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What to Feed Squirrels in Your Backyard to Make Them Go Nuts 2021

What to Feed Squirrels in Your Backyard to Make Them Go Nuts 2020

Squirrels are amazing, fun-loving, and adorable little animals that are liked by almost everyone due to their charm and cuteness. They love climbing trees and walls. You can often find them climbing on your walls here and there, and they are very quickly moved if someone gets closer to them. It is tough to catch a squirrel in your hands. But just imagine how beautiful it would be the scene of watching a squirrel in your backyard.

Now the question is, How can we attract the squirrels to our yard? It is quite evident that we can attract any animal by offering them their favorite food. A squirrel’s favorite food is nuts and fruits. Hence, if we grow nuts and fruits that are liked by these tiny animals, we surely succeed in getting them into our backyard. So, this article aims at knowing the do’s and do not’s while growing food for the squirrels in your backyard.

What to Feed and What not to Feed a Squirrel

There have been many arguments regarding the matter of feeding the squirrels. People often suggest that feeding squirrels are not a good idea at all. Even according to the United States Department Of Agriculture has also given their statement against feeding the squirrels. According to USDA, and wild animals cannot decide what they should eat or not.

They are always ready to eat whatever is offered to the. But for a human being, it is necessary to know that is it safe to offer them your domestic or regular food. So these animals should be left on their own for getting their feed as we should not take the risk of endangering their lives by offering unwanted food or the food that is not suitable for their diet. Malnourished food can make them sick.

Apart from this, squirrels become lazy once they get their food paradise. They also gather their friends to their food place and enjoy their free food from your yard. But too much gathering of the squirrels to your yard may harm your garden, or they can even spread infections or diseases. Even then, feeding a squirrel is a human gesture which we should not avoid totally. We can take necessary care while inviting them to our yards.

Things to Be Kept In Mind While Inviting The Squirrels To Your Backyard

Feed Squirrel

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  • Keep the bird feeders away from the approach of a squirrel.
  • To protect the bird feeders, we should provide the squirrels their place to enjoy their food.
  • There should be a proper arrangement of drinking water for squirrels near their feeding place.
  • Choose the quality nuts for squirrels as all nuts are not beneficial for squirrels. Some varieties of nuts may harm their health.
  • Squirrels can eat birds ‘eggs, so it should be taken care of.
  • Nuts should not be offered until or unless the squirrels have taken their healthy diet.
  • If you are still confused about your decision of feeding squirrels, you may go for local federal or government suggestions on how much and in what manner we are supposed to feed the squirrels in our yards because, in parks, it is illegal to feed squirrels openly.

What Do Squirrels Need to Consume Most?

The best diet for a squirrel contains nuts, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Now there are various types of nuts, fruits, and vegetables available in our ecology. So what is the best one and healthy for the squirrel?



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We all know that squirrels just love the nuts. It would be a great idea to attract them towards your yard by planting the nuts producing trees. There is no such compulsion to have trees that grow nuts, and one can simply offer suitable nuts to the squirrels in their backyard by owing them directly from the market.

Now necessary care should also be taken while offering nuts to these tiny wild animals, as there are a variety of nuts we have in our ecology, out of which some are beneficial for their health, and some are dangerous. For your convenience, we have categorized these nuts based on best and bad nuts for squirrels.

Best Nuts for Squirrels:

  • Almonds
  • Butternuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Walnuts

Some Bad Nuts for Squirrels to be Avoided:

  • Cashews
  • Dried Corn
  • Oak Seeds
  • Pine Nuts
  • Raw Peanuts
  • Sunflower Seeds



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After the nuts, the squirrel’s most wanted food is fruits. They often climb trees in search of some juicy, sweet, and delicious fruits. Just like nuts, we have multiple types of fruits in our environment. Again, the question is about which fruit is healthier for a squirrel. For your convenience we will categorize these fruits in tabular form:

Fruits Recommended for Squirrels:

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Crabapples
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mangos/li>
  • Navel Orange
  • Nectarines
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranates
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Fruits to Be Avoided in Squirrel’s Diet:

  • Dates
  • Dried Fruits
  • Figs
  • Fruit Juice
  • Persimmons
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins

Apart from the recommendations regarding these fruits, we also suggest that the appropriate quantity to be offered to the pet squirrel should be considered.



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Vegetables contain very important nutritions required for a squirrel’s diet. If you do have vegetables in your yard, then it is quite easy to attract these squirrels towards your place. But if not, we may suggest some healthy vegetables as per q squirrel’s diet that you should grow in your garden. Some of these are mentioned below:

Good Vegetables For Squirrels:

  • Some Beet Greens
  • Cucumber Belgian Endive
  • Cauliflowe
  • Chicory
  • Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Escarole
  • Fennel
  • Kale Mustard Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Purslane
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Turnip Greens
  • Watercress
  • Leafy Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash

Vegetables To Be Avoided In Squirrel’s Diet:

  • Eggplant
  • Dried Vegetables
  • Bell Peppers
  • White Potatoes
  • Fresh Corn
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Palm Hearts
  • Turnips
  • Sprouts
  • Yams



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You might often observe squirrel snatching birds’food, their eggs, and they even get into the bird’s feeders and destroy their places. From this, you can get an idea that the squirrels also prefer seeds in their search for food during starvation.

