Alabama has three types of squirrels; gray squirrel, fox squirrel and the flying squirrel. The gray squirrel and flying squirrel are the most commonly found in structures.
The gray squirrel is the most common of the three species of squirrels. These squirrels weigh between 1 and 1 ½ pounds when fully grown. The gray squirrel gets its name from the gray hair that covers their back and neck. Their bellies are white or lighter grey fur and they have a long bushy tail. Gray squirrels are most likely the squirrels you see in neighborhood parks and around your yard.
Fox squirrels are Alabama’s largest squirrel weighing in between 1 ½-2 pounds when fully grown. The hair coloring of fox squirrels varies greatly from rusty yellow to a silver and black. The fox squirrels primary habitat is primarily open stands of hardwoods and mixtures of open pines and hardwoods.
The southern flying squirrel is the smallest of the three species weighing in at ounces at adult age. This squirrels name comes from its ability to glide from tree to tree. The ability to glide comes from a furred membrane that attaches from its ankle to wrist. They use their tails like a rudder to steer as they glide. Since the flying squirrel is nocturnal, they have very large eyes in proportion to their body.
Squirrels are curious and will inspect roof tops, soffits, and trim in search of a weak spot or gap. Once a squirrel finds that weak spot or gap they will quickly make entrance through the toughest materials. They are capable of chewing through all wood, plastics, vinyl, and sheet metal. Once a squirrel gains access inside a building they will build nests, store food and make it their home.