What To Feed Squirrels In The Backyard


As with birds, squirrel watching can turn into a relaxing as well as a cheap pastime. All you require is a feeder for squirrels and some squirrel food to start! 

Squirrels can eat almost about everything you feed them, however, like many people, you might not be aware of the best ways to feed the squirrels at your home.

In this article, we’ll review the most effective and least effective foods for squirrels to feed so that you can start.

Why Feed Squirrels In Your Backyard?

Certain people aren’t in favor of feeding squirrels and might suggest it’s not a good idea. Although feeding wild squirrels by hand could lead them to become dependent on humans and a feeder for squirrels at your home is a wonderful option to help the squirrels! In the coming sections, we’ll go over the benefits of having a squirrel feeder in your backyard. feed your squirrels from your backyard!

1. Keeps Them Away From Bird Feeders

If you’ve got a bird feeder already and you’re aware of squirrels, they are known to sneak in and take all the food that birds eat. 

Certain bird foods aren’t of the greatest nutritional value for squirrels and, obviously, if they consume all of it then the birds won’t receive the best nutrition. You can read all about this here.

And, not only that, squirrels are known to harm the bird feeder and disrupt the enjoyment for all those that are. One method to keep squirrels away from birds’ feeders is to provide them with their own.

Squirrels prefer eating at the feeder that is closest to them, and this is the reason there are feeders designed specifically for squirrels. 

The pet squirrel can have a superior alternative to the food source as well as the birds that live in your yard will be able to enjoy a meal once more.

2. Gives Them Easy Access to Water

Although water might appear to be not the primary thought that pops into your head when you’re deciding on what to give to squirrels, they require water to live a happy life. Similar to humans, squirrels require clean water to drink but they aren’t always able to access it.

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Certain squirrel feeders come with an area that can be filled with fresh water So keep this in mind when you choose an appropriate squirrel feeder. 

In winter, you may even set up a warm birdbath for squirrels to drink from.

3. Helps Squirrels Better Survive Winter

As the time for hibernation gets ever closer, the squirrels must ensure they have a sufficient amount of food in their freezers. 

The ability to access food makes the process more manageable, and will also provide them with a comfy area to retreat to whenever they require more.

What To Feed Squirrels In Your Backyard

Many people feed squirrels with corn, birdseed, or food scraps from the table. Although some of these food items aren’t terrible, they’re not the most nutritious, also. There are plenty of squirrel-friendly foods to eat and are good for them. 

This includes…

1. Nuts

There’s no doubt that squirrels are fond of eating nuts. If you have a tree that can produce nuts and you’re already providing squirrels living in your yard with an excellent food source! 

If you don’t have any and would like to have more squirrels around your property then planting a few nuts-producing trees is a good method to go about it.

Straight from the tree or otherwise, nuts in their shells are among the best food source for squirrels. 

It’s particularly beneficial to squirrels if you supply them with many different nuts so they are able to reap all the advantages.

All nuts are not made equal, however. Certain varieties may be harmful to squirrels So be cautious when selecting what you give them. Some of the nutritious nuts for squirrels are below.

The best squirrel nuts:

  • Hazelnuts
  • Butternuts
  • Hickory Nuts
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • White Oak Acorns (Low Tannin)

The most dangerous nuts for squirrels:

  • Raw Peanuts
  • Red Oak Acorns (High Tannin)

It is also possible to give squirrels roast peanuts, Pistachios, peanut butter, and pistachios however, they’re not the most nutritious nuts to feed them.

2. Fruits

Squirrels enjoy eating many different fruits. Similar to nut trees squirrels are awe-inspiring at climbing fruit trees and taking a bite of sweet, delicious fruits. 

If your home already has a tree and you want to keep the fruit for yourself, rather than letting it go to the hungry squirrels that live in your backyard.

Take small pieces of fruit like grapes, apples, cantaloupes, or strawberries. You can also leave out watermelon or strawberries. Most of the time, they prefer other fruits than citrus.

3. Vegetables

If you’ve got a vegetable garden, it won’t come as a surprise that squirrels can eat about anything they can get their hands on. 

Fresh vegetables are an excellent source of protein for squirrels and they enjoy eating them. Give them greens with leaf-like broccoli, carrots, peas, and zucchini, as well as yellow squash.

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4. Seeds

Squirrels can be seen constantly acting sly and are known to steal food from your bird feeders They must love seeds, don’t you think? 

