Squirrels are curious creatures that have achieved a status in pop culture nearly unmatched by any other pest. In no other city than St. Louis have they especially reached such a spectacular reputation, mostly thanks to the 2011 MLB Playoffs and the Cardinals’ encounter with the now forever famous Rally Squirrel. But, there’s more to squirrels than cartoon characters, good luck charms, and TV commercials. Here are five fun facts about squirrels that you probably didn’t know.
Masters of Deception
Squirrels might look cute and innocent, but they are masters of deception. When a paranoid squirrel has food but thinks it is being watched, the squirrel will stuff food in its cheeks, then dig a hole, pretend to drop food in it, and cover the hole back up. Why? The squirrel is trying to throw an enemy off its trail with a decoy cache of food! Other squirrels or birds, hoping to take the stash, will then focus on the fake burial site while the squirrel buries the real stash somewhere else, safe from prying eyes.
Squirrels also run in seemingly erratic paths intended to deceive potential predators as to its chosen path of escape. That’s why they look so crazy when you’re driving down the road and encounter what looks like a surely suicidal squirrel in the street. In reality they are trying to confuse your car with misdirection, often to their own demise.
Talk to the Tail
A squirrel’s bushy tail is an important part of its iconic stature. Although, that tail is more than just a multiplier for cuteness. Squirrels actually use their tail for a number of reasons. For one, they move it around to signal anxiety of aggression. Similarly, they fluff it out to impress and attract mates. When it comes to climbing, and accomplishing impressive feats of acrobatics, the tail works to provide balance. The tail even works to aid in temperature control! In the summer, squirrels use their tail as a fan to cool themselves down and as shade from the sun. Then in the winter, squirrels wrap their tail around their body like a blanket to keep warm.
I’ve Got My Eye On You
Squirrels have noticeably large eyes which are positioned high on their head. Baby squirrels are actually born blind and remain that way for six to eight weeks, but once developed they have an excellent field of vision. That field of vision, combined with high placement on the head, is a big part of the reason why squirrels can move so quickly and effectively up, down, and across trees. Yes, they can see you. And yes, they’re watching.
High Speed Chase
Have you ever noticed squirrels madly chasing each other through the trees at an impressively fast pace? This odd behavior is exactly what it looks like: one squirrel chasing another. The ritual of chasing, which occurs through trees at top speed, is a male chasing a female and it happens during mating season. From time to time you’ll also have one male chasing another male as it seeks to ward off a threat.
Can I Stay for a While?
Adult squirrels typically live alone. They also never hibernate. But, during excessive cold or a winter storm squirrels will ride out the storm in their nest for as long as it takes. And even though they prefer to live alone, when the weather gets bad a squirrel will share its nest with other squirrels who congregate together to stay warm and preserve body heat. Once the storm is over, the guests will again mind their own business and move along.
Need Help With Squirrel Removal?
Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions is your St. Louis area squirrel removal expert. We’ve been serving the St. Louis region for over three decades and we are proudly the leaders in squirrel removal. Our combination of local knowledge and squirrel removal skills are why every season homeowners all across St. Louis choose Holper’s to handle their tricky, deceptive, and annoying squirrel problems. Call your local squirrel removal expert today (314-544-PEST) to learn more about how we can help you protect your home.