What to Feed Squirrels In Your Backyard [DIFFERENT OPTIONS]

To feed squirrels in your backyard, you should separate some feed from your birds. You can feed squirrels a variety of food, such as nuts, seeds, corn, and fruit. The specific types of these foods vary, as squirrels may have sensitivities to some foods.

Birds aren’t always the ones that are going to try to occupy your backyard space. Oftentimes, squirrels choose to enjoy the luxury of food, whether it is intended for them or not. Whether you want them there or not, there are great things to feed squirrels to keep them from stealing from your new bird friends.

You’re probably wondering about the specifics as it pertains to feeding your background squirrels. We have all of the answers for you on what to feed them, and how to keep your backyard a sanctuary for wildlife. Continue reading on to know how to keep your wildlife friends at ease.

Child feeding squirrel in backyard out of hand

Related Reading: Can Squirrels Eat Corn? Is It Ok For Them?

Feeding Squirrels Nuts and Seeds in Your Backyard

You don’t have to go all out when it comes to feeding your backyard squirrels, but keeping the wildlife safe should always be on your list of priorities when deciding to feed them.

It is no surprise that squirrels love nuts and seeds. If you ever see a squirrel running around a tree, they are typically looking for something of the seed or nut family to eat.

When it comes to leaving out seeds and nuts for your squirrels, choose all-natural ones. Squirrels do not need, nor should they have, their food salted. If you enjoy a nice honey-roasted peanut, don’t think your new squirrel friend will feel the same way.

Choosing natural nuts and seeds will be your best option.

Squirrels love:

  • Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Acorns
  • Hickory Nuts

You can leave most nuts or seeds in the shells, too! This will give the squirrel something extra to chew on. The shell is not harmful to them. The biggest thing is to ensure you are choosing the right nut or seed. When thinking of a specific food to feed to your backyard buddy, ensure you do your research. You do not want to harm them by giving them a nut or seed, or any type of food that may internally damage them.

If you’re interested in feeding fruit to squirrels: do it! The seeds within the fruit will be great for them, and they can even enjoy the natural decadency of some of your favorite fruits. Avoid feeding them any citrus fruits, though.

Feeding Squirrels Fruit in Your Backyard

Fruit for squirrels has a lot of the same effects as it does on humans! If you have any fruit in your house that you aren’t eating, or that may go bad soon, think about setting it out for your furry pals.

The fruit has natural sugar in it, giving squirrels a bit of an energy boost once they eat it. As you know, squirrels are always on the go. They’re scurrying back and forth, avoiding traffic, playing with friends, and running up trees. These different fruits will give them the necessary energy to have a day full of fun!

A few fruits that are great for squirrels:

  • Plums
  • Apples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries

Many of these fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, and immunity boosts. Think about all of the times the doctor or someone on TV has told you the benefits of eating fruit. For the fruits that are safe for squirrels and animals, they have similar benefits!

By having more vitamins and minerals, their bodies are going to thank them. They’d thank you if they could!

When it comes to feeding squirrels fruit, be sure to only do it in small quantities. Squirrels are tiny creatures! Their bodies cannot handle anything in extremely large doses. Giving them a couple of pieces of fruit is totally okay, but any more than that could harm their bodies. If they have too much sugar, it could be detrimental to their health.

Squirrels will certainly eat anything they can get their hands on, but be sure you are considering their health when you are throwing things in your backyard for them to eat.

For fruit, give it in moderation. Ensure there are no harmful seeds within the fruit. You don’t want to harm these sweet squirrel babies!

Not All Food is Safe for Squirrels

You’d be surprised at how similar squirrels are to us, humans. Squirrels need a balanced diet just like we do!

The squirrels in your yard will appreciate a variety of foods, but not all food is good for them! You’ve probably seen a squirrel grab a random piece of food off the side of the road or in your backyard, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should be eating it.

Are you someone that eats sunflower seeds and spits the shell out onto the ground? As great as seeds are for squirrels, sunflower seeds are a big no-no. There isn’t a lot of nutritional value to the seeds.

Avoid giving squirrels peanuts as well. These can harbor a form of poisonous mold that will be very detrimental to squirrels.

As mentioned earlier in this article, it is also important to mention that heavily salted foods should not be given to squirrels. Squirrels don’t need that much sodium in their tiny bodies. A regular nut without any salt will be the best option for your backyard friend.

A varied diet is what is going to be helpful for these squirrels. Feeding them the same food over and over again may seem great to them, but it could have a long-lasting impact on them internally.

Similarly to humans, we need that well-balanced diet to ensure everything in our bodies functions properly. We want to stay healthy, just like we want our new buddies to stay healthy. Be sure to do your research if you question whether a squirrel or any wildlife, can eat a certain food.

Squirrel Feeders for Your Backyard

If you’re not someone that wants to leave different fruits and nuts all over your backyard, you can choose to purchase a squirrel feeder. These are similar to bird feeders, so you can easily separate the two and have a welcoming backyard for all your wildlife friends.

Feeders can be purchased at a variety of places, such as Amazon or in a specific store. These feeders can help attract squirrels and will make your backyard look more proper. If you do not want random fruit, nuts, seeds, and more scattered across your lawn, a squirrel feeder can be a great option!

For these feeders, you should put them close to a tree. Trees are typically where squirrels will climb. You can hang it from the tree, and your new furry friend will be so thankful for the easy access of snacks.

You can find fancy spaces for squirrels to hangout too. Look into buying a cute bench to attach to one of your trees. It can be filled with squirrel food, and they’ll have somewhere to hangout while they’re chowing down.

Within these feeders, you can put their favorite nuts or seeds.

Pre-Packaged Squirrel Feed

If you aren’t a fan of seeds or nuts and don’t have them lying around the house, but you still want to feed the squirrels, you can purchase specific feed! This is pre-packaged food that squirrels will go nuts over! A quick Amazon search for squirrel feed will take you to a wide array of food.

This can save you the hassle of buying food you’ll never eat. Buy the squirrel feed, set it in your new feeder, and watch the magic happen!

Is Feeding Squirrels Really Worth it?

If you are someone who struggles with pesky squirrels eating out of your bird feeder, try befriending them! Instead of shooing them away, only for them to visit you later in the day, give them a great source of vitamins and nutrients with some squirrel food!

Remember, choosing the right food is important. Separating that food away from your birds will make all the difference too.

Setting out food specifically for squirrels can help keep the wildlife in your backyard happy. You don’t need to rig up a fancy contraption to keep the squirrels away from your bird feed. Simply setting out a few different types of seeds, nuts, corn, and fruit can help separate your birds and squirrels. Choosing the right food will keep the squirrels coming back for more, and will ensure that you can enjoy a peaceful watch party of your amazing backyard.

The wildlife around us is precious, and by accommodating to them, you may find yourself enjoying life a bit more. Make it something fun to do with your family. Befriend a few squirrels, name them, and watch them enjoy their newest sanctuary: your backyard.

Continue Reading: Can Squirrels Eat Bird Eggs? Is It Ok For Them?