On the subject of squirrels, many folks are looking for ways to deter or get rid of squirrels. But squirrels have their place in our cities, towns, and communities. They are one of many countless animal species that we share this planet with, and one we see often skittering across sidewalks and up trees. Not every gardener loves squirrels, but some do! This article is for them. Let’s talk about how to attract squirrels to your yard and garden.
Before we continue, it is worth noting that squirrels can cause problems for gardeners and homeowners alike. Squirrels like to bury troves of food for later consumption, leading them to dig up garden beds and damage the plants you’re growing. They mean no harm, it’s just a consequence of their built in instinctual behavior.
Another problem with this love of burying food is that they forget about it. This isn’t a problem for nature – when a squirrel goes and buries a walnut and doesn’t unbury it, the world gets a new walnut tree! Chances are you don’t want new trees sprouting all over your garden, right?
Some things to consider before deliberately attracting more squirrels to your yard.
How to attract squirrels to your yard
If you still want to bring in more squirrels, there are a few things you can do to attract them and keep them around your yard.
Provide food for local squirrels
Squirrels are hungry little animals, and anyone who keeps bird feeders around their property knows that a squirrel is not one to be easily deterred. Setting up special feeders for the local squirrels is a great way to get them away from your bird feeders but still attract squirrels to your yard.
Placing a wooden tray of sunflower seeds, unroasted peanuts, and corn will delight the squirrels that live near you. You can also drill a nail with a small head into a post and drive a whole ear of dry corn onto it. You’ll see local squirrels slowly gnaw it down until there’s nothing but a naked ear of corn.
Additionally, well-fed squirrels aren’t likely to eat up your garden.
Leave their habitat intact
Squirrels take refuge in mature trees and tall shrubs that can provide them lots of cover from predators. If you want to attract squirrels and keep them around your property, leave mature shrubs and trees alone. They especially like trees with hidey holes that they can crawl into, nest in, and feel safe in.
Give squirrels proper nesting materials
Along with food and mature trees in which to take refuge, squirrels also need nesting spots. They really like hidey holes in trees, for example, that they can easily fit into and nest inside of. You can also build special squirrel nesting boxes.
Outside of that, ensuring that common squirrel nesting materials can be found around your property is a great way to attract them. Leaving materials like grass, twigs, bark, and leaves will give them all the nesting materials they need. Squirrels are also known to collect feathers to nest, so if you have chickens around, keep their feathers after they molt! Squirrels could find them useful.
Keep cats indoors
Squirrels are herbivorous prey animals fairly low down the food chain – and they know it. A squirrel can generally get away from a domesticated housecat without all that much issue, but that doesn’t mean they don’t take note of a potential predator stalking one of their favorite places to forage, eat, and nest.
Animals that are subject to the fantasy of predators tend to avoid the places they know those predators roam. So if your cat frequently roams your backyard, this could deter squirrels from visiting you.
We hope this guide on how to attract squirrels to your garden gives you hours of enjoyment watching squirrels live it up in your yard.
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