Daylight Robbery! So reads the title of a recent article on The Guardian. Statistics have it that Britons alone spend about 210 million Sterling pounds on bird feed. However, squirrels steal quite an amount of this feed — to the tune of millions of pounds!
As a matter of fact, recent research revealed that squirrels eat more than half of the food reserved for birds. What readily comes to your mind is bird seed. But the current hot debate is: Do squirrels eat mealworms?
I shall answer this and other questions about squirrels and finally show you the best way to get rid of them, as proposed by Airgun Maniac experts.
What do squirrels eat?
Unlike cats or some of us fussier human beings, squirrels do not carefully choose what to eat. They eat quite a lot of things. If I were to list all things squirrels eat I would certainly run out of space. And so here is but a brief outline of some popular squirrels delicacies.
Squirrels eat a wide range of vegetables. Almost any gardener can attest to this. You must have caught them nibbling on your lettuce, kales, arugula, chard, spinach, tomatoes, corn, beans, radishes, squash, peas, beet greens, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, leeks, eggplant, okra, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and the like. You get the point. They like greens. They’re heal-conscious I suppose.
On top of veggies, squirrels seriously love grains. And not only natural grains – squirrels simply don’t give a damn whether the grains are salted, sugared or flavoured. So you’ll see them gulping down Cheerios, Chex, corn flakes, Cap’n crunch, Kashi Go, Alpen Muesli, Almond, wheat berry flakes, bran, and pumpkin crunch, among others.
Having lived around humans for centuries, squirrels have gradually adapted their taste buds to such foods you wouldn’t expect in their natural setting. As long as they can access your garbage bin, they won’t mind such fatty stuff to keep them up and going during the cold season.
Be careful of anything with nuts! This is the squirrel’s natural favorite. Whether it is genetic or environmental influence, we’re yet to know. Squirrels really love chestnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, acorns, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and hickory nuts. They in fact eat to their fill and stash away any extras to eat later on.
Enthusiastic backyard bird watchers have one common enemy – squirrels! They philanthropically leave lots of birdseed on bird feeders to attract the beauties. But squirrels smell the delicacy from far and literally take over. Their presence really annoys the birds and they may simply stay away.
You thought the list was over? Nope, not yet. Squirrels happily eat fruits such as pears, apples, grapes, kiwi, peaches, avocados, figs, mangoes, plums, citrus, berries, bananas, watermelons, you name it!
- Insects – caterpillars, grasshoppers, butterflies, crickets, bugs
- Fungi – mushrooms, truffles, lichen
- Eggs – including young chicks not under the protection of their parents
- Dog and cat food
- Leftovers – cakes, sandwiches,
So yes, Squirrels do eat mealworms. Mealworms are essentially the tiny larvae of beetles. They stay in this larval stage from 2 up to 8 weeks. Just in case you thought of replacing the birdseed with mealworms to fix the squirrel nuisance, you are in for a shock. Squirrels hungrily eat meal worms too.
If you are a fan of squirrels and you really enjoy seeing them in your yard, you now have a near-complete list of what you can feed them. But if you are with the majority who don’t appreciate squirrels because of their overly destructive nature, you can eliminate them through any of the following methods:
- Using repellants
- Trapping the squirrels
- Using deterrent odors
- Shooting the squirrels
Without getting into much detail, Airgun Maniac recommends shooting as the best method to get rid of squirrels.
- Shooting does not involve the use of environmentally harmful chemicals.
- Shooting eliminates rather than simply deterring the squirrels.
- You can eat squirrel meat after shooting.
- Shooting is fun – oh yes! Time to turn a nuisance into an enjoyable pastime activity.
Make sure to check out their guide on the top ten air rifles for squirrel hunting.