The other day, I had a squirrel come up on our back deck foraging for food and took a piece of a banana I offered them. This got me wondering “can squirrels eat bananas and are they good for them? After all, the last thing I want to do is feed them something that can hurt or kill them.
- 1 Can Squirrels Eat Bananas?
- 2 Nutritional Value of A Banana
- 3 Do Squirrels Eat Banana Peels?
- 4 What About Banana Chips?
- 5 Can Flying Squirrels Eat Bananas?
- 6 Can Baby Squirrels Eat Bananas?
- 7 Bottom Line
- 8 References and Further Reading
Can Squirrels Eat Bananas?
Bananas are great treats for bonding with your squirrels. However, they are one of the fruits that should only be fed in small amounts. According to the Avian Animal Hospital, you should only give a wild squirrel or pet squirrel no more than 2 slices per day.
Other fruits that you should only allow a squirrel to eat in small amounts are blueberries, blackberries, kiwi’s, apricots, apples and etc.
They are higher in sugars and starches and if fed in high amounts, they can cause health issues.
Nutritional Value of A Banana
Bananas a great source of potassium, protein for both humans and squirrels. However,
the main component of a ripe banana is starch and sugar, which can cause harm to a squirrel.
We already know that junk food and sugary food is NOT good for a squirrel. However, this won’t stop them from eating it. Just like kids, they will eat candy and sugary foods all day if you let them.
If you feed them in your backyard, it’s important to provide them nutritional food like this, that will not harm or kill them.
If you live in Florida, Hawaii, California, Louisiana and etc.. Don’t be surprised if you see a squirrel eating your banana tree.
These bushy-tailed critters will climb almost any tree regardless of whether it’s in your yard. This is why so many people try to stop them from eating bark and damaging their trees.
Do Squirrels Eat Banana Peels?
Okay, so now let’s take a look at what’s inside of a banana peel. The banana peel contains potassium and amazingly it can clean metal objects and even be used to help remedy itchy skin.
It contains powerful nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin, E, and magnesium. While I’ve personally given a squirrel one, I have read that they can deter squirrels from eating your fall bulbs or other plants they love eating.
A neighbor of mine swears that their grey squirrels eat banana peels. Of course, every breed is different so you can see if your backyard critters eat them or not.
What About Banana Chips?
Banana chips are dried slices of banana that are crispy and have a sweet taste. According to the Ark Wildlife website, both red and grey squirrels love eating dried bananas and other dried fruit.
There’s nothing wrong with adding some of their regular feed to keep them happy and provide them energy to forage for more food to stock up for the winter.
Squirrel Eating a Banana Video
If a squirrel is hungry, it’s NOT unusual for them to approach humans begging for food. Here’s a video of a hungry squirrel that comes out of the bushes ready to eat a banana.
In fact, if you spend some time researching, there’s no shortage of memes, pictures, and videos of squirrels eating pretty much anything.
Can Flying Squirrels Eat Bananas?
Just like grey squirrels, flying squirrels are opportunistic foragers, and will eat fruit that grows in their environment. This means a wild Southern Squirrel will eat berries, apples, plums, pears, plums, and yes even bananas.
A captive flying squirrel’s diet will vary from that of one living in the wild. However, it’s important to avoid feeding them a bunch of human foods. According to S & S Exotic Animals, a squirrels diet should only consist of 40% of a flying squirrels diet.
It’s important to provide them with the types of food they would find if they were living out in the wild.
Can Baby Squirrels Eat Bananas?
A baby squirrels diet will vary depending on the age of the squirrel. If a squirrel is old enough to eat solid food, then it should be fine feeding them small amounts of the fruit.
However, If you’re nursing a squirrel you found back to health, it’s vital to know that they will need Pedialyte and puppy milk to grow.
That’s why it’s so vital to know the age of your squirrel before you try feeding them any type of solid foods. If you’re raising an infant squirrel, you will need to feed them Esbilac Formula for squirrels.
Whether you’re feeding your backyard squirrels, or just feeding them when you see them at parks or public places. It’s important to know which foods are good for them and which can harm them.
These critters will eat anything and it’s fun to watch them forage for food in your backyard, especially, if you put food out for them.
Before you feed them scraps or other garbage, take the time to find out what foods are good for them and which ones you should avoid giving them.
Related Articles On What Not to Feed Squirrels
References and Further Reading
Medical News Today – Benefits and Health Risks of Bananas