8 Smart Ways: How to Attract Squirrels to Your Garden

Are you looking for answers to how to attract squirrels to your garden? Read here for a few expert tips on attracting squirrels to your property.

Squirrels are a common animal that lives among us, and every once in a while, you may notice these cute creatures running around in your garden.

Some homeowners may try to shoo away these creatures since they are known for being thieves and stealing seeds meant for birds or excavating garden beds.

However, many may overlook their role in helping trees grow by spreading seeds.

For attracting Squirrels to your garden provide their favorite meals, water, and shelter to visit your yard. Squirrel feeders with peanuts, sunflower seeds, and maize may attract them. A birdbath or shallow dish might also attract squirrels. Finally, a squirrel-friendly landscape with trees and plants for refuge and nesting might attract these nimble animals.

In most cases, squirrels make lovely guests in gardens and can help you maintain healthy plant growth.

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This may encourage homeowners to question ‘how to attract squirrels to your garden.’ So if you have similar queries, read on for the answer!

What are the benefits of squirrels in the garden?

Benefits of Squirrels to Your yard

While it’s true that squirrels have the propensity to dig up plants and bulbs, as well as devour fruits and vegetables (many gardeners want to get rid of squirrels).

It’s also true that having squirrels in a garden may offer a number of benefits, despite the fact that some people may view them as a nuisance. Squirrels benefit garden ecosystems:

  • Squirrels bury seeds and nuts, which can develop new plants. This behavior aids tree and plant propagation.
  • Improve Soil: Squirrels accidentally aerate the soil by burying their food.
  • Predator Food Source: Squirrels feed local predators, maintaining the food chain and environment.
  • Decomposition: Squirrels decompose nuts and seeds, enriching the soil.
  • Entertainment and Aesthetics: Many people love watching squirrels in their gardens and yards.

How to Attract Squirrels to Your Garden?

Below are a few expert tips to help attract squirrels to your garden:

1. Offer Irresistible Treats

Squirrels love feasting on nuts. They are known for burying different varieties of nuts, from hazelnuts and acorns to walnuts and Macadamia.

So the ideal method of attracting them is to scatter their favorite foods in your garden. Always scatter these nuts in easy-to-find locations like under trees or near bushes and shrubs where squirrels usually hide.

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When choosing nuts to feed squirrels, pick the ones within their shells intact. Squirrels enjoy extracting nuts from shells and can easily eat foods inside hard shells.

Apart from nuts, squirrels enjoy preferring vegetables like mushrooms, squashes, broccoli, and much more.

So if you want to switch up their diet, you can always offer them a variety of green vegetables. You will also come across several stores selling dried corn for squirrels.

However, you must avoid purchasing these since they have proven harmful to these animals. Corns can negatively impact a squirrel’s gut health and offer little nutritional value.

Moreover, squirrels also enjoy feasting on fruits that fall from trees. So planting trees that produce vegetables and fruits is also a great way to attract these animals to your outdoor space.

Offer Irresistible Treats to invite squrrels

Common Fruits:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Blackberries

  • Blueberries
  • Mulberries
  • Raspberries

Citrus and Tropical Fruits:

  • Avocados
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Tangerines

2. Leave Food On Trees

Trees are a favorite hangout spot for squirrels. You can leverage this by placing treats on the tree branches.

When squirrels continue to find food on the trees in your garden, they are likely to make your garden their home.

You can purchase pre-made squirrel treats like nutballs from your local stores or make homemade nutballs by combining the following ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Lecithin
  • Half a cup of ground pecans
  • 1 tbsp brewer’s yeast 
  • 1/4 tbsp iodized salt
  • 1 tbsp cod liver oil
  • 1 to 2 tsp olive oil
  • Half a cup of apple sauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup infant rice cereal

Once you add all these ingredients into a bowl, mix them well to form a dough-like consistency.

Next, roll the dough until it’s flat and cut it into tiny square-shaped pieces. Use a food dehydrator (160 °C) to dry the pieces you cut.

If you don’t have a food dehydrator, you can also put the pieces in the sun to dry them out naturally.

Now feed these nutballs to the squirrels in your garden and put any leftovers in the fridge to keep them safe from mold.

3. Put Up Squirrel Houses in Your Garden

If you don’t mind giving squirrels a place to live in your garden, then putting up nest boxes made to house squirrels is a great way to show these creatures that they are welcome.

Squirrels are constantly on the lookout for safe spots to live in. These animals need a safe place to rest and stay protected from nearby predators.

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Hence, they will appreciate the nest box you put out for them. Experts recommend hanging squirrel nest boxes in trees, preferably 30 feet above ground level.

When hanging next boxes, ensure you offer squirrels a passageway to escape if they sense danger.

  • Apart from providing escape opportunities, make sure that the entrance of the nest box faces either south or east to protect it from strong winds.
  • Doing so will help you provide a warm place to live squirrels during winter.
  • You can also go the extra mile by stocking the next box with dried-out leaves and a few treats to make it even more irresistible.

4. Plant Appropriate Trees

Planting squirrel-friendly trees is another great way to attract squirrels.

It is important to understand that squirrels are picky about the trees they nest in. They prefer trees featuring hollow branches and feeding opportunities.

Nut trees fit this profile since they produce nuts which are squirrel’s favorite treat, and grow hollow branches that make the ideal nesting space for these adorable animals.

You can purchase nut trees from your local nursery and plant them in your garden.

As the trees grow, you will notice more and more squirrels and animals coming into your outdoor space.

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Remember to conduct regular pruning on these trees since they can grow to a considerably large size. 

5. Offer A Clean Water Source

Apart from food, squirrels constantly look for fresh and clean water.

