A place to call home
When the winter starts to grow cold and snowy, there's nothing humans like better than to curl up in a warm house by the fire and enjoy the weather from a spectator spot. Squirrels also need a cozy home in winter. When the winter gets bitterly cold, many squirrels don't hibernate, but simply go about their daily activities. However, when temperatures drop very low, they are in danger of freezing to death. Luckily, there's a solution - build them a cozy squirrel house to keep warm in.
Squirrels are excellent nest-builders; they use their teeth to saw branches and their dexterous paws to weave a strong nest cup. Lastly, they will “shingle” their nest with leaves to keep out snow and rain. However, with the shortage of trees in some areas, squirrels are forced to build their nests solely out of leaves, and this isn't a great alternative. The rain and snow drips through and windstorms can blow a nest completely out of the tree.
Squirrel houses look a lot like a nesting boxes for birds, but instead of the door being on the front of the box, it's on the side and the box is bigger and more airtight. A unique variation on a squirrel house is to make one out of an old tire. Houses are mounted on trees and should be nailed about 10 to 20 feet up. Turn your house so that it faces south; you want the box to be warmed by the sunlight through the day so that it will stay relatively warm through the cold nights. If you're worried about cats bothering the squirrels, keep your feline indoors or put a bell on her so that the squirrels will be warned and can scurry away.
Hang your box using a nail or wire. If your tree is particularly valuable, you can use crimped wire to hang the house, being as this allows tree growth. You can provide nesting material for the squirrels if you wish, but it's not a requirement as squirrels find their own nesting material quite easily. If you want to poke some into the box, gather dry leaves and corn husks. Squirrels will add the material they prefer.
You should clean out your squirrel house at the end of every summer and winter, if there are no babies present. This will reduce smells and harmful parasites.