Tree Squirrels

Sciurus spp.

Fox squirrel

Fox squirrel (Joseph Berger,

Red squirrel

Red squirrel (Michael Mengak, University of Georgia,

tree squirrel nest

Tree squirrel nest (NatureServe,


  • head and body 6 – 15 inches long
  • tail 4 - 14 inches long
  • white, grayish, yellowish, reddish or brownish above with pale or dark underside
  • short, thick fur and bushy tail

Nesting Habits

  • build nests in tree cavities or on tree branches
  • occasionally enter attics and garages for food and shelter or to nest


  • mainly feed on nuts and acorns seeds, berries, tree bark and fungi


  • minor health concern; carry diseases, but transmission to humans is rare
  • can enter buildings and damage walls, wires and insulation

IPM Recommendations

  • Exclude squirrels by blocking entrances into buildings with hardware cloth.
  • Keep squirrels from climbing trees by installing a 2-foot-wide collar or metal 6 feet off the ground around the tree, or using 2 foot sections of 2-3 inch pipe over utility lines (consult the electrical company for assistance if placing sleeves over electrical wires).
  • Use live traps to remove squirrels from buildings, seal entry points and then release outside. Lethal traps are also available for squirrel control.