What Would a Squirrel Get Out of Licking Or Smelling Bricks?
Why does a squirrel lick or smell bricks? Is it because they are delicious? It’s hard to say, but I’ve observed a youngster taking stones from my garden. This started after I replaced the balmullo gravel with Douglas Muir quartz, so the behavior might have some relation to the new stone. Photos from other readers also indicate that a squirrel’s taste in stones is driven by a mineral deficiency. If so, this could be an explanation of their discerning selection.
Theorists have a wide range of explanations for why squirrels lick or sniff bricks and other materials around their home, but there is one common factor: mineral deficiency. As a result, the behavior may simply be an attempt to compensate for a lack of a mineral in the squirrel’s diet. In some cases, however, the behaviour is more likely to reflect a desire to protect food, such as seeds, nuts, and fruits.
Some scientists suggest that the behavior is a means to hide food caches. Other scientists believe that the squirrels use bricks as a sort of “dental clinic”, smearing off a few bits of food. However, this approach only works for a few squirrel species. It is also possible that some squirrels use bricks as a substitute for antlers or soup bones. Another rehabilitator discovered that a Grey squirrel was regularly licking the mortar between bricks. However, this particular squirrel did not seem to pay any attention to the photographer.
Squirrels have rootless teeth and must grind them regularly in order to keep their teeth clean. Decks and fences can be equivalent to a squirrel’s dentist, but you can also use dog bones, soup bones, and antlers. In fact, a rehabilitator observed that squirrels were constantly licking the mortar between bricks. Adding a salt lick to the mortar stopped the squirrels from smelling or licking the bricks.
Squirrels also gnaw on terra cotta pots or mineral blocks. A good source of these blocks is a wildlife or feed store. But don’t feed squirrels junk food! Many animals are sensitive to salt and sugar, so avoid giving them snacks containing sugar. You can even give them a battery-operated radio to distract them while you’re away.
Many people have wondered, “Why is a squirrel licking or smelling my bricks?” The most likely answer is that the squirrel is sharpening its chompers to get more food from your home. As a result, if you have a squirrel in your home, it’s a good idea to hold it in an open palm. Squirrels have 180-degree vision, and this makes it easier for them to spot your hand while approaching.
The rehabilitator noted that the squirrels kept licking the mortar between bricks. The squirrels were constantly licking the mortar, but would stop when given a salt lick. This behavior is called caching, and is a common scatterhoarding behavior. This behavior can be observed in many places, including gardens, attics, and even chimneys.
If you’re tired of spending a lot of money on commercial repellents, you can make your own. These solutions are nontoxic, safe to use, and effective at repelling squirrels. You can spray the repellent solution on your plants, soil, and infested areas of your home. While homemade repellents are not as effective as commercial solutions, they can still be effective. Listed below are some of the ingredients you can use to make your own squirrel repellent.
Peppermint oil is an effective squirrel repellent. This oil should be diluted to a concentration of one-quarter teaspoon in 16 ounces of water. You can spray this mixture on your plants every day or whenever you see the pests returning. Another peppermint oil repellent spray can be purchased online. Peppermint oil works just as effectively as chemical repellents, but doesn’t damage your plants.
Dos and don’ts
Learning about the Dos and Don’ts of Licking or Smelling Bricks For Squirrels is essential to successfully co-exist with these animals. Listed below are some helpful tips to help keep your furry friends happy and healthy. Do not over-salt your bricks. A small amount of salt can have a detrimental effect on a squirrel’s health. If you think you’ve got a squirrel problem, contact your local animal control office and discuss the problem with them.
Squirrels are destructive animals. Their mating rituals are repeated twice a year and they have two or more kits. Their strong sense of smell makes them susceptible to the scents of trees and plants. Therefore, repelling squirrels with scents that they don’t like will help keep them away from your property. Peppermint oil, garlic, coffee grounds, and dryer sheets are all great repellents for squirrels.
Creating rapport with squirrels
One way to create rapport with a squirrel is to feed it. Squirrels love to lick and eat, so it is a good idea to provide food that they enjoy. If possible, try to feed them in the early morning or late at night when they are more active. If you can’t feed them right away, try to use peanuts in the shell. Another way to attract them is to make a noise. Be consistent with your sound so they will associate it with food.
Squirrels are very smart and will follow a feeding routine when offered food. When given food, they will come running to the food. If you move your hand, you could put a finger in their path and prevent them from grabbing food from you. You can also hold the food in your palm, which is safer for the squirrel. However, be careful not to touch the food, as the squirrel can accidentally touch your hand and make contact with your fingers.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.