Squirrels can be found in both rural and urban areas in North America. And as cute as they are, they tend to have a poor reputation, because if given the opportunity, they may wreak havoc by digging up bulbs in garden beds, stealing seeds from bird feeders, and chewing through the electrical wire in homes.
Still, while many people strive to keep squirrels out of their yards, others like the flurry of movement these fluffy rodents bring to the landscape. Squirrels may live contentedly in your backyard with some creative discouragement in some spots and encouragement in others, providing you with lots of exciting wildlife activities to watch, and a more natural wild habitat near your house.
Attracting animals to your backyard, such as squirrels, requires several tactics to make your home’s landscape comfortable and welcoming. Read on to discover more about making your backyard squirrel-friendly.
How To Get Squirrels To Visit Your Garden?
Attracting squirrels should not be an issue if they live in your neighborhood. It is recommended to provide natural cover in the shape of hedges, shrubs, thick stands of ornamental grass, and stacks of wood or logs. Squirrels are inherently fearful and dislike large open spaces, so lush foliage throughout your backyard provides them with the cover they need to feel safe and secure.
You could also plant a few trees that are appealing to squirrels. Such trees have delicious nuts or blossoms, a branching structure that generates the hollows and curves that squirrels like to make their nests in, and easily scaled bark.
Conifers such as spruces and pines, as well as deciduous trees such as willows and aspens, are favored with several varieties of squirrels.
Squirrels enjoy eating, so putting out the correct food is a proven way to attract squirrels to your backyard. If you have a bird feeder, you may have already done this unintentionally. But set up separate squirrel feeders distant from your bird feeders so that both the squirrels and the birds may eat in peace.
Squirrels enjoy sunflower seeds, and this is often what they’re seeking when they strew your bird feed all over the place. Make trays of sunflower seeds, unroasted peanuts, or field corn kernels available for them to munch.
You may buy special squirrel feeders that make squirrels swing and jump to get to their food if you want to see some acrobatics. But if you don’t want your squirrels to work, just dangle whole field corn cobs or pine cones smeared in peanut butter just over a branch where they may sit and nibble.
In a shallow tray or basin, provide a source of fresh, clean water. Place a few of these dishes about your yard near a source of protection, such as a shrub or the foot of a tree. In the summer, this is very appealing to squirrels and other wildlife. If you live in a region where natural water sources freeze in the winter, a water heater, such as the sort usually used in birdbaths, can keep the water warm and accessible to squirrels.
Squirrels Favorite Food
If you’re wondering what to feed squirrels other than corn, here are some suggestions:
- Hickory Nuts
- Sunflower Seeds
Make sure to refill the food when it runs out. They will be more likely to return if they learn your yard is a continuous source of food for them. They may even begin to build nests in your trees.
Once you’ve enticed one squirrel, it won’t be long before you have a swarm of them racing about and playing in your yard. They are NOT picky eaters and will eat almost anything, which is why it is critical that you feed them the correct stuff.
Don’t Feed Them Peanuts Directly
Many people make the mistake of feeding peanuts directly to the squirrel. If you’re putting these peanuts in the feeder, you should stop right away. Peanuts are a high-protein food that also contains aflatoxin, a fungal toxin.
Aflatoxin is a carcinogen, and if ingested in sufficient numbers, it can be extremely harmful to the liver. Furthermore, aflatoxin might increase the risk of cancer in humans, so be cautious before putting it in your mouth.
Roasting the peanuts, on the other hand, is a good option because it lessens the potency of the aflatoxin, albeit it won’t completely eliminate it. Obviously, this is a lot of work, so you may want to avoid putting peanuts in the feeder entirely.
Safeguard Bird Nests
If you enjoy nature and feed both squirrels and birds, you should take certain measures. Some squirrels, such as gray squirrels and red squirrels, can get into your birdhouses and bother your birds.
Some squirrels have been observed eating bird eggs, especially when food is scarce. Setting up a bird feeder at least 15 feet away from the bird feeder is the best approach to preserve your bird’s nests, food, and babies. While this will not always deter squirrels. They are less likely to bother your birds if they have access to fresh food and water.
Make A Squirrel-Friendly Habitat In Your Yard
Following these guidelines will assist you in attracting squirrels and other wildlife to your property. Of course, the area where you reside also plays a role. If you live in a wooded location, you will have a better chance of attracting them than if you live in the city.
Squirrel-friendly yards are simple to create, just make sure you know how to keep them away from your home. Some squirrels have been known to cause problems for homeowners, such as climbing in the attic, chewing on their property, and other difficulties that can cost you money.
The last thing you want is to entice squirrels into your home. Always cut tree branches away from your roof to prevent them from accessing it. According to research, squirrels can jump at least one meter, so keep this in mind. Seal any potential gaps in pipes, brickwork, or broken windows.
Squirrels have also been observed eating and stripping bark from trees. So keep them away from key trees, or protect them by enclosing them in sheet metal or adding squirrel barriers.
Remember that a well-fed squirrel is less likely to annoy your home, bird feeders, garden, or any other area you don’t want them in. So keep the food coming. In time, you might even be able to get them to eat out of your hand as they gain trust in you.
The most crucial piece of advice you should follow is to be patient. There’s no need to rush once you’ve done all of the preparations and determined that your garden or backyard is suitable for squirrels.
It won’t be long before you observe squirrels in your yard if your residence is near a wooded area and there isn’t much disturbance. However, if your residence is in a busy neighborhood, it will take some time.
Squirrels will most likely discover the garden by chance, so keep calm. It may take up to 15 days, but you will notice these squirrels in your garden over time. Simply leave it alone, and you will gradually notice a squirrel population expanding in your garden.
If you have dogs or cats, confine them to your home or a specific area of your yard. Their continual presence in your garden can dissuade squirrels from settling in your backyard.
There are plenty of ways to attract squirrels to your backyard, just make sure to follow the correct steps to keep your house and them safe.