What Do Squirrels Eat and Drink?

The over 200 species of squirrels worldwide are majorly vegetarians and are known to consume a wide variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, and other vegetarian foods. However, some species of flying squirrels have been known to be omnivores. They also eat small birds, small insects, caterpillars, and eggs.

Overall, squirrels eat a wide variety of food depending on what’s available, but they prefer nuts and seeds. They can go to any length to get nuts and seeds, so don’t be surprised if you’ll need a squirrel-proof bird feeder for your birds.

Squirrel eating a wild chestnut in a tree

Squirrels are sensitive and sensible animals. They know where their food is and are always eager to do everything possible to get to it. When you have birds and provide them with tasty seeds, squirrels are always ready to fight for them. So, you should know that where squirrels are present, you best need squirrel-proof bird feeders to make your grains and seeds safer for your birds.

Squirrels drink water to get hydrated, like other rodents, and they also take various fruits to get some delicious juice. Once in a while, some naughty groups of squirrels take almonds-flavoured sugary alcohol to give them the party spirit.

Here are some important facts about how and what squirrels eat.

Sqirell drinking water from a lake

How do squirrels eat during winter?

Squirrels largely depend on seeds and nuts. Most trees produce their nuts only once a year, usually in autumn, so squirrels would have to find a way to store food to sustain them for the entire winter.

Some squirrel store their food in their territory and always defend it, while others bury their nuts in various locations to form scattered hoarding.

Squirrels have intrinsic skills to determine the nuts’ freshness and weight, and whether insects might infest them when they are buried. They try to organize how these nuts are buried so they won’t forget any nuts during the winter to keep their food safe so they won’t starve during the cold.

During the winter, they always reach where these nuts are kept and judiciously eat them and avoid wastage. If there is no food, they search for the grains and seeds provided for birds.

Squirrel eating during winter

What nuts do squirrels eat?

Squirrels are widely known to thrive on nuts. As with their regular diet, the various kinds of nuts squirrels eat largely depend on the season, availability, and what they can get hold of at any moment. Below are some tasty nuts that can make a delicious meal for squirrels.

  • Acorns
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Beech nuts
  • Almonds
  • Pine nuts        
  • Macadamia
  • Hazelnuts.

Do squirrels eat carrots?

If you grow carrots in your backyard and have squirrels around, you should be concerned because, yes! Squirrels eat carrots. Although they prefer nuts and seeds to vegetables, they always eat what is available.

If you have a friendly squirrel from the forest that visits your house from time to time, and you have nothing else at hand but carrots bought from the corner store, you can feed her or him carrots as long as the squirrel accepts the food. Please select the best and freshest-looking carrots, wash them, cut off both ends and slice them into appropriate sizes.

You should offer some bread or table scraps to your squirrel friend as an extra treat from time to time. Not only will your little furry dude/gal be happy about it, but your house standing out among other houses in the neighbourhood with a squirrel living nearby will be appreciated by your neighbours.

If your friendly neighbourhood squirrel doesn’t accept carrot treats from you, try parsley pieces or anything green in colour that it can peel easily and eat.

The greyish-white fur is not as healthy looking as expected because potato peelings are a staple diet of these creatures. However, squirrels are a bit picky about what they eat during the fall season.

You can find them eating acorns and other tough nuts, which require special digestive juices to break down their cellulose cell wall into digestible sugars.

A simple treatment for your pet would be liver-flavoured vitamins such as Nutri-Cal; without the liver flavour, dry dog food is a good substitute for these creatures.

If you have problems with your pet squirrel climbing on the dishes to get to the treats offered or making a mess in your house, you should consider providing them with an outdoor cage where they can live and feel at home.

Do squirrels eat bread?

Yes, squirrels eat bred. Bread contains sugar, and it gives a pleasant taste to it. These critters are scavengers. They always hustle hard to get their food, making them search for bread in the trash and anywhere around your home. They can even develop the courage to steal your bread.

The type of bread they like is the bread that rose. It has high sugar content, too, so they like it more than other types of bread. Fresh or not, they will still eat it if only given a chance and opportunity.

If you think your dog is the only domesticated animal who likes bread in your home, then you are wrong because squirrels are included in the list of animals who can live in your home and like bread too.

Because of their fondness for bread, you need to be careful not to leave any sweet or even a little piece of bread lying around because they have this habit of stealing it. If you are feeding birds in your backyard with squirrels roaming nearby, you have to be extra careful with your bread.

Squirrels love your home and will make it their shelter when they smell that you have left a crumb or two. So if there is no food outside for them to feast on, they will sneak inside your home through a hole or open door and grab what they can get.

Squirrels remain active throughout the year, not hibernators, but in winter, they sleep by burrowing themselves under your house or trees and shrubs. This is why you must be careful of this guy every time because he can get inside your home if it is poorly built or infested with termites and other insects.

Squirrels have sharp teeth, which they use for cutting down nuts from trees. They can store food in their home or even hoard it for future purposes. Female squirrels are the ones who feed their young ones during the summer months, so you might see them crossing your lawn at any time of the day when they sense that there is food around, even a small piece of bread.

Squirrel eating bread

What are squirrels’ favourite foods?

Although squirrels can adapt to the conditions and food available, just like every other animal, they have some tastier food than others. These foods make them happy when they have a chance to eat them.

Squirrels love nuts the most; breaking shells from nuts and eating them gives them joy and pleasure. They also fancy eating seeds, fruits, fungi, and grains. Vegetables, roots, bulbs, and bark also form a nice delicacy for squirrels.

Squirrels love eating all these foods than insects and caterpillars.

What is interesting about squirrels’ favourite foods is that they can store them and eat them when needed. They hide the food in their pouches and gather as much as possible to eat later.

Squirrels are excellent planners; even if a nut is not ripe, it will take time to break open the shell before it becomes ripe for squirrels. They are not so selective about nuts but like hazelnuts best. They love eating fruits as well, peach and apple being favourites.

Sometimes squirrels collect acorns without eating them; instead, they use them to store water by hollowing them out and filling them with water.