What Do Squirrels Like to Eat? [Good & Bad Foods] with INFOGRAPHIC!

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The best food to feed squirrels include varieties of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. They will eat burgers or candy bars but that isn’t safe for them.

If you want to keep a squirrel away from your bird feeders, you should invest in squirrel-resistant bird feeders, and have a feeder specifically dedicated to squirrels!

This easy-to-read guide aims to answer the most common questions you might have about feeding squirrels, including making sure they eat the appropriate food according to their nutritional requirements.

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What Do Squirrels Like to Eat?

Squirrels like to eat plants, seeds, vegetables, meat (insects, snakes, birds etc.) and nuts in the wild.

They will also eat dog and cat food since those are easy meals.

Here’s a comprehensive list of safe foods to feed your squirrels:

  1. Shelled nuts – The crunchy sound they make as they gnaw through those hard shells. It’s so pleasing to them!
  2. They do love Acorns and have helped grown forest from forgotten squirrels’ stashes.
  3. Try Cands Squirrel Logs (CHECK ON AMAZON). They look like timber with ground peanut and sweetcorn.
  4. Fruits like strawberries are big attractants so having them in your garden with squirrels around is an invitation to be raided.
  5. Squirrels also enjoy fruit slices like peaches, apples, or pairs hung on a string.
  6. For seeds, try Chuckanut Pumpkin seeds (BUY ON AMAZON). Their calorie count is lower than sunflowers.
  7. A lot of squirrels have developed a sweet tooth so offer them crunchy, sugary veggies like carrots.
  8. Kaytee’s Country Blend (CHECK ON AMAZON) is made for pets but its fruity mix is great for squirrels too.
  9. A good source of calcium for them is ‘bone meal’. You can provide them with cuttlefish skeletons (cuttlebone) for calcium.
  10. For wild seeds, offer spruce and pine in addition to low-calorie commercial seeds.
  11. Hazelnuts, beechnuts, hickory, and walnuts are popular with squirrels.
  12. They love to feed on wild berries in the fall (Osage oranges are a tasty seasonal treat).
  13. Squirrels are opportunistic eaters. So, if they find wild eggs unguarded, they’ll feast.
  14. Flying squirrels are notorious for raiding small nests and eating newly hatched chicks.
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Remember, just because they love certain things does not mean you should feed in excess. Always strive for a balanced diet for them that is both good and safe.

Occasional treats are fine, but the bulk of your squirrel diet should be protein-packed dishes that encourage them to exercise.

What is a Squirrel Favorite Food Like?

Squirrel favorite foods include:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Plants
  • Mushrooms
  • Fungi
  • Animal-based material (insects, amphibians, small mamals, bird eggs, bones, and even young bird nestlings).
  • Tree flowers and tree buds from a variety of trees including butternut, cedar, dogwood, elm, hackberry, hemlock, hickory, maple, mulberry, pine and spruce.
  • peanuts, peanut butter, pecans, pistachios, grapes, corn, squash, zucchini, pumpkin, strawberries, carrots, apples, sunflower seeds and even snack items, such as Oreo® cookies.

ALSO SEE: How to use Ivermectin Paste for Squirrels Mange Treatment

What Can I Feed Squirrels?

You can feed squirrels corn, peanuts, bird seed can double as squirrel food – black oil sunflower seeds (CHECK ON AMAZON) and nut-based blends (BUY ON AMAZON), fruits, and many more as part of a balanced, varied diet.

What Can Squirrels Eat?

Squirrels will eat any kind of apples, grapes, kiwi fruit, figs, peaches, bananas, strawberries, plums, strawberries, and cuttlefish bone.

What Can You Feed Squirrels?

So, what to feed a squirrel? You can feed beans, cabbage, asparagus, tomatoes, radishes, cauliflowers in fact if it’s a vegetable it’s fair game for a squirrel.

What is the Best Food for Wild Squirrels?

In the wild, squirrels will eat fruits, berries, veggies,nuts, bugs, fungi, eggs, seeds, and plants are Mother Nature’s best food for squirrels.

With limited forests, squirrels don’t always have access to these natural food sources. But we can help by supplementing their food.

What is the Best Squirrel Food?

The following are some of the best squirrel foods:

  • Squirrel snack blocks
  • Squirrel Gourmet food
  • Sweet Corn Squirrel Logs
  • Packs of peanuts

What is the Best Nuts For Squirrels in the Wild & in Captivity?

  • Hazelnuts.
  • Walnuts.
  • Almonds.
  • Peanuts (that are aflatoxin-free)

Is Peanuts for Squirrels Safe to Feed?

It’s safe to feed a peanut or two on occasions. But, most wild squirrels typically avoid them because they contain low nutritional value.

However, never feed a peanut whose shell is growing toxic mold.

Best Food to Feed Squirrels

The following are some of the best food to feed squirrels:

  • Squirrel snack blocks
  • Squirrel Gourmet food
  • Sweet Corn Squirrel Logs
  • Packs of peanuts

They’re cheap squirrel foods and readily available on AMAZON too.

What Do Squirrels Eat Besides Nuts?

Aside nuts, squirrels are known for eating peanuts, peanut butter, pecans, pistachios, grapes, corn, squash, zucchini, pumpkin, strawberries, carrots, apples, sunflower seeds and even snack items, such as Oreo® cookies.

What To Feed Squirrels In The Park?

You can feed the following to squirrels in the park:

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Nuts and
  • Seeds
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These are some of a squirrel’s favorite food.

Avoid feeding junks like burgers to them regularly. The healthier the meal, the better.

