We see them all the time. Whether you live in the city or the country, squirrels are all over the place. Occasionally, petting one looks like a fantastic idea– but is it a good one?
Touching a squirrel may not be an ideal situation. Squirrels have incredibly sharp claws that might unintentionally claw an individual. They can carry illnesses such as typhus and leptospirosis and can also bring parasites such as fleas and ticks.
Typically, you shouldn’t be touching any type of wild animals as a result of them being … wild animals. While it may feel like a good idea, touching a wild squirrel won’t have a lot of benefits over time. Find a professional squirrel control company in Ohio.
Why You Shouldn’t Touch a Squirrel
You absolutely entered this question right into your search bar because, at some point, you became interested in the concept of petting, touching, or feeding a squirrel.
Honestly, I can’t blame you one little bit. I’m back and forth in between my apartment in the city and traveling back home to see family out in the middle of no where. I see squirrels in some shape or form pretty regularly and typically, I normally wish to determine just how I can pet them JUST to say I did. I understand it’s not the very best idea, however the idea still stands out. The exact same thought goes with rabbits that are on my yard. One evening, I was figured out how to pet this bunny outside of our residence. I stood near him, inching closer and closer for about 20 minutes prior to I moved rapidly and scared him away.
The impulse is there – but should it be? In reality, it’s not a smart move to pet any wild animal.
Usually, these animals appear completely harmless to touch. But in fact, they’re wild animals, who have interacted with other wild animals and live out in nature where they are much likely to carry illnesses. Squirrels, like any kind of undomesticated wild animal, can be conveniently flustered making them not the best animals to touch. Wild animals are generally steered clear from for a reason: because they’re wild.
Can You Grab a Squirrel?
It’s most definitely not a terrific idea to grab a squirrel (or any kind of wild animal). The exact same factors apply regarding why its a terrible idea to touch a squirrel. If you’re out in your backyard or in a park attempting to feed a squirrel by tossing food but don’t touch the squirrel, then that’s a different story. If you’re feeding the squirrel and think “heck, I’m gonna try and pet it” you’re essentially asking for trouble.
The squirrel is moving closer to you as you attempt to feed it and get it to eat out of your hand. It trusts you more as it moves closer to your hand. Finally, the squirrel begins eating out of your hand and all of a sudden– you grab it! An animal that has never been grabbed by a human before is currently being picked up and held. The initial reaction of the squirrel will more than likely be panic from the animal. The squirrel hasn’t learned what it’s like to be held by a human, whereas a domesticated animal like a canine or cat understands what to anticipate.
If you attempt and grab a squirrel, you’re asking for trouble.
Don’t grab a squirrel or any other wild animal unless you have experience dealing with animals, or you’re a trained professional.
It’s much more rewarding to kick back and simply enjoy nature. If you’re resting at the park and want to feed some squirrels, proceed and toss some birdseed down in front of you and enjoy watching them eat it.
Aren’t Squirrels Friendly to Humans?
Depending on your area (city or country), squirrels can be incredibly friendly to people. Squirrels, naturally, are incredibly curious animals. They’re generally extremely curious about what’s going on around them. If you stay in a high population area, such as a suburb, city, or college campus, you may find that squirrels (along with other wildlife) are pretty friendly. On the other hand, if you’re hiking or just out in nature, you might walk up to a squirrel and simply have it scatter away as quick as it can.
Often, this is the difference between squirrels that have learned to live with society and those who rarely see people.
It boils down to fundamental psychology. A study released in the Northeastern Naturalist showed that squirrels that live in a populated suburban area reveal lower levels of alertness than squirrels who reside in nature. In simpler terms: Squirrels who reside in very populated areas have learned that humans likely will not bother them. On the other hand, squirrels that live in nature aren’t used to humans, so their levels of alertness are much greater when they see one. Overall, there are much less natural predators for squirrels that reside in densely populated areas, rather than those that simply stay in nature.
Animals are much smarter than we give them credit rating for. Even though, animals aren’t able to develop complex ideas, their instincts are put into use daily, and they’re able to learn from it. Squirrels, much like any other animal, have one goal: survival. As humans, our primary worry is staying alive long enough to provide for our family members. We concentrate on nourishment and health, whereas wild animals focus on having enough food for storage and defending themselves from predators.
Squirrels aren’t at the top of the food chain, so they needed to develop a keen sense of awareness based on the things around them for survival. Staying in a city or suburb, squirrels have actually discovered that people aren’t a risk. Sure, a human driving a car might be a hazard– but a person strolling down the street possibly won’t (and legally) can not harm them.
Feeding a Squirrel Will Make Them Even More Friendly
Like any type of wild animal, if you feed them, they’ll learn that you’re a food source and will more than likely come back for more. It’s fundamental psychology that when animals connect something good with something else, they’ll discover that those 2 things belong with each other and seek them out a lot more. It’s a basic concept called animal learning. By feeding a squirrel in your backyard, you’re primarily showing the animal that they can expect food from you and your house. They’ll discover that you are a trustworthy food source. This will make squirrels much more friendly with you and your property. You’ll come to be less of a neutral presence to them and more of a positive presence.
If you love nature, this is great news because you’ll see more squirrels around.
Why Squirrels Can Cause Trouble
When you feed squirrels regularly, they can and will come back for even more. You’re providing them a consistent and easy food source. If you get a couple of squirrels on your property. Your chance for them doing some serious damages to your property can increase.
Here are some common problems that squirrels can do to your property:
- Squirrels can bite through and chew electrical wiring
- They can chew holes into your siding to get into your attic
- Squirrels can chew through insulation inside your home
- If you have any exposed PVC pipe, squirrels can chew through that as well
While they might be enjoyable to feed for a time, they may end up causing (and costing) more problems than they’re worth.
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