If you have some pet birds then you might be wondering, do squirrels eat mealworms from the bird feeders?
Surprisingly, the answer is yes. It can be a delicious and nutritious snack for squirrels but can prove a nightmare for your pet birds because squirrels can raid bird feeders for it.
Squirrels do eat mealworms because they are an excellent source of fats, protein, and fibers. This gives the squirrels much-needed energy to forage around. Squirrels are not picky eaters at all and will eat mealworms that are either dried or alive.
Besides mealworms, squirrels also munch on other small insects such as ants, spiders, praying mantis, grasshoppers, and wasps.
Some people enjoy feeding these little bushy-tailed rodents but some bird owners do not welcome squirrels. This is because:
- They raid bird nests and steal their food including mealworms
- Besides food, squirrels also eat eggs and hatchlings
In this detailed guide, you will find out why squirrels eat mealworms and what you can do to protect your bird feeder from these uninvited guests.
Why Do Squirrels Eat Mealworms? [What Is A Mealworm]
Squirrels are opportunistic when it comes to their eating habits. You might have seen them eating nuts, fruits, and vegetables but they won’t miss the opportunity of getting a diet that is rich in protein and other minerals.
Besides the nutritional value, squirrels will eat mealworms because it is a quick and easy snack for them. Moreover, a mealworm is a passive prey and can fight back its predator.
When a yellow mealworm beetle is in its larval stage, we call it Mealworm. Mealworms are usually used as pet food, for animals like fish, birds, and some reptiles. They are supplied to bird feeders, especially during nesting seasons.
With a help of a hormone, commercial growers keep it in the larval stage for a long and achieve an unusual length of 2cm.
The following table shows some pros and cons of feeding mealworms to your pets.
|Pros Of Feeding Mealworms||Cons Of Feeding Mealworms|
|Loaded with fats and proteins||Live mealworms can damage other stored foods|
|Cheap and easy to store and maintain||Parasites can invade mealworm colonies|
|Commercially available||Pets can become overweight if they eat too much|
|Dried mealworms retain their nutrients||Some pets cant digest their exoskeleton|
|Edible at Both larval and adult stage||live mealworms are expensive and hard to maintain|
Do Squirrels Eat Dried Mealworms?
Squirrels are not choosy at all and will eat mealworms in both dried and alive forms. Dried mealworms are cheap and easy to get. These are loaded with fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and provide much need energy to squirrels. Live mealworms are quite expensive and require more effort to maintain.
If you are feeding birds in your yard then a mealworm feeder can become an easy target for squirrels. You need a squirrel-proof bird feeder because squirrels do not just steal birds’ food but also prey upon baby birds and eggs.
How To Keep Squirrels From Eating Mealworms? [Protecting Bird Feeders]
There are ways in which you can prevent squirrels from eating mealworms and other bird food.
Get A Squirrel Proof Feeder
A squirrel-proof feeder is a type of feeder that is harder for squirrels to access. Some of these feeders are weight sensitive and close when a squirrel tries to access the feeder.
You put a slink around the pole. Because of the elastic nature of the slink, it will be difficult for the squirrel to scale it.
Another way to make the bird feeder squirrel-proof is to hang it from a wire. A squirrel can scale a pole to reach the bird feeder, but can not do so with a wire.
Use Food That squirrels Don’t Like
There are seed blends that squirrels don’t like. Apart from seeds, you can also use something unpleasant such as hot pepper to repel them.
Feed Squirrels Separately
If you want to feed both birds and squirrels. Then you can feed the squirrels in a separate area. This way squirrels will be less likely to steal food from bird feeders.
What Other Things Do Squirrels Eat? [Squirrel’s Favorite Food]
Squirrels occasionally eat meat, and insects when they are hungry. They mostly eat nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Squirrels like eating fruits. Fruits are full of sugar which gives them much-needed energy for foraging. Squirrels eat different kinds of fruits, such as Bananas, Pineapple, Apples, Mangoes, Pears, Tomatoes, Grapes, Mangos, and Eggplants.
Nuts are among the favorite foods of squirrels. They take it to either eat it or store it for winter. Squirrels eat nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, hazelnut acorns, cashews, and macadamia nuts.
Squirrels also like to eat vegetables and will eat anything you grow in your garden. These critters depend much on corn and other grains, such as wheat and oat. Squirrels consume fresh leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and lettuce.
Squirrels eat petals of flowers such as roses and tulips to store some fat for the winter season. If squirrels are harming your flowers then you should take some preventative steps like growing squirrel-repellent plants.
Do Grey Squirrels Eat Mealworms?
Yes, gray squirrels like other squirrels do eat mealworms. Grey squirrels will eat mealworms and other insects when they get too hungry in the winter. However, it is not their preferred food. They like to eat nuts and fruits.
Do Flying Squirrels Eat Mealworms?
Yes, flying squirrels can also eat mealworms. Flying squirrels can glide from tree to tree and as a result, they require more proteins than their counterparts. Mealworms are a great source of proteins and carbohydrates and can full fill the needs of flying squirrels.
Do Chipmunk Eat Mealworms?
Chipmunks usually eat nuts, fruits, seeds, and fungi. But they also feed on insects, and worms such as mealworms. If you want to feed them in your backyard then you can put some nuts, seeds, raisins, and oatmeal.
So, do squirrels eat mealworms? They are omnivorous and can eat both meat and plants. However, their favorite foods are nuts and fruits.
In the winter when squirrels are hungry they can eat bird eggs, hatchlings, and other small critters, even other baby squirrels. This way they not only take care of their hunger but also get some proteins and minerals.
Find out if squirrels can eat chocolate.