What to Feed Baby Squirrels?

You can feed formula the same way as a hydrating solution, with a syringe and a nipple to a baby squirrel.

The best formula to use is Esbilac or Milk Matrix Zoologic 33/40, or Fox Valley 32/40. Start with a 1cc or 3cc syringe very slowly.

The “Miracle Nipple” and the smallest syringe available (the larger the syringe the better the chance of aspirating the baby) is what we recommend for the feeding.

What Do Squirrels Like to Eat

What Can Squirrels Not Eat?

Here are some unsafe foods for squirrels you should avoid when feeding or loading up their feeders:

  • Never focus on feeding a single type of meal. Squirrels are omnivorous, their primary diet in the wild has protein, vitamins, and mineral salts. And they’re high-energy nibblers but that doesn’t mean you should feed excessive carbs. They don’t need it.
  • Feed corn or sunflower seeds sparingly. They love them but it has no nutritional value and will just make them too fat to jump.
  • Squirrels will gladly eat nuts of all kinds. Especially if the nuts are offered in shells. But peanuts are legumes rather than nuts. So, they can get moldy, and mold can poison the squirrel.
  • Avoid feeding fresh peanut because it can get mold easy. Instead, roast the peanuts first. This reduces the likelihood of potentially toxic mold.
  • Yes, squirrels often go to hunt for food in bird feeders. But that food isn’t the best. Invest in squirrel-proof bird feeders and get your squirrels their own feeders with safer food.
  • Human junk food (popcorn, cookies, cake, and potato chips) is a no-no. Yes, the squirrels will eat them and probably beg for more, but you don’t want obese rodents.
  • While Critter Crunch is a top seller, it contains corn, peanuts, and sunflower seeds – and that’s a McDonalds burger meal for squirrels. Maybe try something else.

Remember, we typically love junk food because they are fast, fun, and affordable but it’s bad for us. Same thing applies to squirrels.

Since they don’t live indoors, you’re their sure plug for fast-foods. So, even if they love it, don’t give them food that will make it harder to forage or dodge their predators.

Do Squirrels Eat Peanut Butter?

Yes, they do. However, it can be addictive and fattening pretty quick. So, offer it as a treat sparingly.

What to Feed Squirrels in Winter?

What Do Squirrels Eat In Winter? They will unbury the nuts tey buried in the summer, eat off human feeders, fungi, tree barks or insects.

Naturally, Squirrels try to fatten themselves in the winter to keep warm

Do Squirrels Eat Meat?

Squirrels will eat meat if opportunity presents itself. They like to snack on snakes, small eggs, smell birds, and wet pet food.

When Do Squirrels Eat?

Squirrels forage and eat during the day while they sleep at night.

However, being adaptive, squirrels that hunt (mice, lizards, sometimes other squirrels), will adjust to the patterns of their preferred prey. But otherwise, you’ll rarely spot active squirrels after dark.

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Can Squirrels Eat Bread?

Squirrels can eat bread if you offer it. But it’s not good for their gut – too much sugar, starch, and salt.

Do Squirrels Eat Raisins?

Raisins, in small amounts, feed occasionally are fine for squirrels because it contains saccharine – do you really want to put a squirrel on a high sugar diet?

Which Vegetables Do Squirrels Like?

Squirrels like and will eat all kinds of veggies including cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, eggplants, and more.

To them, the crunchier, the better.

Do Squirrels Like Flowers?

Squirrels are curious eaters and will bite into your flower bulb once in a while.

How Do You Keep Squirrels Out of The Garden?

You can do the following to deter squirrels from your garden:

  • Train your pets to scare the squirrels off.
  • Plant chilies, onions, peppermint, and garlic.
  • Spray the garden with predator pee or vinegar. Use repellents like pinwheels and noisy toys.

Can You Give Easter Eggs to Squirrels?

No, NEVER FEED IT.

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is bad for small mammals. That includes cats, dogs, and squirrels. It can cause trembling, seizures, heart problems, and even death.

What Can I Use to Feed Squirrels?

You can use the following to feed squirrels:

Other feeding options for squirrels include installing a seed table or simply scattering their favorite treats in a few choice areas near your regular bird feeders.

Is it Safe to Feed Squirrels?

Squirrels are typically docile to humans. However, one might jump on you as you refill their feeder in excitement.

Plus, they can also carry mites, fleas and other parasites that can live on you. So, be careful and feed at a safe distance.

Is it Legal to Feed Squirrels?

It is legal to feed squirrels in some states and illegal to feed in others. So, you should check specific rules for your state and municipality.

Do Squirrels Eat Dirt?

Squirrels don’t particularly eat dirt. However, they dig to uncover their food stash, worms, grubs, or hunt insects.

They do eat twigs, wood, tree bark, and animal horns (like deer antlers) for minerals and fiber.

Can Squirrels eat Dog and Cat Food?

Although not the safest food for them out there, squirrels being opportunistic eaters will eat dog kibbles and cat wet food.

Can Squirrels eat Scraps and Waste?

They do eat human scraps and waste in the garbage bin but I wouldn’t let them near it. It can have disastrous consequences.

Can Squirrels eat Fungi?

Squirrels will consume fungi like acorn truffles, truffles, oyster mushrooms, and more.

Can Squirrels eat Cereals?

Cereal are high-energy giving foods and squirrels love them!

Can Squirrels eat Cheese?

You can feed cheese so they can store extra bit of fat for leaner times. Their favorites include chunks of cheddar, swiss, provolone, mozzarella, and anything else that they come across.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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