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This is a guide about feeding squirrels. Attracting squirrels to your yard will provide you with hours of entertainment watching their playful antics.
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How can I attract squirrels to my yard? Most of my foliage is down by the river at the far end of my 3/4-acre property. For the 2 years I've been here I've been adding small bushes and trees closer to the house. I do have 2 large trees closer to that.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Nica from Big Bend, WV
I agree with FOOD! I have feeders for the birds, but I also put out some food for the squirrels. They use the fence and trees at the back of our yard as a highway (I think they live to the east, but my neighbor to the west has pecan trees). I have a holder for ears of dried corn by the fence, and I spread "critter" food on some of the shelves of my plant stand back there. The critter food (name on the package, not my name!) has dried kernels of corn, peanuts, and black sunflower seeds.
Squirrels are pretty bold, and I think that they're very opportunistic (and clever!). Once they figure out you're giving out easy free food, I think they'll be regulars. But you might have to draw them in a bit. Start out by putting the food near where you think they travel, and gradually start bringing it closer to where you want them. Like Hansel and Gretel's trail of breadcrumbs.
Best of luck with the squirrels! They're a lot of fun to watch (greedy fellas!). I have a regular, and I think that he feels our plant stand is a personal buffet. It's funny when others come around and he tries to run them off (but he can do only so much if there are 3 or 4 of them!).
Put out some peanuts for the squirrels, they will come to your yard.
Birdfood is a great way to attract squirrels. We also feed the deer corn and the squirrels love that, too. Peanuts can get expensive, but don't forget to throw out the peanut butter jars to the squirrels. They will love you for that! Good luck.
I would think twice before inviting the squirrels any closer. They love to chew - wires in the car's engine, cable wire, electrical wire, well you get the idea. Also, squirrels love to get in the attic and trash the insulation, and anything you have stored there.
I love squirrels, but after dealing with them and paying to have them professionally removed, I enjoy them at the park now.
I agree that you should be careful what you wish for. We inherited a yard with full grown walnut trees and tons of squirrels. The squirrels are a hoot when they clamber upside down on the feeder to eat the bird food, but the birds can't access their own food. I have tried putting out something separate for them, tried oiling the poles they climb on to get to the food, even covered the top of the bird feeder with cayenne pepper to give them heartburn, but they are unfazed and keep eating. Between the walnuts and the hazelnut trees I planted, they have plenty of forage without needing the bird food, but they just rule the roost. They are really fun to watch, ours love to run from our dogs and then walk the edge of the privacy fence to taunt them, but they have their issues.
Thanks, everyone! My own past experience with squirrels makes me familiar with the cautions, but I love them anyhow. They always co-existed really well with the birds in my small habitat. Guess I'll just keep trying with the food.
Are there any outside kitties or dogs that could be scaring the squirrels away or killing them if they get near? I love squirrels too, but none will come into my yard, or our entire cul-de-sac for that matter, because there is a large feral cat population that lives in my and my neighbors' back yards. Even if cats or dogs area a problem, plant more trees.
Trees = squirrels. They don't like much open space. As for food, anything but meat or veggies: squirrels love the peanuts and black oil sunflower seeds. You can plant oak trees, because squirrels also love acorns.