Are Squirrels Omnivores?

Last Updated: 23.10.19

 

Squirrels are cute little animals, but they can also be quite destructive, and that is why many people want to learn as much as possible about how to repel squirrels. Lucky for them, there are many ways to keep them far away from their property, and it is up to them to choose a method they consider best for their needs.

These interesting small rodents have some unique characteristics and we should learn more about them in order to able to understand them better. Some people wonder if squirrels eat both plants and meat, and the answer is yes. But they also enjoy eating other things. If we have made you curious you should keep on reading this article to find out more.

 

Types of squirrels

Squirrels are adorable little creatures that have a cute bushy tail and they live all over the world. It is believed that there are 200 species of squirrels and they are part of the Sciuridae family along with chipmunks, prairie dogs, and marmots. Even if many of us are only familiar with one type of squirrels, you should know that there are three types: ground, flying, and tree squirrels.

This means that they are all different and they all have their own specific characteristics and they live in different places. The tree squirrels are mostly found in wooded areas as they like to spend most of their time in trees. The flying squirrels prefer to live in tree holes, and they make their house in nests that are built into the notches of various branches.

They “fly” from one tree to another by spreading their muscle membrane between their legs, and sometimes they will just get from tree to tree or to the ground. Interesting enough, the flying squirrels can glide in the air for up to 160 feet (48 m) hence their iconic name. The ground squirrels are those that many of us know about and some of us also met them.

They live on the ground and they are good at digging burrows underground where they spend a lot of time. Also, certain types of squirrels will just hibernate in these burrows during winter to stay warm. Even though they can cause some serious damages to humans properties, these small animals are very interesting and the best way to deal with them is to understand them.

What do they eat?

As we have already mentioned, squirrels eat many things as they are not too picky when it comes to food. They like to nibble on anything they find, and that is why they can cause some serious damage to your property. If you’ve had any encounters with a squirrel you have noticed how much they enjoy tasting and chewing on various things.

Researchers state that squirrels tend to eat about one pound of food per week, depending on how much food is available to them. Sometimes they can eat less, and other times when they get lucky and they have access to plenty of food they will choose to eat more. With this in mind, it is good to know that they enjoy eating in order to know how to protect your premises.

Although many people believe that squirrels only feed on fruits and plants, they are actually omnivores which means that they will not say no to meat if it is available to them. Besides eating fungi, seeds, nuts, and fruits, squirrels will also be more than happy to munch on small insects, and sometimes they will even eat eggs.

Furthermore, when they don’t have multiple options, squirrels will feast themselves on small animals, caterpillars, and even snakes. So, if you thought that squirrels are innocent little creatures that will not dare to harm other animals, you were wrong. They might seem small and helpless but these small rodents do know how to take proper care of themselves.

 

New eating habits

We have learned what squirrels eat when they are in the wild, but they have become accustomed to spending more and more time around humans which made them pick up new eating habits. Squirrels have learned how to adapt in order to survive, and when it comes to food, they did the exact same thing – they started eating whatever was available to them.

This means that they are happy with whatever they have and they are willing to change their eating habits anytime – they are flexible and adaptable depending on the circumstances. What they need is food, and if they are not able to find berries, veggies, pecans, or acorns, squirrels will just eat anything including pieces of food that people may discard in parks, or in their yard.

That is why being careful where you discard your food waste can decrease the number of squirrels invading your property. They will no longer be attracted to your surrounding and they will start searching for food somewhere else. Also, if you have pets, you should be cautious with the treats you give them as the squirrels can steal them.

Squirrels are clever animals and they will easily manage to eat the food that was meant for your dog or for your cat. That is why you should supervise your pet when he/she is eating his/her meal to make sure that no squirrels are stealing his/her food. Sandwiches, old lunch meat, and burger scraps are also things that squirrels will definitely enjoy eating.

Favorite foods

Just because squirrels love to munch on almost anything, and they eat whatever is available to them without being picky, doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own preferences. Fruits, for example, will be eaten by squirrels with a lot of enthusiasm and they will never say no to them. So, if you have a fruit tree in your yard, it will definitely attract plenty of them near it.

Fruit bushes and vines are equally loved by most squirrels, and if you have them on your property they will most likely attract lots of curious and hungry little animals. Squirrels love to hoard delicious fruits for themselves as they enjoy the taste and it makes them happy. Moreover, these little creatures have the amazing ability to climb tall trees.

This means that the fruits from your fruit trees will be devoured by these small animals – it is very easy for them to do this. They don’t really mind what type of fruits they eat, and they will gladly climb a multitude of fruit trees. They love to eat pears, grapes, mangoes, figs, nectarines, avocadoes, kiwi, peaches, and many more.

Moreover, berries are also among their favorites and they will not miss any chance of getting their hands on blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries. You love melons, and guess what, squirrels love them too! They eat almost any melon including watermelons, cantaloupe, and they also eat bananas and cherries.

Squirrels have noticed how important it is for them to eat fruits, and that is why they will never step back when it comes to munching on them. They need the energy for all daily activities, and fruits will give them just that.

 

 

 

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