Can Squirrels Eat Bananas – A Healthy or Harmful Treat?


As we watch squirrels scurry around our backyards, we can’t help but wonder – what do they eat? Squirrels usually eat nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects, but what about bananas? In this blog, we’ll talk about whether squirrels can eat bananas. What good things are in bananas, and whether it’s safe or not to give bananas to squirrels. Let’s find out – Can squirrels eat bananas?

can squirrels eat bananas - eastern grey squirrel eating a banana

Key Takeaways – Can Squirrels Eat Bananas

Nutritional Value of Bananas

Banana NutrientsAmount per 100g (Medium size)
Calories89
Protein1.1g
Fat0.3g
Carbohydrates22.8g
Fiber2.6g
Sugar12.2g
Potassium358mg
Vitamin C8.7mg
Vitamin B60.4mg
Magnesium27mg
Folate20mcg
Manganese0.3mg
Note: Nutritional values may vary slightly depending on the ripeness and size of the banana.
can squirrels eat bananas - squirrel eating a banana in front of a black background

Do Squirrels Eat Bananas?

Do squirrels eat bananas? Of course, this doesn’t mean that squirrels can’t eat bananas at all. Bananas are a great source of potassium, fiber, and other essential nutrients for humans.

However, it’s important to remember that squirrels have different nutritional needs than we do. So, while a banana might be a tasty treat for them, it shouldn’t replace their primary diet of nuts and seeds.

What Other Fruits Do Squirrels Eat?

Squirrels are known to eat a variety of fruits, in addition to nuts like walnuts, almonds, seeds, pinecones, and insects. Some of the fruits that squirrels may eat include:

  1. Apples
  2. Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)
  3. Oranges
  4. Grapes
  5. Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.)
  6. Peaches
  7. Pears
  8. Plums
  9. Cherries
  10. Figs

Avoid feeding squirrels fruits that are spoiled, moldy, or contaminated with pesticides or other harmful substances.

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Can Baby Squirrels Eat Bananas?

Baby squirrels, like adult squirrels, can technically eat bananas. However, bananas aren’t recommended as a primary food source. Baby squirrels have unique nutritional needs. Their diet should be carefully balanced to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients for growth and development.

In the wild, baby squirrels rely on their mother’s milk for the first several weeks of their life. As they grow older, they begin to eat solid foods like nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects.

Bananas can be introduced to a baby squirrel’s diet as a small treat. They should not replace their primary diet of mother’s milk or formula, followed by a balanced diet of natural foods.

It’s important to note that feeding baby squirrels can be a challenging and delicate process. We recommend consulting with a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian that specializes in squirrel care.

Do Squirrels Eat Banana Peels?

Squirrels can eat banana peels, but they are not a natural part of their diet. The peels are difficult for them to digest. Banana peels are tough and fibrous. The peel’s toughness makes it hard for squirrels to break down. If banana peels are eaten in large amounts, it may cause digestive issues.

In general, it’s best to avoid feeding squirrels banana peels and instead offer them the flesh of the banana as an occasional treat.

If you do offer a squirrel a banana peel, make sure it’s clean and free of any pesticides.

can squirrels eat bananas - eastern grey squirrel eating a banana

Do Squirrels Eat Banana Leaves?

While squirrels can technically eat banana leaves, they are not a common part of their diet and are not considered a primary food source for them.

Banana leaves are tough and fibrous, and squirrels may have difficulty breaking them down and digesting them properly.

Also, banana leaves do not provide a significant amount of nutrition for squirrels. There are other foods that are much better suited to their dietary needs.

If you have banana leaves in your yard, it’s unlikely that squirrels will seek them out as a food source. Squirrels are more likely to gravitate towards foods that are easier to consume and provide more nutritional value.

Do Squirrels Eat Banana Trees?

Squirrels may climb banana trees for shelter or to grab a banana snack. But typically, they do not eat banana trees. Banana trees have tough, fibrous stalks and leaves that are not a natural part of their diet. However, they may occasionally nibble on tree bark or leaves.

Can Squirrels Eat Banana Chips (Dried Bananas)?

Banana chips are usually fried or dried bananas. They have been processed with preservatives to extend their shelf life. While they still have nutritional value, they are often high in added sugar, salt, or preservatives. These ingredients are harmful to a squirrel’s health if consumed in large quantities.

If you want to offer banana chips to squirrels, it’s best to look for all-natural, unsweetened varieties without added preservatives or flavorings.

Can Squirrels Eat Banana Bread?

Squirrels can technically eat banana bread, but it’s not a recommended food for them. Banana bread is typically made with flour, sugar, and other ingredients that are not part of a squirrel’s natural diet and can be harmful to their health if consumed in large quantities.

Also, banana bread may contain added ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, or raisins, which can be toxic or choking hazards for squirrels.

Even if the banana bread does not contain any harmful ingredients, it’s still not a nutritionally balanced food for squirrels and should not be a regular part of their diet.

Alternative Foods for Bananas

Squirrels will also enjoy other fruits like apples, berries, and melons, as well as nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts, which are all natural foods for them.

Do Squirrels Eat Banana Peppers?

Squirrels are unlikely to eat banana peppers, Banana peppers are a type of chili pepper that are often used in cooking and can be quite spicy, depending on the variety.

Avoid feeding squirrels any spicy or highly seasoned foods, as these can be harmful to their digestive system and may cause discomfort or health issues.

While some animals like birds may be attracted to the bright colors of peppers and may eat them, squirrels generally prefer milder foods like nuts, seeds, and fruits.

Conclusion – Can Squirrels Eat Bananas

In conclusion, the answer to the question – Can Squirrels Eat Bananas?” is yes, they can. But like with everything else in life, moderation is key. It’s best to stick to their natural diet and offer bananas as an occasional treat. So, the next time you see a squirrel in your backyard, feel free to share one slice of your banana with them.

FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions about Can Squirrels Eat Bananas?

Is it safe for squirrels to eat bananas?

Yes, squirrels can safely eat bananas, but they should be offered in moderation and as a treat, rather than a staple food.

Are bananas a natural food for squirrels?

No, bananas are not a natural food for squirrels, who typically eat nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects.

What nutritional value do bananas offer to squirrels?

Bananas are a good source of potassium, fiber, and other nutrients that can benefit a squirrel’s health when eaten in moderation.

Can feeding squirrels bananas cause any health problems?

Feeding squirrels too many bananas or spoiled bananas can upset their stomach and cause digestive issues. Additionally, bananas should not replace a squirrel’s natural diet of nuts, seeds, and fruits.

How often should I offer bananas as a treat for squirrels?

Bananas should be offered as an occasional treat. Offering small slices of fresh, ripe bananas once or twice a week can be a fun way to attract squirrels to your backyard and observe their behavior.

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