POSTED ON NOVEMBER 23, 2011:
Squirrels Gone Wild?!
It's fall, the time of year for Tulsa's squirrel communities to gear u p for wintertime hibernation.
But it's a case of squirrels gone wild this season, as Eastern Gray, Red and Flying Squirrels wreak havoc in Tulsa yards.
These fluffy little fellows can cause a lot more stress than simply deciding which adorable photo of the wide-eyed critters cradling a pecan or acorn to post on Facebook.
The Red Squirrel, a less adaptable but pretty rust-colored squirrel, causes common annoyances in the attics and gardens of Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Owasso, Bixby, Jenks and Sapulpa.
However, according to Tulsa-based wildlife control company The Skunk Whisperer, Sand Springs is dominated by "the more aggressive and territorial Gray Squirrel."
Additionally, the nocturnal Southern Flying Squirrel, also called a Sugar Glider, can cause trouble in north and south Tulsa locations. Oklahoma is also home to the Spotted Ground Squirrel, Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel, Rock Squirrel and Colorado Chipmunk. Not to mention woodchucks, Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs and the near-threatened Eastern Fox Squirrel.
"For the most part, squirrels are like furry little chainsaws," according to SkunkWhisperer.com. "They will chew on your siding and electrical wires just for fun. They chew to mark their territory and to file down their incisor teeth, similar to what beavers do."
If they find a cozy, warm attic during chilly Oklahoma winter months, squirrels can damage and chew through your lumber and insulation and leave behind feces to boot.
One of the squirrel's natural predators is the common housecat, as well as owls, coyotes, foxes, snakes and hawks. More than 150 years ago, cats were brought to America to help control the rodent population along the eastern seaboard.
Today, there are tens of millions of cats across the nation. And each little kitty has its narrowed eyes set on a furry, fluffy little squirrel. Except according to a Tulsa municipal ordinance, housecats are required to be kept on a leash. No longer can languid domestic cats wander your neighborhood at large, without concern over an Animal Welfare or police offer slapping you with citations and fees.
With area squirrels' biggest predator leashed for now, is Green Country experiencing a boon in the squirrel population?
Call it the law of unintended consequences. Leash a predator, and you'll be on the hook for the rise in the prey's population.
Call it a matter of weird weather -- with this springy, warm fall coming at the heels of a freakishly hot summer.
Call it an odd coincidence. Call it the dramatic rise of the Eastern Gray's reign. Just call it!
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