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View Full Version : What is with the freaking red squirrels?



SAR-EMT40
10-18-2012, 12:09 PM
Have red squirrels been invading your area? I remember the only place I ever saw red squirrels was in the Adirondacks. Years of observing grey squirrels in CT and we use to never see any reds in CT - none. It wasn't till the 1990's that I think I saw the first one in CT. It was an incredible anomaly to me at the time. Now we seem to be overrun by the twitchy little rodents. Does anyone know if there was and is continuing to be a southward migration of these little varmints?

Inquiring minds and all that.

Keith

Little Rickie
10-18-2012, 01:04 PM
We have more reds than ever before in Fairport NY. With farm land reverting to forest for the last 50 years and the burbs, which were once naked of trees, now have more and more mature trees they may be finding this more habitable? In the last 20 years there has been quite a resurgence of wild critters I never saw in my youth. It may bee their time now.

OR With the global warming making such mild winters they may be just surviving better.
This wasn't a joke or ment to start a tangent or rant

Saw a few black squirels too this year. Also a lot more Blue Jays and less Crows.

Peakbagr
10-18-2012, 02:53 PM
Though they tolerate deciduous trees and forests, red squirrels prefer conifers. Are the conifers making a comeback in areas where you're seeing more reds?
Also, grey and red squirrels tend to avoid each other where possible. Maybe something has happened to the greys in your particular place?

peakbagger
10-18-2012, 03:17 PM
There are reports in the VT news that apple orchards are being wiped out by hoards of grey squirrels. There is speculation that last year was a good mast year and the mild winter has contributed to a large grey squirel population. There may also be an impact due to lack of small predators that have been impacted by rabies.

http://online.wsj.com/article/APb9dcf0ca12f64319ab86aece33757e55.html

TCD
10-18-2012, 03:59 PM
My house in Keene (Adks) is in confierous forest. We've always had only reds, never greys. There has been no change in the forest this year, but there has been a population explosion of red squirrels. I attribute it to the mild winter, and the very early spring.

They are quite the acrobats, and try hard to raid the bird feeders (even though these are 25' above the ground). I didn't mind one or two, but one night in August there were 15 literally fighting hand-to-hand for space on two feeders. There was even an owl picking them off. It was an amazing show, but it was a little too much, and I traded up for squirrel proof feeders.

Chip
10-18-2012, 05:14 PM
Got at least one in my barn that's on the short list because it can eat the peanut butter but not get caught in the mouse traps, so then I don't get the mice either.

roadtripper
10-18-2012, 06:38 PM
Just curious - which one tastes better? Red or grey? :rolleyes:

Quietman
10-18-2012, 08:08 PM
Just curious - which one tastes better? Red or grey? :rolleyes:

Ask this guy Man cooking squirrel for lunch sparks fire that destroys eight apartments (http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/11/14373477-man-cooking-squirrel-for-lunch-sparks-fire-that-destroys-eight-apartments)

SAR-EMT40
10-19-2012, 12:43 PM
Not really a change to the forests in this area that I have noticed. Many of the areas in CT are mixed forest so the squirrels tend to be, while not next to each other, nearby each other.

As far as taste. They can be hunted in CT. I have hunted grey squirrels and they are very good. And by good I mean tasty. We do seem to have taken a hit in the grey squirrel population somewhat though. I have been told it's do the fisher population we now have.

I have never bothered to take a shot at reds because they are so small, don't think they would really be worth the effort. I do sometimes want to take a shot at them because they annoy me so much. I keep myself in check though. :)

