With a couple of hundred species of squirrels spread across the world, these small mammals have made a mark on every continent. While they prefer to remain in the trees in woodlands or forests, they can be spotted in a variety of ecosystems and often at close quarters with humans. Because of their ability to forage for food and be opportunistic feeders, squirrels have become very successful in maintaining their numbers. But can squirrels eat carrots?
Diets in the Wild
While squirrels may seem the type to eat solely nuts, fruits, and vegetables, they will eat meat when it becomes available to them. In addition, they have been known to raid unprotected nests and eat small chicks or even kill and consume small snakes they run into during their constant foraging. The following are examples of what a squirrel will actively look for to eat:
Squirrels will horde and feast on acorns, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and whatever else they can find growing plentifully in their ecosystems.
In the summer, squirrels have no quarrels about eating berry bushes, oranges, corn, and avocados. They will often venture into farms to chew on whatever catches their fancy and have even been the bane of apple trees.
Can Squirrels Eat Carrots
Squirrels absolutely love their greens. So, can squirrels eat carrots? Yes! They will consume anything from your local garden, carrots included. Radishes, kale, lettuce, watercress, spinach, parsley, cilantro, squash, eggplant, broccoli, and okra are only some of the extensive list of vegetation that squirrels will seek out.
While not the most nutritious thing for a squirrel to feed on, they are known for raiding backyard bird feeders of any kind. They will even dig through human garbage or eat discarded food on the ground even if it is not the best for their nutrition.
Will Squirrels Steal?
Any species of squirrel will have no problem being a thief to acquire food. Gardens, farms, and tree orchids can face the irritation of a hungry squirrel stockpiling for the winter. During the warmer months, when not preparing for hibernation, squirrels will take food from any source that does not have the proper means of barricading them. As far as carrots are concerned, a hungry squirrel will absolutely dig carrots up from the ground to consume them. They will also steal tomatoes from vegetable plots.
The best method of protecting your gardens and feeders from pesky squirrels is by utilizing scents that they tend to avoid, such as peppermint, apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, or coffee grounds. You can also use chicken wire to cover your plants and add mulch to the top of your soil to prevent squirrels from digging.
If you plan to offer food to your resident squirrels and are wondering, “can squirrels eat carrots?” the answer is yes. You can purchase squirrel feeders and fill them with a choice of nuts. Vegetables and fruits offered in a place where they can be safely reached might also keep squirrels from digging around where they aren’t welcome.
Remember to offer foods that benefit their health rather than offering cheap seeds or bread. There are several nutritional lists available that can help guide decisions in feeding wild squirrels. For example, since squirrels do enjoy carrots, you can slice them up and make them easier to hold, then place them in a designated feeder and let your backyard friends enjoy a healthy snack.