Last Updated: June 2016
It’s almost that time of year again where we welcome new batches of baby squirrels into the world. Spring time is the season where mother squirrels give birth, so get ready and read up, because you probably don’t want to get yourself in a baby squirrel removal situation this year!
Ontario is home to many different types of wildlife, and as you’re probably aware, one of the types you are more likely to see are squirrels. It is not uncommon to be walking down the street to see a squirrel run by right past you across the street, or another climbing up the tree right by the park. Squirrels have long inhabited in both the rural and urban areas of Ontario multiplying year after year around the spring season. While the miracle of birth is always a wonderful thing, there are certain things to be aware of when it comes to wildlife, because although its nice sharing the space outside being neighbors with them, you probably won’t want them inside the house as your new roommates.
Dealing with baby squirrel removal can be a nuisance, so it’s doesn’t hurt to learn about them and what to do when you find yourself with one in or around your home!
Toronto is home to the Eastern Grey Squirrel – a quick footed, 14-20 inch mammal who likes to eat seeds, fruits and sometimes even eggs. Female squirrels can give birth up to two times a year with breeding season being around either January to February or around the month of June. In the mating process, the female omits a scent that attracts the male squirrels. Several male squirrels then compete for the female and the most dominant male will be selected. During pregnancy, these female squirrels will usually take shelter in a hollow tree where the gestation period lasts about 45 days resulting in a litter of about 5 baby squirrels. Squirrels are maternal and territorial creatures. Once the babies are born, the mother squirrel will care for them and start weaning them around the age of 8 weeks. They will then continue to nurse the babies for several more weeks. On about the 11th week, the baby squirrels will be taking strides further from their mother until they are completely matured.
Once baby squirrels are born, they appear very pink and hairless. They weigh approximately 14-16 grams and are incapable of sight. As they age, at about 4-5 weeks the baby squirrels fur has already begun to grow and is beginning to thicken. Their eyes are also beginning to open and their incisors are developing allowing them to eat some solid foods. By the time baby squirrel are 7 weeks old, they’ve almost taken the appearance of a miniature version of a fully developed squirrel. The fur thickness and color is just about the same of an adult squirrel and their tails are getting furry. The eyes of a 6-7 week old squirrel are open with better vision allowing them to see and focus more clearly. Once the squirrel has reached the age of 8 weeks, they are almost fully grown and are showing more independent behavior as they have already begun weaning off their mother. Baby squirrels are still considered immature at 11-18 weeks but will have gotten used to venturing away and around the nest.
What sometimes happens during the baby squirrel development process is that the mother squirrel gets separated from her young. This can happen for a number of different reasons. It may be due to the nest failing due to weather conditions such as wind, snow or rain. A predator may have gotten between the squirrel and her babies or perhaps the squirrel has been removed. These instances may leave the baby squirrels orphaned. There are several options and steps you can take if you encounter a baby squirrel with no mother. Always be sure to check with your city or province regulations before handling any wild animal. In certain instances, hiring a professional may be required for baby squirrel removal to help handle the situation on your property.
How to help care for an orphaned baby squirrel
These steps are meant as a last option. Always consult with a professional wildlife rehabilitation center before taking any action.
- Attempt to reunite the baby squirrels with its mother. If there is a chance that you can help them get back together then do so. You can help this process by ensuring that the baby squirrels are warm and uninjured. If the baby is cold or injured, you can help warm the baby by using a hot water bottle. Handling a baby squirrel will not keep the mother squirrel from reuniting the baby, so picking the baby up will not be an issue. If there is no sight or trace of the mother squirrel, you can help care for the baby squirrels yourself.
- Once you’ve determined that the baby squirrel is indeed an orphan and you would like to take matters into your own hands, call a squirrel rehabilitation center first. After receiving instructions from them, check to see if there are any injuries. If there are, then see a veterinarian and do not try to deal with serious injuries on your own.
- Ensure that the baby squirrels are warm. You can do this by setting up a hot water bottle or heating pad to help keep them heated. Baby squirrels cannot produce their own heat.
- Try to attempt to reunite the baby squirrel with its mother again. You should not try to keep the squirrel as a pet. This process is to help rehabilitate the baby squirrel not to raise it domestically.
- If the mother is still absent, continue to help the baby squirrel. Once the baby squirrel has matured, release the squirrel back into the wild at a safe distance away from pets or another animals.
Although the steps stated can be an option (if approved by your city or province), handling wild animals on your own is not best way to take care of the situation. If you can, try to seek out a professional for these types of services including baby squirrel removal or squirrel control if they are on your property. When looking for baby squirrel removal or squirrel control, consider SOS Wildlife Control. We provide superior wildlife removal services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. If you’re looking to prevent squirrels from coming in, and proof your home instead, we can do that to. Taking action before it’s too late will help eliminate animal damage repair costs. We be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait and call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests in the most humane way possible.
Call SOS Wildlife Control 1.800.981.0330 for Baby Squirrel Removal!