Ah, the beauty of fall! With the passing of Labor Day weekend, our thoughts turn to the process of change. Those changes are associated with the coming of school buses, falling leaves, cooling temperatures, heat bills, and wardrobe items that we haven’t needed for several months. There are also changes in the animal kingdom. Some creatures, such as bats are getting ready to leave. Others, however, like squirrels, are back for their next round of gestation. In other words, there are more baby squirrels at this time of year. And their mom may have decided that your attic, loft or crawl space is the perfect place to raise her family. Squirrels of various species usually gestate twice a year, with babies being born in early spring and again mid to late summer. Gray squirrels are more common, named for their general color and recognizable by their long bushy tail. They are known for their quick movements and can live up to four years in the wild. Flying squirrels are much smaller than grays and are named for their ability, more accurately described as gliding. They are able to do this by virtue of a patagium of skin extending from their wrists to their ankles, which, when opened, gives them a shape like a kite. Their activity is typically nocturnal. Grays usually live in small family groups of 3-5, while flyers live in colonies with as many as 20 or more animals. Cute and dangerous! While these creatures are considered by many to be “cute,” they do pose significant hazards to humans when living in our homes. Besides some diseases associated with squirrels there can be damage to the structure. These damages can include: odor, insulation spoiled by urine, feces and parasites, chewing of structural timbers and the chewing of electrical wires which can have disastrous results. It is estimated that over 25% of house fires of unknown origin are caused by squirrels chewing wires! What to do? Critter Control has a couple of recommendations in the event you see squirrels entering or exiting your home. 1.First of all, do not close up an entry hole if you see a squirrel leaving. At this time of year, it’s probably a mother, having just left her second litter of babies inside in the nest. Locking her out is a death sentence for the babies, bringing a terrible odor and maggots, etc. 2.Don’t try to go into the attic and grab that squirrel yourself. An animal, even one as small as a squirrel, can be dangerous when cornered, injured, or when protecting their babies. 3.Call Critter Control © and let us send one of our wildlife technicians to inspect your home or business, and provide expert removal of those animals that is safe and humane. Give us a call at 610-385-4405, M-F 8am–6pm, Sat 9am–3pm. For more information about various animal species, from our home page, click the "Fact" tab and then click on "Animals." Flying Squirrel in "flight"