Squirrels have a very flexible diet and will eat almost anything you can think of. Their versatile eating habits have ensured their survival in the wild and in Canadian cities and urban areas. Although there are 22 different types of squirrel species in the country, there is a little distinction in terms of the food they eat.
What Squirrels Eat
Squirrels are natural herbivores although they will eat just about anything if their preferred food is in short supply. Squirrels typically eat;
Nuts: Squirrels will eat nuts with or without the shell. Extracting the nut from its shell helps to keep their teeth sharp as well as prevent the teeth from growing too long. Nuts include walnuts, acorns, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, beechnuts, macadamia and pine nuts among others.
Fruit: Squirrels are strong climbers and love fruit trees. Fruits give them extra energy from the natural sugar. Favourite fruits include pears, kiwi, apples, grapes, nectarines, peaches, avocados, mangoes, plums, figs and citrus.
Fungi: Being natural foragers, squirrels have an abundance of the fungus to choose from depending on the climate. Favourite fungi include oyster mushrooms, lichen, mushrooms, truffles and acorn truffles. It is not uncommon for squirrels to leave fungi out to dry to devour later.
Plant material: Squirrels derive a lot of their nutritional value from plant materials such as plant stalks, grass, leaves and roots. These animals prefer soft and young plant materials.
Atypical Foods: Squirrels have a diverse pallet and will eat just about anything especially when food is in short supply. In the wild, squirrels will eat bird eggs or insects such as grasshoppers, winged bugs and caterpillars when left with no other option. In urban areas, these animals will eat bird food, kid’s sugary cereals and snacks, dog and cat food, scraps and waste such as old lunch meat, sandwiches and burger scraps.
It may seem that these animals will eat virtually anything but they seem to have an aversion to raw garlic, raw onion and hot peppers.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels
It is best to hire a wildlife removal company in Canada if you are having trouble with squirrels on your property. Trapping isn’t as humane as most people think. Using the wrong trap or setting it incorrectly may injure the animal. It is also illegal to transport trapped wildlife for more than 1 kilometre without a permit.
Exclusion is the preferred squirrel removal method for professionals. This involves installing a one-way door to allow the squirrels to leave their nest but the same door blocks them from going back in. This is a labour and knowledge-intensive process that requires the proper installation of the exclusion one-way door, properly sealing all possible entry points, inspecting for baby squirrels, cleaning the nest after successful removal and more.
Hire a squirrel removal company in Toronto that offers a warranty for the job for at least one year.