This is a question that more than 2879 of our readers have been asking us! Luckily, we have found the most appropriate information for you!

Many of us happen across squirrels eating something all the time, that’s because they’re real foodies, and like to eat a lot. They also eat a lot of things – but not all things are good for them.

Here we’re going to list all the foodstuffs that squirrels include in their diet and the things people feed them that they probably shouldn’t. Other than the food they find in their habitats like vegetables, fruits, nuts, plant materials, bird’s eggs, insects and fungi, squirrels have also adapted to eat food they find in human habitats like birdseed, cereals, pet food, cheese, and trash. If you’ve ever spent time observing the eating patterns of squirrels, you might find quite a variety of food in their diet. Squirrels are part of the Sciuridae family of mammals, closely related to chipmunks, prairie dogs, and woodchucks. But you can class them as omnivores because of the wide variety of food types they’re known to feast on. Much like foxes , squirrels tend to forage and scratch around for anything they feel is edible. From the time they become young adults, they embark on a journey of learning what to eat – guided largely by their parents and by exploring different food groups themselves. Squirrels have a natural appetite for the following food groups, not all of them are their favorites, and not all of them are necessarily good for them – which we’ll explore later… Being omnivores makes it easier for them, as they have no clear boundaries on their dining habits. They continue to feed on their mother’s milk for about 40 days – since they do not leave the nest during that period. This may, unfortunately, make them fond of food that they should not be eating, like your favorite candy bars! Thankfully, most squirrels seek to maintain a balanced diet naturally. Even though they can fall foul of too much of the wrong foods on occasion – as we’ll explore later. Fruits are one of the squirrel’s favorite food, but like most food groups, it’s better for them to maintain a balanced diet, too much fruit can prevent them from absorbing calcium – so keep fruit-based treats to a minimum. There are lots of different types of fruit that are readily available in abundance during summer and fall so they will consume more of it during this time. The high levels of natural sugar in fruits help them to increase their weight ready for the winter, as well as an added energy boost for foraging. Squirrels have well-adapted claws that make it easy for them to climb trees, their perfect balance helps them to climb along long thin fruit branches to get nuts and berries. They eat from a variety of fruiting trees that includes (but are not limited to)… Apples Pears Plums Peaches Kiwis Avocados Citrus Nectarines Figs Bananas Because of thorny branches and thin vines, these can sometimes be harder to get to, but they’ll always figure ways of getting to them. Squirrels will happily eat just about any edible grape and berry available, here’s the main selection… Grapes Strawberries Blackberries Blueberries Raspberries Cherries Mulberries Elderberries Lingonberries Cloudberries Tomatoes Eggplants (aubergines) Persimmons Mangoes Pineapple Melons Grapefruit Pumpkins Cantaloupe Raisins Of course, there is some ambiguity as to what is classed as a berry or a fruit, but we’ve added these together for convenience – to keep the list fairly simple. Farmers and gardeners are unfortunately very familiar with the vegetables that squirrels eat. Beets Chard Lettuce Spinach Arugula (rocket) Kale Celery Radishes Tomatoes Corn Okra Squash Beans Peas Yellow Squash Eggplant Carrots Leeks Brussels sprouts Cabbage Cauliflower Asparagus Broccoli Squirrels tend to love the grains and the nuts within the cereals. The benefit of these cereals is that they’re loaded with sugar that gives them extra energy. The energy gained by sugar can then be used by these tiny furry animals to keep foraging for more food throughout the day, they’ll look to store any that they don’t consume immediately. Generally speaking, they’re not the first choice for squirrels, but when offered, or when it’s the only food available at the time they’ll take it. They can sometimes have to grow on them a deadly toxic mold that is near invisible to squirrels. In fact, also note that unfortunately, feeding