How smart are squirrels?

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hpman66

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When you get the time, watch these squirrels run these mazes/gauntlets with relative ease.

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#2.
 

contender

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About 25-30 years ago,, I saw a video filmed in England with a very elaborate set of puzzles, mazes, etc all designed to be a challenge for squirrels to try & overcome. It was an actual study on squirrels by a university professor if I recall correctly.
The squirrels took over 4 hours to get all the way through it the first time. But,, after the initial trip that was successful,, it got quicker & quicker. It got the maze down to minutes.

But squirrels aren't the only critter that can calculate & figure out problems to get to the rewards of good food. It's just more fun to mess with & watch squirrels.

And yes,, they are smart.
 
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Yes, you bet your butt squirrels are smart. There's not many ways stop them when they make up their minds they want something. We do enjoy watching the around our house (all gray squirrels because I "take care of" the reds.
 

Dan in MI

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I once read about a study that has squirrels and I believe a monkey of some sort. The monkey learned the maze faster. Then they moved the animals away for 6 months or so. The squirrels picked up right from where they were no delay in running the maze. The monkeys had to relearn it.
 

GunnyGene

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I once read about a study that has squirrels and I believe a monkey of some sort. The monkey learned the maze faster. Then they moved the animals away for 6 months or so. The squirrels picked up right from where they were no delay in running the maze. The monkeys had to relearn it.
AHA! Proof that people evolved from monkeys!! 😁
 

larry8

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Yes, you bet your butt squirrels are smart. There's not many ways stop them when they make up their minds they want something. We do enjoy watching the around our house (all gray squirrels because I "take care of" the reds.
Unfortunately the grey squirrels are the most destructive animal out there. The brown squirrels are more friendly and don't damage anything having their nest high up in the trees. The black squirrels are skittish and usually runaway from people, also have their nest in the trees. However the grey squirrels will dig a hole in your roof to get in where it is warm in winter to build their nest in the insulation, chew on the wiring and plumbing, and cause all kinds of damage. I've been to a Ladys $800K home where she had to hire a contractor to replace all the damaged insulation, an electrician to repair all the wiring that was chewed thru, and a plumber to replace the plastic plumbing line that was chewed. With the removal of the grey squirrel the bill for all that was $25,000. So when I see a grey squirrel out comes the rat traps and have-a-hart traps.
 
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larry8, good points, we are lucky that they basically stay away from our house and there's a lot of natural habitat for them. I haven't heard from any of the neighbors about any squirrel dameage to their homes and I have none and have been here for 25 years now.
 
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Like asking "how smart are people?". Animals perceive things differently from us and individuals vary.
My dad and I often discuss Thai topic about our dogs. It’s popular to give human characteristics to our house pets. Like saying they are happy. Who really knows?

Same with these squirrels. I watched the videos. Very entertaining. And the guy who built the maze talked about the squirrels and gave them human labels. It’s all good. I really liked it, but BearBio is right, they perceive things differently than people.

Still those squirrels are pretty sharp and caught on quickly.
 

contender

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larry8 makes some good points. I'll add a few thoughts.

First off, I'm a State certified Animal Damage Control Agent. I deal with squirrels & other animals daily.
Yes,, they can be destructive. However,, PEOPLE can be the ones to prevent such issues.
How?
If you hear noises in the attic or walls etc,, DO NOT PUT IT OFF,, call a professional if you even suspect it's an animal of any kind. Allowing them time to build a nest, establish a residence,, & especially have babies creates bigger problems.

Do NOT think it's as easy as "blocking a hole" to stop them. This just usually causes more damages.

Do NOT call the local "handyman" to "fix" it. 99.9% of them are NOT animal experts. They can cause problems TRYING to fix the issues.

Do NOT believe the wives tale of "moth balls, peppermint, coyote urine," or other repellents will fix the problem. And the ultrasonic devices,, don't work either.

Trapping only removes the current residents. They have relatives. The structure MUST be fixed to prevent additional access by these relatives.
And trapping & relocating may require a permit,, or relocation may be illegal. (Squirrels can be potential rabies vectors.)
Plus, taking the offending critters "to the woods" or "down by the creek" is trespassing in some form. Plus,, State & Federal property is off limits for releasing animals on. Potential felony there. On private property,, I always ask this question; "If I have a problem animal,, would you want it on YOUR property?"

Again,, call a professional. We deal with such issues daily. And a GOOD pro will not only evict the offending animals,, they will also repair the entire structure to prevent re-entry. Just because you find the main entry point,, there may be MANY other potential entry points they can use or enlarge to become a new entry point.

Lastly,, often,, it may not be gray squirrels,, we also have a LOT of flying squirrel complaint calls. Again,, calling a Pro will get good information.

Now,, many states do not have as strict of regulations as other states. In NC,, (where I am,) we have restrictions. Obey the laws. Learn them BEFORE dealing with any problem critters.
 

RCA1504

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We have a tree farm, with three types of squirrels living on the place the grays are the smallest, fox squirrels are next largest and the Pine Squirrels, jet black, are the largest. Easily, the ones that are the most problem, they get into everything, are the grays. Between them and the field mice they keep you on guard at all times.
I just have the folks that do our insect spraying just put out mouse bait where they might get into or under things. Way simpler than trying to catch them in your vehicles, mowers or tractors.
Not had them get into the house, but the vehicles and equipment yes and do damage.
We have yotes and wolves so cats and dogs are just munchies for bigger critters.
 

contender

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"I just have the folks that do our insect spraying just put out mouse bait where they might get into or under things. Way simpler than trying to catch them in your vehicles, mowers or tractors."

Actually,, in most cases,, it's not squirrels getting into cars, tractors or equipment. It's mice & rats. Squirrels prefer to be elevated,, OR,, when on the ground,, having the ability to see all around themselves. They worry about predators.
Rats store nuts & such just like squirrels do. And in vehicles, or equipment,, they like to nest off the ground,, yet,, close enough to travel the ground.

I'm not saying that squirrels never get into equipment or vehicles,, but actually get blamed for it when it's more often rats or mice.
 
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