What is it that’s eating away at your homegrown soft fruit? Do squirrels eat blackberries or strawberries? Let’s take a rundown of what fruits squirrels eat and what you can do to protect your crop.
Squirrels are omnivores, but they prefer a mostly herbivore diet that’s rich in nuts and fruits such as blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries? They’re experts at harvesting these foods straight from the plant or picking them up off the ground.
Berries offer various nutritional benefits for squirrels, including antioxidants that promote healthy cell growth, immune system boosting vitamin C, and high fiber content that helps keep their digestive system healthy. When offered the choice between berries or other food like insects, a squirrel will almost always choose berries.
Do Squirrels Eat Blackberries?
Blackberries are among a squirrel’s favorite fruit. Although blackberries have high sugar content, they offer squirrels high levels of Vitamin C, Manganese, and Vitamin K1. Squirrels also benefit from a blackberry’s high fiber content to keep their digestive system healthy.
Although squirrels love blackberries, they have to be more careful harvesting them than other fruits due to a blackberry bush’s thorns. Therefore, it’s common to notice squirrels eating berries from the bush and on the ground around the outskirts of the plant rather than crawling deep inside it.
How Do You Keep Squirrels Out of Blackberries?
The first tactic you can try to keep squirrels out of your blackberries is to place bird netting over the bushes. Since the mesh has approximately one-quarter-inch holes, squirrels can’t climb through. However, persistent squirrels may chew through it.
Another option is to put up a fence around your blackberry bushes. Since squirrels are excellent diggers, it’s crucial to bury the wall at least a few inches underground to prevent them from digging underneath. You should also place netting on top of the fence, or else squirrels will just climb over it.
Do Squirrels Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are a delight for squirrels to eat since they don’t have thorns and are low to the ground. You may notice squirrels sitting and eating strawberries in your strawberry patch or stuffing them in their cheeks to go.
By eating strawberries, squirrels benefit from a low-calorie food with an excellent source of nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Strawberries also provide squirrels with over 25% fiber and a low amount of carbohydrates, most of which originate from natural, simple sugar.
How Do I Keep Squirrels from Eating My Strawberries?
Start by removing anything near your strawberries that attracts squirrels, such as bird feeders, or places for them to hide, like trashcans. Then put up a fence around your strawberry patch. Using mesh wire fencing is ideal, but make sure the holes aren’t larger than one inch so the squirrels can’t slip through.
To make a more durable anti-squirrel fence around your strawberries, bury the fence six inches deep and angle the wall of the fence out at about 30 degrees. That way, squirrels can’t dig underneath, and they’ll have difficulty climbing over it.
Do Squirrels Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are a healthy part of a squirrel’s diet. In fact, squirrels not only enjoy eating the fruit itself, but they’ll also incorporate the leaves and stems of blueberry bushes into their diet. Because of a blueberry bush’s smooth branches, squirrels often crawl inside the bushes, using them both as food and a hiding place.
A compound called anthocyanin is partly what makes blueberries so healthy for squirrels. Vitamin C and fiber are the cornerstones of blueberry nutrition. However, they also provide squirrels with a notable amount of iron, vitamin B-6, and magnesium.
How Do I Keep Squirrels Out of My Blueberry Bushes?
The most effective way to keep squirrels out of blueberry bushes is to install a net fence. Your local garden store will offer special nets made for blueberries, and the hole sizes typically range from ¼ – ¾ of an inch. Any of these sizes will suffice, as even small squirrels can’t climb through holes under one inch.
For optimal performance, it’s best to bury a portion of your blueberry fencing underground. In addition to or instead of netting, you can also install scare devices around your blueberry bushes that make noise.
Do Squirrels Eat Other Berries Grown in the Garden?
Squirrels will eat any berries they find, so a garden is a perfect place for them to dine. Much like people, squirrels appreciate the sweet taste of fruit. The sugar in berries also offers them a natural energy boost allowing them to continue foraging for more protein-rich foods that’ll sustain them in the long term.
Although each type of berry has unique nutritional values for squirrels, they all share some common characteristics—they’re a high source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C.
Do Squirrels Eat Raspberries?
Squirrels will make a beeline to any raspberry bushes they come across. Ripe raspberries have a sweet, attractive taste to squirrels, although they also may eat the fruit green since they also enjoy eating the stems and leaves of other plants.
The thorns on raspberry bushes mean that squirrels have to tread more carefully to eat the fruit, but the thorns themselves aren’t a complete deterrent. Therefore, if you have issues with squirrels getting into your raspberry bushes, it’s best to install a fence with mesh netting over the top to prevent them from feasting on your fruit.
Do Squirrels Eat Gooseberries?
When presented with the opportunity, squirrels love to eat gooseberries. Unlike blackberries and raspberries, a gooseberry plant’s stems don’t have tons of small thorns. Therefore, it’s easier for squirrels to maneuver around a gooseberry’s larger-than-average thorns so that they can eat the fruit.
If you struggle with squirrels eating your gooseberries, it’s best to purchase netting with holes that are less than one inch wide. Place the net over your gooseberry plants and secure it to the ground. To be even more effective, build a proper fence with mesh netting and bury it about six inches underground.
Do Squirrels Eat Cranberries?
Fresh raw cranberries are one of the many berries that make up a squirrel’s diet if they have access to them. Although cranberries have a tarter taste than what squirrels are used to, they don’t mind too much (they may not eat as many cranberries as a sweet berry, however). Squirrels will also eat dried cranberries if they encounter them.
Cranberries provide squirrels with vitamin A, manganese, and B-complex vitamins, among many other nutrients. They even contain small amounts of protein and less sugar than most fruit.
Do Squirrels Eat Grapes?
Squirrels aren’t picky when it comes to eating grapes; they’ll happily eat both the green and purple varieties. Grapevines offer squirrels the best of both worlds—the ability to climb and an abundant supply of thorn-free sweet fruit. Grapes are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and thiamine for squirrels. It also gives them a good dose of energy-boosting carbohydrates.
Depending on the size of your vineyard, protecting your grapes from squirrels can be a significant investment. Ideally, you should create a full-body metal mesh fence around and over your grapes, including burying the mesh a few inches into the ground.
Do Squirrels Eat Fruit off Trees?
Squirrels are excellent climbers, and they can also leap between tree branches, making it easy to eat fruit off trees. In fact, not only will squirrels eat ripe fruit off trees, but they’ll also eat the buds and flowering blossoms before a tree even has time to produce fruit.
Squirrels are so good at climbing and eating fruit off trees partially because they have back ankles that rotate 180 degrees. This allows them to grip the tree trunk and descend the tree headfirst. They are one of the only animals in the world that are able to do this.
Blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries are beloved squirrel fruits. They provide squirrels with an excellent supply of vitamins and minerals, as well as sugar that drives their energy as they seek out more calorie-dense food.
It’s essential to monitor your garden and fruit trees for squirrels to prevent their destruction, as squirrels target fruit buds, stems, leaves, and the ripe fruit itself. By setting up a physical mesh barrier between your fruit and squirrels, you’ll get to enjoy a bountiful supply of fruit while your backyard squirrels hunt for other food sources.
FAQ Do Squirrels Eat Other Berries?
Squirrels eat almost all berries, although instinct dictates what they know is and isn’t okay to eat.