GLT's Grow: Why You Should Go Nuts About Squirrels
There's not a lot of in between on squirrels. People either think they’re annoying rodents or think they're cute critters and like to have them around.
In this edition of our gardening show Grow, GLT’s Mike McCurdy and Illinois State University’s Patrick Murphy come clean with their affection for the numerous central Illinois species of these nut lovers.
- We’ve all seen the most common types of furry visitors—the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, the fox tail squirrel, and the eastern chipmunk. But evidence—specifically the discovery of food caches—shows southern flying squirrels are also making a home in McLean County, including ISU’s campus.
- Do squirrels hurt or help trees? It depends on your point of view, Murph says. Ground squirrels can actually help because they’ll occasionally bury nuts, forget about them, and those nuts will propagate saplings that become trees. That means squirrels are accidentally cute little arborists.
- Should you feed squirrels? Murph does. Murph feeds them corn. He keeps his trees away from his home’s roof, because squirrels shouldn’t be on buildings. “Other than that, I love them,” he says.
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