Keith

Trail Bandit
10-19-2012, 01:18 PM
Do not give the red squirrels an even break. The WILL get into your house! I have had them gnaw through the wall of my house and shop to get in. The walls are 1 inch pine boards with wood shingles. Once the get inside, the are behind your walls or ceiling and multiply. Their urine and feces will sooner or later leak out into your living space. They destroy fiberglass insulation and will chew your wiring and short out the wires. They may burn your house down.. They are sly buggers and will get wise to the fact that you are gunning for them. A .22 worked fine for a wile but I had to go to a .410 so I could get them on the run.
Grey squirrels don't seem to be as much of a problem here (Henniker, NH) and they are a lot easier to shoot. They too will invade your house if given a chance
Last year I had an invasion of flying squirrels. They too like to move into buildings and really male a mess. I caught 28 of the buggers in the attic of my house and 47 in my shop. You can't shoot them because they only come out at night.
I found that a rat trap with a shelled walnut wired to the trip lever worked. They never seem to learn from the death of the companions. One gets caught in the trap and a second one will now come and eat the remaining nut. I caught 2 in the same trap since they were both trying to eat at the same time. When you find the nut remaining with the body of a squirrel in the trap, you probably have them all. Your next task is to seal up wherever they are getting in.
If you see a red squirrel near your home you have to kill it or sooner or later they will find a way in.

RoySwkr
10-19-2012, 03:41 PM
A friend in Milan NH has a new problem - red squirrels getting in garage chewing insulation etc.

They learned to stay out of range of BB gun, M1 can only be fired in certain directions :-)

Trail Bandit
10-19-2012, 06:01 PM
Hi Roy,
A 410 shotgun with #6 shot works pretty well and you don't have as many problems with neighbors.

Chip
10-19-2012, 08:12 PM
They find quickly, and stay pretty still over, peanut butter.

Stan
10-19-2012, 08:18 PM
Just curious - which one tastes better? Red or grey? :rolleyes:
Gray squirrels taste like chicken, red squirrels taste like peanuts.

wisher
10-19-2012, 08:52 PM
Not a red or a grey, but one morning I woke up to a flying squirrel in my house. For the first minute or so after I woke up I just kind of stared at it, trying to process what was going on. :confused:
You wouldn't believe how hard it is to catch a flying squirrel that's loose in your home. You get close to them and they glide over to the other side of the room. It was a ridiculous but very funny awakening.

edit: also, regarding shooting flying squirrels - I believe it is illegal to kill them, so please use a non-lethal trap or other non-lethal means to deal with them.

Chip
10-20-2012, 06:43 AM
edit: also, regarding shooting flying squirrels - I believe it is illegal to kill them, so please use a non-lethal trap or other non-lethal means to deal with them.

This was all I could find for NH (nothing about not killing them, I don't believe they're protected):

" What can I do about flying squirrels or other small animals that have taken up winter residence in my attic or other part of the house?

These creatures are looking for a warm, safe place to take up residency for the winter. An overhanging branch or tree limb is an open invitation for these species to get onto your roof and possibly into your home. Trim the overhangs as much as possible to prevent animals from easily getting onto your roof. If an animal gets into your home, you will need to remove it, if not on your own, then by contacting a Wildlife Control Operator to assist with the removal. Once the animal is removed, you need to determine how the animal got in; eaves, cracks in the foundation, an open door, etc. Once you locate the entryway you need to block it off so the animal cannot return. You can also contact USDA Wildlife Services at (603) 223-6832. They can give you information to assist you with the removal of the animals."

Trail Bandit
10-20-2012, 10:40 AM
The various squirrels will attack in all seasons. You must be alert and on guard every day. I have had to defended my home against the buggers almost constantly. Attached are a couple of photos taken on good days. Both red and gray squirrels were involved. If you have a bird feeder squirrels will be attracted to the free food and then take up residence in the nearest building which is usually your house. The red squirrels get very cautious after a bit and it is almost impossible to shoot them because they run for the woods at the sound of a door or window opening. I devised a modification to my bird feeder that solved the problem. The attached photo shows the modified feeder. There is a grounding screen where the squirrel has to stand to eat food and the wire above is connected to a 5000 volt neon sign transformer in the ammo can on the post. The transformer is powered from the house and is energized when you push the button. You can probably figure out the rest. It works very well, it is silent, and there is no danger to neighbors form stray bullets.408240834084

Chip
10-20-2012, 03:54 PM
I just set up a non electric, non high speed lead poisoning, no maintenance, freeze proof, potential multiple death, squirrel collection system in my barn.

I'll know in the morning how it went. Then I can re-set the mouse traps. I have no problem with them in the yard, but there's too much they and the mice can damage in the barn and house.

