Why Do Squirrels Make Noise At Night

  • By: Ray Johnson
  • Date: June 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Squirrels can be good and bad. But the noise of squirrels at night cannot be annoying. This article describes the different reasons why squirrels make noise at night.

In general, squirrels are inactive at night. They mainly look for food during the day and rest during the night.

But does that mean that you cannot hear a squirrel making noise at night? No! After hearing some squirrel noises in my backyard at night and researching that squirrels are not active at night, I set out to discover why squirrels were making noise in my backyard at night.

What Squirrels Make Noise At Night

There are 69 species of squirrels in the United States. These squirrels are categorized into three groups comprising; ground squirrels, tree squirrels, and flying squirrels.

The ground squirrels are always on the ground, tree squirrels are always in the trees, and flying squirrels comprise tree squirrels that glide from one tree to another instead of jumping between trees, as is the case with regular tree squirrels.

Ground and tree squirrels are mainly active during the day as they go out of their nest to look for food and bury any extra seeds on the ground. At night the ground and tree squirrels return to their nest to sleep.

Flying squirrels are nocturnal as they like to go outside when it’s dark, hoping they will not be preyed upon by the different predators. If you ever spotted a squirrel at night, the chances are that the squirrel you spotted was a flying one.

Flying squirrels are meant to survive in the dark as they have an excellent ability to smell and find food, have bigger eyes that make it better for them to see at night, and have wings between their front and back paws that make it better for them to run away from the predators efficiently.

One of the ideal ways to determine whether you have flying squirrels in your backyard is to inspect the hard nuts you find lying in your backyard in the morning. If you find neat circular holes in the nuts and the nut’s meat has been eaten, then you have flying squirrels in your backyard.

Sound of flying squirrels at night

If the holes in the nuts whose meat has been taken from are not neat, then you have ground or tree squirrels. Whenever flying squirrels eat a nut, they create a neat, smooth, roundish hole that they use to get the nut meat out.

If you can’t find nuts eaten by flying squirrels, you can identify the squirrels from their sound. The sound made by flying squirrels is high-pitched and short. This sound is mainly heard during the fast few hours of the sun setting.

Even if flying squirrels are the ones that are mainly active at night, ground and tree squirrels can also make noise at night, especially on the rare occasion when they come out of their nest to look for water or food.

Reasons Squirrels Make Noises At Night

If you are certain that the noise you have heard in your backyard or house at night is from the squirrels, there are different reasons why the squirrels could be making the noise. Here are the different reasons why squirrels might be making sounds at night:

Warning About Impending Predator

Squirrels know that they have many predators. Therefore, they are on the lookout for predators; when they see one, they always make sounds to alert other squirrels about the looming danger.

Once a predator has been spotted, squirrels can use an alarm call for two purposes. As I already pointed out, one of these purposes is that the noise is aimed at alerting other squirrels to be aware of the impending predator.

The other purpose of the squirrels making the noise is to inform the predator that the squirrels have seen it and they are aware that it is around. By letting the predator know it has already been noticed, the squirrels hope that the various predators, such as cats, that love to incorporate an element of surprise when preying on the squirrels, are put off.

Defend Territory

Flying squirrels could make noises at night to warn other squirrels that might be invading their territory. Specifically, when new squirrels are feeding in a territory that does not belong to them, the squirrels will chase or nip on the invading squirrels.

When the squirrels defend their territory, they can make a rattling and screeching noise. If there is some light at night and you find that the squirrels are running up and down when making the noise, that indicates a territorial dispute between the squirrels.


Squirrels can be distressed by many things. For example, the squirrels could be injured, sick, or scared by a predator.

When distressed at night, the squirrels can make a noise that human beings can hear.


When the squirrels are ready to mate, they make noises. If the flying squirrels want to mate at night, the squirrels will make noises that human beings can hear.

The ‘kuks’ and ‘quaas’ squirrel sounds that you hear at night are made by female squirrels and are directed to their male counterparts as they communicate that they are ready for intercourse. The squirrels could also make the sound after the intercourse.

Young Squirrels

Young squirrels could make noise at night as they feel threatened or hungry. The sound of young squirrels is soft and subtle, even though their age determines it.

A high-pitched shrill noise indicates that the young squirrel is scared and alarmed. By making the sound, the squirrels hope that the mother will be alerted and come to its rescue.


When you hear squirrel noises at night, they are most likely made by flying squirrels since they are the only type of squirrel active during the night. The squirrels make the noise at night to warn impending predators, during and after mating, when distressed, and defend territory.


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