Do you enjoy watching squirrels play around your yard? Have you ever wished to see more of them and often in your backyard? It is no secret that many people try to keep these fluffy creatures away from their lawn as much as possible. However, there are also a lot of people who see squirrels not as pests but rather as pets.
If you are reading this, you probably belong to the latter and it’s easy to understand why. Squirrels do not only cute; they also play an important role in our ecosystem. If you want to learn how to attract squirrels to your backyard, here are some tips you can try.
Interesting Facts About Squirrels
For some people, squirrels are annoying pests that feed on their bird’s seeds or eggs. Others don’t like it when these zany creatures chew on their things. While it can be infuriating most of the time, these creatures can be very entertaining and interesting. To let you appreciate more these furry critters, here are some interesting things about them.
Did you know that these tree-dwelling rodents help shape plant composition? Squirrels love to take seeds and bury them somewhere in the forest or anywhere they can find soil to hide them. Most of the time they forget where they buried the seeds and in return, these seeds turn into plants and trees. Squirrels who live in the forest help expand it as well as allow variations on the kinds of trees inside the forest.
They Come in Different Sizes and Colors
There are several kinds of squirrels and they are the gray squirrel, fox squirrel, and flying squirrel. They vary in size and color. The fox squirrel is the largest among the three types and they come in different colors. These long furry-tailed critters can have furs that are reddish-brown or gray to black.
On the other hand, gray squirrels, as the name suggests, are gray in color and are a bit smaller than fox squirrels. The smallest among the three is the flying squirrel. They have flaps of skin on the back and front of their legs that let them glide from tree to tree.
Flying squirrels are very common but they are hardly seen because they are only active during the night. They normally make a lot of noise in the evening and you’ve probably heard one of them.
They Love to Chew
Their love for chewing things is not surprising anymore but did you know that they have a very good reason why they do this? This is due to their incisors that keep on growing. One way to prevent their front teeth from growing through their skull and lower jaw is by chewing. This is the only way to wear down their incisors.
They are Territorial
Have you ever heard squirrels chirp loudly while wagging their tails when you pass by? This is their way of warning animals or humans that they are on their territory. Squirrels are very territorial and they mark their area with urine. Th next time you hear or see a squirrel waving its tail frantically along with its high-pitched chirps, you now know that they are telling you to back off.
Squirrels are Mysterious
There is still a lot to learn about squirrels like why they decide to bury some of the seeds while sometimes they eat them on the spot; why they choose a certain area to bury their seeds and why there are more gray squirrels than fox squirrels. There are still so many interesting things about squirrels that humans don’t know about.
Attracting Squirrels to Your Backyard
Now that you’ve learned some interesting things about squirrels, you have more reasons to love them and attract them to your yard.
If you want to lure squirrels, the first thing you can do is to provide food for them. They are not picky eaters so you will not have a hard time attracting squirrels with food. However, just like humans, they may have some favorite foods and it would be best to offer them the seeds they love. Some of their favorites are corn, walnuts, hickory nuts, sunflower seeds, and acorns. You can simply scatter corn and other seeds in your yard and wait for these funny little creatures to eat them.
Since they love corn, you can also hang corn cobs in tree branches. Corn cobs can easily be seen and this will surely attract squirrels. There will be more of them running in your yard in no time.
Put Out Separate Bird Feeders and Squirrel Feeders
If you also have birds in your backyard, be sure to provide a separate squirrel feeder. This will ensure that the squirrels will not bother your birds and eat their seeds. Place the squirrel feeder far from the bird feeder.
Fill the squirrel feeders with edible nuts, hickory nuts, and their other favorite foods. Always check the squirrel feeders and replenish them regularly. You can expect more squirrels in your yard, so prepare to increase your food supply. Feeding squirrels habitually will keep them coming back for more. It won’t be surprising if you see a squirrel nest in one of your trees soon.
If you don’t provide separate bird feeders, these hungry rodents will feed on your bird feeders and might even go for your bird eggs. So, be sure to protect bird nests from squirrels and other wildlife. This way you can still continue to attract birds and at the same time feed squirrels without harming the birds.
Supply Them With Fresh Water
Just like any other living thing, squirrels get thirsty after finishing off their food or when the weather is hot. They drink a lot of water and it is best to supply them with clean water. You don’t need to buy a dish or something to put the water in. You can set out an old shallow tray outside and fill it with clean water.
If you have a fountain or bird baths in your garden or backyard, you can clean them and put some fresh water in.
Provide a Natural Cover
If you want to lure squirrels, apart from offering water and food to feed squirrels, how your yard looks is also important. Another way of attracting squirrels is by providing them with a natural cover. It can be bushes, shrubs, or hedges. These covers allow them to hide when they feel skittish. So, be sure to add some thick vegetation to your garden or other landscape ideas that will make them feel comfortable and safe in your yard.