While they do consume seeds and aren’t bad for them, seeds aren’t the most effective choice.

Feeding squirrels seeds with moderation are okay, but. You are welcome to throw the pumpkin seeds that you’ve left after carving your pumpkin. 

The pumpkin seeds will be eaten and some shells as well!

What To Avoid Feeding Squirrels

1. Human Junk Food or Processed Food

Humans are all well conscious that eating junk foods does not do well for us in terms of nutrition. Foods like chips, candy as well as other processed food items are low in nutritional value and don’t work for squirrels. 

Squirrels aren’t able to process cellulose which is why feeding them food items like bread or any other with cellulose may cause them to get sick.

Keep in mind that if it does not grow and thrive in the natural world, it isn’t the ideal choice for wildlife.

2. Peanuts

While the majority of nuts aren’t bad for squirrels but peanuts are a different story. Peanuts, particularly raw peanuts, can contain fungus which can harm squirrels. 

Roasted peanuts or Peanut Butter are fine to serve in a variety of places however they are not the ideal choice for them.

3. Niger Seeds

Nothing bad will happen if you feed them Niger seeds however squirrels don’t like them.

Positively, however, birds love Niger seeds! If you own an outdoor bird feeder, you can add some niger seeds in the mix to stop squirrels from taking all of your bird’s food.

4. Corn

Cobs of corn might be the most popular snack for squirrels but it’s not doing much nutritionally. 

Corn is essentially junk food for squirrels. In moderation, feeding squirrels corn is okay, particularly in the event that you offer them healthy options every day.

Other Foods Squirrels Eat

1. Bones

Although squirrels mostly live an omnivore lifestyle bone remains a good food source for calcium in squirrels in the wild. There are many species of squirrels that take a bite of animal bones or antlers of deer.

Although squirrels may like bones from animals You’ll have to think about whether this is a good idea for your yard. In the event that you’ve got dogs who might be choking on them, you should adhere to the other recommendations found in this post.

2. Insects

If a squirrel cannot find any fruits, nuts, or vegetables, eating insects of small size will provide them with protein. 

Certain insects that squirrels love include caterpillars and winged bugs. crickets, and butterflies in the event that they are able to get hold of them.

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3. Fungi

Squirrels enjoy foraging and they do not only hunt in trees. Based on the climate, there are plenty of species of fungi that squirrels love to munch on. 

If you’re willing to you can plant mushrooms near the place you’ll feed the squirrels for a small reward for squirrels!

Final Words

Squirrels are very opportunistic eaters and are happy to devour cake or pie throughout the day. 

They’ll devour about anything you offer them. If you want to ensure that they’re properly taken care of, selecting what you feed squirrels in your yard is crucial.

Find a squirrel feeder and fill it up with plenty of fruits, nuts, and veggies for them to enjoy or store for the future. 

If you’re in a position to choose a feeder that has a water holder can be particularly beneficial for squirrels.

Best Squirrel Food – FAQs

It’s finally here! Everyone’s favorite spot is the FAQ section, where all your questions are addressed. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions!

Do squirrels eat meat?

Yes, they can. They can feed on insects, small birds, or even snakes. However, it’s not their preferred food, and they rarely look for it outdoors. They’ll only go for it as a last resort if they’re unable to find nuts seeds or fruits. Therefore, do not give your squirrels food!

Are Squirrels Herbivores?

The answer is no, they are omnivores that means they consume everything from lichen and fungi to meat and cheese. Herbivore means they eat plants, but they don’t. This is why plants aren’t the most nutritious squirrel food source.

Are squirrels the primary consumers?

In the wild, they are the main consumers, due to the fact that they consume nuts seeds, berries, and seeds. However, because they’ve been in close proximity to humans, they have evolved into Omnivores.

Are squirrels decomposers?

There is no way to say that they are. Decomposers are creatures that eat dead animals or plants. Squirrels do not appear to have these habits. So, please don’t give food items of this kind to squirrels living in your yard.

What smells do squirrels not like?

The smells that deter squirrels are pepper, cayenne, as well as coffee grounds. That’s why they are excellent natural repellents. This is, however, the case for the majority of species of animals.

Do squirrels eat bread?

It’s not true that bread is edible for squirrels if it’s natural and isn’t loaded with sugar or salt amount. But, be sure you inspect all bread pieces you set out for squirrels. If they’re rotten and rotten, squirrels could get salmonella.

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