Do Squirrels Like To Eat Apples and Other Fruit Trees

Okay, so you’re wondering do squirrels like to eat apples…it’s a fair question as we usually think of squirrels hiding away nuts for winter.

Well, squirrels do enjoy eating a variety of apples and other fruits from trees or sliced fruit from squirrel feeders. With the skill needed to scale just about any tree, squirrels can gather fruits directly from the branch or after the fruit has fallen to the ground. Whether fed directly by humans or scavenged from a grove of fruit trees, squirrels will certainly eat their fill when it comes to several kinds of fruit. 

Types Of Squirrel In Your Garden

The type of squirrel in your garden can vary depending on where you live and what foods might be available in your area. The four most common squirrels found in backyards include ground, flying, red, and grey squirrels. 

By the way, our site is supported by visitors like you. Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! You can find out more here.

Ground Squirrel

Ground squirrels most often live close to the ground rather than in the trees, thus giving this squirrel its apt name. The ground squirrel will regularly sit on its hind legs and hold its front feet at chest level to look over grasstops and be better heard by members of its family. Particularly interested in grassy areas, ground squirrels can be found on golf courses, parks, and landscaped backyards. Ground squirrels are omnivores and often ingest nuts, fruits, seeds, insects, and eggs.

Flying Squirrel

Flying squirrels achieve their flight by gliding through the air using excess skin that connects their front and hind feet and their long tails to navigate in the air. Unlike many other squirrels, flying squirrels are primarily nocturnal. Foraging is their primary method used to acquire foods, and a flying squirrel’s diet consists of fruits, nuts, and birds’ eggs.

Red Squirrel

The American red squirrel, sometimes called the pine squirrel, primarily eats the seed and other pulp from pine cones. Denoted as granivores, the red squirrel does not often incorporate other items in its diet. Still, in some cases, particularly in an area with few coniferous trees, red squirrels are known to eat spruce needles, mushrooms, blackberries, and flowers. 

Grey Squirrel

In North America, there are various grey squirrels, including the Eastern, Western, Arizona, and Mexican grey squirrels. All grey squirrels are hoarders, meaning they will collect and store caches of food for delayed consumption. Grey squirrels will use their heightened sense of smell to relocate a stock as well as their incredible memory. Research has found that grey squirrels even use landmarks to remember where food is stored! Grey squirrels will eat nuts and tree bark but have been known to raid gardens, eating basil, corn, and tomatoes. 

What Fruit Do Squirrels Eat

Most squirrels are not particular regarding their diet and will eat readily available food. Some of a squirrel’s favorite foods include corn, mushrooms, squash, apples, oranges, apricots, and avocados.

Do Squirrels Like To Eat Apples?

Squirrels eat and enjoy nearly any apple variety, and a squirrel will eat an apple no matter its ripeness. Some squirrels have even been seen eating crab apples. Sometimes, squirrels will eat apples that have begun to rot, which can be dangerous – the fermentation within a rotting fruit is toxic to squirrels. 

If given the opportunity, a squirrel will eat the apple – fruit, core, and all. If you are feeding a squirrel, be sure to remove the apple core and the seeds, as they can be deadly if ingested by the squirrel. 

Do Squirrels Eat Apricots?

Squirrels eat apricots and are more than happy to climb a tree and feast on the fruit right from the branch. When fruit is abundant, the squirrel will eat the meat of the apricot and discard the center pit. 

Do Squirrels Eat Bananas?

Squirrels enjoy eating bananas. Even the banana peel would be safe for a squirrel to ingest because the peel is full of nutrients. However, because the banana peel contains a high cellulose content, neither humans nor squirrels can digest the peel easily. 

When feeding a squirrel, limit the number of bananas you give to them. Because this fruit has a high natural sugar content, squirrels may become ill if they eat too many.

Do Squirrels Eat Cherries?

Squirrels will excitedly eat most fruit, including cherries. Similar to how a squirrel would eat an apricot, if there are plenty of food sources, a squirrel will eat only the fruit of the cherry and will discard the seed.  

Do Squirrels Eat Figs?

Figs are particularly susceptible to being scavenged by squirrels. Furthermore, figs trees are also easily damaged by squirrels excessively running on and gnawing the bark. People who grow figs often place a dish of dried corn out for the squirrels hoping that the available corn will deter squirrels from seeking out figs. 

Do Squirrels Eat Lemons?

Shockingly, squirrels love sour citrus fruits, including lemons! Some squirrels will completely eat the lemon rind off of the fruit while it is still hanging on the lemon tree, causing gardeners to throw out their skinless, and now inedible, lemons. 

Do Squirrels Eat Mangoes?

If a squirrel can find a thriving mango tree, it will eat the fruit. Squirrels enjoy mango. Some people mix apple cider vinegar with water and spray their mango tree to deter squirrels’ appetite. 

Do Squirrels Eat Oranges?

