Has it ever occurred to you that your squirrel does not know he is stealing your bird feed, seed, suet, and nectar? Research has now shown that as many as 90 percent of North American squirrels suffer from kleptomaniac tendencies. The condition creates an irresistible impulse in squirrels to steal bird feed. It seems to occur more in city squirrels than rural individuals. Most researchers feel that the high percentage of kleptomania stems from emotional disturbances caused by people yelling at them, throwing things, and knocking on windows while they are trying to eat.A squirrel who is not affected will simply sit quietly on the feeder and eat in a very normal manner. He chews his food in a relaxed position and takes small portions at a time. Those individuals suffering from kleptomania are very easy to spot. They eat in a rush, talk with their mouths full, fill their cheeks with all the seed they can possibly stuff in, and shift each eye separately, while simultaneously searching the yard for yellers, throwers, and knockers.
There is no known cure for kleptomaniac squirrels. Once a squirrel has been affected, his social behavior can never be reversed with any methods yet tried. Behavioral science has come a long way in the past several decades, and squirrel abnormalities are just beginning to get some recognition.You can help in the effort to stamp out SK (squirrel kleptomania) worldwide. To begin with, we know that at least 10 percent of the squirrel population is not troubled by this emotional scourge. Let’s stop it from spreading any further. Since it is so hard for a layperson to distinguish between a klepto and nonklepto, I suggest that you just quit yelling, throwing, and knocking altogether. By beginning a squirrel-feeding program in your yard, you will be helping to wipe out this condition once and for all. Backyards will once again be harmonious. This is what the world is working toward: peace, opportunity, and free meals. The world will be a better place when all the squirrels and all the nuts get together.You will know the program is working successfully when your squirrel shows up at the feeder one day with no bag over his head, but two under his arms. He will take all he wants, but eat all he takes.
One thing you can do to slow up your furballs is to slow up your advertising. If you keep your seed corralled, it will not serve as a neon sign that says, “Come and get it!” I am not trying to convince you that squirrels will not find your feeder if there is no seed on the ground, but it will discourage those squirrels that are trying to quit by not tempting them. The catch-22 is that some seed catch trays act as squirrel perches, wide areas that a squirrel can really stretch out on and chow down.Another thing that you can do is not look. What you can’t see can’t hurt you. When you go out and see the feeder empty, why assume a squirrel ripped you off? Assume the birds ended up with the seed. This is much less stressful and more gratifying.
What Makes a Good Squirrel Go Bad
Squirrels steal stuff! And you thought it was only human nature. If you go into a squirrels house the first thing you notice is the furniture. It’s all stolen. Instinct, the experts say. Squirrel are kleptomaniacs. They spend most of their fall time storing food and lining their nests. They hate the cold and the stuffing in your porch chairs make great insulation. If you’re missing your Christmas decorations your squirrels probably have them too.They have small brains, big stomachs, and lousy taste when it comes to home decor. They will take any colorful thing in the yard and use it for designer collages in their nesting cavities. Winters are not only long and cold they are also boring. Squirrels need insulation and inspiration to make it through the winter months. That’s why they steal you stuff and your stuffing. I have heard many times of squirrels stealing flags from cemeteries and parade routes. A majority of squirrels are patriotic. Many of them decorate with Old Glory both inside and outside their homes.