What do squirrels eat sounds like the start of a joke? Most squirrels are opportunistic in their dining preferences, meaning they will eat practically anything you give them. Their main diet consists of nuts and vegetables, but they also consume bird eggs and insects. They eat nuts, seeds, bark, vegetables, fruit, roots, and some flower bulbs like tulips and crocus in the wild. But mushrooms are an all-time favorite for squirrels.
Because most squirrels aren’t picky unless you are referring to my squirrels here at Kitty City Squirrels. I have a few divas refusing food and forage through a bowl of nuts picking up 6 or 7 before deciding on one.
What Kind of Shoes Does A Squirrel Wear?
They wear “Cashews.” I thought you would get a kick out of that one. Speaking of cashews, that is one nut you should avoid giving to a squirrel. The reason is that cashews have a high phosphorus content. High levels of phosphorus block the squirrel’s ability to absorb enough calcium.
The proper amount of calcium is serious business and vital for a squirrel. Deficiency can cause metabolic bone disease and even death.
Symptoms of Metabolic Bone Disease
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy (sleepiness, unresponsive, and inactive)
What Fruits, Berries, Vegetables, and Nuts are Safe to Feed Squirrels?
Boston bib lettuce
Corn (fresh only, it goes bad quickly and grows mold)
Sugar Snap Peas
Safe Nuts (Unsalted)
What Foods Should You Avoid Giving Squirrels?
Foods to Avoid
Do Not Give
Acorns (some acorns contain poison, but it is impossible to know which ones)
Do Squirrels Eat Peanuts?
Yes, squirrels will eat peanuts, but RAW peanuts are not safe for squirrels because they could contain a fungal toxin called Aflatoxin. This toxin can cause liver damage in squirrels as well as birds.
Roasted and unsalted peanuts in a shell are ok in limited quantities, but they contain little nutritional value. Also, peanuts are not “nuts.” They are legumes in the same category as lentils and soybeans.
Salt is a no-no too for squirrels. Their kidneys can’t filter out a large amount of sodium in the salted nuts.
So next time you see a bushy-tailed squirrel in the park or your garden-don’t get fooled and wonder what squirrels eat. Anything is a snack to a squirrel. Want more information on good foods for your squirrels? Check out our Baby Squirrel Feeding Chart which is the ultimate introduction to foods for squirrels.
Learn about Kitty City Squirrel Tails Magazine. We deliver exclusive content and giveaways every month only to our subscribers. Learn more interesting facts about squirrels and enjoy our fun-filled stories.