SANTA CLARA COUNTY has three (3) species of tree squirrels. The native Western Grey and the introduced Eastern Grey and Eastern Fox Squirrels. All three squirrels may cause damage around homes and gardens. Squirrels will gnaw on electrical wiring and gnaw through shingles and other roofing materials to gain access to homes. All three squirrels will occasionally build nest in attic spaces of houses. In yards and gardens they will gnaw the bark of trees and ornamental shrubs, sometimes doing considerable damage. In gardens, squirrels may eat newly planted seeds or seedlings. Yard lawns may be damaged as squirrels dig holes to hide nuts for later use. Squirrels will take food from yard bird feeders. Squirrel activity occurs during the daylight hours and tree squirrels in residential areas may be seen running along power lines, moving about on back fences, in trees and foraging for food on the ground.
The Eastern Fox Squirrel is rather large, 18 to 23 inches long and up to 2.25 pounds. Color patterns are variable. The most common bay area color seems to be a russet color coat and reddish tail although all black individuals are seen.
The Eastern Grey Squirrel is smaller, 18 to 20 inches and up to 2.25 pounds. The color pattern is usually a white underbelly with upper parts grey with a reddish wash.
The Native Western Grey is the largest of the three (3) tree squirrels at 20 to 24 inches and up to 2.75 pounds. The color is white underbelly with a silvery grey uppercoat.
These squirrels will have 2 broods a year in times of abundant food with usually about three (3) young per litter. Litters may occur in mid December to late summer depending on species.
NO POISON BAIT is registered for use against any tree squirrel. Trapping may be done with permits from California Department of Fish and Game. The best form of control is habitat modifications and squirrel proofing: