Which Squirrel Types are the Most Destructive?

Squirrels are known to exhibit destructive behaviors in certain contexts. While they are fascinating creatures to observe in their natural habitat, their behavior can have negative impacts to home owners in the Kansas City Metro area. 

Some of the problems that squirrels cause include the following:

Nesting and Property Damage:

Squirrels are known to build nests, or dreys, in trees or other structures. While this behavior is natural, it can become problematic when they choose man-made structures like attics, chimneys, or roof spaces as nesting sites. In their efforts to construct or expand their nests, squirrels may chew through insulation, electrical wiring, and other building materials, causing damage to homes and infrastructure.

Garden and Crop Damage:

Squirrels have a fondness for various plants, fruits, and nuts, which can lead to damage in gardens. They are adept climbers and jumpers, allowing them to access trees and plants that are otherwise out of reach for many other animals. Squirrels may raid bird feeders, dig up newly planted bulbs, or consume fruits and vegetables from gardens, negatively impacting crops and frustrating gardeners.

Bark Stripping:

Another destructive behavior exhibited by squirrels is bark stripping. They may chew on the bark of trees, especially during the winter months when other food sources are scarce. This behavior can cause significant damage to tree trunks, weakening the tree and potentially leading to its decline or death.

Competing with Native Species:

Some squirrels are considered an invasive species in some regions. When invasive squrirel species compete with native squirrels, it is harmful to the ecosystem. 

Most Destructive Squirrel Species

Gray Squirrels

Gray squirrels are one of the most widespread and adaptable squirrel species in Kansas City Metro. Their tendency for destructive behavior is most clear when they infiltrate residential areas.

Gray squirrels are most known for attacking bird feeders, digging up bulbs and plants, and gnawing on wooden fences and houses. Their persistent chewing can cause significant damage to electrical wiring, posing fire hazards and costly repairs.

Fox Squirrels

While fox squirrels are generally less destructive than gray squirrels, they can still cause trouble when their populations become dense in urban areas.

Fox squirrels are known for digging holes in lawns and gardens, burying food caches, and uprooting newly planted bulbs or seeds. While these behaviors may not be as destructive as those of gray squirrels, they can be frustrating for gardeners and homeowners.

Eastern Chipmunks

Chipmunks may appear harmless and endearing with their striped bodies, but their activities can sometimes lead to destructive consequences. Chipmunks are known for burrowing under lawns, gardens, and even the foundations of buildings.

Chipmunks create extensive networks of tunnels, often causing soil erosion and destabilizing structures. Additionally, chipmunks have been known to steal fruits and vegetables from gardens, which causes frustration to gardeners. 

Ground Squirrels

Ground squirrels encompass various species, including the California ground squirrel and the thirteen-lined ground squirrel. Ground squirrels are notorious for their digging activities, and are often thought to be the most destructive squirrel species next to Gray squirrels. 

Ground squirrels excavate extensive burrows, which can undermine the stability of agricultural fields, gardens, and lawns. Their burrowing habits can damage irrigation systems, harm tree roots, and create hazards for livestock, resulting in economic losses for farmers and property owners.

Which squirrel types are most destructive? That will depend on the specific landscape of your home. The team at Critter Control of Kansas City Metro can help you to implement measures to mitigate any potential damage any squirrel species may cause. Employing squirrel-proofing techniques, such as secure bird feeders and protective barriers for plants, can help minimize conflicts while allowing us to coexist with these energetic and mischievous little creatures.

Are squirrels wreaking havoc on your home or yard? Looking to get rid of squirrels? Contact the team at Critter Control of Kansas City Metro today.