squirrels too much of these sugary cereal snacks are not actually that good for them. So if you’re feeding squirrels these kinds of cereals, try not to, or at least minimize the amount you give them – or mix them as a small amount – like a treat, alongside other more natural foods so that they’ll more likely eat those too. When we think of squirrels, we naturally think of them foraging, eating and storing nuts for the winter – and for the most part, we’d be right. If you have any nut trees or bushes in your backyard or you live near a nut tree orchard, then there’s a good chance you’ll have squirrels living nearby, and you’ll see squirrels carrying away nuts from the trees or bushes to either eat or store. When they’re not eating any nuts they find on the trees, squirrels will take a few to store in various places and as a tasty meal over the wintertime. As nuts are arguable squirrels’ favorite food, they pretty much eat any nuts available, but squirrels are predominantly herbivores, and as such need to maintain a balanced diet of vitamins and minerals from vegetables and other sources. This, in turn, ensures greater survival of species of trees easily – nature manages everything! Always try to feed squirrels nuts that they would otherwise have found natively in their natural habitat. But, in fact, peanuts are not nuts, they are actually classed as legumes, so these – along with corn are not an ideal food for squirrels. They are legumes, and unless a squirrel lives next to a field of peanuts where they might dig some up and eat them, then it’s best not to feed them. In fact, peanuts can harbor a near-invisible mold that is toxic and can potentially harm or kill them. Bird feeders are made available in abundance for squirrels by humans. An easy and continuous supply of food will encourage squirrels to nest nearby. There are humane measures you can take to prevent squirrels from eating – and sometimes destroying your bird feeders. When fruits, nuts – and birdseed is in short supply, such as late fall and early winter, squirrels will still look to maintain their quota of protein. Although it’s not clear if they are specific about their choice of insect species, it’s likely they could feed on the following… Winged Bugs Caterpillars Grasshoppers Crickets Insect larva These are just a selection of the types of insects a squirrel is likely to catch and feed upon. It might sound surprising, but squirrels do forage for mushrooms and fungi too. Depending on the climate in many natural environment fungi is a food option for many squirrels. Lichen grows in more moist areas such as behind tree bark or in damp crevices. Squirrels tend to aim for the more tender parts of young plants. And they don’t stop there, squirrels have also been known to eat hatchlings, baby birds and young chicks. Including those unfortunate enough to have fallen from their nests and died – but this is rare. Squirrels have developed a variety of eating habits and are willing to test many things – pet food being one of them. Each time you take the garbage out, or the trashcan, don’t be surprised to find that squirrels may rummage around it if given the chance. Red and grey squirrels are both known to bury their food to dig up and eat later. Their cheese habit is most likely developed by outdoor dining restaurants and kitchen scraps. Even where any kitchen scraps that have bits of cheese have been thrown out a squirrel will forage for and find. We’ve also discussed not to feed them sugary treats, or to leave pet food available for them. Brown bread is debatable but it’s perhaps better to stay clear altogether. Here’s the most comprehensive list you’ll find about what NOT to feed squirrels. Bread Peanuts Popcorn Processed foods Junk/fast food Dairy products Chocolate Corn-based products Candy bars or sweet treats Sugary cereals Here’s the list of food items that squirrels will avoid eating We’ve found the ideal resources to continue your learning at home and at school. Help support our efforts for wildlife causes and keep this site working for nature. They’ll enjoy most foods, and can act like they’re at a child’s birthday party if they can get their paws on the wrong kind of treats! Generally, it’s best for them to enjoy foods from within their normal habitat, a healthy dose of nuts, vegetables, seeds and grains when they’re available and perhaps a bit of fruit for afters!

