Our beautiful community is growing at breakneck speed. Every time I drive down our streets, new housing developments are popping up. It’s a no brainer that we are infringing on wildlife territory. In this community where we have so much development bordering rural areas we need to be aware of the wildlife. In Lake Stevens there are laws against feeding large predator animals, and this should be a given. However, I’ve noticed some of my neighbors going to great lengths to feed other wildlife, specifically squirrels.
People like to feed the squirrels and I understand why. Their cute fluffy tails and little faces hide the fact that they are just fluffy rodents. It’s one thing to put bird seed out, but a whole other can of worms to create a squirrel feeding station and feed them peanuts by the pound. This type of wildlife feeding practice hurts the animals, as they stop foraging for food and become plagued with malnutrition, aggressive behavior, and over-populate areas unnaturally.
Feeding small mammals can inadvertently attract raccoons, possums, mice, and rats. Then disease can spread, with many that humans can catch. Rabies, Lyme disease, and roundworms just to name a few. Although it may entertain you to feed the animals, it’s bad for them and it’s bad for you and your neighbors. A bit of entertainment isn’t worth putting your neighbor’s dog at high risk for distemper, or their children at risk for something much worse. Please stop feeding the wildlife.