Trail Bandit
10-20-2012, 05:49 PM
Keep us posted. It is important that we learn as there may always be a better way.

SAR-EMT40
10-20-2012, 10:56 PM
The various squirrels will attack in all seasons. You must be alert and on guard every day. I have had to defended my home against the buggers almost constantly. Attached are a couple of photos taken on good days. Both red and gray squirrels were involved. If you have a bird feeder squirrels will be attracted to the free food and then take up residence in the nearest building which is usually your house. The red squirrels get very cautious after a bit and it is almost impossible to shoot them because they run for the woods at the sound of a door or window opening. I devised a modification to my bird feeder that solved the problem. The attached photo shows the modified feeder. There is a grounding screen where the squirrel has to stand to eat food and the wire above is connected to a 5000 volt neon sign transformer in the ammo can on the post. The transformer is powered from the house and is energized when you push the button. You can probably figure out the rest. It works very well, it is silent, and there is no danger to neighbors form stray bullets.408240834084

My dad did something very similar to this but he used a light bulb as a current limiter. They got a shock but it was designed to be and is non-lethal.

Keith

skibones
10-21-2012, 05:14 AM
I also had red squirrels chew into my house. they chewed through the roof-we have a wooden roof. I duck tapped a rat trap on the roof, near where they got in and caught four. that was a few years ago, But I am still worried about them since they run on the deck along the house. I put a rat trap there, but they must throw or convince the mice to try it out-so all I've trapped are mice!

Chip
10-21-2012, 02:45 PM
Keep us posted. It is important that we learn as there may always be a better way.

So far I have only established squirrel are smarter than mice:(.

Neil
10-21-2012, 02:57 PM
The various squirrels will attack in all seasons. You must be alert and on guard every day. I have had to defended my home against the buggers almost constantly. Attached are a couple of photos taken on good days. Both red and gray squirrels were involved. If you have a bird feeder squirrels will be attracted to the free food and then take up residence in the nearest building which is usually your house. The red squirrels get very cautious after a bit and it is almost impossible to shoot them because they run for the woods at the sound of a door or window opening. I devised a modification to my bird feeder that solved the problem. The attached photo shows the modified feeder. There is a grounding screen where the squirrel has to stand to eat food and the wire above is connected to a 5000 volt neon sign transformer in the ammo can on the post. The transformer is powered from the house and is energized when you push the button. You can probably figure out the rest. It works very well, it is silent, and there is no danger to neighbors form stray bullets.408240834084

Wow! Simply amazing! Must be quite the buzz to push the button and watch what happens out the window.

I think you are creating a red squirrel ecological vacuum. I imagine that new red squirrels continuously flow downhill along the negative red squirrel pressure gradient and fill the void as fast as you can create it. :D

Trail Bandit
10-21-2012, 08:51 PM
I think you are correct. It is well known that Nature abhors a vacuum. If you clear a space such as a trail of weeds and brush, the space will very quickly be filled in. I agree that the same principle holds true if you remove the squirrels from an area. Others will move in. At present, I have not seen any squirrels for about a month. I don't know about the nocturnal flying squirrels but I have not heard any at night. Maybe I have plugged all the entrances.
In spite of what many of you may think, I do not get much joy out of "Pushing the button". This is a war and as far as I can tell, the only good enemy is a dead enemy. I will use any tool that my wicked brain can devise. I know that THEY will be back.

Neil
10-28-2012, 03:13 PM
I got this critter's front paw under my boot before frying his brain with my (post consumer modified) headlamp electrode.

http://adkhighpeaks.com/neil/outdoor%20pursuits/7chutes/full/7%20Chutes_0039a.jpg

Maddy
10-28-2012, 04:00 PM
Red or grey...big or small....they are only trying to survive. There lives are as important to them as ours are to us. They to have families.
Photo Tufts Wildlife Clinic
http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o614/mollybmd/300314_10150452857370930_96729110929_10911446_1604 651132_n.jpg

Trail Bandit
10-28-2012, 05:50 PM
[QUOTE=Maddy;383866]Red or grey...big or small....they are only trying to survive. There lives are as important to them as ours are to us. They to have families.

