How far can a squirrel jump?

Squirrels can really jump! They are fast and agile, and they have high-twitch muscle. They can grip many surfaces, swivel their hind feet backward, and pretty much go wherever they want. That's why it's so hard to keep them away from your birdfeeder or house. In fact, in regard to your house, you almost have no hope.

Studies vary, but it appears that the Eastern Gray Squirrel, which is the most common one in the United States, can jump about four feet high, or nine feet horizontally, with no incline change. Of course, in nature, things vary. Each squirrel is a little bit different, and may be young or old. It may have a running start, or not. It may have to jump up, or down. And they can glide just a little. Not as much as flying squirrels of course, but they can glide a little.

An Eastern Gray Squirrel can jump about nine feet horizontally on a flat surface with a running start.

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How high can a squirrel jump? About four feet vertically.

How fast is a squirrel? How fast can it run? About 12 miles per hour at top speed, which is pretty fast.

Reader Email: Hello, I do have squirrels in my soffet, and the babies are out and about. They are gaining access by running along my privacy fence, jumping from there to my back door roof over the steps, then onto the lower level roof. Which is about a 3 foot jump. I seen a show on TV one time and it talked about the distances that squirrels avoid, and one of them is jumping. I could get a piece of plastic window and put it up against the house so they can't climb or jump over. I can't seem to find the information on the web, and I can't remember what the show was called. The show was showing the distances to keep in mind for bird feeders, and what squirrels avoid. If they didn't run on top of the privacy fence, I wouldn't have a problem. Would you know of the distances I could create to deter them from jumping? I'm already going to construct the milk jug obstacle course for the fence. Thanks, Robert

My Response: I'm not sure how far squirrels can jump. Height matters a great deal, of course, and some running space. I'd say about ten feet, believe it or not. I think you'll have a heck of a time keeping squirrels from jumping on your house.

Reader Email: Hi David, Your site came up via my google query. OK, so they can jump 9' horizontally. Is that on a squirrel olympic field? The question occurred to me about how far they'll jump because I started to trim an ash tree away from my swamp cooler. That begot more trimming of some branches away from the roof. All the trees around our townhome cluster plus the roof equals their playground. Is there some distance less than 9' I might cut branches from the roof that'd keep 'em from jumping from the roof to the tree? I suspect branch diameter might come into play here. What do you think? (the problem is they denude my ash tree by gnawing off all the small growth, ostensibly to use for nesting and a lot of it ends up on the ground. I have a 35 year old ash with major branches that are increasingly devoid of growth because of this. I keep trapping and removing (6 miles away across a highway and major thoroughfare) but it just slows the damage... Bart

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