How Far Do Squirrels Travel? [How Far Can They Travel?]

Squirrels are smart little rodents which move pretty quickly. They dig, climb, and run so fast that even it is hard to see. In fact, there is no limit to what they can. They can run as fast as up to 20 mph and flying squirrels glide over 150 feet with their skin flaps. They can climb as up as 10 stories and even a few more than that but how far do squirrels travel or how far can squirrels travel.

The Simple Answer…

Squirrels typically do travel about 2 miles but squirrels can travel up to 10 miles. You can trap and release squirrel 10 miles away from the habitat, but it would be better to release far than 10 miles in which case, it would be impossible for them to return.

How Far Do Squirrels Travel From Their Home or Nest

Maybe the squirrel has gnawed your internet’s wire (Which is because they’re compel to do due to their teeths growing) and you want to trap and leave the squirrels in the wild, (Which isn’t lawful in most states). Or maybe you want to catch a squirrel from the wild and pet it but want to know how far do squirrels travel or how far squirrels can travel from their nest or from the home. Whatever the case, I’ll describe what they do, what they can and what they cannot.

You’ve seen squirrels surfing all-around your home, yard, and even your nearest park. In fact, once they find your home, they won’t leave it easily.

Squirrels do travel and operate up to 2 miles from their nest or home. If a squirrel’s nest is within your yard, it is likely they would surf and manage all-around your house, your neighbor’s house, and even your nearest park.

However, male squirrels travel and have far more territory than females. But not the red squirrels. Their territory is lesser than gray squirrels and it isn’t the same with gray squirrels. It also effects from season to season and also from urban squirrels to wild squirrels. In fact, they protect and defend their territory from other squirrels and fight until its death. They use their urine and scent to mark their territory and communicate with each other. Squirrels often find and know each others mark, so they won’t violate their territories.

Traveling about 2 miles squirrels can easily find or even less than that like in 5 miles, it won’t stop them to come back to the same place if they would want to. That distance wouldn’t be enough and wouldn’t hold them back to return. They mightn’t be seen for a few time and struggle a little but eventually, they will return to the exact point where you left them.

If you want to release squirrels and want them not to come back, you may better leave them far than 12 miles. However, you cannot release squirrel into the wild in most states around the country, it’s forbidden. Neither you can trap nor shoot them unless you’ve been permitted.

You can apply for the permit and learn what you can do with squirrels in your yard and also whether you can trap and release them into the wild from the DNR or wildlife department.

How Far Do Squirrels Travel For Food?

In the city, squirrels usually don’t have to travel far for food, they will find food in the backyard mostly from the bird feeder or travel upto 2 – 3 miles at the most. However, in the wild, they also don’t travel far away since their nest is often near or at the oak or nut trees, and rivers where squirrels can find water and food both. In case of low to no food, where they can’t find food easily, squirrels will travel as far as 5 miles to find food.

But if there’s not enough food where they live, they may change their nest somewhere else. However, it’s very unlikely in the cities and even rural areas, except it may happen in the wild. In the city, squirrels find food the easiest way, which is birdfeeder. That’s why they don’t need to change and they won’t likely change their nest.

For water, squirrels often get water from the bird water bath or water feeder, bowl, taps, fruits, vegetables. In the wild, they get water from rivers, streams, lakes, ponds. However, in winter, when they don’t find any water, they will warm up snow under their arm and use it as water.

How Far Do You Need To Move Squirrels So They Don’t Come Back? 

You will need to move squirrels at least 10 miles or more so they don’t come back, but it’s always better to move more. In which case, they will barely remember their nest and won’t be able to come back. Remember to check your state laws before you apply this. You may be charged and fined if you were proved to do so without permit.

How Far Do Squirrels Travel After Trap & Release

Squirrels are smart, wise, and pretty intelligent and do remember and travel around their habitat. They can easily come back released within 3 miles or less. They typically travel up to 2 miles from their nest and can travel up to 10 miles. You may trap and release squirrel 10 miles far and better zig-zag. The farther it is, the fewer chances it wouldn’t come back.

Don’t put the squirrel into trap for more than a day without water and food. If you trap, release it in a day or two far away than 10 miles or more. Remember to check the squirrel within the trap so it doesn’t suffer, injures, or hurts. Also, don’t put the squirrels in the trap after 10 miles far assuming its released. Release it completely from the trap when you want to release it.

