Tag Archives: rodent removal

Which Canadian Squirrel is in Your Backyard


  • How to Identify the Eastern Grey Squirrel 
  • How to Identify the American Red Squirrel 
  • How to Identify the Richardson Ground Squirrel 
  • What’s the difference between Chipmunks and Squirrels
  • How to prevent a squirrel problem
  • What to do if you have a squirrel problem

Canada is home to 22 different species of squirrels! These furry creatures can be quite cute, especially when performing feats of incredible acrobatics in your backyard. However, they are less cute when digging up your garden, eating your flowers, or monopolizing your bird feeder. Squirrels can even act as a major pest in Canada as many species like to build nests in homes, especially in the wintertime. By identifying which squirrels live in and around your home you’ll be better prepared to prevent and deal with squirrel problems. In this article we cover the most common squirrels found in urban and suburban Canada and the unique problems they pose. 

Eastern Grey Squirrels

How to Identify the Eastern Grey Squirrel 

The eastern grey squirrel is possibly the most common squirrel in Canada. They can be spotted throughout New Brunswick, Quebec, southern Ontario and southern Manitoba. Although they are called grey squirrels they are both black and grey, similar to how humans have different hair colours it is simply a small genetic difference that causes them to appear differently. 

Eastern grey squirrels are also quite large and are a formidable opponent in the fight for backyard bird feeders in Canada. These squirrels love to eat seeds! There are many bird feeders specially designed to deter squirrels while still feeding songbirds – for more information on best bird feeder practices check out our article on the topic. These squirrels also love to eat flower bulbs and are notorious for digging up flower beds.

Fun Fact:
We have 2 species of flying squirrels in Canada but since they are small, nocturnal and prefer to stay in the tops of trees they are rare to spot. 

Eastern grey squirrels are active year-round and don’t hibernate, instead they put on a protective fat layer to keep them warm in winter and continue foraging throughout the cold months. They still create caches of food like other squirrels that you may find around your property but they are often small as they don’t rely on them heavily. 

These grey squirrels give birth twice a year, once in early spring and again in late summer to only about 2 – 3 young per litter. These young will go on to live for an average of 6 years or up to 10 if they are able to avoid predation. They build their nests in tree branches and tree cavities, or in the rafters of attics or garages. In homes they are known to dig through insulation, chew through electrical wires and leave droppings on the ground making them quite a hazard. 

American Red Squirrel

How to Identify the American Red Squirrel 

American red squirrels are a tree-dwelling squirrel like the eastern grey squirrel but much smaller in size. They are easy to identify by their distinctive red colouring and white bellies. They are also quite common and can be found in areas of every province of Canada.

American red squirrels will eat bird seed but also have a taste for sweeter foods such as berries and even maple tree sap. They are particularly tricky to exclude from your bird feeder due to their small size – they can get through holes designed to only let through songbirds and may not trigger the weight limit mechanism of certain bird feeders. 

Fun Fact:
Squirrels use their tails for balance, to regulate their body temperatures and to communicate their mood to other squirrels!

These squirrels give birth twice a year in spring and summer to quite a number of babies, up to 7 each litter! However, only about 20% of the babies will survive through their first year and they only live for a couple of years with only certain lucky individuals making it past their fifth birthday. 

In nature american red squirrels nest in tree branches or cavities, but as with the eastern grey squirrels they like to occupy the rafter of garages and homes, especially during the winter. Although they don’t hibernate they do leave their nest less frequently in the winter and survive mainly on food they have stored in multiple caches around their nest. 

Richardson Ground Squirrel

How to Identify the Richardson Ground Squirrel 

Found in southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Richardson ground squirrels are brownish-grey and speckled with patches of off-white and their tails are significantly less bushy than those of tree nesting squirrels. 

As ground-dwelling squirrels they live in burrows and tunnels created in the soil, making them a major agricultural pest in Canada. Unlike their tree-dwelling counterparts they rarely find their way into homes, but they can still be quite a nuisance to homeowners by tearing up gardens. 

Ground squirrels generally hibernate throughout the winter and for a couple of the hottest weeks in the summer. They have one litter a year in early spring of 6-8 pups and feed mostly on plants but will also eat seeds if available to them.

Chipmunk vs 13-lined squirrel

What’s the difference between Chipmunks and Squirrels?

Sometimes confused for squirrels, chipmunks are significantly smaller than adult squirrels and sport distinctive black and tan stripes on their bodies. The thirteen-lined ground squirrel, found in southern Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, titularly also has stripes but the stripes don’t go across their eyes as they do on chipmunks.

