Wildlife Education - Information, Advice About How to identify squirrel tracks

How to identify squirrel tracks

Squirrels will leave small tracks - tiny little footprints that measure in about half an inch by half an inch. The back feet are longer than the front ones, and just like other mammals, they have five digits, or toes, on each foot. You will generally see these tiny little footprints in the snow or mud, but you may also notice them being “walked-in” - dirt marks up the sides of your home for example. You can actually use these miniature footprints to help you out when you have a small squirrel invasion. By sprinkling a dusting of powder around, you can get a better idea of where the animal is running around, and this can help you when it comes to finding the holes to then seal them up, as well as placement of the traps and exclusion devices you'll be using to get rid of them. Where the powder - flour, for example - has been disrupted, that's where the animal will be running. You will want to be sure that the animal you're chasing is definitely a squirrel, however, and there are other things you should be keeping an eye out for also. Feces and urine are common signs, and you will smell these as well as see them. Squirrels tend to have “bathroom areas”, particularly when they're setting up home in your attic or home, and these will not only cause odor problems, but also bacteria and disease problems also.

Do you think you have squirrels, but haven't spotted any yet? Are you finding tracks around your home and yard and want to know what made them? Identifying animal tracks is fairly easy once you know what you are looking for. There are many books available in stores or at the library, information is plentiful at park ranger stations, and of course, there is lots of information on the internet. We are going to examine the tracks of the most likely squirrel you will run across. Gray squirrels are by far the most common type of squirrel. They are found in most regions of the U.S. They sport large bushy tails and silvery gray fur and are most likely to be the culprit that moves into your attic and chews up your yard. It is also the most likely squirrel to be hanging around your house or local park.

Since acorns are a favorite of all squirrels, including Grays, they tend to congregate around areas where oak trees are plentiful. They will also eat fungi, nuts, bug larvae, vegetation, and certain insects. Gray squirrels are not particularly vocal, but when sounding a warning or calling a mate, they make a sound much like a throaty barking noise. Their nests or “drays' will be located high up in the trees. Most Squirrels prefer to nest at least thirty feet in the air. Despite popular stories, Gray squirrels do not hibernate, but do sleep extended periods in freezing weather. You can expect Gray squirrels, like most of their cousins to remain active all year long.

If you are interested in identifying a squirrel by its tracks, look for a small paw print about 1.5 inches long and 1. Inch wide for the front foot, and about 2 1/4 “long for the rear or “hind” foot when the rear heel pad is showing (average sized adult). The tracks will look like a typical rodent's foot, having four toes on its front foot, and five toes on the hind foot. Much like rabbits, Squirrels tend to gallop, when on the ground. If the squirrel is moving at a nice easy pace, Their track patterns will show the squirrel's rear feet (the larger ones) behind its front, as you would expect. If the back feet are in front of the front feet, the squirrel was in a running gait.

Squirrels will also have much more symmetrical foot pattern than rabbits and many other creatures. This can help you to help identify their tracks from the offset front feet of bunnies as well. When spotting a squirrel track, You will often see a distinctive “tail drag mark” behind the tracks. The most logical place to look for tracks will be around the base of trees squirrels might frequent, but The clearest tracks will be found in soft ground like that along pond edges, or wet spots in your yard where the squirrels might come down to drink. Although they are active all year, The best time of year to track squirrel is in the late summer-early fall, when they are busy running around on the ground gathering food for winter. Squirrels are by nature territorial, and Gray squirrels are no exception. You might hear one before you see its tracks because a squirrel will brashly scold any intruders they feel stepped into their territory!

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Please be kind to squirrels! They are intelligent animals, and believe it or not, they definitely have emotions!
If you have any questions about squirrels in attics, just email me at david@squirrel-attic.com