Do Squirrels Eat Zucchini Plants? [How To Prevent Them]

do squirrels eat zucchini plants

Squirrels are notorious for eating vegetables, herbs, and fruits. But do they enjoy eating zucchini, and what parts of the plants will they eat? If you’re reading this article, chances are something is damaging your plants, and you want to know what it is.  

Yes, squirrels are omnivore opportunistic feeders that love eating zucchini, plants, flowers, buds, seedlings, and the vegetable itself. The plants are high in essential nutrients such as; potassium, calcium, etc., essential for their survival. In addition, squirrels may be eating your food sources because they can’t find other food sources due to deforestation. 

Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who finds zucchini tasty; so do squirrels and other animals. 

We’ll cover everything you need to know to protect your plants. So let’s take a closer look at why they eat these summer squash veggies. 

Will Squirrels Eat Zucchini?

As an omnivore, squirrels can eat both plants and animals. Their diet typically includes nuts, vegetables, seeds, fruits, and insects. 

The rodents are opportunistic feeders, which is how they’ve survived deforestation and climate change, which has led to food scarcity. When they can’t find food readily available, they turn to trash dumpsters, bird feeders, gardens, and people’s backyards.  

They adapt to the foods in their environment and can survive on human foods such as; cereals, pet foods, bird seeds, junk food, etc. Zucchini is one of the plants that squirrels love to nibble on. 

Ground and tree squirrels will destroy your garden by eating chewing the stems, digging up the bulbs, eating or destroying the plants, and eating the vegetable. 

Why Squirrels Eat Zucchini?

Lettuce has many healthy nutrients for humans and squirrels. The green leafy vegetable contains high levels of potassium and vitamins A and C. 

In addition, 95% of raw zucchini is nothing but water, which is similar to the following vegetables:

  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Bok choy (pak choi)
  • Spinach 

The high water content makes these vegetables more susceptible to squirrels and other animals, especially during hot summer days water sources are not readily available. 

How To Prevent Squirrels From Eating Zucchini?

Dealing with squirrels in your garden can be a challenge, especially when they’re eyeing your precious zucchini plants. 

In this section, we’ll discuss some methods you can employ to protect your lettuce from these furry intruders.

Garden Protection Measures

To prevent squirrels from eating your lettuce 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 lettuce 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 zucchini plants are in containers, the easiest thing to do is to take them inside. Zucchini can be grown in a container with tomatoes, corn, or other long-maturing plants. 

You will need a 5-gallon or 24-inch container to ensure proper growth. 

Leave them inside and place the plant near a window with full sun. 

You have nothing to worry about when your plants are in the house unless you have a pet squirrel. 

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 keeps moles, squirrels, and deer away.

These animals can’t stand the pungent 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 zucchini 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 zucchini 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!

Other Animals That Eat Zucchini Plants

Aside from squirrels, several other animals enjoy munching or stealing zucchini plants and veggies as part of their diet. Some of these animals include:

  • Deer
  • Mice
  • Raccoons
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Some species of dogs

Also, insects, such as; slugs, aphids, snails, etc., can cause a range of problems for zucchini plants, such as; reduced fruit production, stunted growth, and even death. 

What Parts Of A Zucchini Plant Will Squirrels Eat?

Squirrels will eat all parts of the fruit, which include the stem, leaves, blossoms, flowers, and the vegetable itself. 

They likely won’t eat the roots but will dig them up and damage the plant. These rodents dig the roots of plants in search of food and retrieve hidden food from the caches they built. 

How To Tell If Squirrels Are Eating Your Zucchini Plants?

Before implementing preventative measures, you must know whether or not squirrels are the culprits.

As mentioned, zucchini is a popular veggie among several other animals. 

Here are some signs that squirrels are the pests damaging your zucchini flowers, buds, and stems.

  • Stems or leaves are chewed off at the base 
  •   Petals are torn and missing
  •   Buds and seeds have been dug up 
  •   Half-eaten flowers on the ground

If you see any of these signs, then chances are squirrels have been snacking on your plants and vegetables, and you can use the tips above to repel them.

Final Word

Squirrels will eat all parts of the vegetable, including the stem, buds, and blossoms. The rodents will seedlings and roots in search of food and caches.  

Zucchini is high in essential nutrients, making them vulnerable to rodents and other wildlife. 

The preventative measures above will help you protect your garden from rodents. 

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