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Feeding Wildlife Unsanitary?

I love wildlife so I have bird feeders, bird baths, and a single squirrel feeder. My neighbor doesn't want me feeding squirrels so she reported me to the board of health who sent me a note saying, "Squirrel droppings contain bacteria that can cause diseases in humans and can cause damage to property, promote harborage and infestation of rodents, raccoons, insects, etc...". My yard is not a mess. I sweep up any seed shells on a daily basis and hose down bird droppings. It seems to me that my neighbors open compost heap does as much if not more to attract the aforementioned rodents, raccoons, insects, etc. I was not here the day they 'inspected' but I plan on going to see them for a face to face about this. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can stand up for myself here? I really enjoy attracting wildlife and am heartsick at the thought of losing it all. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.

Wildlife Expert - Ken Burton

Although I think both your neighbor and the Board of Health are overreacting, won't they be happy if you simply remove the squirrel feeder? It doesn't sound to me as if you stand to "lose it all." Some battles just aren't worth fighting. Furthermore, I bet you can continue to feed the squirrels, but more surreptitiously, by not using a feeder.

For what it's worth, squirrel feeders are a primary point of transmission for fungal infections that cause hair loss and other communicable diseases that affect many squirrels, so you might actually be doing the squirrels a favor by not causing them to concentrate at your feeder.

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