There are, in fact, five species of chipmunk living across Canada, so depending on your location the chipmunks may look slightly different – from a homeowner’s perspective however they all behave in a similar way. Chipmunks are like ground squirrels in that they dig burrows in the soil, making them a common culprit for destroying gardens. 

Chipmunks are not picky eaters and will feed on seeds, mushrooms, flower bulbs and even snails. While they don’t hibernate in the truest sense of the word they do sleep in their burrows for much of the winter surviving off a stash of seeds. They generally produce one litter a year in early spring and live between 2 to 5 years. 

How to Prevent Squirrel Problems Summary

How to prevent a squirrel problem

To prevent squirrels from entering your home, shed or garage do an inspection of the outside walls especially around the roof, looking for any holes squirrels or other rodents could enter through and making sure to seal them. Also, look for any overhanging branches that may act as squirrel highways directly to your roof, these branches can be trimmed to limit access to your home. Open food sources will also encourage tree squirrels, ground squirrels and chipmunks to build nests in and around your home so make sure to seal compost and garbage bins, clean up thoroughly after eating on the patio and consider taking down your bird feeder. 

Common squirrel damages

What to do if you have a squirrel problem

If you already have squirrels nesting in your home or digging up your beautiful garden it’s best to call in professionals that offer squirrel control. Squirrels can be quite aggressive when protecting their nests, they can carry ticks and mites on their bodies and are known to spread diseases all of which are hazardous to an untrained homeowner. 

Terminix Canada offers expert, humane squirrel removal services for both residential and commercial properties. We have local pest control experts at locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to learn how we can help.

How To Keep Mice Away The Professional Way

The answer to “how to keep mice away” is simply letting the household pet cat loose, right?

It’s engrained in our sub-conscious that our favourite felines are calculated killers ready to wipe out every single mouse that enters our properties. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to get rid of mice the old-fashioned way.

Take it from Canada’s top pest control company. Proper and effective rodent control takes a lot, lot more effort than a couple of hastily laid mousetraps, bits of cheese, and your pet cat.

How To Keep Mice Away: Does DIY Rodent Control Work?

Firstly, there is a big issue with Canadian homeowners taking on rodent control themselves. In short, they might be able to win the battle, but they’ll likely lose the war.

Ultimately, if rodent removal isn’t undertaken as part of a larger rodent control strategy, you’re just treating symptoms rather than cutting out the infection at large.

Take mousetraps for instance. Sure, a traditional mousetrap can work early on to get rid of mice before they breed. However, they’re ineffective at combatting a large of community of mice.

Poison baits can work on a larger scale. Nevertheless, if you have mice in the walls and they die, you won’t be able to remove the corpses before they decompose. This will only cause unwelcome odours and attract other pests and scavengers.

Additionally, there’s family health concerns too. Leaving industrial strength poisons willy-nilly around your home can be extremely dangerous. This is true especially if you have young and inquisitive children around. Moreover, handling mice poison or mice killers on your own without proper care, attention and supervision can also pose a serious health risk.

How To Keep Mice Away: Why You Should Hire A Mouse Exterminator Instead

So after reading all of those limitations, it’s pretty clear that DIY rodent control isn’t worth your while.

After all, you wouldn’t perform eye surgery by yourself. So why would you get rid of mice without consulting a professional mouse exterminator? When you enlist the help of an expert Terminix Canada mouse control technician, you get results and peace of mind. Using tried-and-tested methods, we get rid of mice in a humane and environmentally friendly manner.

For instance, our mice extermination methods may include placing special mice bait stations at strategic locations outside your home. In short, you can bypass a rodent infestation entirely because mice will be attracted to exterior food sources before bothering to venture inside your residence.

Ultimately, our team will devise a mice removal plan that is unique to your property and your mice infestation. On your initial service, we’ll hunt high and low for mice, documenting our findings in a comprehensive mice inspection. Then, after investigating your mice problem, we’ll deploy our long-term rodent solutions to prevent mice returning.

The bottom line is, if mice come back to your home, so will our professional rodent control team. Our custom rodent removal techniques adapt with the seasons to address seasonal rodent activity in your local area.

Leave Rodent Control To The Professionals At Terminix Canada

Remember, there’s no shame in getting help with mice control from a professional mice exterminator.

Beyond helping you get rid of mice, our integrated rodent control takes steps to prevent subsequent mice infestations by identifying vulnerabilities in your foundation, among other preventative measures.

