Many people love to feed squirrels and keep them in their gardens. They are peaceful creatures and do not create a mess in your garden.
Why Have Squirrels Disappeared from my Garden? Squirrels can disappear from your garden due to less food, extreme temperature, and the danger of predators in their surroundings. In addition, they can move around during their mating season, and they do not like a noisy environment.
They love to remain in a quiet environment without risk of a predator attack, and they can approach you when they are hungry.
If you are worrying due to fewer or no squirrels in your garden, then there is no need to worry about it. You have to find out the reasons for their disappearance.
Less availability of food
They need around 15 to 90 grams of food daily according to their size and type. They are omnivores rodents and can eat everything, including meat, vegetables, and plants.
They stay in your garden and do not leave it if you supply them with plenty of food.
Sometimes, they get their favorite food like dried corn or nuts from your neighborhood which urges them to leave your yard. Uneaten food causes a foul smell and forces them to leave if you do not clean their feeder regularly.
Some people love to feed these animals with different varieties of food because it is a healthy hobby. However, they can leave your garden when someone else offers them better food.
Changes in temperature
Temperature variations are a significant reason for their displacement. They have an average body temperature of around 98 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, they start to disappear when extreme temperature changes occur.
They try to tolerate these changes but can do this only for a specific temperature range. They feel too cold when the temperature falls below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. So they usually keep themselves hidden in their burrows and do not come out frequently in winter.
They remain less active, and you see them when they come to search for food. They sleep most of the day for about 15 to 20 hours in their place to protect themselves from cold.
After that, they search for other bushy areas where they can make burrows to survive this weather.
However, they behave differently during the hot summer; they stretch out their body on cool surfaces to make their body cool on hot sunny days.
Exposure to predators
Sometimes they leave the place when they sense any predator nearby. For example, they move to other places when seeing hawks or owls in their surroundings because they love to eat them.
Another important reason for their leaving is the presence of a snake near their place because it is a clear danger for their babies.
Mostly adult squirrels are immune to venomous snake bites, but their babies do not have this ability, so they are easy targets for them.
They leave their place due to any problematic health issue or if they are injured. For example, they do not come out in the garden from their burrows if they are injured or unable to move.
They also become sick due to parasitic attacks, which can also become the cause of their death.
Rabies disease is also common in squirrels and spreads due to the oral secretions of infected animals. Squirrel viral infection also forces them to hide or leave their place.
They are at a risk of bacterial attack due to some most common bacteria Bartonella and toxoplasmosis. These deadly bacteria and parasites cover their body and even kill them.
Try to discover why they are disappearing so that you can save others of this family in your garden. If you are not seeing them, check inside their nests and burrows to see if they have died there naturally.
For mating purpose
Squirrels mate two times a year, in the spring season and early summer. They do this activity in the garden but prefer to do this outside the garden and in other spacious open places as they can enjoy long runs in these places.
Their male goes outside searching for some fertile females to do this process. They can smell such females and can chase them at a speed of around 18 to 20 miles per hour.
This chase can last several hours as it is the only activity they perform before starting this process.
Pregnancy is another leading cause of their disappearance because they carry their baby for about 20 to 50 days in gestation and remain in their nests for this duration.
Disturbing behavior by others
They like peaceful environments and do not stay in such a place where anyone is continuously disturbing them. Focus on your garden and check if there is any animal or bird which is teasing them.
Limit your cats and dogs to play only in the house if you have any pets because they like to chase them, which makes them uncomfortable.
They do not consider them their enemy but keep chasing to jump over their long bushy tail for enjoyment.
It is the habit of squirrels to store nuts in their burrows to feed their young ones and during the winter season.
Blue Jays are aggressive birds that attack their nests to kill their babies or to eat their food. They like to eat these nuts in their absence, which makes them offensive.
They leave your garden to save their food and to avoid continuous fights. A good method to keep such birds away from attacking squirrels is to place separate feeders for them and keep refilling them before they are completely empty.
They hate the noisy environment and prefer to live away from such places. They will immediately leave your garden when they hear unfamiliar and sharp sounds disturbing their peace. They find another place to live because they also get frightened due to these loud sounds.
They can hear sound two times as compared to humans, so they immediately listen to any voice or sound. So you can check any construction happening near your yard if your squirrels are disappearing from the garden.
This continuously loud noise forces them to stay far away from the construction site.
In addition, any lawn ornaments like hanging wind chimes also disturb them and become a cause of their leaving the lawn. These hanging decorations move with the air and produce a continuous sound that scares them.
Poison for rats
Many people spread rat poison to eliminate the number of rats in their houses. Squirrels in your garden mistakenly consider this poison as food grains and engulf them.
They lost their lives which is the main reason for their disappearance. Sometimes they also consume a toxic chemical or harmful pesticide that becomes fatal for them.
Therefore, do not spread rat poison on the whole garden but do this in a specific area where rats are present in abundance.