Squirrels - The Truth.. ( Or, Things You May Not Realise.....)

  1. Hi All;

    This thread will probably illicit a varied response - but I thought, having read the note from Tickle about a squirrel being saved (and done with the absolute best intentions, so I do applaud that!) I thought I ought to share a few things with you....

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news - but erm.. welll.... and Im going to get yelled at for saying this - actually Tickle would have been doing us all a favour if she'd let the bird get on with it....

    One less squirrel to worry about....

    Now before you get all mad - I am a HUGE animal lover and to tell you the truth, tend to avoid watching Nature Programmes as I don't particularly relish the sight of antelopes being torn to shreds by ravenous lions - but it is a part of nature and all folks must eat....

    However - may I tell you a few little known facts about that 'cute and cuddly little squirrel' that many, many people don't know....

    1. They are riddled with fleas... and those fleas jump on our pets and then on us...

    And that's their smallest fault...

    2. They kill baby birds... a whole nest full - just for the heck of it - and perhaps only take one to eat - while the frantic parent of the defenceless fledgings can do nothing but watch while every one of their young is killed..

    3. They do the same to a nest of eggs - they'll have the lot...

    and I've seen both the above happen....

    4. They are meat eaters and will feed on anything they can get their grubby little mits on...

    5. They carry rabies, TB and heaven only knows what other germs..

    6. If your dog (or cat) is unfortunate enough to catch hold of one and is not quick enough to kill it, they'll sink those nasty long little teeth into anything they can get hold of and they Won't Let Go... - so not only will you have to step in to separate the two (and that can be dangerous) but they will cause flesh wounds that can get infested and in some cases be fatal - and pass on goodness knows what yucky diseases to your beloved pet.

    And this is the truth - this happened to my dog - I had to step in and remove the squirrel from her lip... Very bloody - very messy - she ended up at the vet with pills and injections and I ended up at the doctor with a squirrel scratch that got infected and took ages to heal - so I speak from experience!!! Painful for us both...

    7. Here in the UK, they are not an indigenous species and they have all but wiped out our own little red squirrel population by spreading disease and bullying them out of existence.... our red squirrels are not meat eaters or scavengers - they eat only seeds and nuts and are particularly harmless...

    8. They kill trees.... Have you ever seen a tree with a dead branch sticking out of it for no apparent reason, while the rest of the tree is healthy? (They're called 'stag heads' here in the UK.) Next time you see one, go and take a closer look, run your eye down the dead branch and you will see where the bark has been 'ring-barked'. This is where the grey squirrel has stripped the bark from around the tree with it's teeth in a complete circle. (And this is for not other reason than it's fun - they don't do it to find beetles - in fact it serves no purpose than perhaps to sharpen their teeth - also they're just destructive...) This prevents the tree from being able to suck up the sap and it kills the limb - or in some cases the whole tree. Here in the UK our beech trees and hard woods have been descimated by this awful little beast.

    9. They nick all the food from the bird table - so where the squirrel has perhaps made an effort to hide a few bits and pieces during the autumn (perhaps it's only sensible effort in life) - if it can get an easy meal by chasing the birds away from the bird table that we have taken the time to put out and feed our feathered friends during the cold winter months - it will do so gladly.

    10. Last and perhaps the least of their sins is that they dig up all our spring bulbs... but that's just aesthetic and so is not so much a sin - just a pain! Gardeners (on the whole) hate them!

    So I am so sorry to be the bearer of such bad news - but living in the country, I really do know what I'm talking about here and they are pests. Take their cute little bushy tail off and you will see they are nothing more than tree rats - and a nuisance at that....

    Please forgive me for being so honest - but I think that the more people who know what 'cute little squirrels' get up to when no-one is looking, the better.

    Have a great day!! Eeek!!

    (I might go and hide under a table now and await the barrage of crossness - but I had to tell you!)

  2. Like you, as much as I love animals, I detest squirrels. They are like sewer rats just with fluffy tails.

    There WAS one that lived in the large oak tree that grows up through our deck. It would bring his nuts back to the oak tree and make an absolute mess all over the deck. I'd sweep all of his little nut droppings up before company would arrive and no less than an hour later, he'd have it all messed up again. In the spring, he chased all of the birds out of this tree as well. It was a regular occurance to find little eggs broken on the deck from this beast rummaging through the nests.

    His fatal mistake though was to terrorize my cats. This little guy would "bark" at my cats, and tease them endlessly. Finally, this past weekend, they caught and killed it. Pretty gruesome, as my cats will bring their kills to the back door and wait to be praised before eating anything. I did dispose of him rather than letting them eat it. No, not the happiest story, but it is nature and boy oh boy is my deck easier to take care of now.
  3. I love animals too! I think that squirrels are really cute but I also dislike them. Them and pigeons. I HATE pigeons. Rats with wings!
  4. awww. poor little squirrels.
  5. What exactly is the point of your post?

