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what do squirrel nests look like

At first glance, squirrels probably seem like harmless critters frolicking in your yard. But have you ever wondered why they decided to make your yard their home? Or what the consequences of having squirrels rummaging through your yard are? Seeing a squirrel’s nest in your trees could be more than just happenstance—it could be a sign that you need professional squirrel removal services.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through why squirrels build nests, what types of nests they build, and most importantly, what you need to do if you’re having squirrel troubles in your yard. Let’s dive in.

What is a Squirrel Nest Called?


Most squirrel nests are called dreys. They consist of clumped-together collections of leaves, twigs, bark, moss, and other compressed materials. They look like small, round bulbs of leaves bunched together. Squirrels usually build their dreys into tree cavities or around tree branches that are at least 20 feet high.

Why Do Squirrels Build Nests? And Why in My Yard?

Squirrels build nests to survive winter, survey their territory, and care for their young. If you see a drey near your home, it probably means a squirrel’s “home range” includes your yard and may indicate that you need a squirrel removal company, like Varment Guard.

Keep reading to learn more about squirrels and the nests they build, or get in touch with Varment Guard— we can solve your squirrel problem right away.


Where Do Squirrels Nest?

Squirrel nests tend to be close to abundant food sources. So, if you spot nests in your yard, it's likely because they've found easy access to food and water. These critters have a varied diet, from nuts and seeds to plants, and they won't hesitate to raid your garbage or garden if given a chance.

Along with food, squirrels are drawn to yards that offer easy mobility and cover. They especially favor shady, forested spots or areas with climbable vegetation. This kind of cover not only aids their movement but also shields them from predators. For mother squirrels, finding concealed spots to nest is crucial when raising their young.


Why Do Squirrels Nest in Trees?

Squirrels choose to nest in trees primarily for safety and convenience. Elevated tree nests protect them from ground predators and the elements, while also offering immediate access to food sources like nuts and seeds. The natural camouflage of trees helps conceal their nests, making it an ideal place. Additionally, the vertical structure of trees suits the squirrel's agile mobility, enabling quick escapes and easy navigation across their territory. Essentially, trees offer an all-in-one sanctuary for these nimble creatures.

Do Squirrels Make Nests in the Ground?

Yes. Depending on the type of squirrel, you might also encounter a squirrel nest on the ground. The ground squirrel is one type known to make burrows on land rather than among the trees.


How Do Squirrels Choose What to Make Their Nests Out of?

Squirrels are adaptable nest builders, using materials they readily find. Building a drey involves first forming a twig "basket" as a foundation, then lining it with soft materials like wet leaves or moss. This is secured with another outer layer of twigs, and any gaps are filled with more soft materials. To achieve this intricate design, squirrels gather a mix of rigid and soft materials, always scavenging for twigs, leaves, moss, and even discarded items like paper.


Are squirrels and their nest building causing problems in your yard? Varment Guard can help. Schedule a service today!

What Problems Do Squirrels and Their Nests Cause?

Squirrel nests themselves are not bad for trees. However, the squirrels that live in them can cause damage, as they use materials from the trees to build their nests. Here are a few issues that squirrels and their nests can cause:

Property Damage

  • Roof and attic damage. Squirrels can gnaw through roofing material to get into your attic, causing leaks and structural issues
  • Insulation damage. Squirrels can tear apart insulation in walls or attics for nesting material, decreasing the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling
  • Electrical wiring. Squirrels have been known to chew through electrical wires, posing fire hazards
  • Ventilation Systems. They can also get into ventilation systems, causing blockages and potential malfunctions
  • Garden Damage. Squirrels can dig up bulbs, eat fruits, and gnaw on trees and ornamental plants
  • Deck and Outdoor Furniture. They may chew on wooden decks and furniture, causing cosmetic and structural damage
  • Vehicle Damage. Some squirrels take nesting or food-hoarding to vehicles, damaging wiring, upholstery, and other components
  • Water Damage. Their activities can sometimes lead to water damage from blocked gutters or downspouts

Health Risks

  • Spread of Parasites. Squirrels can be carriers of ticks and fleas, which may be transferred to household pets
  • Contaminants. Their feces and urine can contaminate insulation and other areas where they have nested, posing health risks

Noise Disruption

  • Noise Pollution. The scampering, scratching, and gnawing noises they make, particularly in attics or walls, can be a nuisance
  • Stress and Annoyance. Their constant activity can be disruptive, causing stress for the homeowners

Food Contamination

  • Raiding Bird Feeders. Squirrels often steal food from bird feeders, affecting local bird populations.
  • Garbage Scavenging. They can knock over and rummage through garbage cans, making a mess and attracting other pests

Additional Costs

  • Pest Control. The need for professional squirrel removal services represents an additional cost homeowners must bear
  • Repair Costs. The damage caused by squirrels often requires professional repair, adding to the homeowner's expenses

Can Wildlife Pest Control Get Rid of Squirrels? Yes—Varment Guard Can!

If you see a squirrel’s nest on your property, we recommend against attempting to remove it yourself. Instead, give Varment Guard a call. Our experts can remove squirrels and make sure they don’t come back quickly, effectively, and humanely. Relocating the disruptive rodents isn’t just best for you; it’s best for the squirrels, too!

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