Identifying Squirrel Tracks in Yards

Squirrels spend most of their lives in trees, but they do have to come down to look for food. As a result, property owners are sometimes able to gauge the presence of the pests by looking for their footprints. Squirrel tracks have four toes on the front feet and five toes on the rear feet, though size can vary widely. On the small side, front footprints are one and a quarter inches long by three-quarters of an inch wide and rear tracks are one and a quarter inches long by one inch wide. Front and rear tracks can top out at approximately two inches long and wide.

What to Look For

Squirrel tracks are most commonly confused with those of rabbits. The crucial difference is that squirrel tracks will run straight toward trees, where rabbits go around them. Also, squirrels are erratic in their travels, so large gaps can exist between tracks. Rabbits are much more consistent, with roughly 20 inches between each set of prints. All four squirrel tracks in dirt may appear nearly side-by-side due to the animals’ galloping gait, in which the hind feet land slightly in front of where the front feet were planted. A track might also show evidence of the tail dragging across it.

Year-Round Activity

Since squirrels do not hibernate and are active year-round, their footprints can be found in a variety of ground conditions. In winter, squirrel tracks in snow reveal where these busy foragers have been looking for food. After spring rains soften soil, clear squirrel tracks in mud can be seen. If property owners suspect they have a problem with squirrels, the wildlife experts at Trutech can help get it under control.