The squirrel is a cute little rodent that for the most part ignores humans. They usually only come near to steal nuts, so lucky for us!
Attracting squirrels to your yard can be a difficult task, even if you know the most basic information about them. You need to understand that they are fast and will not only escape before you offer any type of reward.
It can be difficult to see squirrels since they run through gardens and climb up trees so quickly, but you’ll know a squirrel by its long tail. They use it for support and balance.
Squirrels usually eat a variety of nuts, with acorns being their favorite. You may have heard the myth that squirrels stock up on food for the winter, but they actually forget about where they cache acorns and other foods until it’s too late.
However, squirrels are not just limited to nuts. They also love eating different kinds of fruits and vegetables, most of which are plants.
They love to eat anything that they can get their hands on, including pieces of fruit from the ground. Their favorite foods include broccoli, squash and mushrooms.
Not to mention, they love eating nuts. Walnuts, peanuts, and acorns are some of their favorites. They also have a preference for storing food in the area where they live and snacking when it is stored there too. Squirrels don’t act territorial unless they feel threatened, so you can expect them to leave if you make them nervous.
So, what is the best way to attract squirrels to your backyard?
The first step to attracting squirrels is providing an environment they will be willing to walk into.
1. Add Some Natural Cover
Check your backyard to see if there is enough natural cover anywhere; squirrels are self-conscious and don’t like being exposed. The first thing you can do is add more of this type of cover from a number of sources such as wood piles, bushel baskets, etc.
For example, you might create some shade by placing a pile of dead wood on the side and letting shrubs grow. Tall grass and other greenery should provide enough coverage.
Covering logs or wood in stacks is a good idea because it provides the necessary shelter for these animals.
2. Provide a Feeding Area For the Squirrels
Squirrel feeders make it easier for squirrels to find food, attracting them to your backyard or garden.
A squirrel feeder can be put almost anywhere, but placement is important. Generally, they are positioned at a height that will make it easy for the squirrel to get to the food and establish its territory if necessary.
Initially, there will only be a few nuts or acorns taken each time. But soon you’ll notice that feeders are being emptied on a daily basis.
The best way to deal with squirrels is to stay away from their feeding area.
If you want to ensure that the squirrels are visiting the bird feeder, fix a camera in position and check it the next day. You will be able to film how squirrels take food from the feeder.
One of the most popular foods for squirrels are sunflower seeds. When filling your bird feeder with this food, you will notice an influx of these animals in your yard and garden.
3. Plant the Trees That Squirrels Like
You should know that not every tree is friendly to squirrels. For example, planting some nut trees in your backyard will attract more squirrels.
You can buy trees locally and set them up. Look for ones with hollow branching structures, because these are easier for squirrels to build nests in.
However, it is important to keep these trees pruned and trimmed otherwise they could touch your roof and provide an entry point for pests.
You don’t want these because they scare if they find their way in and cause problems.
Shrubs that provide a feeling of security, as well as shade from the sun and cover from potential predators are where squirrels like to roost. Popular shrubs such as Hornbeams suit this purpose best because they offer parallel branches to make it easy for these tiny rodents to move about.
Although they don’t really mind moving about on railings or beams, it’s best to plant some deciduous hedges in your garden. This is all about creating a place where squirrels feel calm and secure.
4. Provide Water at Several Points
A lot of things in life are difficult to obtain, but this might be the hardest. Squirrels need water, just like all living creatures, and they usually won’t find a proper natural source near them. If you provide clean water for these animals, then they’ll return over time.
Creating a pond in your backyard or garden is a great DIY project that can significantly improve the appearance of your property.
There are two ways to remove spider webs. One way is to simply use a pail of water.
You need to clean and refill the water in your birdbath regularly because animals such as birds will drink it too if it’s been neglected.
Many squirrels will tolerate other animals drinking from their water source.
5. Don’t Be Around
If you’re the type of person who wants to enjoy wild squirrels close to you, but can’t tame them on your own, then it might be helpful to make sure they feel comfortable with your presence.
Do not try to approach them. If you get close, they will run away and it’s best if you maintain your distance from them once they start visiting for food.
After you have been in the area for a little while, you will find that small rodents start to be wary of your presence. Some may run away entirely and not show up again, but once they realize that you are not coming any closer, they will get more comfortable with your presence.
When you first visit the feeder, you’ll notice they’re skittish around people. It will take a few days for them to develop trust, but once they do it won’t be an issue.
6. Setup A Nesting Box
The next best thing that you can do to have squirrels residing in your garden is offer them a nesting box. Place it on your backyard or garden, and they will instinctively take shelter from the elements.
However, before erecting the nest box, make sure to widen the hole so that the squirrels can enter. The best thing you should do is hang up a box with sides of at least 8 cm (3 inches) on a tree in order to protect them from predators.
7. Don’t Feed Peanuts Directly
Peanuts are a very rich source of protein, which has been shown to reduce heart disease. But it also has a fungal toxin called “aflatoxin,” which can be harmful in large doses.
Aflatoxins are a possible carcinogen, and if consumed in high quantities they can be damaging to the liver. Additionally, aflatoxins have also shown an increase of risk for cancer- so be careful before you pop them into your mouth!
Roasting peanuts is a sound idea, as it reduces the potency of the aflatoxin that naturally occurs in them, but unfortunately doesn’t remove it entirely.