There are a lot of people who say that you should never feed squirrels, and are looking for ways to repel squirrels. The other day I had a friend ask me, “how do you attract squirrels to your yard?” I’ve personally never had any trouble attracting squirrels, so I thought I’d share some tips on how to help you make your home’s landscape friendly and inviting
The Best Way to Attract Squirrels
Squirrels are opportunistic feeders and love eating. The quickest way to lure squirrels to your backyard is to scatter corn on the ground at the base of a tree, hang corn on a corn feeder, or set up a squirrel feeder with some wild squirrel food, hickory nuts, walnuts, and acorns.
If you want them to continue coming back, you will need to replace the food as it gets depleted.
Below you’ll find some tips for more tips to help squirrel lovers.
How to Attract Squirrels to Your Backyard
Squirrels have a jumpy and nervous behavior because they have a lot of predators. If you want to attract these foraging critters to your backyard, these tips will help you out.
Plant Trees Squirrels Like
These critters love trees because they make their homes in the branches of trees. They tend to prefer large hickory beech trees. You’ll do best if you can plant any of the trees below because they yield edible nuts and flowers that attract squirrels.
However, they are also attracted to other trees like:
These are a combination of both deciduous and conifer trees. All the trees above will make your yard look amazing, so you won’t have to worry about the aesthetics. You’ll be creating more shade for your yard as well as a safe squirrel habitat for years to come.
If you want to know what the fastest growing tree is, read this website.
Give Natural Cover
Squirrels need a place to run and hide when they feel threatened. There are a lot of things include in your yard to lure squirrels. You can get hedges, plant a garden or flowers, plant shrubs, and bushes, lay down stacks of wood and etc.
Using natural landscape can help you attract these critters. They will only come to yards that have places for them to hide when they feel skittish.
They usually won’t come to open wide spaces, because they feel vulnerable. Planting thick vegetation or using other forms of landscape ideas can help you make your home more inviting to them. It will make them feel safe, confident, and more comfortable to play around.
Offer A Source of Water
Squirrels drink a lot of water, especially in the warm weather. You put out some fresh clean water for squirrels, which can complement their food.
Use short shallow bowls or a fountain to provide a fresh source of water in your yard. Make sure that you change out the water every day. It may take a while for them to come to it, especially, if there are natural water sources around your home.
Don’t feel like you need to invest in any expensive fountains to get them to drink. They are not picky, the most important thing is to ensure that it’s fresh clean water.
Get A Squirrel Feeder
Invest in a squirrel feeder to start attracting them. Just like people put out bird feeders to attract birds, you can do the same for your backyard squirrels.
There are literally tons of different types of squirrel feeders that you can use. Make sure that you check out some of the best squirrel feeders you can use for your yard.
Put Out Bird Feeders
This might sound crazy since you’re trying to attract squirrels. However, these critters love sunflower seeds and when birds start dropping the seeds on the ground, this will entice the critters to come to your yard.
Just be aware, that once they get the taste of the bird seed, you’ll have a hard time keeping them off of it. This is why so many bird lovers hate squirrels because they cost them hundreds on their bird seed.
If you don’t want squirrels to eat the seeds, choose seeds that are specifically designed for birds like safflower seeds. They won’t eat this type of bird food and it still attracts birds such as Doves, House Finches, Blue Jays and etc.
Protect Bird Nests
If you’re an avid nature lover and feed both squirrels and birds, then you’ll want to take some precautions. Some species of squirrels like gray squirrels and red squirrels can intrude on your birdhouses and pester your birds as well.
Some squirrels are even known to eat bird eggs, especially, if there is a shortage of food. The best way to protect your bird’s nests, food, and babies is to set up a bird feeder at least 15 feet away from the bird feeder.
While this won’t always keep squirrels away. They are less likely to bother your birds if they have a fresh supply of food and water they can eat from.
Use Some of Their Favorite Food
Feeding squirrels is one of the quickest ways to bring them to your backyard. One of
the best ways to do this is to scatter corn on the ground at the base of your trees. Of course, this can also attract other rodents such as mice and rats.
That’s why I recommend using a squirrel feeder instead of throwing food on the ground. You can hang a feeder from one of the branches on the tree. If you’re wondering what to feed squirrels, here are some of their favorite foods besides corn:
- Hickory Nuts
Make sure that you replenish the food when it becomes empty. When they realize that your yard is a source of food for them, they will be more inclined to keep coming back. They may even start building a nest in your tree.
Once you are able to lure one squirrel, it won’t be long before you have several running around and playing in your yard.
They are NOT picky eaters and will consume most things, that’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re feeding them the right foods.
Create A Squirrel Friendly Habitat Yard
Following these tips will help you both squirrels and other wildlife to your backyard. Of course, it also depends on where you live. You’ll have a better chance of attracting them if you live in a wooded area than if you live in the city.
Squirrel friendly yards are easy to achieve, just make sure that you understand how to keep them away from your home. Some squirrels are known to cause homeowners issues like climbing in the attic, chewing their property and other issues that can cost you money.
The last thing you want to do is end up attracting squirrels to your house.
Always prune tree branches away to ensure that they can’t access your roof. Studies have shown that the Eastern Gray squirrel can jump at a distance of at least one meter.
Seal off any possible openings in pipes, masonry, or broken windows.
Squirrels are also known to eat and strip bark from trees. Make sure you keep them off important trees or protect by wrapping them with sheet metal or installing squirrel baffles.
Don’t forget a well-fed squirrel is less likely to bother your house, bird feeders, garden or any other area you don’t want them in.
As they start to trust you, then you may even be able to get them to eat out of your hand.
Related Questions for Attracting Squirrels
What colors attract squirrels? Research has shown that the Gray tree squirrel has a dichromatic color vision. This means that they have the ability to distinguish green and red from other colors but cannot tell green or red apart from each other.
Other than that, I couldn’t find any research indicating whether they are attracted by a certain color.
References and Further Reading
Encyclopedia Britannica – Hickory Plant
All Science Projects – How Far Can A Squirrel Jump
New York Times – Are Squirrels Able to Enjoy The Changing Colors of Fall