Do Squirrels Eat Insects? (READ THIS)

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Do Squirrels Eat Insects?

Squirrels are one interesting animal to sit out and watch all day. How they meticulously go about their lives can sometimes be enviable. Squirrels are very sociable among themselves, they interact a lot with each other, and you can see them chasing one other half of the time you observe them.

Another practice that squirrels are not hesitant about is scampering for food, squirrels love to eat a lot, they even go as far as saving some for the rainy day. We can’t blame them for eating so much; they need all the energy they can get for their daily activities.

Many people think of them as nuisances, especially gardeners, this is because they are fond of digging out seeds and destroying plants. Other people find them adorable and love to watch them run around in the yard. Squirrels sometimes are welcome into the home as pets.

Squirrels eat just about any or everything they can get their hands, be it nuts, seeds, fruits, acorns, grubs, or legumes. Squirrels are primarily herbivores, and it is a wonder to see them snacking on something that looks like ants when you watch them. Hence the question, do squirrels eat ants?

We understand that you are curious and would like to find answers to this question, fortunately, this article contains all the answers you are looking for.

Do Squirrels Eat Insects?

Yes, squirrels do eat ants. Although squirrels are considered to be herbivores because nuts, plants, herbs, and seeds cover most of their diet, they still do not mind snacking on some insects. So it will be very accurate to refer to them as omnivores.

Squirrels turn to eat insects if they come across them whilst searching for other foods. Sometimes when food is also scarce, squirrels would rather eat some of these insects to fill up their stomachs. In the winter when it would be very difficult to find their favorite food, squirrels will happily snack on insects.

Do not be surprised when you find a squirrel having insects for lunch, squirrels eat just about anything and insects are no exception. If you rescued a squirrel and you are wondering what it can be fed, it is fine if it eats insects.

Squirrrels
Image: Peter Trimming / Wikimedia Commons

Types Of Insects Squirrels Eat

It is very affirmative that squirrels eat insects but not all kinds of insects, below are the kinds of insects that squirrels will happily eat;

1. Ants

Although ants are low in calories, this doesn’t stop squirrels from indulging in ants when they come across them whilst digging up seeds. Ants however are not squirrels’ most preferred insects to snack on, this is because they have to consume a lot of them to be satisfied.

This doesn’t mean ants are not rich in proteins, iron, and calcium. Ants are in fact very nutritious and yummy for squirrels.

2. Houseflies

House flies also make to this list as they are indeed nutritious and have multiple health benefits to squirrels. However, it is harder to get their hands on houseflies but on occasions when squirrels get a hold of houseflies, they are sure going to eat them.

3. Moths

Squirrels especially red squirrels love to eat moths. Moths are very tasty and appetizing to squirrels and they wouldn’t hesitate to eat them.

4. Cockroaches

This insect might be gross to humans but squirrels find them enticing and a nice meal. Cockroaches can sometimes be hard to catch but they are very nourishing and are excellent sources of proteins, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins. These nutrients are good enough to sustain squirrels.

Why Do Squirrels Eat Insects?

The whole idea of squirrels loving to eat insects may sound gross and disgusting to you but insects have a lot of health benefits to offer them which is why they indulge in them. Eating insects keep them sustained for all those times it is hard for them to find the usual food we know that squirrels love to eat.

For rainy days like winter, it is a behavioral pattern for squirrels to gather up lots and lots of nuts and seeds in their nests. Expecting squirrels are also fond of stocking up on food in their nests.

During these times, they would rather munch on insects, grubs, and worms to provide them with nutrients and energy to carry out their daily activities.

Also, squirrels eat insects because they are omnivores and can not only get nourishment from just snacking on plants, herbs, and seeds.

Bottom Line

Squirrels are scavengers, always ready to eat just about anything, and this includes insects such as cockroaches, ants, houseflies, and moths. Some other proteinous snacks squirrels wouldn’t mind enjoying are caterpillars, grubs, mealworms, and worms.

If you have a squirrel under your care, do not be grossed out when you find it eating some insects, look away if you find it disturbing.

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