Find humane alternatives to a squirrel problem
Jul 8, 2011
Backyard squirrels can be troublesome, whether they're feeding on human food, eating seed left for birds or burrowing inside human homes. The annoyance some people feel toward squirrels causes inhumane actions such as shooting, trapping and poisoning, which the Humane Society of the United States reports is "unacceptable."
There are gentler ways to reduce a squirrel infiltration, and other ways to live peacefully with the animals.
Despite the fact that squirrels are a highly successful species and not close to endangerment, killing them is still wrong. Humans can dissuade the competent critters from feasting at their bird feeder by changing the type of seed on the menu. The HSUS says that safflower seed and Nyjer thistle attract and nourish birds such as cardinals, chickadees and goldfinches, but that squirrels don't like it. Some birdseed is made with capsaicin as an additive. Birds don't feel the burn that this pepper ingredient causes in mammals.
Some people find it easier just to share some of the seed with the squirrels so they don't have to steal it. Bird watchers can keep the squirrels away from their feeders by sprinkling seed on the ground or providing them with their own feeder.