As strawberries approach ripen, they become more attractive to creatures around. From leaves to stems to its berries, every part of strawberries is edible for different animals. But besides birds, what else eats strawberries? Do squirrels eat strawberries?
While in city, not many animals are out here that eats strawberries but what else besides birds it could be? Do squirrels eat strawberries? Here is the answer.
Do Squirrels Eat Strawberries?
Yes, of course. Like every omnivore, squirrels love to eat strawberries because strawberries contain high sugar and carbs and is packed with vitamins, fibre, antioxidants, manganese and potassium. Particularly, about eight strawberries provide more vitamin C than an orange. These results in many health benefits like heart health, blood sugar regulation, cancer prevention.
Not only squirrels but raccoons, deer, rabbits and insects are also common to see eat strawberries.
What Makes Strawberries Good Food for Squirrels?
Not only nuts and pine cones, but strawberries are also the best possible food for squirrels even for baby squirrels. That is because strawberries contain lots of sugar and simple carbs, which is the main energy coin for squirrels’ bodies. In other words, squirrels operate on sugar that strawberries are full of it.
However, more importantly, like orange, strawberry contains lots of water, fibre, vitamins and minerals, Anthocyanins. There’s definitely a lot more to it but those are just some of it. As rich they are, strawberries decrease heart disease, improve blood circulation and cancer prevention according to webmd.
Another reason squirrels like strawberries are their perfect taste. They are a rich aroma, soft and crunchy that attracts squirrels to the garden.
Not to mention that some squirrels also carry the strawberries to their nests and feed their young babies with them. Strawberries are the ideal food for squirrels during the spring season.
Where Do Squirrels Eat Strawberries From?
In the city, squirrels first and easy option is backyard strawberries. In the wild, strawberries are not easily found and are far away in farms and gardens. That’s why squirrels need to come closer to your home to claim their strawberries, willing to take the risk of being caught or even killed by other animals like crows and humans.
If you have fences, squirrels use their arm and legs to dig holes and overpass the fences similar to tortorise. As squirrels nibble on flowers and trees, squirrels may also dig their way to your strawberries. Even if they don’t see the strawberries, they can always smell them.
When squirrels are in the strawberry plants, squirrels will eat until they are completely full. But once they finish eating, squirrels will ruin the remaining strawberries and plants around.
It’s natural for squirrels to eat the strawberries and destroy all the surrounding greenery. Farmers say that after a squirrels’ raid on their strawberries, the remaining strawberries dry out and won’t survive. Thus, farmers plant new strawberries from scratch for next year.
How To Keep Squirrels From Eating Your Strawberries?
Eating strawberries is common squirrel activity but there are definitely some ways around it. Here are some potential ideas that would help you keep your berries alive and let them reach the harvesting season.
- Plant Strawberries in Wooden Containers: These wooden containers are usually enclosing the mud with the strawberries and allow the sun rays to pass through their top nylon parts. Their bottom is also made from powerful wooden parts that squirrels cannot smash or eat. That’s one possible solution to keep squirrels away from the strawberries, and at the same time, you have the chance to water them and let the strawberries receive the sun rays directly.
- Apply some chicken wire close to the strawberry plants: Another good solution would be to have some chicken wire close to the strawberry plants. That’s the only viable solution to keep squirrels away and have the plants grow in a reasonable time to let your family enjoy harvesting delicious strawberries.
- Get Some Squirrels Repellent: Hot Peppers and Coyote Urine may be the best repellents you can spray around the strawberry plants. These repellents are harmless for the plants and, at the same time, prevent the squirrels’ raid on your strawberries.
- Use Cayenne Pepper: Squirrels have a very sensitive nose. As a result cayenne pepper is spicy and disturbs their odor system. Spreading some cayenne pepper on the soil close to the strawberry roots will be quite efficient in keeping squirrels away from the strawberries.
- Pepper: Squirrels have a very sensitive nose. As a result cayenne pepper is spicy and disturbs their odor system. Spreading some cayenne pepper on the soil close to the strawberry roots will be quite efficient in keeping squirrels away from the strawberries.
What Else Do Squirrels Eat in Your Backyard?
Berries are not the only food squirrels eat and while omnivores, squirrels will feed up on almost edible. In addition to strawberries, squirrels will also eat tomatoes, carrots, and lettuce when they find them on the farm.
That’s why it’s important to keep the same safety and prevention measures you do for the strawberries for the rest of the fruits and vegetables you grow in your garden.
If you belong to the people who have several forest berries cultivated or just a small strawberries plot. Take your measures against squirrels, especially during their reproduction period in early spring. Unfortunately, not all efforts are successful, but one will definitely work at least.
Which Other Animals Like to Eat Strawberries?
Not every time strawberries are eaten is squirrels. But what else eat strawberries from the garden? Well, any urban plant-eating animal that lives around.
Raccoons and deer are the other animals that you can frequently meet close to your backyard and they all have an appetite for fresh strawberries. However, raccoons have more than just plants to eat and will also eat squirrels if they find.
The list of animals is expanded with rabbits, turtles, insects, hamsters, and marmots. Small enough to hide in your backyard, they can cause severe damage to your strawberry plants and even eat all your strawberries before the harvesting season.
Do Squirrels Eat Strawberry Leaves?
If you closely check squirrels’ behaviour on a farm, you will see squirrels eating strawberries but they also eat strawberry leaves. Despite eating the fruits, squirrels also like to eat the stems, leaves, and roots. That’s because these parts of the plant are also soft and give them lots of nutrients and sugars.
Strawberry leaves still have a strong aroma, making them a delicious delight for squirrels. They come to the strawberry plant multiple times to eat the fruits first and then consume the rest of the plant. As a result, farmers need to plant their strawberries from scratch every winter since a squirrels’ raid can leave them only with the plant’s roots that are not great for a new season.
Aromatic and tasty fruits like strawberries always attract squirrels. When they come from their hibernation period, squirrels are usually searching for food that will give them a high-energy intake in a few bites. Strawberries are ideal in this aspect and give them a lot of carbs that they could use to increase their body fat and anticipate larger periods of food scarcity.
If you want to protect your strawberries from squirrels, you better act fast before they even detect the berries’ presence in your garden. Preventing is always better than healing!