Can Squirrels Eat Bell Peppers? Safe, Toxic & How to Feed Them?


Squirrels are cute little critters that are often entertaining to watch scamper around parks and forests alike. Though they are rodents, they are adorable to observe, especially when you watch them nibble on all of the snacks they manage to scavenge from their surroundings. 

But can squirrels eat bell peppers? Yes, but you probably shouldn’t as these vegetables are one of the top 10 foods that contain the most pesticide residue. Green bell peppers are more bitter that have been known to cause some squirrels to vomit. Feed them no more than 2-3 pieces per day and opt for the red variety.

If you are going to feed your pet squirrel or wild squirrels bell peppers, it’s best to feed them the red ones as they contain more vitamins and minerals than the green variety.    

Let’s take a closer look at bell peppers and why you should consider other healthy vegetables for your pet squirrel.

Nutritional Information

One cup of chopped of sweet, raw red peppers contains.

NutrientsQuantity
Calories46.2
Sugars6.3 grams
Vitamin A 4666 IU
Vitamin C190 mg
Omega-3 fatty acids37.2 mg
Omega-6 fatty acids67.0 mg
Zinc0.4 mg
Choline8.3 mg
Folate68.5 mcg
Vitamin K7.3 mcg
Betaine0.1 mg
Iron0.6 mg
Sodium6.0 mg
Magnesium17.9 mg
Potassium314 mg
Thiamin0.1 mg
Water 137 grams

(source)

Are Bell Peppers Safe for Squirrels

Yellow, orange, and red bell peppers are packed with vitamins and nutrients that can be beneficial for both people and squirrels.

According to Avian Animal Hospital, healthy vegetables such as asparagus, avocados, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, mushrooms, and bell peppers can make a great snack for your pet squirrel.

Why You Should The Green Ones

Green bell peppers are more bitter than the colored variety because they are actually unripe bell peppers. While they are not toxic, many squirrel owners have said that green bell peppers have make their squirrels sick.

Why Squirrels Can’t Eat Bell Peppers

Vomiting

Even though bell peppers contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that are essential to a human’s health, they are not a great option for feeding your squirrel. This is because the seeds that are in bell peppers are bitter and. they can have an extremely averse reaction and even vomit.

In fact, many people in exotic pet forums have noticed that green bell peppers cause their small critter having an upset stomach, and even vomiting after eating one.

Pesticides

Another worry about feeding your pet squirrel bell peppers is the exposure to harmful toxins from pesticides. This vegetable is on the “Dirty Dozen” list, which consists of the following:

  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Peaches
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers

Studies have found that a single sample of sweet bell peppers contained up to 15 different pesticides. This poses a threat to both you and your pet squirrel.

While bell peppers are not toxic to squirrels, the pesticide residue can cause sickness, or even death.

How to Feed Squirrels Bell Peppers

Feed them no more than 2 pieces per day. If you do feed your pet squirrel sweet bell peppers, make sure you wash them thoroughly.

The best way to wash bell peppers is to use cold or lukewarm water. Washing a cold vegetable with hot water can cause the bacteria to seep into the vegetable.

If you didn’t grow the vegetable or buy it from the supermarket, you should avoid feeding it to your pet squirrel.

What Parts of The Bell Peppers Can Squirrels Eat?

It’s not hard to find YouTube videos of people sharing all kinds of vegetables with these critters. After all, they will eat pretty much anything they can find.

If your backyard or pet squirrels enjoy eating them, these are the parts you can feed them.

Placenta

This is the white part of the inside that holds the seeds. The placenta contains many nutrients, but you should avoid feeding it to your squirrels. When you cut the bell pepper to share it with your furry friend, discard the placenta.

Seeds

While the seeds are edible, you should avoid feeding them to squirrels. The seeds contain a bitter taste that can be responsible for making a squirrel vomit.

Stem

are nightshade vegetables safe for squirrels
Bell peppers belong to the nightshade family.

We as humans do not eat the stem, therefore it should not be fed to your squirrel. Bell peppers, like potatoes and tomatoes belong to the nightshade family, and the leaves and stems are poisonous to both humans and some animals.

Avoid feeding squirrels the stems, leaves or bell pepper plants. If they have one bite, there probably isn’t too much to worry about. But, you’ll want to keep an eye on them.

Flesh

When washed properly to remove all the pesticide residue, squirrels can safely eat this vegetable. Like humans, some squirrels may have a negative reaction when eating bell peppers.

If you are going to feed them this vegetable, always monitor your pet to ensure they do not have adverse reactions.

Can Baby Squirrels Eat Bell Peppers?

Baby squirrels that are less than 8 weeks of age should never be fed solid foods. When they are old enough to start nibbling on foods, you should start with healthier vegetables such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, or a good quality rodent diet.

Vegetables that Squirrels Can and Can’t Eat

It’s a good idea for your squirrel to have a variety of vegetables to munch on, including a diverse array of options such as broccoli, bok choy, romaine, celery, and so much more. 

However, there are some vegetables that you should avoid feeding to your pet squirrel. For example, pet squirrels should NOT eat bell peppers. This includes bell peppers of all colors, whether green, yellow, orange, or red.

Overall, make sure that you are absolutely avoiding feeding your squirrel any type of pepper, ranging from mild to spicy, but specifically be sure to keep in mind that a squirrel cannot consume bell peppers

Conclusion

While bell peppers themselves are not toxic to squirrels. You should avoid feeding them this veggie. If your squirrel loves eating this vegetable, opt for the organic variety from your supermarket.

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