Backed by over 90 years of pest control experience, Terminix Canada is your go-to mouse exterminator for handling mice infestations big or small. To get residential rodent control services near you, visit our Branch Locator, find your nearest Terminix Canada branch, and give them a call for your free consultation.

Need Help Removing Squirrels? Our Best Tips For Mitigating Squirrel Damage.

Removing squirrels, eh? Anybody who’s attempted this task knows just how difficult it is to get these growling small mammals out of your home and back into the wild. At first, with their big fluffy tails and perky ears, squirrels might seem like fun-loving animals that are too cute to be rodents.

In fact, squirrels are part of the scientific order Rodentia, just as mice and rats are. And just like this pesky duo, squirrels are more than capable of causing lots of damage and mess. If you’ve been wondering, “do squirrels chew wires?” the answer is yes. These rodents will chew on anything to manage the length of their teeth. They’ll happily chew through wood, electrical wiring, and the other infrastructure that makes your house a home.

Since squirrel damage can mean costly maintenance and repairs for Canadian homeowners, removing squirrels should take immediate priority upon discovering them. Carry on reading this blog to learn more about squirrels in Canada, identifying squirrel damage, and what you can do to mitigate the carnage that squirrels cause in our homes.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Squirrels In Canada?

Ultimately, squirrels are discovered all across the globe, with over 200 different species worldwide. The most common squirrels in Canada are Eastern Grey Squirrels, often intruding on homes throughout Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec.

Elsewhere, Red Squirrels are prevalent in provinces like Newfoundland and Saskatchewan.  Whatever region you call home, it’s more likely than not that you have squirrels in the vicinity.

According to a May 2021 article by The Globe and Mail, the COVID-19 pandemic, and with it, fewer cars on the road, led to more home invading squirrels and a 30% rise in Toronto squirrel removal enquiries.

Identifying Squirrel Damage To The House (Backyard)

So we know that removing squirrels is your number one priority. Firstly, you’ll need to learn how to identify squirrel damage so you can prevent more destruction in the future. Envisage your backyard for a second. In short, there are several signs to look out for when it comes to identifying squirrel damage to the house.

  • Uprooted plants and flowers
  • Eaten nuts or fruits
  • Small, dug up holes
  • Damaged bird feeders, with chew marks. (Most often squirrels will damage the tray or container with seeds in their attempt to reach the contents of the bird feeder).

Identifying Squirrels In The Attic Damage

While you might think of squirrels as purely outdoor animals, they can also cause problems indoors. The following bullet points are signs that a squirrel may have made its way inside your home. Remember, it’s worth keeping in mind that squirrels in the attic or chimneys are a common occurrence. Keep an eye out for:

  • Chewed wires or damage to vents
  • Scratching, gnawing, or chewing noises
  • A musty urine smell or sightings of droppings
  • Holes in the roof

It’s also worth mentioning that rodents other than squirrels, namely mice and rats, can also cause some of these issues too. If you suspect any of these rodents have been causing mischief, and notice damage, it’s time to call Terminix Canada. Our humane squirrel removal and humane rodent removal teams use harm-free methods to get rid of squirrels and other rodents quickly and effectively.

Best Tips To Manage Squirrel Damage

When it comes to managing outdoor damage caused by squirrels, there are some preventative measures you can take. The first, which might seem obvious, is not to feed any animals, including squirrels that enter your yard. In short, if you feed squirrels, they’ll continue coming back, looking for more food.

Similarly, squirrels will often view the contents in bird feeders as a source of food – even if they’re closed off. That’s why you might find them damaged if you’re dealing with squirrels in your yard. To reduce encounters with the bird feeder, try bird feed that does not contain sunflower seeds, or pick the sunflower seeds out.

Additionally, since tree squirrels inhabit trees, it’s important to keep any branches that touch, or are within 20 feet of your house, trimmed. This will lessen the likelihood that a squirrel will enter your attic or home and begin to cause damage there. Luckily, professional contractors should be able to fix any squirrel damage inside or outside of your home once all intruding squirrels have been humanely removed.

Removing Squirrels Is What We Do Best. Leave Humane Squirrel Removal To Terminix Canada 

If you suspect squirrels in the attic or that a squirrel has managed to build a nest elsewhere in your home, contact Terminix Canada immediately. We specialize in solutions for residential properties so you can go about removing squirrels in a proper, efficient and humane manner. Ultimately, our humane squirrel removal service is the best and safest way for you to get rid of squirrels for good.