4 Impressive Squirrel Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know
Squirrels live all over the world, in every continent except Australia.
Just about everyone is familiar with these cute little creatures, but they have an interesting history and amazing abilities that most people don’t know about.
In today’s post, we will discuss 4 unique squirrel facts you probably didn’t know.
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Fact #1: They Were Brought into U.S. Parks Intentionally
Squirrels can be pests around your property, but did you know that they were introduced to American nature parks intentionally?
After the Industrial Revolution, squirrels were mostly absent from cities. In order to liven up city parks (like Manhattan's Central Park), the city reintroduced squirrels to the area.
It was believed that a bit of nature in the city was crucial to maintaining people’s well-being. Additionally, feeding the squirrels became a leisurely activity for children and adults alike.
So the presence of squirrels in parks actually benefited the human population mentally, but it also had the unfortunate effect of contributing to infestations later down the line.
Fact #2: Squirrels Have an Expert Sense of Smell
Whether you’ve seen a squirrel in your backyard or a nearby park, you know they love to bury acorns and other nuts to store them for the winter.
Squirrels will typically bury their nuts around a memorable location, like next to a large oak tree. To protect their stock from birds, they bury them under only ¼ inch of soil.
But when snow begins piling up in the winter, how do the squirrels find the nuts they buried?
Fortunately, squirrels are able to use their keen sense of smell to detect the nuts they buried, even if they have been covered in a whole foot (0.3 m) of snow!
Fact #3: Squirrels Mislead their Scavengers
Not only are squirrels adept at tracking the nuts they buried, but they use misdirection to trick the scavengers who want to steal their nuts.
Squirrels have been known to tamper with soil and cover it with leaves, even when they haven’t buried a nut there. They make it look like they buried a nut there, in order to trick scavengers.
These squirrels bury their nuts elsewhere, while they mislead birds and other squirrels to a decoy location. Squirrels are more clever than we give them credit for.
Fact #4: Squirrels Are Experts At Finding Mates
When mating season arrives, female squirrels in heat begin emitting a scent that male squirrels can smell from up to a mile away (1.6 km)!
A male squirrel will rapidly chase the female squirrel down once he detects her scent, and will try to chase off any other males pursuing the same female.
It’s worth noting that squirrels do not mate for life. Rather, a female squirrel will go to great lengths to avoid mating with the same male twice.
This allows the squirrel population to stay genetically diverse, minimizing the risk of mutations. However, this may also lead the mother to seek shelter for her babies on your property.
And while squirrels are interesting creatures, they can do a lot of damage to your home when they start gnawing on insulation, fabrics, cables, etc. And that’s not to mention the risk of rabies.
Don’t put your property or family at risk of a squirrel infestation.
Please contact us at 855-WILDLIFE or visit www.wildlifexteam.com for more information.
Thanks for reading!
-Wildlife x Team International