Florida is home to three species of squirrels, the eastern gray
squirrel, the fox squirrel,
and the southern flying squirrel. The most common
in urban areas is the eastern gray squirrel (pictured here).
Squirrels occur in woodland and urban areas, especially near oaks
and hickories, and are active during the day, often feeding on the
During late summer squirrels may be seen rolling on the ground,
biting themselves, and jumping up and down. This is usually due to
skin irritations from bot fly larvae, which are parasites that
appear as bumps on the skin, often in places where the squirrel
cannot scratch. The parasite is located only in the skin and does
not affect edibility of the meat in harvested squirrels.
Squirrels can cause problems by chewing on plants, tree bark and
ornamentals as well as plastic items, like electrical wiring
insulation or even wood siding on houses and out-buildings. It is
often impossible or impractical to eliminate the source of their
chewing. Potted plants can often be moved out of reach. PVC pipes
and electrical wires can sometimes be covered with a insulation
material that is soft and, therefore, less attractive to chew.
Taste repellents are designed to stop chewing. They seem to work in
direct proportion to the animal's desire to chew on the object. In
other words, if they want it badly enough, no repellent will stop
them. Taste repellents will not work on large areas, are impractical
for inaccessible things like tall trees and cannot be used on
objects that you intend to eat.
A landowner may lawfully live-trap or humanely destroy nuisance gray
squirrels without a special permit or license. A permit is required
to transport live-trapped wildlife and landowner permission must be
obtained before captive wildlife can be released on private land.