Squirrels are adorable creatures, and they get ample attention from many people. As a squirrel enthusiast, other than veggies and nuts, you might ask yourself, do squirrels eat berries?
Like humans, squirrels need a balanced diet with all essential nutrients. Proper feeding is necessary to enhance vigorous growth, development, reproduction, and good health. Thus, it is crucial to know ideal foods for squirrels to ensure you feed a variety.
Further in this article, I will explain if squirrels eat berries and what berries can do to these critters. Don’t stop here; continue reading and learn more.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Linda. Read more about our knowledge control process here.
What Qualifies as a Berry?
Fruits and vegetables differ vastly from each other. However, differentiating various types of fruits is a bit challenging. For instance, telling which fruit is a berry is a big task for many people.
Fruit can be dry or fleshy. Fleshy fruits are pretty common to us, and good examples include bananas, apples, etc. On the other hand, dry fruits are nuts and coconuts, but the list is big.
There are different types of fleshy fruits that are divided into simple, aggregate, and multiple fruits. A berry is a simple fleshy fruit. Now you see why berries are said to be fruits and not the other way round.
Botanically, a berry includes a fleshy fruit with no stone, and that emerges from a single flower with one ovary. Berries contain three noticeable fleshy layers, including the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp.
Endocarp is the innermost layer that holds the seeds (one or more seeds), the mesocarp the fleshy middle part, and the endocarp is the outermost layer. Fruits that are berries are bananas, grapes, kiwis, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
Do Squirrels Eat Berries?
Squirrels are not picky eaters. They have a natural appetite for berries plus other fruits. Squirrels will enjoy munching berries. Berries are juicy and sweet, making them more adorable to the squirrels.
A squirrel will eat any berry it finds and have a good taste for them. They munch on berries like blackberries, blueberries, mulberry, grapes, bananas, kiwi, tomatoes, cranberries, etc.
Like raspberries and strawberries, people think them to be berries but are not. That being the fact that their flowers have more than one ovary. But squirrels do love them so much.
Raw berries contain unprocessed sugar that participates in a natural energy boost in squirrels. Such energy allows the squirrels to continue scrambling around and forage for more foods. They make a significant snack for these charming rodents.
We have a very detailed article that teaches you what do squirrels eat, how much they eat, and how often to feed them. You can check the article here.
Are Holly Berries Poisonous to Squirrels?
A holly bush, especially with ripe berries, appeals to the eyes, and who wouldn’t appreciate owning one? However, cases concerning the destruction of peoples’ beautiful holly bushes are increasingly growing in many parts of the world.
Of course, many suspects are behind such damage as holly berries and leaves are good food sources to many birds and wild animals, and squirrels are no exception.
Holly berries are poisonous to humans and pets and can result in problems like diarrhea or stomach distress, and vomiting. But that doesn’t mean another animal shouldn’t eat them; as a matter of fact, many wildlife species happily munch on them.
The holly berries and leaves contain saponin, and this is the compound that makes them toxic. However, as the plant matures and the berries ripe, saponin level declines and is low in the winter seasons.
That way, squirrels and other wildlife species can safely eat holly berries in winter. One or two holly berries won’t harm any squirrel. It is only in excess that these berries can become poisonous, but the evidence is thin in wildlife.
How Do You Keep Squirrels from Eating Your Berries?
Squirrels are fond of eating berries and tend to eat almost any berry it encounters. So, if you want to keep your garden berry safe, then you need to keep squirrels away from accessing the farm.
This is a garden we are talking about containing berries that wait to go to the market for human consumption. Thus, avoiding using chemicals that can be harmful is a wise decision if there is an effective and natural method to better use.
Squirrels are around your home for a reason.
They will not just stay there if there is nothing to eat.
Squirrels love eating and will relocate to any place they can get food and, of course, with no threats.
So, if you are having problems with any squirrels in your garden, repelling them would be the best option. Getting rid of these animals gives you a feeling of safety that they won’t interfere with your crop even when you aren’t around.
Ginger, black pepper, and white pepper produce a strong scent that is naturally unpleasant to squirrels and helps to deter them. Peppermint has got a sweet smell, but squirrels hate it. Sprinkle them in the garden after spraying with water.
What Other Fruits Do Squirrels Eat Apart from Berries?
Berries are not the only favorite fruits for squirrels, but they happen to eat various fruits. A squirrel has a natural appetite for a couple of native fruits and can eat any fruit in season.
These are inquisitive rodents and will inquisitively try just about any fruit. They are open-minded as far as foods are concerned. Through such behavior, squirrels got some favorite stuff that they probably shouldn’t be eating.
In addition to berries, squirrels eat many fruits with enthusiasm, including pears, peaches, figs, plums, mangoes, avocados, citrus, watermelon, cantaloupe, etc. Fruits are essential for squirrels as they provide a sugar boost and energy.
These critters can quickly climb a fruit tree to snatch fruits. They have flexible paws, which allow them to climb way above and jump to around five feet vertically.
Food is fundamental to every person and animal, and it provides the energy required by the body to keep going. Squirrels will survive without food only for a short period, around a maximum of eight days.
Therefore, they need to eat enough healthy food to get the energy for climbing, jumping, further foraging, and other activities. Squirrels have a big list of edible foods, including berries, nuts, fungi, etc.
Any squirrel loves the taste of berries and is part of their favorite foods. So, if you are thinking of pleasing your squirrels, giving them berries will do good.