Get Some Squirrel-friendly Trees
Not all trees attract squirrels. There are certain trees that are squirrel-friendly and you need to know what these are. These rodents are usually attracted to deciduous trees and that have a branching structure that will allow them to create their nests. These tree branches usually have crooks, hollows, and easily scalable bark.
Some trees that you can plant in your yard that will attract squirrels are aspens, pines, spruces, and willows. Apart from attracting squirrels, it can also provide a good shade for your backyard.
Make Your Home’s Landscape Friendly for Squirrels
The landscape and the trees in your yard specifically attract squirrels. If they feel comfortable with how your yard looks, they will enjoy coming to your lawn. If you love animals, you’ll be lucky to attract other wildlife as well.
By planting more trees, especially their favorite trees, covers, providing natural sources of water and their preferred food, your home will soon be a friendly place for squirrels to play around. However, don’t make your place too friendly as you don’t want them to become overly comfortable that they invade your home, too.
If this happens, there are several things you can do to deter squirrels from coming inside your house.
Repair Broken Windows
If you have broken windows be sure to fix them. If squirrels and other rodents see this, they will not hesitate to come through it. Also, if you have a broken window and have no time to repair it, make sure that there is no leftover food anywhere near it.
Installing Squirrel Baffles
Another way to prevent squirrels from coming inside your home is by installing squirrel baffles outside possible entryways. Squirrel baffles are effective in keeping squirrels away from your home. You can also install them near bird feeders and bird nests to protect them.
Installing squirrel baffles is easy; you can simply wrap them around tall stands or posts. Place them at least four feet above the ground. This is a good way to keep them away from bird feeders and nests and other plants or areas you want to protect.
Putting Sheet Metal
If you have other trees in your yard that you don’t want squirrels and other wildlife climbing into or building nests, you can use sheet metal and wrap them around the trunk of the trees that you want to protect.
You can place the metal sheet five feet from the ground as squirrels can only jump around 4 feet. A metal sheet that has a with of 18 to 24 inches will do. Be sure to place a piece of wire on both sides of the sheet metal and keep them in place by bending the wire outside.
Use Strong Odors
These furry creatures hate strong odors and if you want them out of your house, you can simply put some black or white peppers or garlic on areas where they are likely to get in. They also hate the smell of peppermint, so you can apply some peppermint oil on a cotton ball and spread it outside your windows or doors.
You can also place some hot pepper plants in your doorway or porch. This will keep them away from your homes and stay in your yard where you want them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What attracts squirrels to your garden?
There are several things that may attract squirrels to your garden. Since they are naturally skittish, they love gardens where there are flowers or shrubs where they can easily hide when they feel threatened.
How do I attract squirrels to my property?
Providing food like throwing some corn on the ground, supplying clean water, and making your property squirrel friendly will attract squirrels and possibly other animals, too. You can also plant trees that yield edible nuts. Don’t plant ornamental grass in your backyard as this will repel your furry friends.
How do you get squirrels to come to a feeder?
It may not be easy to get squirrels to eat from feeders right away but there are ways to make them do it. One way is to leave the lid open or place some seeds on a platform. Soon, squirrels will feed on the feeders.
What colors are squirrels attracted to?
If you want to attract squirrels to your yard, you can plant some bright-colored vegetables or flowers in your yard. They will be attracted to bright orange, red, and bright yellow colors.
Do squirrels carry diseases?
Yes, they can carry diseases which is why some do not recommend pet squirrels. Some can be dangerous to humans and can be transmitted by direct contact or through bites. Some of the most common diseases you can get from squirrels are ringworm, typhus, and tularemia.
What do squirrels hate the most?
Another way to repel squirrels is by spraying your plants or entryways with water and peppermint oil or by sprinkling pepper or garlic on your plants and trees. Squirrels hate the scents of pepper, garlic, and peppermint oil.
Is the Eastern Gray Squirrel the same as gray squirrels?
Yes, they are the same depending on what region they are found in. This type of squirrel is native to Eastern North America.
What do squirrels eat?
Squirrels can eat almost anything but they love eating nuts, corns, and seeds.
Why do blue jays fight squirrels?
They fight because blue jays see them as predators. The male ones are usually more aggressive and they protect their nests, mates, eggs, and hatchlings from other wild animals.
Are red squirrels rare?
Each year the population of red squirrels is decreasing. There are no clear reasons why this is happening. However, Brownsea Island is one of the safest places for these rare rodents.
Ready to see more of these cute and furry creatures in your yard? Prepare your cameras so you can capture how these fluffy creatures run, jump, and play around your yard. If you love squirrels, just follow the tips above and you’ll soon be playing with them soon. Just be ready to get more of their favorite food to keep them coming back.