Do Squirrels Burrow Under Sheds ?Understanding Squirrel Behavior

Spread the love

Squirrels dig underground to create a safe space for storing food items and hiding. A squirrel burrow is four to five inches in diameter and five to thirty feet in length. Most squirrel burrows are five feet deep but can exceed six feet. Squirrels burrow inside houses and in the yard. Do squirrels burrow under sheds?

Yes. Squirrels burrow under sheds and houses to acquire access. They do not need large areas, an area of three inches is enough for squirrels to dig. Once inside, squirrels will continue burrowing, creating an entry point for another place.

Squirrels live inside sheds for a short time. Continue reading the article to identify the squirrel burrow in your shed and a few tips to get rid of it.

Do Squirrels Live Under Sheds?


Commonly squirrels live inside garden sheds, attics, basements, and garages. They live inside these places for only a short period of about four months. Squirrels are small and can squeeze in through confined areas. They do not need a large room to enter a shed. A small space or hole as little as two inches is enough for a squirrel to squeeze through.

Squirrels are gnawing animals and can chew through any material, including wood, metal, cables, plastic, and concrete, to find access to the shed. Mainly, female squirrels seek shelter inside the shed when they are pregnant or have young ones along with them.

Sheds that are empty during winters and are far from home attract squirrels. As they are dark, quiet, outside the reach of predators, and relatively uninhabited by people, they make it an ideal place for squirrels to spend their winters and raise their young ones.

Signs Of Squirrels In Shed

YouTube video

Squirrels are destructive animals. They will destroy the place by chewing on things and creating burrows. The presence of rats and squirrels shows quite similar signs. It will be easy to identify the residence of squirrels inside the shed near your house.

Following are the five signs through which you can identify the presence of squirrels inside the shed.

  • Strange Sounds
  • Unpleasant Odor
  • Squirrel Feces
  • Destruction Inside The Shed And Garden
  • Nesting Material

Strange Sounds

Unlike rats and raccoons, squirrels rest at night and are most active during the day. However, they avoid human encounters and will climb trees and search for food in the light away from the settlements. Squirrels are loud and communicate through different types of sound. When they are living in a shed, you will hear strange noises, especially at dawn and dusk.

Unpleasant Odor

Squirrels are smelly. The foul smell of squirrel urine can permeate the entire shed and diffuse into a surrounding area like the garden or garage. If you notice an unpleasant smell in your garden or yard, thoroughly check the garden shed and the yard.

Often, squirrels get trapped inside small spaces and die when they do not find access outside. A dead squirrel will produce more smell when it starts decomposing.

Squirrel Feces

Squirrel Feces

Rodents, including squirrels, leave their dropping to almost every place they visit or live. Squirrel droppings confirm their presence inside the garden shed. A squirrel dropping is often confused with rat droppings, but squirrel’s feces are round at the ends and turn light color along with the time, unlike rat scat which is pointed at the ends and remains brown.

Carefully look around for squirrels dropping. Do not try to remove them without gloves as they contain bacteria that can cause infection.

Destruction Inside The Shed And Garden

Destruction Inside The Shed And Garden

Even though squirrels are cute, they are highly destructive animals. Squirrels will dig inside many places inside the shed and garden to store food like nuts. Often these squirrel burrows destroy the roots and seedlings of many plants.

They can also eat the vegetables and fruit from your kitchen garden. Squirrels are gnawing animals, so they will chew on different things to prevent their teeth from overgrowing. Inspect the walls, cables, wires, appliances, and furniture inside the shed for the chewing mark.

Nesting Material

Squirrels will build their nest inside the sheds. Inspect the insulation, top shelves, and corners for squirrel nests. You might find leaves, twigs, and vines cramped in one corner.

Squirrels like to make their nest comfortable, so they can use material inside the shed to make a nest and bring leaves and other nature items to provide perfect insulation.

Do Squirrels Dig Holes At Night?

Squirrels Dig Holes

Squirrels are not active at night. If a burrow appears overnight in your garden, garage, or under the shed: the culprit cannot be the squirrel. You will have to carefully examine your house to confirm the identity of the critter.

Squirrels are more active during the day as they sleep at night and work during the day. Their activity is slow during the hottest part of the day. Squirrels actively hunt from late evening till dusk.

Squirrels dig holes for multiple reasons; to hide their nuts, to retrieve the stored food, to annoy predators, and to burrow. They dig underground throughout the year, but the number of holes significantly increases at the begging of the fall and decreases at the end of winter.

During winter, squirrels can dig multiple holes while looking for their burrowed nuts and ruin the garden. They have an excellent memory and sharp smell sense but can occasionally forget their burrow.

What Other Animals Burrow Under Sheds?


Animals that can live inside your shed are possums, raccoons, rats, wild cats, groundhogs, possums, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and skunks.

All these animals take shelter under the shed to live for a few months or a few years max. Mostly pregnant and nursing females hide their babies in the dark and confined spaces to hide from predators.

These animals will dig tunnels and pathways under the shed to other areas. Sometimes these tunnels can lead inside your house or the garden, which is more dangerous. They also make their exit through the tunnels. Animal burrows under the shed to hide their food, raise their babies, and spend hibernating months. Some old animals hide inside quiet places to die peacefully.

Getting rid of animals burrowing under the shed is challenging. You should identify the animal burrowing under the shed to know what you are dealing with.

How Can I Keep Squirrels Out Of My Shed?

YouTube video

Squirrels are destructive and can destroy your house. Article by Quinn, N. M., Dimson, M. J., & Baldwin, R. A on Ground Squirrel states that the squirrels can damage house plants, especially fruit trees, grains, and nuts.

They will destroy vegetable plants by consuming seedlings and can damage budding shrubs and vines. Squirrels are gnawing animals and will chew on tree bark and garden hoses as well. Burrowing will cause damage and make it difficult to mow lawns. Burrowing will weaken the roots of the trees and shrubs nearby, which can cause a tree to fall.

The article further states that the tunnels made by squirrels can damage house structures that require expensive repairs. Following are a few tips to keep squirrels out of the shed.

  • Seal the corners and edges of the shed by pouring concrete. It is better to pour concrete on the shed floor before installing floorings. Squirrels can make burrows with tunnels underground.
  • Placing all-purpose stones around the doors and windows makes it impossible for squirrels to chew.
  • Install half-inch thick mesh hardware cloth around the shed. Ensure that you install the hardware cloth from a twelve-inch underground.
  • Use natural repellents around the shed like peppermint oil and vinegar pepper spray.
  • Place stacks of dryer sheets or mothballs inside the shed.
  • Grow garlic, lemon, onion, peppermint, and pepper plants surrounding the shed.


Squirrels burrow under sheds for multiple reasons. Mostly, female squirrels take over sheds for a few months to raise their young ones. Sheds that are unoccupied and far from home attract squirrels. They will burrow under the shed to hide food and live inside, along with their babies.

Squirrels can dig tunnels through their burrow, leading them to other areas. Sometimes these tunnels also act as their exit from the shed. Squirrels are awake during the day hours and move around a lot. So, it is unlikely for a squirrel to go unnoticed in your house.