How Far Do Squirrels Travel In A Day

Squirrels travel up to 2 miles a day and that is also their territory which they protect. This also shows that it is nowhere far to squirrels. In fact, they can travel up to 10 miles. But it’s never easy for them to travel and find their territory as far as 10 miles and won’t most likely come back.

How to Trap & Release Trapped Squirrel Properly

With these steps, you can trap and release squirrels in a very less time.

  • First, check if releasing squirrels is permitted or not and where it is permitted to do so.
  • First trap squirrels and as soon as its trapped, put food and water for it.
  • Then put the trapped squirrel into the car and move at least 10 miles away and when it’s there, take out the trapped squirrel and simply release it.

So you’ve got a permit and trapped the squirrel successfully, now what? Shoot it or release it. Maybe releasing is better right? So it find another home and won’t come back, right? Well, that’s not really.

While trapping and releasing squirrels isn’t very hard and you could do it, but it doesn’t really mean squirrels would survive there. Like trapping and releasing squirrels in wild seems the most humane method to get rid of the squirrels, but it’s isn’t really a humane way to do. Some reports releasing squirrel into the wild won’t survive and says it’s better to shoot squirrels instead of killing them that way.

Squirrels living in a city likely don’t really know surviving in the wild. They end up in a completely new territory and entirely different to find way food, water, shelter, and save from predators. Here are a few things you can do to improve the chances of surviving.

  • Release two or more squirrels together at a time and in a place where there are lots of trees and preferably where are nuts and oak trees.
  • Check if there are any squirrels, wildlife, or signs of.
  • Check if there are predators.
  • Find out if there are river, lakes, ponds or any other source of water.
  • See if there are some fruit trees and plants
  • Place a little food with them until they are good to go
  • Release them in a good timing
  • The more trees there are, especially fruit, oak and nuts trees, the happier they are and they can survive.
  • When you’ve released the squirrels, don’t leave the trap there or around them as they will be trapped. Take the trap with yourself, put it in your car and bring it back to your home
  • Make sure you’ve the permission to release on this property. You can’t release squirrels on people’s property.
  • Confirm if the squirrel is completley mature. You can’t leave a baby squirrel in the wild or anywher else than the nest as it won’t survive. Let it grow and then trap and release it with the parents, all of them.

If you consider these points and follow them, your squirrel will likely survive and won’t follow you back.

Final Thoughts

If you would like to trap and release squirrels so it won’t come back, you may release it 10 miles or more. They are likely to come from 5 or fewer miles. In fact, they typically travel about 2 miles and can travel in a day, which is also their territory. A puzzling way would work better than a straight line way.

Another way you could do is release them in a few miles but in dark, it will also help a lot. The best way you could release a squirrel is far than 10 miles.

Some people use to spray anywhere of the squirrel with a color spray and check if the squirrel comes back or not. If you release in a far distance which would be 10 miles or more, it wouldn’t come back. If you leave them around or on the other side of a lake or some water, you might be surprised to see it because squirrels can swim pretty easily as they run.

However, in most places and states, it’s completely banned to trap and release and you can’t do it. You may find out about your area from the particular department. Remember you can only trap them within your property and your family members. You can’t leave squirrels on people’s property without permission, not in the wildlife without permission.

1 thought on “How Far Do Squirrels Travel? [How Far Can They Travel?]”

  1. Not sure what the issue folks have with squirrels, to the point of killing them just because they are there. As long as they are not nesting within your home or garage, what’s the problem? We have a ton of them, along with birds and chipmunks, they all do their thing and are quite entertaining to watch the interaction. We also have 3 cats that patrol the grounds, but very seldom ever mess with squirrels or birds. We had one cat at a time in our lives that looked like he was stalking a particular squirrel, to chase it up a tree, only to watch the squirrel come back down and chase the cat across the yard. This was a daily game they played. The fact that we have a bit of heavily wooded property perhaps makes our situation different, but we have never seen the need to deal with control or elimination of them in over 43 years living at this spot. Nature seems to take care of that as we watch the critters come and go, either they move on or a hawk will get them.


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