Squirrels love citrus fruits, like oranges, lemons, and lime. However, like bananas, oranges are filled with natural sugars, and squirrels should not eat them often.

Squirrels seem to be eager to try more diverse foods due to humans making these foods more accessible.  

Do Squirrels Eat Peaches?

Squirrels will attempt to climb trees to reach peaches but are more likely to eat those that have fallen to the ground. After grabbing the fruit, the squirrel will return to their hiding spot and add the peach to their hoard of food. Squirrels will also eat peach pits if given the opportunity. 

Do Squirrels Eat Pears?

Pears can also be used to satiate a squirrel’s hunger. Grey squirrels seem to be more interested in pears than other kinds of squirrels, but every variety is willing to eat pears if the opportunity arises. 

Do Squirrels Eat Plums?

Like peaches, squirrels will steal and eat a plum if they are available. Additionally, the squirrel might eat the plum pit too. However, many wildlife species are known to enjoy plums, such as foxes and bears, so if your plum tree is looking a bit thin, there may be various culprits. 

Do Squirrels Eat Watermelon?

Just like humans, on a hot summer day, a squirrel would love to eat a watermelon. However, a squirrel will eat every part of the melon, including the rind. After you have finished eating a watermelon, you can offer the skin to a squirrel – it is not only safe for them but welcomed. 

How Do I Feed Apples And Fruit To Squirrels?

Feeding squirrels items that are within their natural diet is essential to ensure the squirrel remains healthy. Too much sugar, excess complex carbohydrates, or processed foods can make a squirrel ill. However, fruits and vegetables in small portions are perfectly fine. 

One standard method to feed wild squirrels is to tie a piece of string to a tree branch or other hanging structure and tie pieces of fruit to the other end. This method simulates how a squirrel would approach and eat a fruit naturally from a tree. Placing food sources off the ground also protects the squirrels from natural predators like cats or foxes. 

Do Squirrels Eat Apples And Fruit Off Trees?

Squirrels can easily climb apple trees to acquire fruit, and the squirrel often remains on the tree’s limb and enjoys their well-earned snack. While watching a squirrel act as an orchard keeper is exciting and fun to watch, continual interference with a fruit tree’s product can damage limbs and reduce production. 

Some farmers place smooth metal collars around the bases of their trees to make it difficult for squirrels to reach the tree’s canopy and, thus, protect the fruit. Additionally, squirrels dislike hot peppers, so farmers may spray hot pepper on fruit trees to deter squirrels from climbing and eating their apples! 

What Do Baby Squirrels Eat?

Until a squirrel is six weeks old, the baby squirrel will drink its mother’s milk or, if being raised in captivity, need a nutritious milk supplement. Afterward, a baby squirrel will begin to ingest more solid foods, like different types of fruit. 

If you are feeding a baby squirrel in need or have volunteered with a wildlife sanctuary, never give a squirrel cow’s milk or soy milk, as that will lead to health issues and developmental problems. 

Baby squirrels require softer solid foods until they are about ten weeks old. Baby squirrels between seven and twelve weeks old will thrive if they continue drinking milk while eating solid foods. 

How To Protect Fruit Trees From Squirrels

One way to protect fruit trees from squirrel scavengers is to scare them away. Strategically placing a large plastic owl statue or building a scarecrow can keep squirrels at bay. As previously mentioned, squirrels do not like the smell of hot pepper or apple cider vinegar, both of which do not harm the growing fruits. 

Additionally, materials to make the tree trunk unclimbable can protect fruits growing on the trees, and regularly cleaning underneath the trees to remove fallen or rotting fruits are helpful too. While primarily used to deter birds from accessing fruits, sometimes using a net to cover the fruit-bearing tops of trees is also beneficial to discourage squirrels.  

Ultimately, if you decide to grow fruit trees or begin a garden, it will be a natural occurrence for squirrels and other animals to attempt to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take steps to protect your harvest, but be willing to share. 

Do Squirrels Like To Eat Fruit: Verdict

Squirrels absolutely like to eat fruit. Squirrels are omnivores and scavengers, eating a wide variety of items from apples right through to lizards and even snakes. so fruits are a welcome option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When fruits have fallen to the ground, squirrels will quickly draw close for an easy meal.

However, squirrels enjoy fruits that do not grow on trees as well. Watermelons, strawberries, and other vine-growing fruits could potentially be on the menu if accessible to a squirrel. Squirrels will try any type of food offered, so if you are feeding a squirrel, ensure that it is safe for them to eat. 

A squirrel’s diet should not primarily consist of fruits because of the high sugar content and the possibility of a squirrel eating a seed that could hurt them. However, in moderation, nearly all fruit is okay for a squirrel to eat. 

Can Squirrels Eat Apples and Fruit FAQs

Wild squirrels will seek out accessible opportunities for a meal, which often comes in the form of various fruits. From apples to oranges to figs, a squirrel will ingest any of these sweet and delicious fruits. If you are actively feeding squirrels, be sure to offer fruits in limited portions and remove seeds.