From adding visual charm to your backyard to controlling pests and increasing biodiversity, inviting squirrels to your garden may be just what you need if you’re looking for a way to make the most of your outdoor space.
Although many think of squirrels as pests that scare away birds, they are also beneficial. Aside from providing hours of fun watching their antics, they also eat garden pests, including ticks which can cause Lyme disease. By providing a habitat for squirrels, you will also attract other wildlife.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why squirrels can do so much more than cause commotion – they offer various benefits that nature lovers will appreciate.
Squirrels Provide Entertainment and Add Charm to Your Backyard
If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly form of entertainment, look no further than the squirrels in your backyard. Squirrels provide an abundance of amusement with their acrobatic antics. From playful chases to expertly climbing trees and gathering food for winter preparation – observing these furry critters can bring hours of joyous viewing pleasure.
With their charming demeanors and playful antics, squirrels can add a bit of whimsy to any outdoor space. Their cheerful presence will enliven your backyard, creating an inviting, joyful atmosphere that encourages you to spend more time outdoors.
With their agile and efficient nature, squirrels can be more than a mere nuisance. They help keep populations of damaging pests in check by feasting on beetles, caterpillars, and aphids that could otherwise damage your beloved plants or gardens. Utilize these furry friends to protect your garden from harm.
Lyme Disease is a debilitating condition caused by the bite of an infected Blacklegged tick. Once in humans, Borrelia burgdorferi (rarely B. mayonii) can cause telltale symptoms, including fever, headache, and fatigue alongside its signature skin rash – erythema migrans – which must not be left untreated.
Squirrels are a surprising ally in the biological fight against Lyme disease. Because squirrels eat ticks, these fascinating creatures help protect both humans and animals from dangerous diseases.
Promoting Biodiversity in Your Backyard
By welcoming squirrels to your backyard, you can do much more than watch their adorable antics, you’re also helping promote biodiversity. Squirrels are a keystone species in the ecosystem and play an important role.
By providing food and shelter for them, other wildlife may be attracted too – creating a variety of exciting creatures within your outdoor space. Inviting squirrels into your backyard makes your garden an exciting ecosystem and allows you to enjoy your garden more.
By providing a habitat for squirrels in your backyard, you can not only enjoy their presence and playfulness but also make an impact on the local ecosystem. This small gesture of kindness helps promote balance in nature while supporting its health – all from the comfort of your home.
How To Create a Welcoming Habitat For Squirrels
By creating a habitat for squirrels in your backyard, you can both enjoy the presence of these friendly critters and contribute to maintaining the balance of nature within your local ecosystem. It’s enjoyable to support environmental health while enriching your outdoor space.
If you’re looking to make your backyard a haven for squirrels, there are several steps you can take.
- Provide food – A great way to get started is by installing a feeder with seeds and nuts they eat. For the more ambitious gardener, consider planting trees or shrubs for additional snacks like fruits and nuts. These are good for squirrels and can also be attractive features of your landscape. Remember to keep it safe from other pests by placing the feeder away from structures such as homes or sheds. It’s an effortless approach to creating an inviting environment for squirrels.
- Provide shelter – Create safe havens for them right in your backyard with nesting boxes or dense vegetation. Even if you don’t have any trees, consider leaving some dead branches and leaves intact to provide natural shelter.
- Limit pesticides – Uncontrolled pesticide use can be detrimental to wildlife, like squirrels. Introduce physical barriers in your backyard for more sustainable pest management. Natural methods are an effective way to keep pests away while continuing to protect the environment and its inhabitants!
- Be patient – It may take some time for squirrels to become comfortable in your backyard and use the habitat you’ve created for them. Be patient and keep offering food and shelter, and eventually, you should start seeing more squirrels in your outdoor space.
- Invite squirrels into your backyard with these tips and enjoy the diverse benefits they bring. It’s important to remember that despite their cute appearance, squirrels are wild animals – keep a respectful distance from them by avoiding physical contact, which is potentially dangerous for you and the animal.
Are Squirrels Pests?
Squirrels can often cause serious property damage and disrupt human activities, particularly in urban areas. When fed by humans, they have been known to nibble on electrical wires or gnaw through wood and shingles as part of their food search.
If feeding squirrels, ensure that this is through squirrel feeders. Squirrels should never be fed from your hand.
Despite our fondness for squirrels, it’s important to remember that they are wild animals and vital contributors of balance to the natural ecosystem. If conflicts arise, then it may be best to remove the feeders. Without a food source, squirrels will soon stop coming into your backyard.
Squirrels have the potential to turn your backyard into a charming and vibrant outdoor haven. They can bring enjoyment with their playful antics and act as eco-friendly pest control agents while simultaneously promoting biodiversity.
Alongside these benefits is an enchanting atmosphere that will leave you feeling truly connected with nature in its finest form.
Creating a hospitable environment for local squirrels supports the area’s ecosystem and invites exciting opportunities to observe nature in its natural habitat.
With squirrels providing an abundance of entertainment, it is easy to forget the importance of maintaining a safe distance and never attempting to handle them.
A simple way for animal lovers everywhere to enjoy these critters while respecting their natural habitat includes standing back and keeping your hands off – not only will you ensure that both parties remain out of harm’s way, but this special relationship can be shared in peace.
References and Further Reading
The Role of Backyard Feeding in the Life of Urban Birds by John M. Marzluff, in Urban Bird Ecology and Conservation edited by Roland J. Kays and John M. Marzluff
The Benefits of Bird Feeding by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Gardening for Wildlife: Tips for Attracting Songbirds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies, and More by the National Wildlife Federation
How to Attract Squirrels to Your Yard by the Audubon Society
The Squirrel-Resistant Bird Feeder: A Case Study in the Human-Wildlife Interface by James R. Broekman, in The Journal of Wildlife Management
Bryan Harding is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and a member of the American Birding Association. Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Bryan serves as owner, writer, and publisher of North American Nature.