Kill the mothers there will be no others

Red Oak
10-28-2012, 06:35 PM
[QUOTE=Maddy;383866]Red or grey...big or small....they are only trying to survive. There lives are as important to them as ours are to us. They to have families.

Kill the mothers there will be no othersWhen did this become a hunting web site?Kill squirrels?Really?What about better construction on your roof or walls to keep them out?Maybe these critters are not the problem here.Good luck with your karma and the squirrels!

Maddy
10-28-2012, 06:50 PM
[QUOTE=Trail Bandit;383877]When did this become a hunting web site?Kill squirrels?Really?What about better construction on your roof or walls to keep them out?Maybe these critters are not the problem here.Good luck with your karma and the squirrels!

Excellent suggestion. Too often it's easier to just kill the critter, but in many cases we do have less lethal options that could be implemented.

Neil
10-28-2012, 06:56 PM
In order to divert attention away from the squirrel wars I thought I'd share an ornithological moment with you all:

http://adkhighpeaks.com/neil/outdoor%20pursuits/7chutes/full/7%20Chutes_0016a.jpg

Red Oak
10-28-2012, 07:44 PM
In order to divert attention away from the squirrel wars I thought I'd share an ornithological moment with you all:

http://adkhighpeaks.com/neil/outdoor%20pursuits/7chutes/full/7%20Chutes_0016a.jpgSmaller hawk?Nice talons..

Neil
10-29-2012, 05:36 AM
In our spare time we like to do a little falconing. It keeps the red squirrels at bay.

Our pet falcon:
http://adkhighpeaks.com/neil/outdoor%20pursuits/7chutes/full/7%20Chutes_0027a.jpg

Red Oak
10-29-2012, 05:42 AM
In our spare time we like to do a little falconing. It keeps the red squirrels at bay.

Our pet falcon:
http://adkhighpeaks.com/neil/outdoor%20pursuits/7chutes/full/7%20Chutes_0027a.jpgDont let the bird out in this weather,it could end up in Manitoba or something!Very cool birdie there....:)

Chip
10-29-2012, 04:12 PM
Red or grey...big or small....they are only trying to survive.

I don't seek out rodents to dispatch: They are welcome in the yard. When it comes to destruction of property however, inside my walls, they are not welcome. I do, BTW, try to close up openings and cracks before I set any traps.
Also: I believe if I were eating, bedding and cr@pping in their crib, they'd try their best to off me.

On a slightly more conversational/confrontational note: Where do "you" draw the line ? What's the difference between a rat and a squirrel? Just saying. I really don't want to argue as I understand your POV.

Maddy
10-29-2012, 04:21 PM
I don't seek out rodents to dispatch: They are welcome in the yard. When it comes to destruction of property however, inside my walls, they are not welcome. I do, BTW, try to close up openings and cracks before I set any traps.
Also: I believe if I were eating, bedding and cr@pping in their crib, they'd try their best to off me.

On a slightly more conversational/confrontational note: Where do "you" draw the line ? What's the difference between a rat and a squirrel? Just saying. I really don't want to argue as I understand your POV.

I totally agree with what your saying and would do the same. It's just that killing should not be the only option if there is something more humane we can do to prevent the problem. Once you reinforce your home, etc and they still find a way in, dispatching them might very well be the only option.

Driver8
10-29-2012, 08:00 PM
In order to divert attention away from the squirrel wars I thought I'd share an ornithological moment with you all:

http://adkhighpeaks.com/neil/outdoor%20pursuits/7chutes/full/7%20Chutes_0016a.jpg

Ornography?

erugs
10-29-2012, 08:36 PM
What trail are we on here? Is the necessary gear available at EMS? This topic isn't in any of my hiking guidebooks. And besides, as a nearly vegetarian, yuck, it's not going in my whisper-lite.

Chip
07-02-2013, 01:09 PM
I just set up a non electric, non high speed lead poisoning, no maintenance, freeze proof, potential multiple death, squirrel and mouse collection system in my barn.

I'll know in the morning how it went. I have no problem with them in the yard, but there's too much they can damage in the barn and house.

If anyone is interested in my results here: pics, minor maintenance issues, etc, PM me here. I will say I am very satisfied.