Can Squirrels Eat Apples And What You Need To Know


If you love feeding the wildlife in your backyard, you’ve probably wondered “can squirrels eat apples?” These critters eat pretty much anything, but it doesn’t mean that you should feed them everything. If you love feeding squirrels, you should understand the basics of keeping both them and you safe.

Do Squirrels Like Apples?

The short answer is “yes” squirrels love eating apples and will gladly eat them if you feed them this fruit. In fact, apples can be a fun way to bond and attract squirrels to your squirrel feeders.

While this is generally a safe fruit for small mammals, it’s important to know that not all parts should be consumed by small mammals.

Are Apples Safe For Squirrels?

are apples safe for squirrels
The seeds are the only toxic part of the fruit for squirrels

Apples are not toxic to squirrels and should only be fed in small amounts. However, apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be harmful and may even cause death. If you enjoy feeding squirrels in your backyard, you should consider feeding them food that is designated for squirrels.

They won’t hesitate to strip your apple tree, even if you don’t feed them. Most of them will take the apples while they are small and green. This makes it easy for them to hold the apple or run away with it when you feed them.

Is The Apple Core Safe For Squirrels?

These scavengers will eat anything they can get their hands on, which means that they will eat the entire apple, including the core. The core is the only toxic part of the apple, as they contain cyanogenic glycoside, amygdalin. There are several fruits like apples, cherries, oranges, plums and etc that contain small amounts of amygdalin or hydrogen cyanide.

A human would have to eat a large number of seeds to become affected. However, even consuming a small amount is enough to kill small mammals.

In other words, if you feed your pet squirrel or your backyard critters apples, make sure you don’t feed them the core, as it can kill them!

Are There Any Benefits Of Squirrels Eating Apples?

Apples are extremely beneficial for humans, however, these fruits are high in sugars and starches and therefore should only be fed in moderation. This fruit is NOT beneficial for these small rodents.

If you have a pet squirrel, you should only feed them 2-3 slices of fruit per day. Wild squirrels will take several small bits of the fruit before they drop it and move on to something else.

In fact, many homeowners tend to get upset that the squirrels steal the apples from their trees and leave them on the ground for deer to eat.

Fun Apple Facts

Out of 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States, only 100 varieties are grown commercially. Only 100 varieties of apples are grown commercially in 36 different states.

This fruit comes in several different shades from green, yellow, and red. It takes two pounds of apples to make a 9-inch pie.

One medium apple contains 80 calories, which makes it a healthy snack.

Consumers eat about 45.2 pounds of apples and processed apple products. 61% of apples in the United States are eaten as fresh fruit!

Nutritional Facts

One medium-sized, raw, and unpeeled apple (100 grams):

  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Calories: 52
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Water: 86%
  • Sugar: 10.4 grams
  • Carbs: 13.8 grams
  • Protein: 0.3 grams

Apples are rich in simple sugars such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose.

What Kind of Apples Do Squirrels Eat?

Squirrels will eat any type of apple that you give them. They are not picky eaters and won’t care if you feed them Pink Pearl’s, Ambrosia, Granny Smith, Empire, Gala, and etc.

It won’t be hard to get them to eat apples. The hardest part will be trying to get them to stop eating apples or coming back looking for more.

Why Do Squirrels Like Apples?

Squirrels love the sweet taste of apples and will eat the skin, white fleshy part, and even the seeds.

Final Word On Do Squirrels Eat Apples?

Squirrels love eating apples, in fact, they love eating any kind of fruit they can get their hands on. If you feed your backyard wildlife, it’s important to understand that some foods are good for them and some not so much.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeding your squirrels small pieces of fruit, however, you shouldn’t make it a point to overfeed them.

Of course, if you have an apple tree, these rodents will eat as much as they want and there’s not much you can do about it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Squirrels Eat Apples Off Trees?

Yes, they will steal the apples from your trees. They may eat the entire apple, including the seeds, and will throw any of the unfinished fruit on the ground which can attract deer and other animals.

Other foods they love to eat are cat food, raisins, oranges, watermelon and etc.

References And Further Reading

Avian & Animal Hospital – Feeding Your Pet Squirrel

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