UniquePetsWiki is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

8 Reasons To Answer Why Have My Squirrels Disappeared

Are you wondering why your squirrels disappeared suddenly? You’re not alone, many other people experience this, but the reason for the sudden vanishing can vary.

Sometimes they disappear due to getting enough food in a particular area and moving to another location to find their habitat. Other reasons might include overpopulation, reproduction, drought, and more.

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Linda. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

Why Have My Squirrels Disappeared?

Why do squirrels disappear?

There are many reasons behind the squirrel’s sudden disappearance. Four main reasons include reproduction & baby-tending, migration, sudden death, and vanishing due to winters. Other rare reasons are they get diseases, are trapped, are eaten by their predators, or have car encounters.

Squirrel Migrations

Squirrels usually migrate at the time of fall to find a better habitat.

They don’t go beyond 50 miles often. However, there are some cases seen otherwise. The reasons behind squirrel migration are many, including lack of food, nesting places, drought, and overpopulation in their area.

Then, how long do squirrels stay in one area? A squirrel stays in the same place and rarely ventures far from home.

In areas with little to no food or where there are a lot of squirrels in one area, squirrels tend to leave home if they are more than 1-2 miles away. If they do leave home, they seldom return.

They’re Busy With Reproduction and Baby-tending in Late Summer

Squirrels get pregnant for 25 to 45 days, which can be another reason for their disappearance.  After giving birth, female squirrels take care of their babies for three months by themselves.

Wild squirrels caught mating

Disappearing due to childbearing can be seen in spring or summer, as they usually mate at that time. It is quite common for squirrels to mate during their first year and two or three times after that within 10 years. 

They Stay In the Nest All Winter

During the winter, squirrels spend most of their time in nests, sleeping 18-20 hours daily. That is why you usually have spotless or no squirrels during winter. 

They may go outside on mild winter days, but otherwise, they remain indoors. Warmth is sought by huddling in close groups. For as long as five or six months, they will also enter a state of hibernation and wake up only to forage for food. 

Worst Thing: Maybe They’re Dead

Squirrels can die for various reasons; most of them die naturally while hiding or in their nests. Trauma, poison, diseases, electric shock, and nature are common reasons your squirrel might die.

They’re Getting Disease

Animals in the wild, including squirrels, are prone to a wide range of parasites and bacteria that can lead to their death. Toxoplasmosis, tularemia, and Bartonella are common bacteria and parasites found in squirrels. These are all potentially deadly.

A squirrel’s body can be covered in bacteria and parasites. Diseases can also kill squirrels. One of the most common diseases that squirrels can contract is rabies. The squirrel fibroma virus and animal distemper virus are less common diseases that can affect squirrels.

When getting sick, squirrels won’t go out for food often or never go out. That makes you notice their disappearance.

Being Trapped

The poisoning of squirrels is illegal in many states, yet it still happens. As another example, squirrels can accidentally consume toxic substances. For instance, due to their opportunistic nature and curiosity, squirrels can accidentally consume rat poison, rapidly killing them.

Other pesticides can also poison these animals. You see if any other animal around is disappearing. If yes, look around thoroughly if you find any traps or poison. It will help you configure the reason behind your squirrel’s disappearance.

In other instances, squirrels will disappear if their nests/habitats are destroyed.

Has Been Eaten by the Predators

A variety of animals prey on squirrels, and squirrels are at the bottom of the food chain. Among the predators of squirrels are foxes, hawks, bull snakes, eagles, coyotes, weasels, and rattlesnakes. 

If a lot of squirrels are disappearing in your neighborhood, check for their enemies.

Car Encounter

Over 41 million squirrels are killed due to cars or other vehicle encounters every year in the United States. While crossing fields or roads for food or looking for a place to hide, squirrels get hit by cars often.


Do squirrels find their way back home?

Yes, squirrels can find their way back home, if their home is within 15 miles. Squirrels are capable of traveling up to two miles from their nest or home.

You can expect a squirrel to surf and manage well within your yard, your neighbor’s yard, and even your nearest park if they have a nest within your yard. The male squirrel travels far more and has a larger territory. 

What sounds do a squirrel make when hurt?

Squirrels make a crying noise when they’re in distress. The squirrels make an alarm sound when they spot a predator. In addition, injured squirrels may make a crying sound. Whenever a squirrel is injured, it will cry. 

Where do squirrels sleep when it rains?

When it rains, squirrels take shelter in a tree or drey to keep dry. During windy storms, they usually move to a hollow tree to prevent being knocked from their nest and possibly being injured. However, there are always alternatives to a hollow tree.

Wrapping Up

Occasionally, squirrels migrate from one area to another for reasons like drought or food shortage in response to overpopulation. The migration of thousands of squirrels out of a particular area has been reported in some cases.

With all the reasons stated above, you should now clearly know where your squirrel went. Luckily, you keep an eye on and look for clues like squirrel traps, enemies, and disease symptoms to save your squirrel. 

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.


UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.