• 41°

Pesky squirrels bugging homeowners

Pesky squirrels seem to be a constant thorn in the side of many homeowners, especially for those who live in the city. Bird feeding stations and raised planters seem to be their favorite sites to destroy.
Those with pecan, oak or hickory trees can expect visits from our state mammal.
December through January and again in June is the breeding season for gray squirrels in our area, so squirrels will be active during this time. Young squirrels may breed twice a year with a gestation period of 42-45 days with usually three young in the litter.
Shrinking habitats and lack of natural enemies force squirrels to areas of abundant food and water, such as high density housing.
Typically only about half the squirrels in a population die each year. Squirrels can live up to 12 years but rarely in the wild do squirrels live four years.
Both home and commercial remedies designed to repel squirrels have mixed results. Taste repellents such as Ro-pel can be applied to plants, flowers, trees and shrubs in an effort to make the squirrel look elsewhere for food.
Other repellents containing capsaicin (hot pepper mix) can also be used as a repellent with mixed results. Some report hot pepper works well while others tell me the squirrels regard it as a condiment. Homeowners automatically think of using moth balls to ward off marauding squirrels. Unfortunately, this method of control has little or no success.
State wildlife biologists suggest obtaining a deprivation permit if squirrels cause property damage. Call the state wildlife biologist at 919-707-0050 to obtain the permit. Legally, you have to have this permit to trap and release the animal.
Baited live traps seem to be the best method of control for those who live in urban areas. Traps can effectively be baited with slices of orange, walnuts or pecans removed from the shell with peanut butter. Live squirrel traps are readily available from hardware and farm supply stores.
Captured squirrels should be relocated at least 5 miles away to an approved site to prevent return. Wildlife biologists question trapping and release due to the stress placed on the animal and possible spread of diseases, with few surviving relocation.
Hunting season for squirrels this year starts on Monday and closes Jan. 31, 2009. Landowners can shoot squirrels on their property, but those hunting on others’ property must have a valid hunting license.
nnn
Darrell Blackwelder is an agricultural agent in charge of horticulture with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County; call 704-216-8970.
Web sites:
http://www.rowanmaster gardener.com
http://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu

Comments

Comments closed.

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy

High School

High school baseball: Padgett leads Mustangs; 100th win for West coach Graham

Coronavirus

RSS superintendent, Board of Health discuss strategies for increasing student vaccination rates

Education

East Spencer charter school files petition to contest charter revocation

Nation/World

Gas stations report shortages as pipeline shutdown drags on

News

Lawyers: Black man didn’t drive into deputies who shot him