Grey Squirrels: Breeding, Babies, and Lifespan
Have you found a baby grey squirrel in your yard recently or noticed that the baby squirrel population in your neighborhood is a little higher than normal? it may be time to learn more about these animals. These squirrels need certain conditions to thrive, and your yard or landscape could be the ideal environment. Here are some grey squirrel facts you need to know to make sure that the squirrels in your yard are kept as safe as possible. You should also know the habits of these animals; since they are part of the ecosystem of your yard, it’s important to be aware of how they breed and whether they will affect the plant life on your property.
Grey Squirrel Facts
Grey squirrels are also referred to as cat squirrels or migratory squirrels. They are particularly common in the eastern region of the United States but have also been found in parts of South Africa and Great Britain. Grey squirrels often live in forests and woodlands but aren’t afraid to be around people, so they are found in yards and urban parks, as well.
The lifespan of these squirrels is about a year; according to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, grey squirrels live between 11 and 12 months on average. However, some wild grey squirrels have been able to survive for up to a decade. According to the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web, a female grey squirrel that was kept in a captive environment was able to live for 20 years, which is rare for the species.
There are also several factors that determine how long grey squirrels will live. These animals need access to various foods because they are omnivores and eat foods like bird eggs, grass, small amphibians, and acorns. Harsh winters also affect the lifespan of squirrels, as they can’t survive in extremely cold environments for very long. If the squirrels are in an area where their predators are also abundant, this also will affect the lifespan of the grey squirrel. These squirrels are often hunted by eagles, as well as bobcats, red foxes, and coyotes.
Grey Squirrel Breeding Habits
If you see a baby grey squirrel all alone while gardening, you may be wondering “do mother squirrels abandon their babies?” Also, if you see a pregnant squirrel, you may want to know if it is safe to try to get the squirrel to a tree. Being aware of the way that grey squirrels breed will let you know what to do in these situations.
Grey squirrels breed twice a year. The first season is from December to February and the second season is from May to June. During the first year of life, female squirrels are not able to breed. Male squirrels are very active during the breeding season, and the animals even engage in mating dances during breeding seasons. Squirrels have 44-day gestation periods. The female squirrels tend to give birth in August and have between two and six squirrels with each litter; some squirrels deliver 8 baby squirrels at one time.
A pregnant squirrel is likely more aggressive and can attack due to the surge in hormones. If you want to provide a safe place for the squirrel to deliver her babies, you can likely offer her the basement or another warm area like the garage if the squirrel has been in these areas before. Once the squirrel delivers her babies, she will likely become good-natured again and you can enjoy watching as the new family of squirrels scamper around. Grey squirrels also help to eliminate animals on your property that could compromise the look of your lawn or garden.
Do you need help with the grey squirrels in your yard?
It is important to hire an expert pest control professional who has the equipment and skill needed to properly remove them from your property. Removal of these frisky little creatures can be quite the challenge.