Squirrels are a common and beloved part of the local wildlife. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to get a squirrel to like you, you’re not alone!
It is possible to develop a relationship with squirrels but please remember that they are wild animals.
In this article, we will provide tips on how to get a squirrel to like you and even eat from your hand.
Read on to learn more about these fascinating animals and how to make friends!
Tips for Getting a Squirrel to Like You
The four key steps for making friends with a squirrel are:
- Go to Where the Squirrels Are
- Offer the Squirrel a Snack
- Be Patient and Don’t Force the Relationship
- No Loud Noises or Sudden Movements
These steps will help the squirrel trust that you are a source of food and fun and not a predator.
Spend time in the area where the squirrels live
Squirrels are more likely to approach you if you as a familiar presence in their environment.
Try spending time in the same location on a regular basis.
Your job will be even easier if you go to a busy park or college campus where the squirrels are already used to being around people.
Squirrels are the most active in the mornings and evenings so time your stays accordingly.
Offer the Squirrels Some Food
Offering the squirrels some food is the best way to start building a relationship.
Peanuts are the easiest choice but make sure that they are unsalted. Avoid giving squirrels processed foods as these are unhealthy for squirrels.
A picture of a squirrel eating a Twinkie would be fun for Instagram but bad for the squirrel 🙂
Avoid sudden movements and loud noises
Sudden movements and loud noises can startle squirrels and make them feel threatened. Squirrels have many predators and will bolt as soon as they sense a threat.
Be mindful of your body language and movements. Move slowly and avoid making sudden or loud noises.
Be Patient, Don’t Force the Interaction
Squirrels are wild animals and initially uncomfortable with close contact with people.
Don’t try to grab or chase the squirrel, and give them plenty of space to feel safe.
If the squirrel seems nervous or tries to retreat, back off and give them time to acclimate.
Wait for It
Be consistent in showing up at the same location. Prove that you are a source of food and not a threat. Be calm, quiet and still.
Follow these steps and you will have some squirrel friends sooner than you might imagine.
How to Get a Squirrel to Eat from Your Hand
Once the squirrels have learned to trust you then getting them to eat from your hand isn’t that hard.
The basic steps are:
- Start by placing one peanut about six feet away from you. Do not place out more than one peanut. Make sure the peanut is readily visible and no other sources of food are nearby.
- Let the squirrel grab the peanut and enjoy.
- Repeat the process but move the peanut about a foot closer.
- Keep going until the peanut is right beside you.
- After the squirrel has taken a couple of peanuts from beside you try one from your open hand. You can also try with one peanut in your hand and another in your shirt pocket.
- Be patient and don’t make any noise. Do not try encouraging the squirrel by talking it. Squirrels don’t understand English.
Don’t try to force the squirrel to eat from your hand or corner them if they seem hesitant. Instead, allow the squirrel to approach you at their own pace.
It’s important to practice good hygiene when interacting with any animal, including squirrels. Wash your hands before and after interacting with a squirrel.
Conclusion and Further Reading
You can get squirrels to like you by proving that you are a non-threatening source of food.
Go to where the squirrels are, be still and quiet, and use unsalted peanuts to gain their trust.
Keep in mind that squirrels are prey animals and it takes a while for them to trust something as large as a person.
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