9 Reasons You Should Actually Love And Appreciate Squirrels

Many folks dislike squirrels, believing them to be pests much like opossums or moles. One of my friends even refers to squirrels as “big rats with fluffy tails.”

Sure, sometimes the furry critters may snatch seeds from the bird feeder in your backyard. They might even dash out suddenly in front of your car.

But the more I have learned about squirrels, the more I have realized that they are seriously misunderstood creatures. Contrary to popular belief, they are actually extremely intelligent. On top of that, they are very friendly and adorable animals that deserve to be loved by all humans.

Seriously, squirrels make everything they do cute and silly, from eating globs of almond butter off a fork to burying nuts in people’s hoodies. Their overall quirkiness and occasional hankering for mischief is what makes them my favorite animal.

Check out this list of nine reasons you should ditch misconceptions and start loving squirrels. These companionable creatures will be so happy to have your friendship.

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Thumbnail Photo: Facebook / Sneezy The Penn State Squirrel

1. They Eat The Insects In Your Yard And Garden

Pixabay / papjeff

Ground squirrels are primarily omnivores. They munch mainly on plant-based foods like nuts, berries, flowers, and acorns, though they also have been known to eat insects and the occasional small vertebrate.

Who knew the squirrel hanging out in your backyard was helping out with pest control?

2. They Help The Planet By Planting Trees

Facebook / Sneezy The Penn State Squirrel

We have all seen squirrels lugging around nuts or frantically trying to bury them. It turns out, though, that squirrels don’t always dig up the edible treasures after stashing them.

In fact, these forgotten nuts often grow into trees, meaning squirrels play a huge role in conserving our ecosystem!

3. They Are Friendly Little Guys

Flickr / Sergey Gabdurakhmanov

Very few wild animals are trusting enough to approach humans. Squirrels, however, are generally friendly creatures. Many are accustomed to living near humans — so much so that some will eat directly from people’s palms!

Some of the most social squirrels even let their human friends dress them up! Just ask Penn State’s self-proclaimed “Squirrel Whisperer,” who is known for crafting miniature hats for her pal Sneezy.

Flickr / Franco Folini

Have you ever seen a squirrel scale a tree in less than three seconds? It’s no secret that these animals are extremely athletic and can surmount almost any acrobatic challenge.

9. They Help Eliminate Waste

Wikimedia Commons / Kham Tran

One of the funniest moments of my life was walking to class at my university and spotting a squirrel perched on a trash can, eating a giant slice of Sbarro pizza.

Although many people don’t like animals rummaging through their trash, there is something to be said for the fact that squirrels don’t let food scraps go to waste. They help clean up food that ends up on the ground or at the bottom of neglected trash cans. They’re like nature’s tiny janitors!

Which of these zany squirrel facts is the most interesting? Please SHARE this enlightening list with your friends and family on Facebook!

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