    Animals aren't saints: plenty of birds (robins), mammels (lions eating their cubs) and fish (guppies eating their eggs) do what we consider atrocious things. And God forbid that squirrels have fleas. Human children often have lice: so what?

    The following is so ridiculous I don't know where to begin:
    I don't think squirrels are killing any other animals for sport. Guess what: it's humans that primarily do that. And what's the problem with being a meat-eater? It's not exactly like they can waltz into a grocery store: in the wild, you do what you have to to survive. ALL animals carry germs, not just squirrels.

    Your logic is completely off.
  6. I'm not a huge fan of squirrels. They're tree rats, and they drop lots of acorns on my deck this time of year. But...

    All of the things mentioned above are true about just about every woodland animal in existence. Where I live, there are raccoons, possums, skunks, foxes, mice, coyotes, deer, bobcats, rabbits, bears, owls, hawks, vultures, snakes, and yes, lots of grey squirrels. They can all have fleas or lice, they can all carry diseases, they can all be a threat to pets, and they all forage for whatever food they can find -- including meat, and including what people leave out for the birds. The rabbits and deer don't eat meat or attack pets, but they do strip the bark from trees and cause much more damage to my garden in the spring than squirrels do. The squirrels can be a pain, but they're really the least of my wildlife problems. This time of year, hunters (humans) bother me more than all the animals put together.

  7. Ummmm, I think it's just an FYI about squirrels.

    Some squirrels don't live in the wild... they're all over NYC parks. and by the parks, there are apartment buildings w/ owners that have pets. so yea, the park is not necessarily the 'wild' and pets can get bitten and the whole flea thing too.

    It's like in San Francisco, there are raccooons, and it kills me to see tourists oooooh and awwww over a different version of a RAT. So i think the post was just an FYI.

    I don't think it's right to say who's logical or not and who is NARROW minded or not. IMHO.
  8. Actually, I agree with Intlset, and if we really want to get into it, there are plenty of animals who might cause disruption in our lives. But damn, the world doesn't revolve around acorns or nuts on your deck! lol oh no!! I guess that should condemn them to hell. Perhaps these decks have gotten in the way of where their homes USED to be. no? *ahem* but anyways, many wild animals carry fleas and rabies last I checked. Like Hippiechic said, Deer and rabbits strip bark from trees, carry disease, etc.

    P.S. i think squirrels are cute and not at all rat-like.
  9. Also D & G- Racoons are NOT different versions of rats; and every animal has its place.
  10. Its also a FYI about non-native squirrels. Non-native animals are a huge problem in general.

    I agree with the statement about racoons, they were a huge problem in South Florida b/c people thought they were 'cute' and fed them at a local park. They got agressive and started coming up to people and breeding like crazy, eventually the population had to be controlled. Now that park is overrun with iguanas, huge ones! They sun on the concrete sidewalk that runs next to the intercostal - its freaky - like 20 of them at a time. They will also get aggresive even though they're vegetarians.

    We have both black and grey squirrels where I live, I have no idea if they behave differently or not. The black squirrels look kindof cool actually...although now I won't be able to look at those fuzzy little things the same again.
  11. FYI actually animals do sometimes kill other animals for sport - its not just humans.
  12. I agree 100%!
    Its just her personal opinion folks...I personally have issues with cats too..as being around them can kill me..Im that allergic..LOL....I think we all have some kind of animal that we totally get skeived by...If you dont..THEN...You are way better than me!!LOL!
    Snakes make me scream too..I wouldnt mind if they were ALL gone...HEE!HEE!
  13. I totally understand your opinion :flowers:

    I know I know... it's all very ecological. I meant to specify that raccoons go through people's garbages just like rats do. That's all. I wasn't referring to them being the same species.

    Second of all, all animals have it's place and we can go on and on about who's territory was whose first. That wasn't my point here. Someone said that squirrels live in the wild, no that's not true for NYC. that was my point.

    squirrels and rats are mating now to produce a new breed typed as super squirrels. :yucky:
  14. Hiii It's mE TICKLE! The one who ' saved' the poor little Squirrel from the Eagle..

    lol...My oh my, I was KINDA aware of these facts but just never really took the thought very seriously.

    Thank you for putting this out!

  15. We have tons of squirrels that run the "highway" across our fences.

    I have seen them litterally taunt all three of my large dogs, sitting there
    flicking their bushy tails at the pups, getting them totall freaked out
    and worked up. It drives me crazy!!

    They are also carriers of [SIZE=-1]Leptospirosis, the "L" in the DHLPP vaccine we
    all give our pets. It's transmitted through their "droppings and leavings"
    and is deadly to dogs.

    As for racoons, I think they are adorable!! But they are also incredibly
    mean, aggressive, and dangerous to kids and dogs alike. We have had
    several coons crawl into home through pet doors and other small spaces
    and challenge adults when cornered! Several dogs have gone to the
    emergency room after being attacked by them. Do be carefuly around
    these masked "cuties".