Do you have a love-hate relationship with squirrels? I know I do. I love to see them hanging out in the yard and running around, up and down in the trees. What I don't love is when they have emptied, yet again, my bird feeders of every kernel of bird food. I even tried putting in cayenne pepper in the bird food, because several people told me that would deter the squirrels.

This year, I have noticed that I have very few, if any, squirrels causing issues in my yard. Maybe it is because I didn't put out the bird feeders? But having a conversation with my neighbor, they mentioned it too, so I had to do some deeper investigating.

Where are all the squirrels this year?

Squirell Eats Apple
Getty Images

Why there are so few squirrels comes down to two factors, neither of which you nor I can control. This last winter was fairly mild, which means that there was more wildlife like foxes who were hunting the little squirrels, using them as food. Less squirrels available to pro-create, mean less to run around our yards this summer.

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READ MORE: Tips to deal with Squirrels in Winter

What is the second biggest reason there are fewer squirrels this summer?

Photo by Saori Oya on Unsplash
Photo by Saori Oya on Unsplash

The other reason that there are fewer squirrels this summer is because of the acorn crop from last year. Acorns are one of the perfect food sources for squirrels. The mild weather in the winter, messed with the natural cycles of the trees producing those acorns. Squirrels were not the only ones who were affected by the lackluster acorn crops, birds, deer and even mice were too.

READ MORE: Wait. What Month is Squirrel Awareness Month? Seriously? 

Will the squirrels be able to reproduce enough to be out bothering our bird feeders soon? The gestation period of a healthy squirrel is 44 days. So, anything is possible.

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