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BEASTS BEGONE! Appendix A: Animal Identification

Gray Squirrel

Slender, weighing 1 to 2 lb., with a long bushy tail. Typically grayish with a reddish cast, white belly, and white-tipped hairs on border of tail. Black and lighter-than-typical coats can occur. Diurnal (active during day). Frequent invader of attics, wall voids, and miscellaneous crawl spaces. Often becomes trapped in chimneys and enters human living spaces, especially basements, via chimneys.

Access Routes

Trees and branches within ten feet of the roof; electrical utility lines; fire escapes; certain types of siding; brick chimneys; downspouts (occasionally).

Entry Sites

Usually high on the building; holes in fascia boards of eaves, dormer tie-ins, architectural returns, and similar sites along the roof line; vents (roof, soffit, gable, fan); uncovered chimneys; deteriorated roofs, eaves, and walls.


Chattering; short "barks." Scampering; gnawing.

Gnaw Marks and Food Remains

Gnaw marks on wood, plastic, etc. Chewed-open nut shells.

Fecal Droppings: gray squirrel droppings

Usually 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, granular, and oval. Vantassel describes as "black piece of rice" or "enlarged brown BB pellet." Generally scattered rather than accumulated in "toilets."


Except tail, 1/2 to 1 inch long. Back and sides of animal: gray may be tipped with reddish-brown. Belly: white. Tail: 2 to 3 inches; each hair partitioned into reddish-brown, black, white (tip) segments.

Other Signs

Body rub marks at entry sites. Runways in attic insulation. Aluminum surfaces (e.g., gutters) may have claw marks.

Tracks: gray squirrel tracks  Front: 1 in.  Hind: 2 1/4 in.

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