Never understood the dislike for em. I feed them in my back yard; they
are friendly, cute and add some life round the place. They can be little
demanding, but all in all, pretty decent critters. Better'n skunks in
They're like deer...a few are cute, but it's easy to get too much of a
good thing. And, those who like to feed/watch birds are particularly
adverse to feeding squirrels. Google (or just page through) some of the
home repair/building ng's a little and you'll see enough horror stories
to make you at least begin to see... :)
Evidently you never had the numbers that run in packs. Chew holes in your
roof make nests in your attic, raid your trash cans by cutting holes in the
lids, striping fruit trees just to eat the seeds and not the fruit, digging
your the entire vegetable garden you just planted, or all the flowering
bulbs you plant in the fall.
As far as good eating I don't think I would want to try after they've
raided every trash can in the area including the one behind the fast food
place and quicky mart.
Come to think of it now maybe we are feeding them in a round about way.
Like you, at one time, I thought they were "cute" critters to have around.
However, that was before they destroyed several bird feeders which were
not cheap. It was also before they started chewing anything plastic they
could find in the yard. While I can understand why they would chew the
plastic containers that contained bird seed, what earthly reason would
they have for chewing on the top of the children's playhouse? There is no
food there, never was, so there is no food smell as in the storage jugs.
My neighbor has borrowed my squirrel traps twice because they have managed
to get into her attic. Can you hear "wire sheathing?" Yes, they will
chew electrical wires, also. While one particular squirrel will only chew
through once, it has the potential of burning down someone's home.
They spread disease and are very flea-laden. I had no idea what a
tremendous flea carrier they are until I started trapping them. It was
merely by chance that I put a large, heavy-weight, plastic bag around the
trap before I put it into my car trunk. By the time, I reached the
wildlife preserve to release the critter near water and a food source, the
plastic bag was crawling with fleas on the inside, at least dozens,
perhaps hundreds. It was quite eye-opening as to how much of a danger
these animals could be in a residential area.
When there is a high population and a chance of rabies in the area, there
is the risk of bites to those who are foolish enough to encourage them to
reside in their yards.
There are some of us who are sick and tired of constantly digging up
little walnut and filbert trees.
While I don't mind a few around, when I see a dozen in my yard on the
ground at once, it's time to start re-locating them.
Forget bird feeders with them around. For the most part, there is no way
of keeping the squirrels out of the feeders. For those who want to feed
the birds, I suggest the method I have found successful. I have a gazebo
bird feeder which is fastened to the top of a 6-foot length of 4-inch pvc
pipe. I've chosen black (sewer pipe) because black blends in better with
the landscape and is not as visually distracting. Because of changing my
mind all the time, I have used two 6-ft metal fence posts driven in the
ground side by side (two for stability) and set the pipe around the posts
to hold it upright. The feeder is fastened to the pipe via a toilet
flange. The flange is bolted to the bottom of the bird feeder instead of
its intended floor beneath a toilet base. Secured this way, the feeder
will now set nicely over the pipe. Do not fasten the flange to the pipe
to allow easy removal for cleaning of the feeder. (Flange and pipe must,
of course, match in diameter.)
This arrangement for the bird feeder has worked well through severe winter
storms so is stable. It is relative easy to move if relocation is desired.
Do not, of course, place this under a tree or near bushes where the
squirrels can jump to the feeder; it's amazing how far those pests can
jump! They are not able to climb the slick PVC surface regardless of how
much they try. The six-foot high level also prevents most cats from
reaching the birds that visit the feeder. Ground feeders, of course, are
Nope, squirrels are *not* welcome in my yard. They have done hundreds of
dollars worth of damage. Anyone who thinks they are great to have around
can have *all* of mine! Just come get them. And I haven't even gone into
the single squirrel that destroyed at least 75 lugs of apricots last
summer before they had a chance to get ripe; I really hope that squirrel
got hit by a car since then. Because I live in town, a 22-bullet was not
an option. A smart squirrel would have figured out after the first
hundred or so apricots that they are *not* walnuts. No, he didn't eat the
pits, either green or after they started to ripen. He actually would
*throw* them to the ground after taking only one bite. My oldest
granddaughter was hit on the head with one; she was five feet from the
nearest overhead branch. We rarely have the weather for a good apricot
crop in our area so we were all looking forward to a good harvest. The
bounty on the tree, at $12 a lug which was the selling price around here,
would have produced many hundreds of dollars of fruit to sell at farmers'
market, so this went beyond destroying feeders, storage containers, and
Perhaps that helps you understand why at least one person dislikes them.
Skunks? Personally, I'd rather have skunks because that would mean the
possums aren't so prolific. Possums have ousted the skunks in our area as
they compete for habitat, and skunks are not so aggressive and tend to
stay more away from people though an encounter is much more memorable and
a reason to have a lot of tomatoes around.
disliking squirrels more
than any other creature
<Horror stories of squirrels deleted...>
I think yours might be a little more agressive then ours which can be a
pest occasionally but not exceedingly so. Well, except for the bird
feeder thing. The squirrels and birds share food in my yard and I do not
try to "house" any birds, nor do I try to feed certain kinds of birds; I
just kinda leave it as a free for all. It is interesting to watch
sometimes. The Jay's will run off the squirrels for the good bits of
food, like peanuts. The chickadee's hang around the edges of the zone
waiting for the squirrels to get into a fight and then hop in and swipe
some of the food. Doves sort of hang out, eat some of the food that has
been dropped off. CHipmunks also steal out from under the squirrels,
especially when they are fighting. And there are others too...all in
all, a good show and great cat TV.
I've had pretty good luck with my two bird feeders by putting up a
metal baffle so they can't climb up the post, and of course keeping them
far enough away from jumping off points. The platform feeder that
is mounted on a 4X4 post was squirrel free for a couple of years,
but a bigger nusiance showed up. My wife came almost face-to-face
with a racoon sitting in that feeder one day. The baffle hadn't
stopped him, but cladding the post for a couple of feet under
the baffle with aluminum flashing seems to have worked. I also
enlarged the baffle at the same time. The smaller feeder is on a
1/2 inch galvanized pipe, which squirrles can climb (I found out)
but the tilting baffle on there has been working well for a couple
of years now. The squirrels can have what the birds knock out
onto the ground, and the cats keep them from getting overconfident,
though I did watch one taunting a cat as they faced each other on
the top rail of the wooden privacy fence.
Mon, Jan 17, 2005, 4:38pm firstname.lastname@example.org (Lu Powell)
Nuke the squirrels!
Hardly. You roll them in flour, fry them, and make gravy.
Charity ain't giving people what you wants to give, it's giving people
what they need to get.
I have one of the squirrel-proof feeders with a spring-loaded feeding
platform that can be set to close when a (heavy) squirrel gets on it. It is
quite effective, and it can be comical watching squirrels try to get around
it. However, chipmunks weigh about the same as cardinals, for instance. So
the spring can't be set to keep chipmunks out, and they are much more of a
problem than squirrels. They will keep coming, removing seeds, and taking
them away to bury them, until the feeder is empty. A baffle is about the
Just be sure you place it so that there's nothing downrange when you shoot the
little buggers! ;^)
Subject: SQUIRREL FEEDER
From: email@example.com (J T)
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 11:55:16 -0500
Success is getting what you want.
Happiness is wanting what you get.
- Dale Carnegie
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