Squirrels

There are two squirrel species in Mississauga: The Eastern Grey Squirrel, which has grey or black fur, and the Red Squirrel, which is smaller and reddish-brown in colour.

How squirrels behave

Squirrels are raised by single female parents and can have two litters per year, each consisting of three to six kits (baby squirrels).

In the spring, you may notice squirrels with bald patches. This can be because female squirrels sometimes pull hair from their shoulders to line the nest for their young.

Due to their protective nature, they may act aggressively when they feel their nest is threatened. In this case, they may vocalize or aggressively approach potential predators to defend their nest. You can diffuse the situation by leaving the area.

Young squirrels are weaned when they are about eight weeks old. This is also when they disperse from the nest and are very vulnerable.

They may approach predators, such as humans or pets, and attempt to climb up a pant leg during this time. Although they’re generally docile at this age, don’t attempt to touch them as they will bite.

Avoid feeding squirrels

Do not feed squirrels. Doing so can lead them to:

  • Nest inside your attic or home
  • Chew on window frames and car engine parts

The best way to prevent these issues is to avoid feeding squirrels and installing preventative screening in your home. For more information, learn how you can protect your home from wildlife.

Avoid using traps

To avoid unintentionally injuring or trapping a squirrel, we recommend you not to set up rodent traps outside your home or property.

If you find a trapped squirrel, avoid approaching it. Instead, you can contact Mississauga Animal Services for support.

How to report ill or injured squirrels

Squirrels are not known carriers of rabies. However, they may be susceptible to mange, fleas, lice and ticks.

If squirrels are ill or injured, you may notice:

  • External tumours on their body
  • Obvious physical injury, lethargy or paralysis
  • That they’re on the ground with their eyes closed
  • The litters have their tails stuck together
  • Bald patches on their body (in some cases, female squirrels may have bald patches from pulling their hair to line their nest)

If you encounter an orphaned baby squirrel or suspect a squirrel has minor injuries, contact a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator.

If you see a squirrel with critical or life-threatening injuries, you can call Mississauga Animal Services at 905-896-5858.