I remember the summer we had a squirrel join our family. It was not intentional; We received a “Craigslist Special” an old camper that we towed home. Our intention was to tear it apart and use the frame for a trailer. All was going well until we started removing the walls; to our surprise, we found a squirrel nest with no Mom in sight. Mom must have been left behind at the original location. That was bad news for us and bad news for the two baby squirrels.
The two babies were very young, eyes still closed, and clearly in need of a mother. We felt terrible for displacing them, but it was impossible to return them to their mother. We decided to try the difficult and maybe impossible job of being a surrogate mother to the squirrels. We purchased a small nursing bottle and formula. This was not an easy thing to do. The squirrels required constant care, regular feeding, and a heating pad to attempt to regulate their temperature.
We hoped for the best but feared the worse. Surprisingly they were eating well and growing! The day even came when they opened up their eyes for the first time! The two squirrels are adorable and of course, they were very friendly. As they grew, we did not know what to do with our new friends. We started doing some research as we wanted what was best for them. Living in a cage their entire life did not seem like a loving thing to do.
While searching online for information, we learned a few things, first of all, you need a permit to keep or raise a squirrel! Who knew, right? Then to our surprise, it turns out you do NOT need a permit to raise a coyote! Now that makes no sense but who am I to argue the ways of the world? So what to do? We found our answer as we reached out to a lady that had a permit to raise orphaned squirrels and return them to the wild when they are ready. She was a professional at it and knew what she was doing.
We were more than happy to turn over our new friends; this will give them the future they deserve, a free life!
We happily turned over our squirrel friends. We kept in touch and heard they adjusted very well. They did not release them until they were confident that the squirrels could fend for themselves and would not consider people to be their friends. We never did hear where they were released or how long it took to get to that point. However, this does bring me to the point I am getting to. Wild animals are just that. They are wild and should be. Often people interfere in their life as our worlds are encroaching on each other. Sometimes, like in this case, interfering is the only choice. The question then becomes what is the best way to handle a situation that involves a wild animal in your yard? Maybe causing damage?
Many different wild animals can cause damage, but we are going to focus on squirrel control that is humane.
Squirrels are a very common animal in most of the United States.
The amount of damage they can inflict is very vast. A single squirrel can get into your attic; maybe building a nest, ripping apart insulation, or even getting into the walls of your home! They have very strong teeth and can chew through a lot, even electrical.
Maybe they are not in your attic, but all over your yard! What can they do to a yard? In the summer a squirrel will keep itself busy, finding food. Eating fruits, nuts, and plants. Nothing bad here right? Until they start storing food for winter. This can lead to digging up your yard or invading your garden to steal your vegetables or digging up your flowers. Do you like to feed the birds? You may be one of those people who invest in beautiful bird feeders that are beautifully arranged around your yard? This is great until you find yourself feeding only squirrels and watching the squirrels chase away your beloved birds. This situation can be frustrating. You are hopefully a kind, nature loving person. As much as you love animals and nature, you still have a strong desire to have a nice yard, a garden that is producing for you, not your four legged friends, and bird feeders that feed birds. The issue that needs to be resolved is how to handle this?
You might ask yourself, is there a way to handle this situation in a humane way that equals a happy person and a happy squirrel?
I like to think so, as that is the only world I want to live in. Many people react by thinking of ways to make the problem go away in any way possible. If you do your research, you will find that this will not solve your wildlife problem. Squirrels are often territorial, therefore if you remove one, it does not typically take to long for another squirrel to figure this out and move right in! Starting the problem all over again. Thankfully there are options available that do not involve the loss of a squirrel’s life or your sanity.