Rats And Squirrels: Commonalities And Common Misconceptions

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Rats and squirrels are among the many animals people have misconceptions about. Rats, most especially, as they have been considered pests since ancient times because of their crop destroying history.

One of the many misconceptions about rats is that they are always dirty. But did you know that a rat actually spends more hours in a day grooming itself than a cat? There are only a part of the rat species which live in sewers, and even then, they only do so to survive. It is also known that rats are clever and smart animals.

Also, in the club of misunderstood animals, come the squirrels. Squirrels are associated with neverending chewing and eating. People think squirrel stomachs are a bottomless pit, and that they will steal and gather everything to satisfy that hunger. This is pure myth, of course.

Squirrels don’t chew just for the pleasure of it. Their incisors constantly grow and that is why they need to chew and rub their teeth against something to trim and sharpen those growing teeth.

It is also common thinking that squirrels destroy trees. Quite the contrary, Eastern grey squirrels are actually great contributors to re-seeding trees, since they bury their seeds in the ground. Sometimes, the nuts are forgotten and grow into trees. These little guys can bury up to 10,000 nuts in the fall and protect them during winter. The forgotten nuts start to grow into trees by springtime.

These two animals belong to the same mammalian order called Rodentia. Rats and squirrels have their incisors which grow throughout their lives.

While somewhat similar, there are many distinguishable characteristics that separate the two. First off is the tail: squirrels have fluffy tails while rats have scaled thin ones. Rats also reproduce much faster than squirrels, and are more agile. Squirrels also spend more time in trees, just like beavers like to stay in the water. Squirrels are also more discreet when it comes to their droppings. It is unusual to see squirrel droppings everywhere; they are usually clustered in one place unlike rat’s.

Knowing the difference in their behaviour is critical especially when you encounter any infestation. There will be different removal techniques that would be apt for each nuisance wildlife species that invades your home.

Should you encounter problems with any rats and squirrels infestation, it is best to give wildlife control professionals a call, especially one that promotes humane removal such as Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. This way you won’t have to sweat about it and risk your health trying to get rid of these little animals. Skedaddle Wildlife Technicians utilize efficient and effective removal techniques that are uniquely crafted based on the characteristics and behaviour of your unwanted guest.


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