Shall we kill the striped squirrels? Nearly everyone in Iowa who raises corn in field or garden will say, without hesitation, yes. I am not prepared to flatly contradict this reply but beg to call the attention of those who are indiscriminately taking the life of this little animal to the following short study of its food habits.
I am fully aware that one serious charge is brought against this squirrel and that is that it destroys a large amount of corn early in the season by digging for the kernels. With this much of its food habits every Iowa farmer is familiar, but beyond this, little, to my knowledge, has ever been learned. In the Entomological Report of the Department of Agriculture for 1887, page 160, Prof. Osborn of the Iowa Agricultural College, speaks of having seen the squirrels eating the pupae of the sod web-worm, Crambus exsiccatus, and suggests that the squirrels may be very beneficial upon lawns and meadows by feeding upon the larvae (worms) also.
Gillette, C. P.
"Food habits of the striped prairie-squirrel,"
Bulletin: Vol. 1
, Article 4.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletin/vol1/iss6/4