Re: Grey squirrel problem continues to gnaw away (News, July 22)
Feeding unshelled peanuts to squirrels is not a problem because it “boosts their numbers” by providing food. Squirrels will not eat unshelled peanuts.
Instead, they bury them everywhere, as Judith Morton attested: “I find peanuts all over my property, in my planters, tucked away along the base of the house, etc.”
It is the digging and burying of the unshelled, uneaten peanuts that is the problem. (I have actually seen crows come along and dig up a peanut buried by a squirrel, and break it open and eat it.)
People who think they are helping the little creatures need to realize that not only will squirrels not eat unshelled peanuts, they are clearly put at risk when homeowners become aggravated with all the digging and burying.
I have had to put wire around my vegetable garden to keep industrious squirrels from burying peanuts in my vegetable patch: a completely unnecessary inconvenience.
If squirrels are given shelled peanuts they will eat them or take them to the nest, and digging will not be a problem. However, it is probably best to let them forage naturally for food.
In any case, if people would just stop giving unshelled peanuts the digging would stop, and squirrels would be more welcome in the neighbourhood.