What do squirrels like to eat the most?

Most types of squirrels are vegetarians. They are not picky eaters and will feed on practically any food that’s readily available, but they tend to prefer vegetables and fruit. Favorites of the squirrel diet include corn, mushrooms, squash and broccoli.

What all do squirrels eat?

Squirrels are omnivores, which means they like to eat plants and meat. Squirrels mainly eat fungi, seeds, nuts and fruits, but they will also munch on eggs, small insects, caterpillars, small animals and even young snakes.

What can squirrels not eat?

High-sugar foods (candy, cookies, granola, sweetened breakfast cereals).High-starch foods (pasta, bread, rice, potatoes).Salty foods..Human junk food..Cashews..Sunflower seeds..Dried corn..Pine nuts.

What do GREY squirrels eat?

Nuts, acorns and tree seeds are the main foods of choice for grey squirrels. These will be collected in autumn and buried underground, ready to be eaten in winter when food is scarce. Other food taken includes flowers, buds, shoots, pine cones and occasionally young birds and eggs.

There are many varieties of squirrels found across America, including red squirrels, ground squirrels, grey squirrels, fox squirrels, flying squirrels, black squirrels, striped squirrels, and many more. Squirrels are part of the Sciuridae family of mammals, closely related to chipmunks, prairie dogs, and woodchucks. What do squirrels eat? Well, squirrels just happen to eat a lot of things. Squirrels are not picky eaters. If you have spent any time observing the eating habits of common squirrels, this is clear. Squirrels have a natural appetite for many native fruits, flowers, veggies, fungi, nuts, tree, plants and insects to their habitat. But there are not many boundaries in relation to the squirrels dining habits. They will curiously try just about anything, and have in fact become fond of many foods that they probably should not be eating, such as kids’ favorite sugary snacks and cereals. Squirrels are open-minded when it comes to food. If you are looking to provide food for squirrels check our squirrel feeder article.

In addition to the usual suspects: acorns, pecans, berries, and veggies, squirrels are accepting of food remnants discarded in parks, or anywhere for that matter. Squirrels consume the harvest from a variety of fruiting trees, including but not limited to pears, grapes, apples, kiwi, avocados, peaches, nectarines, figs, plums, mangoes, and citrus. Chex, Cheerios, Cap’n Crunch, shredded wheat, corn flakes, grape nuts–squirrels devour these tasty treats. A good piece of cheese can give a squirrel an extra bit of fat to store for leaner times, such as during the winter months. Even when birds are present, a squirrel will not hesitate to get in on the birdseed action and will stuff their bellies with this readily available snack that humans are all to happy to provide. Some insects devoured by squirrels include caterpillars, larvae, winged bugs, grasshoppers, injured butterflies, and crickets, to name a few. Squirrels will also elect to eat lichen, which is the smaller fungi that tends to grow in moist areas on the bark of many, especially mature, trees. Soft tips of new growth, newly unfurled leaves, sprouts, and succulent flower buds are also sure to catch the attention of a passing squirrel who is scouring the land for a food opportunity. Also, if it’s any surprise at this point, squirrels will eat your prized poppy blossoms, they’ll chomp you hibiscus blooms, the petals of your passionflower, and the plant bulbs that you were hoping would break ground in the spring. Being the omnivorous scavengers that they are, squirrels have picked up a few strange eating habits along the way and will not hesitate to pack away a few dozen pieces of dog or cat kibble, and will most likely come back for more, if they find an established spot where it’s readily available. Especially when times are rough, the hungry squirrel is not about to snub his nose at that stale pizza crust, or discarded avocado skin.

The dietary habits of squirrels is fascinating! What and how these animals eat is essential for the development of healthy forests and varies throughout the year. There are even a couple of food items that they require which will really surprise you!

Squirrels are opportunistic omnivores that primarily eat nuts (acorns, hickory, pecan), tree buds, grains, grasses and fungi. Squirrels will also eat protein sources such as bird eggs, insects and small reptiles. The exact diet of a squirrel is dependent upon both the species in question along with geographical location. Squirrels are opportunistic eaters and their diets will vary based upon what food sources are available. One of the primary food sources for squirrels are the tree nuts found in their natural habitats. Grey and Fox squirrels love to eat nuts from oak, walnut, hickory, and pecan trees. Red Squirrels subsist primarily upon the nuts found within pine cones. The heavy reliance upon this particular food source is why these animals are often referred to as “Pine Squirrels”. Tree nuts are a significant portion of a squirrels diet but they are not available all year long. While squirrels will create large caches of nuts when they are plentiful in the fall, these resources are usually completely consumed during winter and requires the animals to rely upon other food sources in the Spring and Summer. Sometimes a squirrel will forget where they left a cache of nuts and some of these will sprout in the Spring and help the forest remain healthy! In the Spring squirrels will feast on the tender, nutrient dense budding flowers and fresh green shoots from their favorite trees and shrubs. It can be really hard to keep squirrels out of vegetable gardens and many people resort to trapping. Like so many things in nature, there is a special relationship between flying squirrels, the fungus that love and the health of the forest. ,The fungi eaten by flying squirrels, mycorrhizae, grows near the base of trees and helps promote the health of nitrogen fixing bacteria. This combination makes insects an ideal food source for young squirrels who are just starting their way through the world and need plenty of protein for rapid growth. Squirrels are opportunistic eaters and will chow down on bird eggs or even fledglings if they happen to come across an unprotected nest. The most notorious species for eating birds are the Northern and Southern flying squirrels . Pine squirrels have been reported to actively hunt chipmunks and even northern hare. Ground squirrels routinely fight snakes that come to eat the young from their burrows. Depending upon the region and fruit , orchard owners will often report losing up to 20% of their harvest to squirrels and birds. The defining characteristic of a rodent is the presence of front incisor teeth that never stop growing. In addition to keeping their teeth in shape, the bones and antlers provide a rich source of calcium for the animals. If you have been feeding birds for longer than a few days then you already know that squirrels love to eat sunflower seeds. I have found safflower seeds to be readily accepted and enjoyed by the songbirds in my yard and the squirrels are completely uninterested in raiding the feeders. Peanuts are not a natural part of a squirrel’s diet and whether or not you should offer them to your furry friends is a point of debate. Other folks will point out that the leading causes of squirrel mortality are predation, cold and lack of food . I love my squirrels so I don’t mind putting a little extra food out for them, especially during winter months.

