Do Squirrels Eat Lettuce: A Bonanza Garden Picnic

Do Squirrels Eat Lettuce: A Bonanza Garden Picnic


Do squirrels eat lettuce? As you may know, these small mammals are known to be extremely resourceful and opportunistic. More than any other animal, they can survive in all kinds of environments and food sources. So, what do squirrels eat?

Squirrels Adapt to Their Environment

Their diet is mostly made up of nuts, fruits, seeds, leaves, and insects. They will also eat almost anything else when the opportunity arises. While most people assume that all squirrels live on the same diet (nuts primarily), there are a great many types of them with different eating habits.

Squirrels have evolved to be able to survive in many different kinds of environments. Squirrels have adapted to a wide range of habitats from arid desert regions to dense forests. This means that they have a varied diet with many different food sources.

These foods include plenty of nuts and berries as well as gardens with plenty of corn, apples, and potatoes as well as many other things in between. The availability of certain foods will depend on the time of year, the habitat, and the weather.

do squirrels eat lettuce - squirrel eating peanuts from a bird feeder

Do Squirrels Like Lettuce?

Lettuce is one of the most favorite things for squirrels to munch on. And yes, lettuce is very healthy for them.

The vegetable is full of vitamins and essential minerals. The food details confirmed that lettuce is healthy food for little critters. Lettuce has a small amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Check out the nutritional information for lettuce and leafy greens.

What is Not on the Menu for Most Squirrels?

There are also certain plants that squirrels are known to avoid completely, including ragweed and members of the sunflower family.

Nuts Are Important to The Squirrel Diet

Most of us think of squirrels like nuts, and they do eat an astonishing amount of this one item. Nuts are high in energy and protein, making them perfect for small warm-blooded animals. They are also extremely high in fat, which is important for growth, insulation, and energy. Most nuts are also high in phosphorus, calcium, and other minerals. Acorns and chestnuts are also very high in tannin, a bitter toxin that is removed from the squirrel’s diet by soaking or roasting. Hazelnuts, pine nuts, and walnuts are also very high in protein, and pecans, hickories, and some other nuts are extremely high in fat.

Fruits Are Also Important

Squirrels are also known to be avid fruit eaters. There are a wide range of fruits that are included in the squirrel diet. Apples and garden produce such as lettuce, corn, and other vegetables also make up a substantial part of their diet when available. Squirrels are also known to eat certain flowers such as tulips, roses, and hyacinths. In some cases, they will eat the bulbs as well as the flowers. They also eat bark and cambium (newly growing layers) of trees. In some cases, they will also eat fungi, grains, seeds, nuts, bark and insects.

Check out this article if you want to learn more about how to keep squirrels away from your fruit trees.

do-squirrels-eat-lettuce-red-squirrel-eating-grape

Seeds are Also a Major Food Source for Squirrels

Seeds are important to the squirrel diet in two ways. The first is obvious: many seeds are a part of the squirrel’s diet. But the second is less obvious: many trees, plants, and other sources of nuts also have seeds as part of their reproductive cycle. Most of these seeds pass through the digestive system with few ill effects and with no nutritional loss. This is because of the low nutritional content of the seeds.

Shoots and Leaves Also Make Up Their Diet

Squirrels are also known to eat the new growth that emerges from the ground. This is often called “shoots”, and it is a significant part of the squirrel diet, along with leaves.

Insects are also Part of a Squirrel’s Diet

Squirrels also eat a wide range of insects including beetles, crickets, termites, and other arthropods. Some types of squirrels are also known to eat small lizards, snakes and worms.

Check out this article on a baby squirrel’s diet if you want more information.

do squirrels eat lettuce - squirrel eating watermelon

Bottom Line: Do Squirrels Eat Lettuce?

Squirrels are omnivores, and their diet will vary based on their location. They eat a wide range of foods and can survive on almost anything. Squirrels eat nuts, seeds, and fruits when they are available. They will also eat insects and shoots when other foods are scarce. Squirrels will eat lettuce when it is available, but it does not form the bulk of their diet.

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