What Do Squirrels Eat In The Wild? (Surprising Answers)

  • By: Alex
  • Date: September 16, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Who doesn’t love seeing a cute little squirrel darting around trees and gathering nuts? But have you ever wondered what they eat when you’re not around to offer them a snack?

Who doesn’t love seeing a cute little squirrel darting around trees and gathering nuts? But have you ever wondered what they eat when you’re not around to offer them a snack?

In the wild, squirrels are actually quite versatile in their diet. In addition to nuts and berries, they also enjoy fungi and other plants. 

And when winter comes, they rely on their stored food supplies to get them through the tough times. That’s right; squirrels are smart enough to know they need to stock up on food for the winter months.

Squirrels are opportunistic eaters, which means they’ll eat just about anything they can find. This includes fruits, vegetables, fungi, and even bird eggs. In the wild, their diet varies depending on the season.

Are Squirrels Carnivore or Herbivore

Are Squirrels Carnivore or Herbivore

In the spring and summer, they primarily eat green plants. Come fall, they feast on nuts and fruits as these become available.

They are known to eat the occasional bird egg or insect if other food sources are scarce. So while they’re not strict carnivores or herbivores, the vast majority of their diet is plant-based.

In addition to nuts and seeds, these little critters will also chow down on insects. While they don’t actively go hunting for bugs, if they come across a caterpillarbutterflyantbeecricket, or beetle, they’re not going to hesitate to munch on them.

If you spot a squirrel eating a caterpillar, don’t be shocked. They’re simply taking advantage of a delectable (and simple) meal!

Do Squirrels Eat Fruit & Vegetables?

squirrel eating apple

The answer is yes! Squirrels enjoy all kinds of crunchy vegetables, from tomatoes and beans to cucumbers and eggplants. Their love of veggies can be a real nuisance for gardeners.

While they typically prefer fresh produce, squirrels will also eat processed foods like lettuce. So if you’re trying to keep these furry critters out of your garden, you’ll need to take extra precautions to protect your crops.

Do Squirrels Eat Plants?

Do Squirrels Eat Plants

Squirrels are often seen as playful, friendly creatures. But many people don’t realize that these furry little mammals can be quite a nuisance. One of the ways they cause problems is by eating plants.

Squirrels are particularly fond of nuts and bird seeds, but they will also eat the seeds from other plants, such as sunflowers, pumpkins, and safflower.

They also nibble on flower petals, bulbs, and other delicate plant parts. While it may seem harmless, this can cause significant damage to gardens and landscaping.

Do squirrels like flowers?

Do squirrels like flowers

They’re not particularly interested in flowers. They’re more interested in fruits and vegetables. They appear to enjoy sweet or salty foods, much like humans. However, they are also far more inclined to nibble on a flower for a few seconds before moving on to something else.

Do Squirrels Eat Small animals?

Squirrels will also eat small animals if necessary. Baby birds are helpless and easy prey, and they can provide squirrels with a lot of protein, calcium, and vital nutrients for a starving squirrel.

Of course, squirrels usually prefer to stick to their vegetarian diet, but they are not afraid to eat meat if it means staying alive.

When do squirrels eat?

Most squirrels are diurnal, meaning they’re only active during the day. There are some exceptions to this rule, but not many.

For example, flying squirrels are primarily nocturnal, and some species of squirrels that hunt mice or lizards will adjust their activity patterns to match those of their prey.

But for the most part, you won’t see many squirrels out and about once the sun goes down. So if you’re looking to spot one of these furry little creatures, your best bet is to do it during the day.

What do Baby Squirrels Eat?

What do Baby Squirrels Eat

Baby squirrels are born blind, deaf, and dependent on their mother.

For the first six weeks of their life, they will drink only breast milk. Around two weeks of age, they will start to grow fur, and at four weeks old, their eyes will open.

Once they reach eight to ten weeks old, they are fully weaned and ready to start foraging for food. However, during this time, the mother squirrel will take them out to show them where to find food sources.

Once independent, squirrels will eat various foods, including nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects. Their diet varies depending on the time of year and what is available.

