Last Updated: May 2016
Two species of squirrels found in Ontario are the grey squirrel and the red squirrel. The grey squirrel and the red squirrel produce babies twice annually. Most squirrel litters are born in February or March, and July or August. A litter comprises of one to eight babies but five or six are most common. The baby squirrels are naked, blind and deaf. The mother feeds them every two to four hours for several weeks. At 7-8 weeks, they start to follow their mother around within the den site. If the den is inside your attic this is when you will hear noise if you haven’t already noticed the cries.
Noise in your attic is usually caused by an unexpected guest, often a squirrel. Squirrels are one of the most common wildlife pests to be in your attic. One common complaint is the hearing of “scratching” noises, which usually ends up being a mother squirrel in the attic. The young squirrels begin to eat solid food and are weaned at 10-11 weeks of age. A month later, they start to leave the den. If there are not too many squirrels in the area, the young will build nests nearby. Otherwise, they will be chased away to less crowded feeding areas. Typically some of the squirrels will continue to use the birthing den, thus it is important to have baby squirrel removal conducted as they will keep returning to your attic.
Professional Baby Squirrel Removal
SOS Wildlife Control will arrive at your home, inspect the area and provide you with a thorough outline of what the problem is, the main entry points and the squirrel removal options you have. The next step (upon hire) is an attic inspection. This is a hands on approach and allows us to invade the animals space. We can identify if there are babies involved or if it’s only adults. During the search of the attic, the technician must be aware that the mother squirrel may be lurking in the dark. It is her instinctive nature to protect her young and may be provoked when they approached. The mother squirrel needs to be chased out of the attic through the one-way door or kept at bay in order to get to the babies. The standard humane method for baby squirrel removal is by sealing all the entry points except one, and installing a one-way door at the main entry hole. This ensures the mother squirrel leaves and cannot re-enter. This method keeps squirrels from being locked inside a building and it greatly reduces the possibility of property damage. The technician will then be able to seek out the babies and remove them from the property. Once the technician have the babies, they are placed in an insulated heated box close to the one-way door installed. When the mother feels that it is safe, she will come back and relocate the babies one by one to the pre-established den.
Do-it-yourself Baby Squirrel Removal
Baby Season is the time squirrels and other wildlife start to have their babies. It is important during baby season if you hear or see any signs of wildlife in your home to check straight away for babies. Precautions must be taken with conducting baby squirrel removal, as it involves dependents which becomes more complicated. Never conduct baby squirrel removal on your own, contact an experienced technician. Ontario has strong animal welfare legislation, enforcing strong laws and tough penalties. Throughout the GTA, Richmond Hill, Markham, Scarborough etc. it is an offence to cause or permit distress to an animal.
“Their goal is to ensure Ontario’s animals are protected and treated in the humane manner that our society expects”.
Ministry of Natural Resources, 2015.
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) recommends hiring a licensed professional like SOS Wildlife Control to trap them and remove the animal especially during baby season. The MNR have issued licenses to professionals like ourselves with certain protocols must be followed. Please do not try and remove the babies yourself.
First thing you do is locate where the noises are coming from. Second thing you need to check, is if there are babies. Babies are usually noisy, you can hear them chirping, as they cry for their mother to be fed. The mother will be in and out of the nest to get food and water, so you may not hear the thuds of their paws at certain times of the morning and daylight hours.
Tips to help Identify Wildlife
- Squirrels jump around a lot – day and night! Squirrels like to hide their food, but they have a very short memory, so they scurry around looking for the food they hid. They are very noisy.
- Raccoons are larger than squirrels and you will hear sliding while it moves around slowly or fixes up its Raccoons are a lot louder than squirrels.
- Mice are harder to hear, small mice don’t make too many loud noises and the evidence they are there is when they walk out in the open of your home. However larger mice, who feel they are safe may get loud and you will probably need the assistance of experts.
- Birds in your attic you may occasionally hear scurrying or if there is babies you will hear chirping.
Within a couple weeks, the babies will start to move around and squeak and thump. By about 4 weeks of age, they begin to explore the attic – especially when the mother is not there. The mother comes and goes from the attic during the day and the babies spend a lot of time running around at night!
Mothers are very protective of their young and do not let any animal near them. As mother wildlife are very protective, they can be quite vicious. If you find the babies watch out for the mother as she may be lurking not too far.
If you have any over laying branches onto your roof you should cut these away, reducing access to you roof. Any loss shingles or broken timber should be fixed as raccoons/squirrels etc. can gnaw and claw at weak areas very quickly. We offer wildlife removal and prevention. Please call us for more information and free advice on your wildlife problems.