Find a Squirrel? Here’s What to Do
This time of year, dozens of people in our area are finding squirrels on the ground. Some are babies, some are juveniles. Some are truly orphaned, while others are learning from their mom and look orphaned when really, they’re not. The best option for a baby squirrel is his mom, and we need your help determining if the baby can be reunited with his mom. Screaming babies must go to rehab; they’re orphans. Little squirrels running around on the ground (not too quickly) are usually still with their mom and we recommend observation for a couple of hours to see if mom is around. If the squirrel is in danger due to cats, dogs, traffic, or other predators, the little squirrel should come to rehab.
Mother squirrel usually has a primary nest and a back-up nest or two, so if something happens to one nest, given the opportunity, she’ll relocate her babies to nest B. That includes weather damage, tree cut down, etc.
You can safely and humanely evict unwanted squirrels from your attic by making it no fun for them to stay. If you move their nest even a little bit, Mom will know and she’ll move her babies but again, she must be given the opportunity to do so. Exterminators will come and move the nest and babies, and that will cost you a few hundred dollars and likely, not a good outcome for the babies.
It is illegal to keep wildlife, including squirrels. Licensed rehabbers are experienced and know how to take care of squirrels. It’s also important to be aware that squirrels can carry disease that you don’t want, nor do your pets, including fleas, lice, parasites such as worms, and some of these parasites carry disease such as plague and tularemia. If you must rescue the squirrel, please wear gloves, keep the animal away from your face, your kids, your pets, and call us right away.
Once the squirrels are raised to properly socialized healthy young adults, they should be released back to nature. A healthy squirrel kept in captivity is a miserable squirrel. Once he becomes sexually mature, he becomes frustrated and destructive, and not such a good pet anymore.