To the general public, squirrels are considered more of a “harmless” inhabitant of many urban landscapes. But the truth of squirrels is much more sinister when you do some research.
Squirrels have been known to cause many problems in urban areas, most of which arise from animal-human conflict. To name a few:
- Squirrels will steal seed from bird feeders, wasting your bird seed and scaring off native bird species from your yard
- Squirrels will dig holes in your landscaping to bury nuts, many of which are never recovered due to their scatter hoarding behavior.
- Squirrels chew on tree bark to whittle down their constantly growing incisors, causing trees to become diseased and in some cases, even die
- Squirrels carry ticks, mice, and disease. In the UK, such diseases carried by invasive gray squirrels are wiping out the native red squirrel population.
- Squirrels feed on garden vegetables such as tomatoes, damaging crops and digging unwanted holes in soil
- Squirrels have incredibly strong teeth, which they can use to chew electrical wires in your car or home, causing thousands of dollars of damage
- Mother squirrels have been known to chew into homes, even building nests and weaning live young in the attic. The squirrels leave behind bodily waste which attracts more insects and creates unsanitary conditions
- Squirrels have been known to cause electrical outages thanks to their penchant of getting around by walking on power lines and transformers. In fact, they are one of the most common causes of power failures.