Squirrels are fascinating creatures, known for their acrobatic abilities and hoarding habits.
While their behavior and lifestyle have been extensively studied, one aspect that often goes unnoticed is their bathroom habits.
Yes, squirrels do poop, and understanding where and when they do so can shed light on their ecological role and provide interesting insights into their behavior.
Their poop isn’t easy to smell, especially when it’s outside, making it even harder to locate.
They’re among the prettiest, most fun, and most entertaining animals to watch, especially when eating.
Most people often feel the urge to feed them candies or chocolate whenever they see them around, but no one is willing to clean their mess.
Squirrels are clever and shameful, unlike other pets, and they poop in hidden places where no one can see them.
They don’t just stop to excrete anywhere like most animals; instead, they look for an ideal place to do their business.
Squirrels hide their foodstuff underground, and in case they notice someone is looking at them, they pretend like they are doing nothing.
So when do squirrels poop, and what does their poop look like? I will also be discussing how to deal with squirrel poop in your compound.
In this article, we will explore the curious world of squirrel pooping, delving into the locations they choose and the patterns that govern their elimination routines.
What Does Squirrel Poop Look Like?
You might think that you’ve never seen squirrel poop, yet you’ve seen it and mistaken it with birds or rat poop.
Birds, rat, and squirrel poop is always dark brown and smooth; the only difference is that squirrels have larger and darker barrel-shaped Pellets.
For rats, they are small, oval-shaped feces with tapered ends.
Squirrel poop is around 1-3 centimeters long and resembles a black seed. In short, the most distinguishing feature is the size and color of the poop.
The feces are larger than for rats and birds and have softer edges like for the chipmunks. However, unlike rats, squirrels’ poop isn’t found in all places as they prefer certain areas.
However, sometimes the feces differ depending on what the squirrel has eaten.
For example, when they feed on chocolate poisonous, their waste will be darker and hard than usual.
Where do Squirrels poop?
As I mentioned earlier, squirrel pooping isn’t done in all places. They do their business so quickly that you might not even notice what they are doing.
Squirrels are resourceful animals that adapt to various environments, which is reflected in their choice of toilets.
Unlike humans who have designated bathrooms, squirrels don’t limit themselves to a single spot.
Instead, they utilize different locations depending on their surroundings. Some of the common places where squirrels choose to relieve themselves include:
a) Tree Nests:
Squirrels build nests, known as dreys, in the branches of trees.
These nests provide them with shelter and protection. Surprisingly, squirrels may opt to use their nests as toilets, keeping their immediate living quarters clean.
b) Tree Branches:
Branches serve as a convenient perch for squirrels. While sitting or jumping between branches, squirrels often defecate.
This behavior may serve a dual purpose of marking their territory and avoiding scent accumulation in their nests.
c) Ground Level
Squirrels spend a significant amount of time on the ground, foraging for food or digging burrows.
It is not uncommon for them to relieve themselves in open areas away from their nests.
This helps maintain hygiene within their immediate living space and avoids attracting predators.
Squirrels, especially ground-dwelling species like the Eastern gray squirrel, construct burrows in which they live and breed.
These burrows are multi-chambered, with specific areas designated for different activities, including defecation.
Squirrels exhibit cleanliness by ensuring waste is deposited in designated spots within the burrow system.
other common places are inside a hollow tree trunk, under tall trees, in the housing gap and walls, and sometimes in homes.
Whenever they feel the urge, they only need to look for a place that suits them, even if it’s under parked cars.
Open woods are their favorite spots and are the first spot they would go for, even if there are other surrounding options.
Their poop isn’t so easy to find or smell, not because they don’t smell, it’s because they hide them in places that aren’t open.
They hide because they are ashamed and secretive of what they are doing and don’t want anyone noticing what they’re doing.
When moving in a group, they can poop in places like under a tree or inside bird feeders or ditches.
The Time of Squirrel Excretion
The timing of squirrel excretion can vary depending on factors such as species, climate, and availability of food. Here are some notable patterns:
a) Morning Routine:
Squirrels are diurnal creatures, meaning they are active during the day.
They often begin their day by eliminating waste soon after waking up. This morning routine helps maintain cleanliness in their nests or burrows throughout the day.
b) Before and After Foraging:
Squirrels have high metabolic rates and require regular food intake.
They often defecate before setting out to forage, ensuring their bodies are lighter and more agile during their search for food.
Similarly, after consuming a meal, squirrels may expel waste to maintain a balanced digestive system.
c) Seasonal Considerations: In colder climates where squirrels experience hibernation or torpor, their excretion patterns change.
During these periods, squirrels tend to defecate less frequently or not at all.
This behavior is thought to conserve energy and maintain a stable internal environment during times of reduced activity.
Why Don’t We See Squirrels Pooping?
We don’t see Squirrels pooping because they do it so fast that you may not notice whether they’re doing it.
They like pooping from trees and never do it in their nest. The reason why you don’t see them poop is because due to their speed.
When do Baby Squirrels poop?
