What Do Squirrels Eat? Find Out Here

What Do Squirrels Eat? Find Out Here

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?

What Do Squirrels Eat - fox squirrel eating an almond
Fox squirrel eating an almond

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

  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy (sleepiness, unresponsive, and inactive)
  • Paralysis

What Fruits, Berries, Vegetables, and Nuts are Safe to Feed Squirrels?

Safe Fruits

Broccoli
Cauliflower
Arugula
Bok Choy
Brussel sprouts
Cabbage
Chayote
Mushrooms
Water Cress

Safe Berries

Apple
Apricot
Banana
Blackberry
Blueberry
Cantaloupe
Cherries
Crabapples
Cranberries
Grapefruit
Grapes
Honeydew
Lemon
Lime
Mango
Nectarine
Orange
Papaya
Peach
Pear
Pineapple
Pomegranate
Raspberries
Strawberries
Watermelon

Safe Vegetables

Boston bib lettuce
Romaine lettuce
Iceberg lettuce
Endive
Radicchio
Artichokes
Avocados
Asparagus
Carrots
Celery
Cilantro
Carrots
Corn (fresh only, it goes bad quickly and grows mold)
Dandelion Greens
Fennel
Green Beans
Kale
Parsley
Radish
Squash
Sugar Snap Peas
Sweet Potatoes
Tomatoes


Safe Nuts (Unsalted)

Almonds
Hazelnuts
Pecan
Peanuts
Sesame seeds
Walnuts



What Foods Should You Avoid Giving Squirrels?

Foods to Avoid

Chestnuts
Fruit pits/seeds
Sugars/Sweets
Grains
Cereal
Bread
Processed Foods

Do Not Give

Acorns (some acorns contain poison, but it is impossible to know which ones)

cashews

Raw Peanuts

Salted Nuts

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.

Conclusion

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.

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2 thoughts on “What Do Squirrels Eat? Find Out Here”

  1. ?? I had forgotten that you used the disco dance ? on the nutbox. Cracks me up every time I see it.
    Coverage of what squillys should and shouldn’t eat is very helpful for those who are making friends with the fuzzys. ?

    Reply

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