirrel in the toilet.

It's believed that the squirrel drowned after somehow getting into the home's plumbing system.

Animal Control Officers did not attempt to revive the squirrel.

One officer said she would not have been surprised to find a snake in the toilet, but she never expected a squirrel.

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This rare red squirrel found an ingenious way to ensure it is well fed this winter after climbing through an office window looking for lunch.
National Trust staff on Brownsea Island got a shock when the rodent jumped on to a desk in their office in Poole Harbour, Dorset.
The island is one of just a handful of places red squirrels can be found in Britain due to dwindling numbers caused by the population growth of American grey squirrels.
Administrator Gill Birch managed to capture the moment the bold squirrel - thought to be a juvenile - scampered about the room she shares with colleague Val Whitely.

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A tomato-stealing squirrel is on the loose in the Big Apple.

The beady-eyed thief was caught red-handed by an eagle-eyed parkgoer who spotted the squirrel nosing around into a plastic bag.

“First came #PizzaRat. Then there was #MilkShakeSquirrel,” wrote YouTuber Bigkrisp, referring to the city’s recent spate of resourceful critters “And now we have #TomatoSquirrelThief.”

“One afternoon in NYC my wife was sitting on a bench and when she got up to say hi to her friend this squirrel came and stole one of her tomatoes,” he noted.

With the veggies left unattended, the squirrel moved in for a precision strike — jumping onto the bench and rolling the tomato out of the bag.

Unlike the world famous pizza loving subway rat the health-conscious squirrel was able to make off with his purloined booty.

Source: http://nypost.com/

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From El Dorado County Health & Human Services Agency:

El Dorado County health officials have been notified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that a California ground squirrel in the Tahoe area has tested positive for plague. The dead squirrel was found at the Kiva picnic area (Promenade) adjacent to the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe on August 17, 2015. The squirrel was sent for testing to the state laboratory; test results to confirm plague were received on September 2. Warning signs have been posted in the affected area and individuals are advised to report any dead or sick rodents. Health officials are not aware of human contact with the squirrel.

“Plague is naturally present in many parts of California, including higher elevation areas of El Dorado County, so we need to be cautious around animals that can carry it,” said Karen Bender, Supervisor with the El Dorado County Environmental Management Division.  

Plague is an infectious bacterial disease spread by squirrels, chipmunks and other wild rodents and their fleas. People can get plague when they are bitten by an infected flea or through close contact with an infected animal. Plague can be prevented by avoiding contact with wild rodents and areas where fleas are noted, and by keeping pets away from rodent burrows.  

Symptoms of plague usually show up within two weeks of exposure to an infected animal or flea, and include fever, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. Plague can be effectively treated with antibiotics if detected early.

CDPH routinely monitors rodent populations for plague activity in California and closely coordinates with county health officials. Last year in El Dorado County, two live rodents tested positive for plague antibodies, and in 2013 three similarly tested positive. There were no reports of illness to people. So far in 2015, two human cases of plague have been reported with exposure in California. Both people were treated and recovered. These were the first reported human cases in the state since 2006. 

Tips to prevent plague include the following:
•    Do not feed squirrels, chipmunks or other wild rodents.  
•    Never touch sick, injured or dead rodents.
•    Do not camp, sleep or rest near animal burrows or areas where dead rodents are observed.
•    Look for and heed posted warning signs.
•    Wear long pants tucked into boot tops and spray insect repellent containing DEET on socks and pant cuffs to reduce exposure to fleas.
•    Leave pets home if possible; otherwise keep pets on a leash.  Do not allow pets to approach sick or dead rodents or explore rodent burrows. Protect pets with flea control products.
•    Cats can pose a higher risk of plague transmission to humans when they have contact with infected rodents. Keep cats away from rodents. Consult a veterinarian if your cat becomes sick after being in contact with rodents.
•    If you get sick after being in an area where plague is known to occur, consult a physician and tell them you may have been exposed to plague. 

Source: http://www.ktvn.com/

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SQUIRREL FACTS

  • Squirrels can get into any opening the size of a quarter.
  • Squirrels can get into areas that even rats cannot because of the squirrel's ability to climb, hang upside down and be acrobats in general.
  • The squirrel breeds in late winter or early spring and again in late spring or summer.
  • The gestation period is about 45 days and litters contain 2-6 young.
  • The most common squirrel in our area is the eastern gray squirrel. 
  • A squirrel can run 8 to 10 mph.
  • Squirrels are not carnivores and do not eat meat.
  • Squirrels can swim.
  • Most squirrels die within the first year. Once a squirrel survives the first year, they will normally live 5-6 years.
  • Squirrels do not hibernate.
  • The male squirrel has no hand in raising the babies. He leaves right after mating.

DO NOT HAND FEED SQUIRRELS

Squirrels normally have an abundance of food, so a human feeding them is not needed for survival. However, one thing that you should never do is hold a nut with your fingers for a squirrel to eat. A squirrel's eyes are on the side of its head and it can't see what is right in front of its mouth. A squirrel has strong sharp jaws that easily slice through the shells of nuts. While biting at about six times a second, he will have no idea he's about to accidentally bite clean through the meat of your finger all the way to the bone until he's done it.

LET'S TALK ABOUT POISON

Customers sometimes try to put poison in their attic to take care of their squirrel problem. "IF" a squirrel decides to dine on the poison (which is very rare), the squirrel may die in the attic.

Most poisons are an anticoagulant (prevents blood from clotting) causing the rat or mouse bleed to death internally. The dead rat or mouse will then leave an awful odor potentially causing headaches, nausea and general displeasure. This also causes large flies in the the home or business which is common as the rodent decomposes. 

Pest proofing your home is the only way to keep from having a squirrel infestation over and over again. We have humane ways to remove squirrels from your attic.