It’s tough to hate on squirrels. Yes, cynics do call them gentrified rats. But how can you resist those cute faces and bushy tails? And they’ve effectively adapted to living around humans. But what do squirrels eat? Let’s find out so we can lure even more into your yard.

When you hear the word squirrel, you’re probably thinking of a small rodent with a luxurious fluffy tail. Squirrels are omnivores, meaning they can eat meat, fruits, vegetables , and other plants. Their kits or kittens (baby squirrels) are born blind, deaf (their ears are fused shut) and hairless. Squirrels are mammals, meaning they give birth to live babies and suckle them for a few months. But they’re more likely burying food, harvesting a hidden stash, or hunting insects, worms, and grubs. They do eat twigs, wood, tree bark , and animal horns (like deer antlers) for minerals and fiber. Their meat is mostly in the form of insects and snakes, but they might dip into Fido or Fluffy’s dish if you raw-feed your pets. Squirrels also enjoy fruit slices like apples, peaches, or pairs hung on a string. Many squirrels have a sweet tooth so offer them crunchy, sugary veggies like carrots. Kaytee’s Country Blend is made for pets but its fruity mix is great for squirrels too. It may help to provide ‘bone meal’ like cuttlefish skeletons (cuttlebone) for calcium. They enjoy wild berries in the fall (Osage oranges are a tasty seasonal treat). Flying squirrels are known to raid small nests eat newly hatched chicks. Yes, they love certain things, but that doesn’t mean you should offer ice cream in excess. Occasional treats are fine, but the bulk of your squirrel diet should be protein-packed dishes that encourage them to exercise. So opt for squirrel feeders and avoid having direct contact as your feed the local rodents. Because squirrels are omnivorous, their primary diet in the wild has protein, vitamins, and mineral salts. While Critter Crunch is a top seller, it contains corn, peanuts, and sunflower seeds – and that’s a McDonalds burger meal for squirrels. So even if they love it, don’t give them food that will make it harder to forage or dodge their predators. Do you prefer take-out squirrels that grab and run or sit-down diners that hang around and wait for dessert? If you love watching squirrels dig, opt for seeds they can bury instead of fresh fruits. To maintain the squirrels’ natural eating habits, raise the food but keep the water low. Clean your squirrel feeders and water dishes every week – bacteria build up. Set up your waterers and feeders with this in mind … but position them in spots that are safe from predators.

Squirrels are omnivores

Squirrels are predominantly herbivores. But you can class them as omnivores because of the wide variety of food types they’re known to feast on.Much like foxes, squirrels tend to forage and scratch around for anything they feel is edible.From the time they become young adults, they embark on a journey of learning what to eat – guided largely by their parents and by exploring different food groups themselves.If you’re looking for the ideal food that will nourish your local squirrels and cover all the food nutrition they need – and have them coming back for more, then this squirrel food we used from amazon is perfect!

Squirrel food as a baby Squirrel

Squirrels have a natural appetite for the following food groups, not all of them are their favorites, and not all of them are necessarily good for them – which we’ll explore later…Being omnivores makes it easier for them, as they have no clear boundaries on their dining habits.

Squirrels eat fruit and berries

Fruits are one of the squirrel’s favorite food, but like most food groups, it’s better for them to maintain a balanced diet, too much fruit can prevent them from absorbing calcium – so keep fruit-based treats to a minimum.There are lots of different types of fruit that are readily available in abundance during summer and fall so they will consume more of it during this time.The high levels of natural sugar in fruits help them to increase their weight ready for the winter, as well as an added energy boost for foraging.Squirrels have well-adapted claws that make it easy for them to climb trees, their perfect balance helps them to climb along long thin fruit branches to get nuts and berries.

