Summary: The black squirrel is unusual, but is still part of the common eastern gray squirrel family found throughout the United States.
A reader asks: I have a lot of black squirrels in my area and have never had a problem with them until this year. They are chewing the bark off my maple trees. Is there anything I can use that will deter them from doing this?
Dear Reader: Black squirrels are not a separate species at all, but are a fairly rare genetic variation sometimes called a “color morph.” Biologists estimate that the black squirrel is unusually rare with only one squirrel in 10,000 wearing the black coat.
The black squirell is a mutant of the gray squirrel resides primarily in northern climates. Biologists surmise that the black fur more readily absorbs the rays of the sun, thereby keeping the squirrel warmer during cold winters.
Anything chewing the bark off of trees is not good for the health of the tree.
There are various types of animal repellents you can try, but trapping and euthanizing the squirrels is the only sure way to stop them.
Squirrels are not an endangered species nor are they protected, so trapping and disposal is probably legally allowed. Squirrels can be trapped in Havahart live traps, but in most places it is against the law to trap and release them. Check with your local government agencies for the rules in your area.
If trapping is not your cup of tea you may want to call a professional pest control company to do the job.
Watch this short video on trapping squirrels.