SQUIRRELS

More than 200 squirrel species live all over the world, with the notable exception of Australia.

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  • Like other rodents, squirrels have four front teeth that never stop growing so they don't wear down from the constant gnawing.
  • The tiniest squirrel is the aptly named African pygmy squirrel .. only five inches long from nose to tail. Others reach sizes shocking to those who are only familiar with common tree squirrels. The Indian giant squirrel is three feet long
  • Squirrels can nest in the attic or exterior walls of a house, where they may be regarded as pests, and as fire hazards due to their habit of gnawing on electrical cables
  • Squirrels are often the cause of power outages. They can readily climb a power pole and crawl or run along a power cable. The animals will climb onto power transformers or capacitors looking for food, or a place to cache acorns. If they touch a high voltage conductor and a grounded portion of the enclosure at the same time, they are electrocuted, and often cause a short circuit that shuts down equipment. Squirrels have brought down the high-tech NASDAQ stock market twice and were responsible for a spate of power outages at the University of Alabama.
  • Once established in a nest, squirrels stubbornly ignore fake owls and scarecrows, along with bright flashing lights, loud noises, and ultrasonic or electromagnetic devices.
  • Squirrels use their keen sense of smell to search for buried food, but can dig numerous holes in the process. This may become an annoyance to gardeners with strict landscape requirements, especially when the garden contains edibles.
  • Squirrels are generally inquisitive and persistent animals. In residential neighborhoods, they are notorious for tenaciously trying to circumvent obstacles in order to eat from bird feeders.
  • Olney, Illinois, known as the "White Squirrel Capital of the World", is home of the world's largest known white squirrel colony. These squirrels have the right of way on all streets in the town, with a $500 fine for hitting one.