Squirrels are creatures often seen in fairy tales, making them popular woodland animals for kids and adults alike. In North America alone, you can find over five types of squirrels. It's always a nice sight, seeing squirrels scurry around looking for food or just frolicking with their antics.
While a lot of people repel squirrels from their yard, some people appreciate their presence. If you want to know how to attract squirrels, there are a lot of ways to do so. You need a wide array of strategies to ensure that your home is friendly and captivating to these creatures.
Here are some things you can do:
Give Natural Cover
There are a lot of things you can include in your yard when you want to attract squirrels. You can get hedges, shrubs, ornamental grass tall stands, and stacks of wood. The reason you need to place more things in your yard is due to the natural skittish nature of squirrels.
To elaborate, squirrels don't like wide, open spaces because they feel vulnerable. That's why it's important to place thick vegetation around your yard to give them cover. That makes them feel safe, comfortable, and more confident to play around.
Plant Squirrel-Friendly Trees
There are trees that you can plant because they yield edible nuts or flowers that attract squirrels. Other trees you can plant include those that have branching structures that create crooks and hollows where squirrels can find homes. Another quality you need to look out for is the easily scalable bark that allows these critters to climb it without hassle.
Here are some trees that squirrels like:
These are a combination of both conifers and deciduous trees. You can plant them without worrying about the aesthetics you want to achieve for your yard. This way, you can get squirrels to make your yard their habitat for years to come.
Offer Squirrel Food
Feeding squirrels are one of the fastest ways to attract them, especially the hungry ones. The best way to do this is to scatter some corn on the ground. The best place to do this is at the base of the trees you have in the yard.
Another good way to attract squirrels using food is to hang corn cobs from the branches of the trees. If your yard has bird feeders, you can convert it to squirrel feeders. If you're asking what to feed squirrels, here are some besides corn:
- Hickory Nuts
Replenish the food when the squirrels finish eating everything. Doing this makes them more inclined to go back to your yard and even settle down. When you achieve this, you'll get more squirrels moving in and making your yard their home.
Give a Source of Water
A fresh, clean water source is a great complement to the food you provide. Use a shallow tray or bowl and place several of them on your yard. Put these in strategic places where squirrels might gather, like the shrubs or tree bases.
Doing this gives you the best results during the summer. You'll most likely attract squirrels and other wildlife. If the water freezes during the winter, you can use water heaters to keep it warm and help squirrels even in freezing temperatures.
Potential Problems with Squirrels
Attracting squirrels is nice and all, but there are some problems you need to consider. It's most likely the case if you feed birds too. Squirrels will eat the seeds you reserve for the birds and might damage the feeders. Here are some ways you can prevent that:
Choose Seeds The Squirrels Avoid
If you don't want the critters to eat the seeds specifically for birds, choose safflower seed. Squirrels are indifferent to these seeds and thus avoid them more. Birds like cardinals, doves, and some other birds enjoy feeding on these seeds.
Protect Bird Nests
Some species of squirrels like red squirrels and gray squirrels can become a serious problem to your yard's birdhouses and sometimes the birds too. The best way to check if the squirrels compromised the birdhouse is to see if the nest hole is bigger. You need to do this as soon as you can since squirrels will eat the eggs and young of the birds housed in that nest.
You can use sheet metal as a predator guard. Add it to the entrance hole to keep the squirrels away from the nest.
Don't Feed Squirrels Raw Peanuts
Squirrels and other wildlife shouldn't eat these nuts because it can harm them a lot. It's a valuable protein source but they often come with a fungal toxin called aflatoxin. It's carcinogenic and can damage the liver of squirrels and other animals. It's dangerous because it can also increase the risk of cancer in humans.
Roasting the peanuts can help reduce the aflatoxin. However, it doesn't eliminate it in its entirety. If you have no other means of feeding the wildlife in your area, your best bet is to roast peanuts before feeding it to them. To do this, roast the nuts for 20-30 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius while stirring them as much as you can.
It might be a lot of work for you, but doing this makes it suitable as feed. If you have no time, you can always buy roasted peanuts. When you do, ensure that it doesn't have salt.
Learn How to Attract Squirrels Today!
While some people find squirrels as pests, you might find them as a nice addition to your yard. Learning how to attract squirrels not only livens up your home but it can be a fun activity for the kids too.
The things you do is simple, but it can take a while before squirrels start living in your yard. Regardless, if you love more furry friends in your property, attracting them is a top priority.
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