Squirrels love to eat everything, but it’s up to you to know which foods are safe or unsafe for them. If you love feeding them, you may have wondered can squirrels eat blueberries? Are they safe and do they provide any nutritional value?
Yes, you can feed squirrels blueberries. The blueberries itself are NOT toxic for squirrels unless they have been sprayed with pesticides. Blueberries contain several vitamins and minerals that will benefit these wild critters.
In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at everything you need to know about feeding squirrels blueberries.
What Are Blueberries?
Blueberries are considered a fruit that belong to the Ericaceae family. They are a sweet and delicious fruit that has several health benefits for both humans and squirrels.
This plant based food can be eaten raw, cooked, or frozen. Squirrels will love this superfood and let’s take a closer look at the nutrients they contain.
Nutrients In Blueberries
One cup (148g) of raw blueberries contain:
|Dietary Fiber||3.6 g|
|Vitamin C||14.4 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.077 mg|
|Vitamin A||79.92 IU|
|Carotene, beta||47.36 mcg|
Are Blueberries Safe for Squirrels
Yes, as long as squirrels have access to a varied diet, it is completely safe for squirrels to consume blueberries.
That being said, you should only feed squirrels blueberries that have not been exposed to pesticides.
Are Blueberries a Healthy Treat for Squirrels?
Many animal lovers have been known to prepare homemade blueberry treats for their birds and squirrels.
We’ve actually prepared some healthy snacks for our birds that consisted of cheerios, and blueberries (minus the milk) and we decided to see if the squirrels would eat it.
They did and they absolutely loved it!
If you love feeding squirrels, then search the Internet and you’ll find no shortage of homemade squirrel food you can prepare.
Will Squirrels Eat Blueberries?
There isn’t much these critters won’t eat. They are scavengers that eat garbage, cat food, dog food, bark, and pretty much anything they can get their paws on.
It may take some time to get them eat them, especially, if you’ve never fed them this fruit.
What Types of Blueberries Can Squirrels Eat?
Believe it or not, there are several different ways to eat this fruit, and they consist of:
Raw blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that can benefit both animals and people. It is perfectly fine to feed squirrels raw blueberries, in fact, they love them.
This is why many of them will raid blueberry bushes in search of food to eat and take back to their nest.
Research from South Dakota State University found that frozen blueberries provide a larger amount of disease-fighting antioxidants than the fresh variety.
Squirrels won’t have a problem eating frozen blueberries as they have sharp incisors that can chew through pretty much anything.
Studies have found that cooking the blueberries can raise their polyphenol content (antioxidants) which can make them healthier than the raw variety. (source)
That being said, to maintain the healthy nutrients and vitamins, avoid deep frying the blueberries.
Can Squirrels Eat Blueberry Bushes?
Yes, and they love them. The concern is when they come into contact with bushes that have been treated with harmful pesticides.
Before feeding any part of the bush to your squirrels, you should wash the leaves and remove any dirt. This will also make sure the plant is free from pesticides.
How to Feed Squirrels Blueberries
Introducing new food to squirrels is not that hard. If you’re giving them blueberries for the first time, drop a few blueberries in their feeder or in a bowl by their feeder.
Don’t just throw them on the ground as they may not eat them because they will just be on the dirt or covered by the grass.
Give them time to investigate the blueberries and determine whether they are safe or not.
After a few minutes, you’ll see them eating them and running away with them.
Even though squirrels love blueberries, there are some instances you shouldn’t give it to them.
When Not to Give Blueberries to Squirrels?
1. When They Are Babies
Baby squirrels that are less than eight weeks old are not old enough to eat solid foods. They should be fed a diet that consists of formula that is similar to the milk they would get if they were nursing.
If you’ve found a baby squirrel, find a wildlife rescue center so they can get the proper care they need.
2. You Don’t Know Where the Blueberries Came From
If you’re going to give your backyard squirrels, buy the organic variety from your local supermarket. These are the safest and won’t contain any harmful pesticides.
Other Squirrel Treat Ideas
Here are some more other treats that squirrels go absolutely crazy for and the best part are completely safe to feed them.
- Peanuts (unsalted)
If you love feeding your backyard squirrels, make sure you’re always giving them safe foods that won’t hurt them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Squirrels Eat Frozen Blueberries?
Yes, they may not like them as much as the raw, or organic type, but these can make for a great crunchy treat they’l love. Frozen blueberries are low in fact and calories but high in fiber which makes them great for most animals.
In summary, squirrels can eat frozen, raw, and cooked blueberries. They can even eat the bushes! If you cook some blueberry treats for them, you won’t have a problem attracting them to your yard.
That being said, you should only feed blueberries to squirrels in moderation. These critters require a varied diet that such as nuts, plants, veggies, and fruits that will help them thrive in the wild.