So, the most beneficial seeds that are right for squirrels are Pumpkin seeds. But one must avoid sunflower seeds, Dried cons, and cashews.

Creepy Crawlies

Creepy Crawlies

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On the off probability that merchandise of the soil is not promptly accessible, a squirrel can fall back on ingestion tiny creepy crawlies to satisfy their demand for supermolecule.

Some creepy crawlies gulped up by squirrels incorporate caterpillars, hatchlings, winged bugs, grasshoppers, injured butterflies, and crickets, to offer some examples.

Rodent Blocks

The rodent block are well known for its extreme capacity of nutrients contained in it, which enables the squirrels to grow and maintain their is considered the most balanced food for the squirrels, so we highly recommend the rodent blocks for your pet. Apart from the above-said food items, squirrels can also eat eggs, insects, butterflies, etc.

Things To Be Avoided For Good Health Of Squirrels:

One should avoid offering junk food or homemade food to the squirrels. Snacks like chips, toffees, and other junk stuff, as it is difficult for the squirrels to digest such food, and ultimately, it makes them sick.

Although nuts are found to be the most demanding and suitable food for squirrels, not all kinds of nuts are appropriate for the same. A raw peanut if offered to a squirrel, it may harm that innocent cute animal, because that would be difficult for the squirrel to chew. Besides, that one can offer the peanut butter or roasted peanuts, although it is also not the best option to provide them with.

You must know that a squirrel dislikes the niger seeds. On the other hand, birds like these seeds a lot. So we should take advantage of this adverse situation between the squirrel and the birds. As we have discussed earlier that squirrels often destroy bird feeders, to avoid this situation or for stopping the squirrels to enter bird feeders, we should put some niger seeds into their(birds’) shelters.

Corns are also very much liked by the squirrels. But they should be offered to them occasionally because regularly corn in their diet is not a good idea at all.


In a nutshell, we may conclude that squirrels are amazing to be seen in anybody’s yard. But most people don’t know how to deal with these little wild animals. One must know about healthy feeding of squirrels before inviting them to their yards.

And many precautionary measures are also necessary to be taken before getting them into the backyard because they can sometimes behave irritatingly and may harm the birds and other flies in your garden.

In some of the nations, it is illegal to offer food to the squirrels, as the wildlife care community finds it a crime to make this animal dependant on human beings for their food.

It may make them lazy. But even then we should be ethical towards them, by offering them food of their choice and that contains nutrition which is necessary for their excellent health.

Cesar Millan
Cesar Millan holds a Master’s in Animal Behavior from Cornell University, dedicating his 11-year career to understanding and improving the human-animal bond. Since joining our website in 2022, Cesar has provided insights into pet care, behavior modification, and animal communication. His background includes roles in animal research and as a professional dog trainer. Cesar’s previous roles included working as a veterinarian and animal behaviorist. Cesar is an avid wildlife photographer in his leisure time and participates in conservation education programs.

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  1. Hi Sandy, although I applaud the effort to offer information about feeding our outside furry little friends, I did notice something that is really, really bothering me. English is apparently not your first language. I know this because some of the word choices in the article are wrong and there are lots of grammatical errors throughout the piece. Did you by chance use a translation program to turn this into English? That’s the only thing I could think of to account for how many mistakes there are. What is your primary language? Please don’t take this as a personal attack against you, it isn’t, but the grammar in this article is horrendous. Other things are words that probably just didn’t translate well; an example being “Oak Seeds”. Did you mean Acorns? I have never ever heard anyone ever refer to Acorns as oak seeds who speaks English.

    Also, you list things that are not good for squirrels to eat but don’t explain why and some of them are wrong, sort of. Peanuts for example. Peanuts are not only perfectly fine for squirrels, they love them. Where you run into problems is with raw peanuts, which have a low chance of containing a fungus that might harm them, or salt which in large amounts isn’t good for any animal’s diet. But as long as they are roasted or boiled, peanuts are perfectly fine for squirrels.

  2. Thanks KAREN!

  3. The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives (genera Quercus and Lithocarpus, in the family Fagaceae). It usually contains one seed (occasionally two seeds), enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns, or (oak nut) take between 6 and 24 months (depending on the species) to mature; see the list of Quercus species for details of oak classification, in which acorn morphology and phenology are important factors.
    European English is proper. Americans English is slang…English
    Nevertheless, good information about squirrel feeding.

  4. Thanks for the info sandy! Should I wash the broccoli beforehand? Should I cook it or offer it raw to the squirrels in my backyard?

  5. What about grapes?

  6. Wow. Some of you people need a life and another hobby. The article was great. There’s no childish need to nit-pick.
    And just for the record, she does have raw peanuts on the bad list.
    And for those of you who don’t like like my comment, I’m an d lady and I really don’t care.
    The old saying, if you can’t say something nice…

    1. Old.
      I’m sure some of you won’t like my typo either.

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