Like most rodents, after a baby squirrel is born, its mother is fed because the eyes aren’t yet open.
When it comes to squirrels, the young ones can’t poo or pee, so the mother must stimulate them. However, the bay can make sounds.
Without stimulating their excreting organs using their mother’s tongue, the babies can’t poo or pee.
After pooping, the mother has to throw the feces away to keep the babies safe from predators and other rodents.
Alternatively, it carries the babies to take them somewhere separate from the nest to ensure no predator uses the feces scent to track their home while she is away.
Whenever someone feeds a baby squirrel nuts or seeds, you’ll notice that they reach a point where they can’t eat anymore since they want to be stimulated first to remove waste.
Once you find them somewhere, feed them, then use a soft, moist cloth to stimulate them since you might not do it with your tongue.
Upon maturity, the squirrels don’t need stimulation and poop after eating.
Their foods include fruits such as berries and vegetables like a mushroom which fasten their digestion. They mostly poop in areas surrounding their habitats or their source of food.
How Do Squirrels Poop and Pee?
Unlike other animals, Squirrels pooping and peeing is done so quickly and far from people’s sight, and it’s hard for someone to notice them doing it.
In some cases, they pee to mark territory or send a message to their fellow squirrels, especially their loved ones.
Any gender, either female or male, can do this, and this way, they are sure that their territory is safe from other animals or squirrels.
It can also be a means of identifying and knowing each other.
They do this by drawing a straight line or, other times, different shapes in the territory showing their scent signal.
The squirrels come to know each other’s presence through the marks of one another by removing the mark then drawing their own.
The Role of Squirrel Poop in Ecology
Beyond their quirky behavior, squirrel poop plays an essential role in the environment. Here are a few ways squirrel excrement contributes to ecological processes:
a) Nutrient Cycling: Squirrel feces contain undigested seeds, which are often deposited in various locations.
Some of these seeds can germinate, giving rise to new plants and contributing to forest regeneration. Squirrels, in a way, act as unwitting gardeners, dispersing seeds throughout their habitat.
b) Soil Enrichment
Squirrel waste is rich in organic matter and serves as a natural fertilizer.
As it decomposes, it releases nutrients that enhance soil fertility and support the growth of vegetation.
This process is crucial for maintaining healthy ecosystems.
c) Indicator of Animal Presence
The presence of squirrel droppings can indicate the existence of a squirrel population within a particular area.
Ecologists often use this information to assess the health and distribution of squirrel species, aiding in wildlife conservation efforts.
How To Get Rid Of Squirrel Poop
Clearing the feces is essential for humans and other animals safety. Cleaning immediately notices the waste is important to avoid diseases and pest infestation.
Squirrel feces can cause health risks to humans and pets. The longer it stays near you, the more the possibility of transmitting pests and diseases to you or domestic animals.
When shooting squirrels in your backyard, ensure you remove the poop bag out, and this applies after confirming with your local laws.
The poop smells and looks so bad in an open area, especially when the squirrel did its work on your porch.
As I mentioned earlier, places to find Squirrel poop include in and around tree harrows, attic, under trees, walls, and other similar places.
If the squirrel pooping has messed in your property, you can get rid of it without killing it.
When cleaning the waste, you have to take safety precautions which include.
Having The Right Tools
When cleaning squirrel feces, you may require a respirator mask, gloves, disinfectant, and a Medtecs Hazmat suit.
Once you’ve all the tools in place, wear them appropriately. If the poop is on the floor or carpet, suck them using a vacuum cleaner.
A powerful vacuum can suck in all the particles, including the tiny ones, so you’ll not have to pick the ones left using a paper towel and dispose of them in the garbage.
Afterward, spray the affected area with the disinfectant or an enzyme cleaner and leave it to soak for 5 minutes.
If you notice some poop left on the carpet, you’ll have to wash the area by scrubbing, then later wiping with a soft cloth and then applying the disinfectant.
If it’s on a wooden floor, instead of scrubbing, use a paper towel to pick the mess, then mop the place afterward.
Bleach can be used to kill germs and complete the cleanup in the ratio of 1 part of bleach with 10 parts of water.
Disinfect the items that the droppings and urine might have contaminated.
If the waste is outside, wear all the protective gear; use your home vacuum with a filter since it may be tedious to it with hands.
Next, use a disinfectant to finish the cleaning process and kill the bacteria which might have been in the waste.
The smell might also attract other animals to your yard, so ensure you clean thoroughly
Note that any disinfectant will do the work perfectly, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t have the one mentioned.
However, removing fur grease or urine might be challenging where the other option comes in.
A high-end atomizing mist tool cleans all the waste, including the fur and urine and any residue left.
On the brighter part, it cleans the germs, bacteria, and odors that cause diseases as it does the disinfectant. It’s an all-in-one tool that can perform more than one function.
Mop the floors and clean the areas around the infested area. Clean or shampoo on upholstered furniture and carpets that you think might have been exposed to the squirrel.
Wash any clothing or bedding with detergent and hot water that might have been exposed.
