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There is no doubt that squirrels are quite cute creatures, and one of the things that some parents may want to do with their children is to allow their kids to see such animals up close and actually feed them. This is something that quite a few people will do, and in some areas squirrels and other species will be so familiar with being fed that they will actually approach people in the hope of having a morsel or two of food. This is actually quite a dangerous behavior, both for the squirrel who will have lost their wariness of people, and it can also be a problem for children and others who encounter these partially domesticated squirrels.
What Will Feeding Squirrels Do To Their Diet
Squirrels do have a natural ability for their digestive system to adapt to a variety of different foods, but for the squirrel to learn to survive by eating scraps of human food can actually have a negative impact on their health. The greater problem if a squirrel is being fed is that it will usually get this food on top of what it is able to scavenge in its normal diet, and this can have an impact in terms of its growth too. While feeding wild squirrels will not always have a negative impact on their diet, there are still other reasons not to become too friendly with these little creatures.
It Will Cause Squirrels To Lose Their Fear Of People
Probably even more harmful to the squirrel than actually affecting its diet is the fact that feeding any animal can eventually lead to squirrels losing their fear of people. This is dangerous to the squirrel as it will actually overcome their natural instincts, and it can make them more prone to experience accidents or harm when they get too close or reliant on people. The other problem to consider is that this kind of behavior can also lead to harm to people, as squirrels may try to snatch food, or react when other people refuse to give them food, which can lead to bites or scratches to others.
The Possibility Of Contracting A Disease From Squirrels
It is important to remember that squirrels are wild animals, and while they may appear to be cute with a fluffy tail, they are not domesticated and they can be unpredictable when compared to the reactions of pets such as cats and dogs. As they are wild animals, they will not know how to interact with people, and certainly when it comes to children they are not suitable animals to be feeding and playing with. Squirrels carry a range of parasites and diseases that can be transmitted to people and pets, so if you are thinking of feeding squirrels to see them at close quarters, you should certainly think of some other ways to provide good animal education to your family.
Problems Caused By Squirrels
There are other reasons to avoid feeding squirrels too, as the more they are fed in a particular area then the more likely squirrels are to return to the same place in search of more easy food to eat. These squirrels can then have an impact on the other animal species in the area, and can take food sources that the native animals would otherwise eat, and having an impact on the local ecosystem. However, more likely is that squirrels will remain in the area where they are fed, and when they are looking for a nest they will often find their way into domestic or commercial properties, and create a lot of mess and damage by creating a nest inside these buildings.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does squirrel removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of squirrels - my main squirrel removal info guide.
Example squirrel trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Squirrel job blog - learn from great examples of squirrel jobs I've done.