Squirrel (Eastern Grey Squirrel)

Binomial Name: Sciurus carolinensisgrey_squirrel


  • Overall Length: 43-50 cm
  • Colour: Grey above, under parts paler grey; or entirely black
  • Weight: 400-700 g
  • Tail: 21-24 cm; flattened, bushy, grey with white tipped hairs; or entirely black

Life Cycle:  Grey squirrels first breed when they are about 1 year old in mid-December or early January.  Gestation period is 42-45 days with usually 3 young per litter.  At birth, the grey squirrel is hairless, blind and their ears are closed.  Young begin to explore outside of the nest about the time they are weaned at 10-12 weeks.  In the wild, squirrels over 4 years old are rare.

BehaviourSquirrels can create a fire hazard by introducing combustible materials in the form of nesting materials into dwellings and by gnawing on electrical lines.  Individual home ranges vary from 1-100 acres depending on the season and availability of food.  They eat a variety of native foods and adapt quickly to unusual sources of food.  Grey squirrels feed on the following: wild tree fruits and nuts during late fall and early winter; tree buds and pine cones in late winter and early spring; fruits, berries and plant material during the summer.

Signs of Infestation:  Squirrels, being rodents, are known for their gnawing.  In the attic, look for gnaw marks on rafters and support beams.  Outside of the home, look for entry/exit points that are about the size of a baseball.  When seeking nest sites in a building they often enter through chimney vents, cellar windows or by gnawing their way through soft materials such as wood or plastic.  Grey squirrels are especially active in the morning and evening during dry weather so listen for scratching and signs of movement in the attic during these times.