Squirrels appear to have endless amounts of energy. During the day, they spend their time eating, sleeping, and storing food away to eat later when food is scarce. A squirrel’s ideal diet includes mainly a combination of nuts, fungi, berries, fruit, bark, and tree sap. Some of their favorite fruits are apples, oranges, apricots, and avocados. So, do squirrels like fruit? You bet they do! Let’s look at what fruits you can give them safely and which ones to avoid.
First, there is an important message concerning sugar and squirrels. Any food that contains naturally occurring sugar should be fed in minimal quantities. Limit fruit servings to two slices or pieces per day since the sugar content is high. A squirrel’s digestive system is sensitive, and too much sugar can cause digestion problems. Only offer fruit treats after a squirrel has eaten healthier foods first.
Do Squirrels Like Fruit: How About Cherries?
There is no harm in squirrels eating cherries in limited amounts, but eating the pits or seeds, except for berries, is a no-no. The poisonous chemical found in the pit or seeds of stone fruit is called amygdalin. If the pit or seed is crushed or chewed before swallowing, the amygdalin is released and causes poisoning.
Poisoning can occur when the pit and seed are crushed or chewed before swallowing, releasing the amygdalin. The body converts amygdalin to cyanide. Avoid giving squirrels pits from stone fruits like cherries, peaches, plums, and nectarines.
Do Squirrels Like Fruit: How About Berries?
Squirrels love to eat berries. If you grow strawberries, squirrels might be frequent customers in your garden. Strawberries provide Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber which is suitable for their digestive system preventing constipation.
They also love blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and mulberries. The seeds from these kinds of berries are safe for squirrels to eat.
Do Squirrels Like Fruit: How About Grapes?
Squirrels will eat fruits fondly, but as described above, eating too many grapes can harm them. Any food that contains sugar shouldn’t be fed to squirrels as it can affect their health. Since grapes do contain sugar, squirrels can have small amounts.
Aside from grapes, squirrels can eat many other fruits like mango, apple, banana, pears, kiwi, peach, pineapple, and many more. These fruits also have to be given in limited quantities because they are also high in sugar and can cause harm to the squirrel’s digestive system resulting in weakness.
Do Squirrels Like Fruit: How About Raisins?
Raisins are dried grapes and contain a high amount of sugar. Raisins are not toxic to squirrels, but there is no nutritional value in the fruit. They are incredibly high in sugar which will damage a squirrel’s delicate digestive system. Raisins are a poor choice for a squirrel snack.
How About Oranges?
Squirrels love citrus fruits and appreciate the sour taste of oranges and can be given to them occasionally. Like raisins, they can eat them, but they are not the best choice due to their high sugar content. An orange slice given occasionally should be fine, but remember, high sugar can cause digestive issues.
How About Dates?
You can give one or two dates periodically, but they are also high in sugar, containing 16 grams of sugar each. As mentioned before, squirrels that consume too much sugar can get an upset digestive tract resulting in diarrhea.
Do Squirrels Like Fruit: How About Dried Varieties?
A piece of dried fruit here and there is ok but is not a wise choice due to the sugar content. The main difference between dried and fresh fruits is the sugar and calorie content. The fruit loses water during the drying process, and the calorie and sugar content becomes more concentrated than if the fruit was fresh. Offering dried fruit is not recommended because it can cause weakness, diarrhea, and stomach problems.
Feeding the wild backyard squirrels is fun and provides entertainment. Did this article give you enough information to answer the question, “do squirrels like fruit?” If you have any questions regarding a squirrel’s diet, what they like to eat, or any other topic, please reach out to us HERE. Yes, they do, and we have the responsibility to offer healthy choices when we feed them. Squirrels need vitamins and minerals from balanced sources to help them live a longer and healthier life.
Thinking About Giving a Squirrel a Home?
Take a look at these homes created by Back2NatureWood that provide safety from predators, warmth, and shelter from extreme weather. We love squirrels for their entertaining behavior; they also have an important ecological role, especially in forest ecosystems. Mounting a nesting box away from fruit trees is a great way to show our furry friends we care and still have your fruit and eat it too!
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