The best way to attract squirrels to a yard is by providing them with the resources they require, such as food, water and shelter. Squirrels are opportunistic omnivores who eat a wide variety of food items, including seeds, nuts, flowers, mushrooms, leaves, insects and eggs. However, the best foods for attracting squirrels include corn, sunflower seeds and peanuts.
Much to the dismay of birdwatchers, squirrels frequently raid bird feeders. Squirrel-proof feeders are available to dissuade squirrels from feeding at bird feeders. Place squirrel food in a dedicated dish to prevent them from scaring off the birds and depleting the seed in bird feeders. Another way to discourage squirrels from feeding at bird feeders is by filling them with foods that do not attract squirrels, such as safflower seeds, and placing a preferred food item, such as sunflower seeds, somewhere that is easy for the squirrels to access.
Squirrels take shelter in trees or shrubs, and providing these shelters helps to attract them. The best trees to provide are those that produce mast crops, such as oak and hickory trees. While squirrels prefer some tree species to others, they are adaptable and take shelter wherever possible. Water features, such as birdbaths and fountains, attract squirrels as well.