Can Squirrels Eat Garlic? What You Need To Know

can squirrels eat garlic

Squirrels are generally ‘wild’ animals, at least in the sense that they are not very common to be kept as indoor pets. You may have found your garlic bulbs dug up in your garden and this has you wondering “can squirrels eat garlic?”

Can Squirrels Eat Garlic? While garlic itself is not toxic to squirrels, many gardeners use it as a repellant to keep squirrels away from their vegetables. Typically, squirrels avoid foods that have a spicy smell.

But according to this forum, many people who own pet squirrels have found that they love eating it. Whether you have a pet squirrel or feed them in your backyard, you should know whether or not garlic is good for them.

But first, let’s take a closer look at what these critters like to eat.

What Do Squirrels Like To Eat?

Squirrels are actually not picky eaters, and they are likely to eat most of the things they find in their surroundings. Their food of choice will range from vegetables, fruits, flower, nuts, trees, to insects. So, when feeding a squirrel, you can’t really go wrong because they probably eat whatever you give them.

In the rare case that you have a pet squirrel, try giving it some cheese. It’s not necessarily a well-known fact, but squirrels do enjoy the odd block of cheese, and they are not picky about the kind of cheese it is, either. Whether it is a leftover from your sandwich, a piece of gouda, or a mozzarella ball, they will happily munch on it. 

Again, a weird habit squirrels have picked up is indulging in dog and cat food. It’s not very good for them, so you should not feed them this, but don’t be surprised if you put down some cat food for you cat and you find your pet squirrel eating it too.

What About Garlic?

You might be wondering if there is anything that squirrel’s don’t eat; there is. Squirrels can actually eat garlic, but they don’t necessarily like it. There are plenty of other herbs they like.

Animals that mostly live outdoors, such as squirrels or rabbits, will often come across garlic or onion whilst digging the ground and they might accidentally start eating it.

In this sense, squirrels can eat garlic. The following question to ask is whether they enjoy eating it, and the answer is no they don’t. They will definitely not start munching on raw garlic, even if it is their last meal.

Why Don’t They Like It?

Squirrels are not a fan of the scent of spicy foods, and this includes garlic of course. In fact, a famous squirrel repellant to keep them out of your garden consists of vinegar, water, and garlic. An alternative is to use jalapeno peppers, but garlic is easier. 

Garlic spray is often sprayed on plants or vegetables in the garden to keep squirrel’s away from them, as the smell really bothers them up to a point where they won’t go near the tempting fruits or veggies. 

Is Garlic Safe for Squirrels

do squirrels like garlic
Squirrels will eat garlic if there is not other food source available.

Garlic belongs to the Allium family, (which also includes leeks, chives, and onions). It is known to be dangerous to both cats and dogs. This vegetable contains thiosulfate, which can cause damage to red blood cells.

Since squirrels can eat poisonous mushrooms, they are probably not affected by garlic.

That being said, you should never knowingly give your squirrel garlic to eat. It’s one thing for a squirrel to get into your garden and eat your plants and bulbs.

Instead of feeding them garlic, stick with other fruits, veggies, and nuts that are safe for them.

Will Squirrels Eat Garlic?

There isn’t much that squirrels won’t eat. If a squirrel trusts you and eats from your hand, there’s a good chance they will eat garlic. If you have a feeder in your yard and you put some garlic in it, chances are, the rodents won’t eat it.

Just because a squirrel eats something, doesn’t mean that it’s good for them. If you are going to feed your backyard squirrels or have a pet squirrel, you should feed them foods that are good for them.

Foods That Are Safe for Them

Like us, squirrels require a variety of foods that provides them with a balanced diet that contains protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.

I’d recommend feeding your backyard squirrels high quality squirrel food you can buy online. You can also fill the feeders with peanuts, carrots, kale, broccoli, and other healthy veggies.

I’ve put together some of the best squirrel feeders for your backyard that will attract these furry critters.


Squirrels are busy and active animals meaning they need their fuel, besides, there is hardly anything they do not eat. Garlic, however, is one of those things.

It is not so much the taste of it but rather the smell of it that really bothers them and that will keep them away from your precious vegetable or fruit garden. 

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