Remove the gloves and wash them with water, soap, or alcohol-based hand rub.
Can Squirrels Cause Any Harm While Leaving Indoors?
Yes, the squirrels can cause more harm than good if they live in your house.
When it’s quiet, you may hear or see rodents such as squirrels in your compound, and sooner or later, you find feces outside or inside your house.
Squirrels can crawl to your attic; their dropping brings pests that damage the insulation, woods, and chew wires, leading to a fire.
They enter homes through broken vents, damaged boards, and torn screens. Tall trees near the houses give the squirrels fast access.
Their fur can be poisonous to people with allergies and asthma. The pests may bring in ticks and fleas in the long run, which bother both humans and house pets.
The droppings may also attract flies and other kinds of insects.
Look for any sign that squirrels are finding a way onto your house.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
· What Are The Signs That Squirrels Enter Your House?
Some obvious signs will clearly show that the squirrels come indoors, they include.
Squirrel footprints are easy to see and identify, especially on dust, mud, and snow.
If you notice any tracks near your house, it’s advisable to look around inside, especially in the attic.
Damaged entry points– Squirrels have a behavior of chewing materials to enter inside structures like the house. If you find damaged entry points, it’s time to look for squirrels or poop inside your house
Strange smell– By bad luck, Squirrels get stuck and die inside a house. If the corpse stays there for long before someone notices it, it brings an awful smell that anyone can feel.
Their poop also smells like ammonia when it mixes with their urine. check out for this kind of weird smells around your house
Damaged interior– Once the squirrels enter the house or any other structure, they tear things up like the wire insulation or any other material they find.
· After How Long Is Squirrel Feces Dangerous?
Like most rodents, squirrel poop is usually soft during the first few hours. As they dry, the chances of inhaling the droplets increase, which means that they are poisonous all the time.
Even though after around 7 days, they are considered safer from salmonella, you might never know how old the droppings are, so always handle them with care.
Squirrel Poop carries diseases, and it’s a breeding site for microorganisms. Always avoid coming into contact with the poop without the proper gear.
· Should I Worry If My Children Play Around Squirrel Poop?
Yes, you should. As I mentioned above, squirrel pooping can transmit disease, and you should never let your young ones play near the poop.
Once you notice the waste, please remove them and disinfect the area to avoid infestation.
· Do Squirrels Poop Where They Sleep?
The answer is NO; the squirrels are clean animals and will never poop in their nests.
Apart from cleanliness, Squirrel Pooping is done far from the nests to keep the predators away since they track using them droppings.
They hide while doing their business and sometimes cover the feces with soil once they are done.
· What Are Some Of The Bacteria That Squirrels Can spread?
Leptospirosis Bacteria is common in rodent feces, and the infected person may have flu-like symptoms.
If not treated early, it may lead to serious respiratory problems and fatality.
It may lead to serious health issues in some cases, and one should seek medical help immediately.
The bacteria can live up to 180 days after the excretion.
Salmonellosis is a dangerous bacteria that is found in squirrel feces. ‘
It’s transferred to humans through breathing or getting into contact with the contaminated surface.
The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, stomach ache, and in some cases, lethality
Rabies-Rabies isn’t commonly transmitted through contact with the feces
it can be transmitted through biting, making it hard to spread to humans.
Ticks and fleas- ticks and fleas aren’t found in feces. They may come from the squirrel’s fur, which later moves to humans.
Some of the signs include nerve pain, such as inflammation and rigidity.
· How Often Do Squirrels And Baby Squirrel Poop?
Squirrels Pooping mostly takes place after eating, and for the babies, since they can’t poop or poo on their own, they have to be stimulated for the waste to come; otherwise, they’ll never poop.
· What Should I Do When Baby Squirrel doesn’t Poop?
Since they can’t poop or pee independently, stimulate them with a warm, soft, and moist cloth. Baby Squirrel pooping doesn’t happen unless stimulated
· Do Squirrels Poop Where They Eat?
Squirrels are always busy, and it’s hard for them to stay in one place, which means that their feces will be everywhere. Usually, you’ll find the dropping around the areas where they eat.
Conclusion on Squirrel Pooping
Squirrel pooping may not be a widely discussed topic, but it offers valuable insights into the behavior and ecological role of these fascinating creatures.
By understanding where and when squirrels eliminate waste, we gain a deeper appreciation for their adaptability and their contribution to the natural world.
So, the next time you come across squirrel droppings, remember the hidden story they reveal about the nutty world of squirrels.
Hello, I’m Tanya, the voice and passion behind Smart Yard Guide. With a lifelong love for nature and a keen eye for design, I embarked on this journey to share my expertise and experiences in landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design. As a dedicated homeowner myself, I understand the joys and challenges of curating a space that seamlessly blends nature with human creativity.
My background in horticulture and landscape architecture has given me a solid foundation to explore innovative ideas while respecting the time-tested principles of outdoor design. From selecting the perfect plants for your climate to mastering the art of harmonious hardscaping, I’m here to guide you every step of the way.