Can Squirrels Eat Parsley? [Is It Toxic To Them?]

can squirrels eat parsley

If you have a garden, chances are you’ve seen squirrels around your parsley, tomatoes, and other plants. Unfortunately, these pests are notorious for raiding herbs, veggies, and beautiful plants. We’ll discuss whether squirrels eat parsley, how to protect it, and whether it is toxic to them.

Parsley isn’t a squirrel’s favorite herb, but they will eat it if given the opportunity. It contains vitamins and minerals that can give the squirrel much needed nutrients. No one knows why squirrels eat parsley, maybe they like the taste, or there’s nothing else to eat?

Squirrels are opportunistic eaters and will take what they can get. So let’s take a closer look at why they eat these biennial plants.

What Is Parsley?

Parsley is a popular herb used in cooking, baking, and garnishing. It is rich in vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and many other minerals. In addition, the herb has anti-inflammatory properties that promote healing and relieve pain and swelling.

There are different types of parsley, such as curly-leaved, flat-leaved (Italian), and Hamburg. It can be used fresh or dried in soups, salads, sauces, and garnish.

Can Squirrels Eat Parsley?

Yes, squirrels can eat parsley, but it isn’t their favorite food. Because of its bitter taste and smell, they usually prefer other plants that are easier to eat. However, the herb is not poisonous or toxic to them unless it has pesticides or other chemicals.

Why Do Squirrels Eat Parsley?

Squirrels prefer eating nuts, fruits, and vegetables. However, in some cases, they may eat parsley if nothing else is available.

Parsley is loaded with nutrients, such as; Vitamin K, C, and A. These nutrients can aid a squirrel’s immune system, improve skin conditions, and play a vital role in their immunity and eye health.

Like us, squirrels require a balanced diet with vitamins and minerals.

Eating parsley could be a way for them to get the nutrients they need.

Is Parsley Dangerous To Squirrels?

No, unless you’ve used pesticide in your flower garden, parsley is not toxic to squirrels. That being said, squirrels have a great sense of smell, so they most likely won’t mess with the plants if pesticides are on them.

Their sense of smell makes it easy for them to smell food they’ve buried under a foot of snow.

Do Squirrels Eat Parsley Seeds?

Squirrels love eating sunflower seeds and other types of seeds. They may be drawn to your parsley seeds, and you may find them trying to dig them up if they don’t have access to any other food.

If they dig up the seeds, it will make it difficult for the parsely to continue growing. So, you’ll need to take steps to prevent this.

Do Squirrels Like Parsley?

It depends on the food source in their habitat. For example, if they live in an area with bird feeders, acorn trees, or other food sources, they may ignore the parsley and eat something else.

Can You Feed Squirrels Parsley?

If you have a pet squirrel, you can give them a small amount of parsley to see if it will eat it. Wash the plant thoroughly before feeding some to your pet.

Don’t force them to eat it. As mentioned, most squirrels won’t go out of their way to eat parsley. However, if your squirrel loves eating parsley, don’t overfeed them.

Feeding them too much parsley can cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, upset tummy, diarrhea, etc.

Can Baby Squirrels Eat Parsley?

Baby squirrels less than six weeks of age needs a good milk replacer to ensure they get all the nutrients their bodies need. Those older than a year won’t have any issues eating the herb.

A baby squirrel’s digestive system isn’t the same as an adult’s. So if you’re feeding a young squirrel parsley, monitor them closely and avoid feeding them too much.

What Animals Eat Parsley?

If something is eating your parsley, it may not be the squirrels. The best way to tell is to look at the plant. If the entire plant is eaten or broken, it may be a squirrel or other animal.

Also, if something is digging in the fresh dirt where you planted the seeds, it’s likely squirrels.

If there are holes in leaves or chunks of the root are missing, it’s likely a caterpillar, beet armyworm, cutworm, or moths eating your plants.

How To Keep Squirrels From Eating Parsley Plants?

To prevent squirrels from eating your parsley plants, create a galvanized poultry wire cage over the plants, use blood meal for newly planted bulbs, and create an easier food source for them.

If you live in an area with a lot of trees, the best way to keep them away from your garden is to create an area for them to eat. Below are some more tips to protect your parsley plants from these pests.

These tips can help you deter them using humane methods.

Just remember, squirrels are persistent little critters, and it will take some time to get them to stop harassing your flowers.

Cage the Plants

One of the best ways to protect your plants from squirrels and other critters is to create a cylindrical fence out of chicken wire. In addition, you’ll want to create a cage around the hibiscus plants to ensure they are adequately protected.

You’ll want to place some wood or metal stakes and place them 4-6 inches away from the plant, so they won’t harm the roots. If you put them too close to the plants, the squirrels may be able to stick their paw in the cage and pull out a flower.

Wrap the chicken wire around the posts to form a cage. Create a screen door that will allow you to enter the cage to care for your plants.

Don’t forget to enclose the top of the cage. Otherwise, the squirrels will climb the fence and access the plants from the top. They are excellent climbers and jumpers.

Take The Containers Inside

If the parsley plants are in containers, the easiest thing to do is to take them inside. Parsley can be grown in large plants, filled with seed compost, and watering them gently.

You can bring them out every morning or put them on a deck that squirrels won’t climb because there are always people on it.

Or you can leave them inside and just place the plant near a window that gets good sun.

You don’t have anything to worry about when your plants are in the house unless you have squirrels in your house.

Dried Blood

Squirrels have a great sense of smell, which helps keep them safe from predators. For example, bloodmeal is a slaughterhouse waste product used as a natural fertilizer. 

The smell has been proven to keep moles, squirrels, and deer away.

These animals can’t stand the strong smells of ammonia and nitrogen.

When choosing bloodmeal, opt for the organic type as it is the least toxic variety for your plants.

It’s a great way to keep squirrels away while fertilizing your plants while providing them sufficient nitrogen, other nutrients your plants require.

Spread four ounces of bloodmeal per square yard of soil or follow the instructions on the back of the bag.

You can purchase bloodmeal at a nursery or home improvement store with a gardening section.

Plant The Herb Among Thorny Plants

You can try plants that have sharp thorns to prevent squirrels from getting to your hibiscus plants. For instance, roses have sharp thorns and can help protect your hibiscus plants from critters.

You can consider planting other plants with thorns: firethorns, honey locus, bougainvillea, Barbary fig, etc. 

Make sure you do your due diligence to make sure those plants won’t attack your hibiscus plants.

You can also plant some of the plants that naturally repel squirrels.

Feed Them

After completing all the options above, consider creating a squirrel-friendly area in your yard. Choose an area away from your parsley plants and veggies, so the squirrels won’t be tempted to stray.

You can buy or make a squirrel feeder and fill it with some of the best food for squirrels we rounded up on our recommended products page.

It may take a while, but once the squirrels realize they have their own place, there’s a good chance that they will leave your parsley plants alone.

Before you know it, you won’t mind having the squirrels visit your backyard!

Final Thoughts

Squirrels will eat parsley and other herbs if they don’t have easy access to other foods. However, not all of them will enjoy the earthy, peppery taste.

If something is eating your parsley plants, it’s likely the caterpillars and other insects. The best way to determine what’s eating your parsley is to determine how the plants are being destroyed.

Once you know which animal is eating your plants, you can take the necessary action to keep squirrels and other animals out of your garden.

Related Articles


Recent Posts