Other fruits and berries

They eat from a variety of fruiting trees that includes (but are not limited to)…

Squirrels eat cheese!

Squirrels also add vegetables to their diet. In fact, they eat a variety of vegetables the same as they do with fruits.Farmers and gardeners are unfortunately very familiar with the vegetables that squirrels eat. But the amount of food taken by squirrels is thankfully quite minimal.Here’s the main selection of vegetables that squirrels eat…Pretty much any tasty vegetables they can get to and take, or dig up. As gardeners know, they’re also pretty clever at getting around many gardeners defenses to get to the good food!Squirrel enthusiasts feed squirrels with cereals. Squirrels tend to love the grains and the nuts within the cereals.Corn flakes, wheat-based cereal, chex, grape nuts and many more are all an acceptable part of their cereal diet – but with some caution – read on…The benefit of these cereals is that they’re loaded with sugar that gives them extra energy.The energy gained by sugar can then be used by these tiny furry animals to keep foraging for more food throughout the day, they’ll look to store any that they don’t consume immediately.Generally speaking, they’re not the first choice for squirrels, but when offered, or when it’s the only food available at the time they’ll take it.In fact, also note that unfortunately, feeding squirrels too much of these sugary cereal snacks are not actually that good for them. They begin to “crave” these foods more and more, and so begin to turn their backs on the more natural foods they should be foraging for and eating and that they’d normally find in the wild.So if you’re feeding squirrels these kinds of cereals, try not to, or at least minimize the amount you give them – or mix them as a small amount – like a treat, alongside other more natural foods so that they’ll more likely eat those too.Of course! When we think of squirrels, we naturally think of them foraging, eating and storing nuts for the winter – and for the most part, we’d be right. So we simply have to include nuts!Nuts are indeed a favored food for squirrels. If you have any nut trees or bushes in your backyard or you live near a nut tree orchard, then there’s a good chance you’ll have squirrels living nearby, and you’ll see squirrels carrying away nuts from the trees or bushes to either eat or store.When they’re not eating any nuts they find on the trees, squirrels will take a few to store in various places and as a tasty meal over the wintertime.As nuts are arguable squirrels’ favorite food, they pretty much eat any nuts available, but squirrels are predominantly herbivores, and as such need to maintain a balanced diet of vitamins and minerals from vegetables and other sources. So feeding them nuts constantly is not a good practice.The kinds of nuts squirrels eat are…Nuts that are in shells are a rich source of nutrition for squirrels, in both fatty acids and protein and are suitable for all types of squirrels. They also assist in keeping teeth ground down and preventing their front teeth from growing too long.The fat content from nuts helps squirrels to build up fat reserves for the winter when food is more scarce.It’s hard to prevent squirrels from eating the nuts on your nut trees, and especially bushes. But there are precautions you can take to make it harder for them.Tree trunks can be wrapped in sheets of metal, these make it hard for squirrels to climb up the tree, but that may not prevent them from using nearby tree branches and other objects to traverse in order to reach your trees.One good point to squirrels eating nuts is that they don’t always remember where they buried every nut. This means the seeds can be dispersed far and wide. This, in turn, ensures greater survival of species of trees easily – nature manages everything!Always try to feed squirrels nuts that they would otherwise have found natively in their natural habitat. Where we are there’s an abundance of acorn trees and chestnut trees. So we tend to feed them those – in moderation!

Video Resources

We’ve mentioned not to feed squirrels corn-based products, or corn ears, and not to feed them peanuts. We’ve also discussed not to feed them sugary treats, or to leave pet food available for them.We recommend not feeding squirrels popcorn. It’s corn-based and has no nutritional value for squirrels. It’s too sugary and or too salty.ProbablyHere’s the most comprehensive list you’ll find about what

Squirrels Are Omnivores

Squirrels are opportunistic eaters and their diets will vary based upon what food sources are available. Some of the most common food sources for these animals are given below.

