Are Squirrels Nocturnal?

Most squirrels are not nocturnal, so they are rarely (if ever) active at night. Like us, squirrels are usually diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day. However, one type of squirrel – the flying squirrel – is nocturnal, which can cause a nuisance if they decide to nest in your attic.

Squirrel types in North America

North America is home to lots of different squirrel species, most of which are tree squirrels. The most common type of tree squirrel in North America is the Eastern Gray Squirrel, which is easily recognizable by its gray fur. Other common squirrel types include the American red squirrel, the fox squirrel, the black squirrel, and the Western gray squirrel.

North America is also home to two different species of flying squirrel; Southern flying squirrels and Northern flying squirrels. Their names suggest that flying squirrels are far more at home in the treetops than on the ground. Although flying squirrels can’t fly, they can glide from tree to tree using the wing-like flaps that connect their front and hind limbs.

What’s the difference between tree and ground squirrels?

tree and ground squirrelsMost squirrels found in North America are tree squirrels, which are named for their tendency to nest in trees. Ground squirrels prefer to dig burrows into the Earth and, though able to climb, don’t spend much time in trees.

Ground squirrels are native to California and, on first inspection, look very similar to most squirrels. However, there are a few subtle differences between the ground squirrel and its tree-dwelling cousins.

For one, the tails of ground squirrels are less bushy than those of other squirrels, making them appear much thinner. Their fur also lacks the uniform coloring of black, grey, or red squirrels and is usually mottled with different brown, white, and black shades.

Are squirrels active at night or day?

Tree squirrels are usually diurnal animals, meaning they are active in the daytime and asleep at night. The exception to this rule is flying squirrels, which are nocturnal creatures.

Because flying squirrels are rarely awake in the daytime, few people ever see them. However, they are sometimes known to nest in attics, and you may hear sounds as they become active at night. 

Where do squirrels live and sleep?

Tree squirrels sleep in nests, called dreys. Squirrels build their dreys from twigs, moss, bark, and other materials in the forks of trees, though they can sometimes move into attics. Diurnal squirrels wake up in the early morning to forage for food during daylight hours.

Flying squirrels also build their nests in trees but don’t become active until the evening hours. 

Do squirrels eat at night?

Do squirrels eat at nightOnly flying squirrels eat at night. This is because they are nocturnal squirrels and only come out after dark to avoid predators. Diurnal squirrels sleep at night and wake up to begin eating in the early morning hours.

Do you have a squirrel problem?

Most of the time, squirrels build their nests in trees or, in the case of ground squirrels, in underground burrows. However, squirrels can become a problem if they move into your attic. If you think you have a squirrel problem, the best solution is to call a professional wildlife control company for help. Remember, squirrels are wild animals, and squirrel removal should not be attempted without the correct techniques and equipment.

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