May 2, 2014

Squirrel eviction

This week, WES received a call from a concerned resident of Santa Cruz who observed a squirrel on her rooftop, crying. 

It's the height of baby season, so this could be a hungry infant crying in distress, or it could be the anxious cries of a mother squirrel. WES' founder, Rebecca Dmytryk went to check it out. 

When she arrived, the squirrel was gone, but she did find a breach in the roof where squirrels were coming and going and she could hear the rustling and tumbling of older squirrel pups in the soffit.

This was a job for Humane Wildlife Control - Dmytryk's "pest" control company! 

Dmytryk started the business a couple of years ago with her husband Duane Titus. It's a perfect fit! With their vast knowledge of wild animals they're able to come up with safe and sound solutions for wildlife conflicts. Dmytryk explains her tactic for this situation:
In cases like this, where there are older, mobile youngsters, we like to try using a one-way door system first, to see if the pups will come out on their own. It's much less work and less costly than trying to extract them by hand. If it doesn't work, we can always get more aggressive. 
Dmytryk installed a custom one-way squirrel door and left for a couple of hours. When she returned, she found one of the youngsters had made its way out and was on the rooftop. It wasn't long before the mother showed up to lead her baby to a safe spot in a nearby redwood tree.

The rest of the youngsters were more timid about using the door. It wasn't until early the next morning that all were safely outside the house and back with their mother. Check out the video:

There are only four tree squirrels in California - two are native - the Western gray and the Douglas squirrel. The other two were introduced - the Eastern gray and the Eastern fox squirrel. The squirrels in this story are Eastern gray squirrels. 

Participate in a real scientific research project to help map the distribution of the various species. Check it out, HERE


Identify the species of squirrel you observe, then send the information exactly as indicated in the examples below to:

Species, Date Observed, Location Observed (GPS Coordinates OR Street Address) 

GPS Example = Western Gray Squirrel, 01/01/2014, 34.35798 N, -117.32649 W

Address Example = Eastern Fox Squirrel, 01/01/2014, 3487 Bart Street, West Covina, CA 91791

This link, HERE, gives a good explanation of the unique differences between the species and how to identify them.