So putting out water in a basin is a great way to offer them a source of hydration. The ideal way to offer water to squirrels is to find a way to incorporate running water into your garden.

You can do so by adding fountains or birdbaths with dippers. If you can’t provide running water, change the water daily to avoid the spread of disease. 

6. Provide Ground Cover

Although squirrels mostly prefer hanging out in trees, they roam on the ground looking for food.

However, the ground is a vulnerable spot for them since it makes them visible to predators like eagles and hawks.

Therefore, they need adequate ground cover to feel safe enough to move around. Shrubs are a great way to create a ground cover for squirrels. They also make great hiding spots for when they sense a predator nearby.

When planting shrubs to attract squirrels, choose the varieties that produce berries or nuts. Some shrubs that attract squirrels include:

  • Berry bush
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Mulberries
  • Hazelnut plants
  • Hedgerows
  • Elderberries

7. Keep Pet Indoors When Squirrels Feed in Your Garden

Safety is the number one priority for all animals.

Therefore, even if you put out a squirrel’s favorite food on the ground and they still feel unsafe due to the presence of your pet (cat, dog), then they are likely to leave and not come back.

Therefore, if you have pets, keep them indoors when leaving food for squirrels.

You can also install a fence separating the area meant for squirrels from the rest of your gardens to keep your pets away from them.

8. Invest in A Squirrel Call

Squirrel calls make excellent tools to attract squirrels. These devices make sounds similar to the ones squirrels make.

You can easily find these devices at your local pet store or online. The best part is that they are fairly cheap, costing only a few dollars.

When using these devices, keep them faced toward shrubs and trees since squirrels usually hang out in these areas. These devices have two ends, one made out of wood and the other made out of rubber.

You want to hold the device by the wooden side and tap on the rubber side with the palm of your hands. The device will make squirrel sounds upon each tap.

You can tap the device several times to create a sequence of squirrel sounds.

These sounds can draw squirrels to your garden and make the ones already hiding within your garden come out of their hiding spots.

Inviting Squirrel To Garden FAQ

Q: What Attracts Squirrels The Most?

Squirrels are known as hungry rodents by many.

These animals love feasting on food and are highly attracted to areas with feeding opportunities.

You can scatter a few nuts and vegetables on the ground and watch the squirrels emerge.

Q: Can I Feed Rice To Squirrels?

If you scatter rice in your garden, squirrels will likely feast on it. However, rice doesn’t contain adequate nutritional value for squirrels. Instead, try feeding squirrels, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.

Q: What Colors Don’t Squirrel Like?

According to several studies, squirrels are scared of the color red.

It is believed that their dislike for the color red stems from the fact that it is the color of their enemy, the red-headed woodpecker.

Q: What Foods Should I Not Feed Squirrels?

Certain foods like cashews, dried corn, sunflower seeds, junk food, pine nuts, and high-starch foods are toxic for squirrels.

When feeding a new food item to a squirrel, research whether it is toxic to squirrels to avoid feeding them something that might harm them.

Q: Can I Feed Salty Nuts To Squirrels?

Squirrels love feeding on nuts. However, you must never feed them salty nuts since the bodies of these creatures cannot process salt content.

Q: how to attract squirrels to your hand?

The process of inviting squirrels to your hand might be time-consuming and need patience since you need to earn the animals’ confidence first.

You should begin by putting food out for them, and over time you should work towards getting them to eat out of your hand. Always go cautiously and gently so as not to frighten them.

Q: How To Attract Squirrels To A Feeder?

Use items that squirrels enjoy eating, such as peanuts, sunflower seeds, and maize, in a bird feeder to entice the animals.

Put the feeder in a secluded spot away from any potential dangers, but make sure it’s still in an area where the squirrels can readily locate it.

Q: What Smells Attract Squirrels?

Squirrels have an acute sense of smell, and they are especially drawn to the odor of nuts and seeds.

They find the aroma of maize and other foods, including fruit, to be particularly enticing.

Q: Is Papaya Good For Squirrels?

Yes, squirrels can eat papaya. They may drink it without worrying about their health because it is rich in nutrients.

However, it should be administered in moderation as part of a balanced diet in order to achieve the best results.

Q: Do Squirrels Like Lemons?

Most of the time, squirrels will avoid citrus fruits like lemons because of their pungent and acidic scent and flavor.

Q: Do Squirrels Eat Tomatoes?

It’s true that squirrels enjoy eating tomatoes, which is one of the many reasons why gardeners find them to be such a bother.

Q: Do Squirrels Carry Diseases?

There are a number of illnesses that may be carried by squirrels, including tularemia, leptospirosis, and Lyme disease. However, transfer to people is an exceptionally uncommon occurrence.

Q: Do Squirrels Like Garlic?

Garlic has a potent flavor and odor, which causes squirrels to steer clear of it.

Q: What Is The Biggest Threat To Squirrels?

Loss of habitat, illness, predation by other animals (such as hawks, snakes, and cats), and being run over by vehicles are the primary dangers that squirrels face.

Q: Has A Squirrel Ever Attacked A Human?

Attacks on humans by squirrels are quite uncommon. They are normally terrified of people and will only attack if they feel threatened or that they are trapped.

Q: Is It Bad If A Squirrel Bites You?

If you are bitten by a squirrel, it is critical that the wound be carefully cleaned and that you get medical assistance.

Squirrels can, on occasion, be carriers of illnesses, and anyone bitten by wild animals runs the risk of contracting an infectious illness.

Conclusion

We hope the above tips helped answer your question, ‘How to attract squirrels to your garden.’

Remember, the best way to attract squirrels anywhere is to provide appropriate feeding opportunities since there is nothing that these animals love more than food.