Wildlife in your neighborhood is likely something that you love. The sweet melodies of birds and the fun scampering of squirrels usually bring a smile to most people’s faces. The joy people feel makes them want to share that joy with Mother Nature. It is common to see neighbors feeding wildlife, but there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t feed squirrels.
Squirrels, for as cute as they are, can be pretty destructive. The animals may chew through siding and building materials to access the inside of an attic space. Still, property damage is not the only reason to avoid feeding the animals. Discover why feeding squirrels is a bad idea.
3 Reasons To Let Squirrels Fend for Themselves
As an experienced wildlife service, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has received its fair share of calls for squirrel removal in Milwaukee. Most calls result from the animals becoming too familiar with the property owners and too comfortable around their houses.
Squirrels are wild animals, and they are more than capable of surviving on their own. The animals have ingrained instincts that help them forage for food and know when to move on from a location. People inhibit the animal’s instincts, potentially putting it and themselves at risk.
Even if you love feeding squirrels and have not yet experienced any downsides, there are numerous reasons not to do it. To make things easier, consider the three main reasons you shouldn’t feed squirrels.
While rare, squirrels may carry and transmit rabies or other deadly diseases. The infections typically spread through bites and scratches, but it is also possible to contract some infections through touch alone.
Even if you keep your distance from squirrels, the animals’ waste can carry bacteria. Bacteria can spread through contact or become airborne, leaving people susceptible to inhalation.
From the perspective of a humane wildlife professional, one of the main reasons to never feed a squirrel is because of the animals’ well-being. Most human food is not healthy for squirrels or other wildlife.
While a squirrel may eat chips and popcorn, it doesn’t mean the animal prefers it to other foods. Squirrels are foragers, and they will eat almost anything. Human food can cause the animal to become sick, weak, or fatigued. Depending on the food and its nutritional makeup, it might even cause death for the animal.
If you insist on feeding squirrels, provide things in their natural diets, such as unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Offer the food at a safe distance from your home; don’t make it a daily routine.
Feeding squirrels habitually means the animal sees you or your property as a food source. It is challenging to get rid of squirrels once the animals believe they found a reliable food supply.
If squirrels rely on you to feed them, they lose their natural foraging instincts. If you ever decide to stop feeding them, they may starve, especially in winter when there is a scarce supply of resources.
Also, if the animal relies on you and you stop feeding it without warning, it may become aggressive, damaging property and working to get into your home. To avoid these issues, don’t feed the animal.
Skedaddle Offers Humane Removal Services
Now that you understand why you shouldn’t feed squirrels, primarily for your and the animals’ safety, you should focus on keeping them away from your house and yard. While enjoying the critters at a distance is okay, too many risks exist when encouraging them to come close. Contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control to learn about squirrel prevention and what the service can do for you.