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Mar 1, 2014 01:03 PM

Worth feeding squirrels peanuts if all they do is bury them?

Every morning before work, I've been throwing a few handfuls of peanuts out in my yard. Nothing's left when I come home so I figured I'm helping some birds or squirrels get through the winter. But today I put them out and noticed just one squirrel working feverishly to bury most of them. Aside from the colossal greed of this character, will he even find them again to eat? I hate to think of all those peanuts getting wasted.

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  1. Well, I dunno. When I put items in my pantry for later, I don't think it is a waste :)

    I don't think the squirrels have too many pantry options other than dirt.

    1. A study some time ago, ' researchers' buried 1000 individual peanuts, squirrels relocated 75 % of them. My wife and I would buy 50 lb. bags of peanuts, along with thistle, sunflower, fruit and nut mix,...Then one day we noticed a Norway rat come out from under the shed, grab a p-nut, back under the shed, then out again for another. Repeatedly, and often. Even after we stopped ALL food, a colony developed and took four years to eradicate. We first noticed no opossums, racoons, groundhogs,... After maintaining rat bait stations since then, the larger animals have since returned. Outside of a drought or heavy snow, squirrels 'colossal greed' will keep it from going hungry or starving, much like the pantry or refrigerator in most of our houses.

      12 Replies
      1. re: 3MTA3

        Very good point MTA, I would expect from your handle you know a few things about rats...and I agree that all precautions should be taken to prevent them from forming a colony. No nuts etc. and careful winter seasonal bird feeding only.
        Rat bait stations help, but I hate to add all that potential rat poison into the diet of raptors.

        1. re: Raffles

          Just out of curiosity, how does 'eat me' (backward) suggest knowledge of rats?

          1. re: ricepad

            Metropolitan Transit Authority....lots of subway rats!

            1. re: Raffles

              Ah...but I don't think the handle has anything to do with a transit authority...I could be wrong, but I've been coveting that exact license plate for years.

              1. re: Raffles

                I heard NYC has more rats than people and they have quite a few people. .

                1. re: Tom34

                  Wherever you have people you have mice and rats. People are messy, and rodents are smart. They know a good thing when they see it!

          2. re: 3MTA3

            "Tree Rats"

            Squirrel are amazing, aren't they?

            I don't think they need our (human) help for survival. Kind of like feeding cockroaches.

            1. re: pedalfaster

              The tree rats are on the ground under our feeder now, first all winter, we have a hard crust on the snow now and the digging of all the hickory and acorns must be hard for them, but I figure they are cleaning up the dropped seeds before the ground rats move in.The surrounding farms must have rats....but a mile away to their barns...

              1. re: Raffles

                It is the circle of life at my house.
                Feed the birds, attract the squirrels and various rodents, the rodents eat my chicken feed, the chickens attract the hawks, the hawks and coyotes eat the rodents but they go after my chickens, cats and pets....and I go after them when they do.
                Never ending. Moral of the story...don't feed the wildlife ;)

              2. re: pedalfaster

                LOL but true.

                While I love squirrels, they ,to me, have become more of a nuisance than a gift.

                I trap and relocate if possible.

                Trap and shoot if necessary.

                Have a squirrel family (or families) chew into your wood soffits of your home and live there rent free (or in eaves or/ and roof vents) and price out repairs and get back to me.

                In one property, the squirrels chewed thru the downspout soffit to make a home only to be kicked out by raccoons.

                Ever deal with raccoons and thier elevated latrines? It means doing #1 and #2 in your gutters and on your rooftop along with the fat-assed notcturnal bumblings that they do in the middle of the night in you house eaves if living there.

                Nature loves to take back it's turf.
                Squirrels need no help from me.
                And again--I do like them when I;m not providing free shelter for them. LOLZ.

                But as mentioned here, they DO find what they bury or lose --eventually. Just like my GF and her car keys. :-)

                1. re: jjjrfoodie

                  The tails make great fishing lures for catching native brook trout, many recipes here on CH.

                2. re: pedalfaster

                  Local newspaper columnist refers to squirrels as "rats with a good publicity agent".

              3. Put the peanuts out with some Post It notes ;)
                Actually, I stopped giving the squirrels shell peanuts because they were burying them in our neighbors' yards.

                2 Replies
                1. re: monavano

                  Or buy them a teeny tiny stand alone outdoor pantry?

                  1. re: sedimental

                    Ha! With a picture of a really fat squirrel taped the front!

                2. The squirrel who buries the peanut may not be the one who finds it but SOMETHING will find and eat it. Isn't the ground frozen? If so, they're probably covering their cache with leaves and thatch, easy for them to locate.

                  Blue jays will open and eat peanuts.

                  I have a few tricks to keep the squirrels occupied so they don't monopolize the hanging feeders while the birds go hungry. When daily highs are below 32F, I put nuts into an ice-cube tray, top up with water, and freeze. Ditto empty milk cartons, peeling off the waxed cardboard when solid. Even better if you melt peanut butter in hot water, letting it cool to room temp before using it to top off the nuts before freezing. Toss outside.

                  1. As the saying goes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.