What Do Squirrels Eat?

Squirrels are rodents, but usually have much more appeal to the average homeowner than do other rodents, such as rats and mice. The most common type of squirrel, the grey squirrel, is found throughout North America and on every continent except for Australia. Another frequently seen species of squirrel is the fox squirrel, sometimes known as the red squirrel.

It’s pleasant to watch a few squirrels playing in the trees on your property or scurrying around in your yard, but these rodents can wreak havoc on your lawn or in your garden in their quest for food. So, what do squirrels like to eat?

Bring on the fruits and veggies

Most types of squirrels are vegetarians. They are not picky eaters and will feed on practically any food that’s readily available, but they tend to prefer vegetables and fruit. Favorites of the squirrel diet include corn, mushrooms, squash and broccoli. They also enjoy apples, oranges, apricots and avocados.

Nuts and other favorites

A squirrel’s diet also consists of nuts. Acorns, walnuts and peanuts are the preferred food items in this group. Other than nuts, they sometimes consume insects, seeds, eggs and plant materials like flower bulbs and roots. Like all rodents, the squirrel has four front teeth that continually grow. They munch on tree limbs, twigs and bark in order to keep these teeth filed down.

Young squirrels

What do baby squirrels eat? Newborn squirrels are fed from their mother’s milk. They do not begin to leave the nest until after about 40 days. They are not fully weaned, however, for another 50 to 70 days.

Food storage

Squirrels are hoarders and love to dig holes and hide their food in multiple locations. They do this year-round, not just to store food for the winter. Not only will squirrels dig holes all over your lawn, they’ll ruin your garden in search of flower bulbs, which are a delicacy for them. Squirrels will also dig “fake” storage holes and place no food inside so that other animals won’t discover where their real food stashes are located.

What do squirrels eat? Just about everything. And while these rodents can be entertaining, they can also cause a slew of problems. If squirrels have become an unpleasant form of entertainment near your home, call Terminix® and let them help cancel the show.