In the winter, when food is scarce, squirrels may rely heavily on stored supplies of nuts and seeds. To ensure a steady food supply year-round, squirrels typically hoard large quantities of food in the fall.

What nuts do squirrels eat?

What nuts do squirrels eat

Squirrels like just about any kind of nut. However, their favorites include acorns, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, beech nuts, and pine nuts.

While peanuts are not particularly good for them nutritionally, they will still eat them if available. However, salted peanuts should always be avoided, as the salt can harm squirrels.

What should you NOT give a squirrel that has been caught in the wild?

If you’ve ever watched a squirrel raiding a trash can, you might assume they’ll eat just about anything. And while it’s true that squirrels are tolerant of a wide range of foods, there are some things that they shouldn’t eat.

Dairy products, chocolate, and junk food are all on the list of no-nos, candy, highly processed foods, and sugary cereals.

Wild onion and garlic are also typically avoided by squirrels due to their intense flavors.

So if you’re planning to feed these furry friends, stick to safe and healthy options like nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Your squirrels will thank you!

Special Foods that squirrels will love

If you’re looking to attract squirrels to your yard, then you’ll need to buy some exceptional squirrel food. These feeds are specially formulated and will contain favorites such as maize, sunflower seeds, wheat, and oats.

Squirrels are also known to enjoy peanuts, so you might want to try adding a few of those to the mix. Just make sure you don’t put out too much food, as this can attract other animals you might not be so keen on having around.

Once you’ve got your squirrel feed, simply scatter it around your yard and wait for the little critters to start appearing. You can also try putting some out on a bird table or feeding station, but be prepared for the birds to begin fighting over the squirrelly treats!

What do squirrels eat in the wild in winter?

What do squirrels eat in the wild in winter

As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, you might notice that your backyard squirrels are eating a little more than usual. This is because they’re getting ready for winter when food will be scarce.

To build up their fat stores, squirrels eat just about anything they can find, including acorns, nuts, seeds, fruits, and even insects.

In the wild, squirrels will also eat the bark of trees and the buds of plants. While this might not sound very appetizing to us, it’s a great source of nutrients and helps them survive the long winter months.

Do squirrels eat peanut butter?

Who doesn’t love a good PB&J? Apparently, squirrels do too. Peanut butter is a popular food for these little rodents, who often go out of their way to find a stash. While Squirrels eat just about anything, peanut butter is one of their favorites. And it’s no wonder why.

Peanut butter is packed with protein, which is essential for squirrels. Plus, it’s a delicious treat that they can’t resist. However, there are some drawbacks to feeding squirrels peanut butter. First, it can be messy.

Second, if you provide them out of your hand, they may depend on you for food. And finally, you could get sick from scratches if they become too friendly. So while squirrels may love peanut butter, leaving them to find their stash is best.

Can squirrels eat bread?

The answer is yes; squirrels can eat bread. So if you’re ever feeling generous and want to share your sandwich with a furry friend, feel free to offer a piece of bread to a squirrel.

Just be aware that bread is not particularly good for their gut – too much sugar, starch, and salt can have adverse effects. Still, they’ll gladly take a bite out of your lunch in a pinch.

Do Squirrels Eat Dirt?

Squirrels are fascinating creatures. They’re often seen digging in the ground, leading many people to believe that they eat dirt. However, that’s not usually the case.

Squirrels are more likely to be burying food, harvesting a hidden stash, or hunting insects, worms, and grubs when digging.

Do red and grey squirrels eat the same thing?

It’s a common misconception that red and grey squirrels are very different creatures. In fact, these two species are more alike than you might think.

For one thing, they both eat primarily nuts and seeds. In addition, they both enjoy the occasional piece of fruit or insect.

However, there are a few key differences in their diet. Red squirrels tend to eat more mushrooms than grey squirrels, and they also like to hoard acorns for winter.

Grey squirrels, on the other hand, are more likely to eat eggs and small mammals. While some variances in their diet, red and grey squirrels enjoy the same foods.