Tree and Flower Buds

One of the primary food sources for squirrels are the tree nuts found in their natural habitats.Grey and Fox squirrels love to eat nuts from oak, walnut, hickory, and pecan trees.Red Squirrels subsist primarily upon the nuts found within pine cones. The heavy reliance upon this particular food source is why these animals are often referred to as “Pine Squirrels”.Tree nuts are a significant portion of a squirrels diet but they are not available all year long.While squirrels will create large caches of nuts when they are plentiful in the fall, these resources are usually completely consumed during winter and requires the animals to rely upon other food sources in the Spring and Summer.Sometimes a squirrel will forget where they left a cache of nuts and some of these will sprout in the Spring and help the forest remain healthy!

Fungus and Lichen

Squirrels appreciate a healthy diet and all sorts of vegetables are on the menu! Some of the most common vegetables they consume are:It can be really hard to keep squirrels out of vegetable gardens and many people resort to trapping.

Birds and Eggs

Insects are eaten in the summer and are probably especially important for juveniles.Insects are plentiful, easy to catch and are typically high in protein. This combination makes insects an ideal food source for young squirrels who are just starting their way through the world and need plenty of protein for rapid growth.

Meat

The meat eating behavior of squirrels varies significantly between species.Female Fox and Grey squirrels will eat carrion to provide much needed protein while pregnant and nursing.Pine squirrels have been reported to actively hunt chipmunks and even northern hare.Ground squirrels routinely fight snakes that come to eat the young from their burrows. Often the ground squirrels will kill the snake and eat it afterwards

Bones and Antlers

Squirrels are extremely fond of fleshy fruits like apples and peaches. Depending upon the region and fruit, orchard owners will often report losing up to 20% of their harvest to squirrels and birds.Many owners of fruit trees resort to picking fruits early when they are still not quire ripe just to avoid having the tree ravaged by hungry squirrels.Other fruits that squirrels enjoy which are found in their natural habitats include:You can also head over to YouTube, do a search for “Drunk Squirrel” and find plenty of videos featuring squirrels that have consumed a little too much of the following fermented fruits:

Poop

I bet you didn’t see this one coming!All rodents practice “coprophagy” which involves eating their own feces. Although this probably sounds disgusting, coprophagy is an essential practice.When rodents eat food some of the essential digestive work that converts the food into absorbable nutrients is performed in the lower intestine. The issue is that while the lower intestine can perform the conversion, it cannot absorb the nutrients.In order for rodents to benefit from the digestive work performed by the lower intestine they must eat their poop so the nutrients can be absorbed in the upper intestines.

Squirrels and Bird Feeders

If you have been feeding birds for longer than a few days then you already know that squirrels love to eat sunflower seeds. Trying to keep squirrels out bird feeders is a billion dollar industry.One of the best ways I have found to deter squirrels is to fill my feeders with safflower seeds which is one of the few foods that squirrels do not like to eat.I have found safflower seeds to be readily accepted and enjoyed by the songbirds in my yard and the squirrels are completely uninterested in raiding the feeders.

Should You Feed Squirrels Peanuts?

Peanuts are not a natural part of a squirrel’s diet and whether or not you should offer them to your furry friends is a point of debate.Many wildlife specialists will tell you that peanuts are high in fat and are not healthy for wild animals. Other folks will point out that the leading causes of squirrel mortality are predation, cold andPeanuts should not be the primary food source for squirrels so if you do decide to feed them make sure their are other food options available. You could always put up one of our picnic table squirrel feeders and let them eat corn!

Squirrel Habits and Biology

When you hear the word squirrel, you’re probably thinking of a small rodent with a luxurious fluffy tail. In your mind, this cute animal is grey or reddish-brown with gray flecks. The Latin scientific name is Sciuridae (in case you’re ever asked on a game show – you’re welcome!). Over 200 squirrel species exist around the world. The most common American squirrels are:Interestingly, flying squirrels don’t actually ‘fly’. They spread out their limbs as they jump from tree to tree. This makes their skin fan out into ‘wings’ that let them glide through the air. Also, ground squirrels often include gophers, chipmunks, and other rodents. So they’re not always ‘true’ squirrels. But whichever species they are, squirrels eat their weight every week.Most weigh roughly 1lb, but gauge their mass in pounds and check they have at least 1/7But how do they get into those tricky corners? Well, their ankles can turn 180° on a whim, helping them scurry up walls and branches. On average, squirrels are 15 to 20 inches from nose to tail. And they can jump ten times that high – even the non-flying ones (Take that Superman!) They start having babies at roughly one year old and have two or three per litter.Mommy squirrels breed mostly in December or January and are pregnant for about 6 weeks. Their kits or kittens (baby squirrels) are born blind, deaf (their ears are fused shut) and hairless. They wean at about 3 months and start exploring. In the wild, squirrels rarely live beyond 4 years and half of them die out every year. But a pet squirrel can live up to 10 years.

