Fall is coming soon, and with it squirrels will be scrounging to hide away excess nuts for the winter. What does this mean for you? Squirrels can cause havoc for homeowners during this time. Squirrels will try to store their extra food wherever they can. These rodents do not usually hibernate in the winter because they have extra food to stay active. Squirrels can hide nuts almost anywhere on your property, and those stores can do more harm than good. Grey squirrels, the most common species in New York and New Jersey, scatter nuts and seeds throughout an area in dozens of places. Most stores of the grey squirrel have 1-2 nuts and/or seeds. They can rip up your lawn, dig into potted plants, damage shrubs, or widen cracks in siding to hide stores. These caches will be opened and reopened repeatedly, and not always by the same squirrel. Stores of nuts and seeds can attract other squirrels, and other small rodents looking for food and shelter. Squirrels only recover 40-80% of their stored nuts, and the results can mean tree and plant growth in unfavorable spots. From a few weeds on the lawn, to an oak sapling in your gutter, you may never know what the seeds and nuts that are left will grow into. Occasionally, squirrels will create fake stores to fool rivals, digging holes and leaving them empty, which means they rip up your lawn in the hopes that others will rip it up again in the same spot. Squirrels often hide in attics, chimneys, or sheds in the winter to escape the harsh elements. They can tear up, chew on or gnaw openings in a home and make holes bigger. Squirrels can destroy the roofing or siding of a house in order to gain access to the interior or simply to hide a few nuts. It takes about a day for a squirrel to create a new nest. Squirrels breed twice a year, in the fall and spring, producing 3-6 offspring each time. This means that a small population of squirrels in your area can multiply very quickly, and more of these rodents can mean more damage to your home.