Do Squirrels Eat Dirt?

Squirrels are mammals, meaning they give birth to live babies and suckle them for a few months. They’re also pretty clever and quickly copy nearby animals – including us! So if you routinely feed them, be careful that they don’t get too dependent or they may suffer when you move away. As said, squirrels will pretty much eat anything. But what exactly is dirt?If you mean rummaging through the trash (like raccoons), then no, they don’t. You’ll often see squirrels digging in the ground so you may assume they’re eating dirt. But they’re more likely burying food, harvesting a hidden stash, or hunting insects, worms, and grubs. They do eat twigs, wood, tree bark, and animal horns (like deer antlers) for minerals and fiber.

Food to Avoid When Feeding Squirrels

Squirrel diets are a lot like human diets. Being omnivores, they eat meat and plants, just like we do. Their meat is mostly in the form of insects and snakes, but they might dip into Fido or Fluffy’s dish if you raw-feed your pets. Here are some foods that are gourmet for squirrels.Feed your squirrels the same way you feed your children and your pets. Yes, they love certain things, but that doesn’t mean you should offer ice cream in excess. Balance the foods your squirrels love with foods that are good for their health. Occasional treats are fine, but the bulk of your squirrel diet should be protein-packed dishes that encourage them to exercise.

Squirrel FAQs

How you feed your squirrels will depend on their species and habits. Are they ground-dwellers (like chipmunks) or tree climbers (like fox squirrels and grays)? Do you prefer take-out squirrels that grab and run or sit-down diners that hang around and wait for dessert? Do you fill your feeders year-round or is this a holiday thing? Let’s check out some tips.Squirrels are irrepressibly cute but they’re still wild. Simulate their natural feeding habits. They should have to leap, hunt, and scavenge their meals.Set up your waterers and feeders with this in mind … but position them in spots that are safe from predators. And yes, that includes your pets. If Rex and Purrby keep chasing them off, the squirrels won’t come back.

1. Do squirrels eat peanut butter?

We all love peanut butter. Even with allergies! But it can be addictive … and fattening! So don’t give let them develop a habit! And don’t feed them out of your hands – they’ll get dependent and you may get sick from scratches.

2. What do squirrels eat in winter?

They will look for the nuts they buried in the summer. Or they’ll eat off human feeders. They might go for tree barks, fungi, or insects if they can’t find other food. Squirrels try to fatten themselves in the winter to keep warm. Especially tree squirrels that don’t hibernate.

3. Do squirrels eat meat?

Yes, they can eat snakes, small birds, and wet pet food. But they like nuts and berries best. Flying squirrels eat more meat than other species because they mostly live above ground.

4. When do squirrels eat?

Squirrels forage during the day and sleep at night. For squirrels that hunt (mice, lizards, sometimes other squirrels), they’ll adjust to the patterns of their preferred prey. But otherwise, you’ll rarely spot active squirrels after dark.

5. Can squirrels eat bread?

Squirrels can eat anything (though they don’t seem to like onions and garlic). So yes, they’ll eat bread if you offer it. But it’s not good for their gut – too much sugar, starch, and salt.

6. Do squirrels eat raisins?

You might be worried about choking hazards, but raisins are fine for squirrels. That said, raisins are saccharine … do you really want to face a squirrel on a sugar high?

7. Which vegetables do squirrels like?

Squirrels enjoy all kinds of vegetables so they can be a nuisance in your garden. They’ll eat tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, eggplants, lettuce, and more. They like crunchy veggies best.

8. Do squirrels like flowers?

Yes, they regularly bite into flower bulbs. Just like veggies, they take a few mouthfuls and leave the rest of the flower (or fruit or vegetable) untouched. No table manners whatsoever!

9. How do you keep squirrels out of the garden?

Plant chilies, onions, peppermint, and garlic. Spray the garden with predator pee or vinegar. Use repellents like pinwheels and noisy toys. And train your pets to scare the squirrels off.

10. Can you give Easter Eggs to squirrels?

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is bad for small mammals. That includes cats, dogs, and squirrels. It can cause trembling, seizures, heart problems, and even death.