Do Squirrels Eat Peanuts: Which Peanuts Are Best for Them?

Red squirrel eats nuts from a persons hands

Yes, squirrels eat peanuts. They love peanuts and eat them in their natural form – the shelled nuts and seeds. Peanuts are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals for squirrels. They also help squirrels to regulate their weight, as they are high-fat food. So, squirrels can have peanuts only if they are supervised and fed healthily.

Peanuts and Squirrels

Squirrels are omnivores and will eat various things, including nuts. Squirrels that eat peanuts tend to be healthier and have more energy! While raw peanuts may be suitable for them in moderation, feeding them raw peanuts directly is not the best idea – they may be unable to digest them properly. 

If you want to feed your squirrel raw peanuts, it’s best to do so in small amounts and provide them with other food sources like unsalted shelled nuts or seeds. It’s essential to ensure that the peanuts you feed your squirrels are grown organically and in a safe environment. 

However, squirrels will also snack on other nuts, seeds, and dried fruit if they find them, but peanuts are particularly delicious to squirrels. Squirrels eat any nut but prefer peanuts because of their high oil content. So, next time you’re feeding peanuts to your squirrels, make sure they’re getting the most out of their favorite nut!

Peanuts That Are Allowed for Squirrels

Different types of peanuts are popular with squirrels for a few different reasons. There are three main types of peanuts: hulled, unsalted, and salted. For example, they like the taste of salted peanuts but tend to eat them less often because they can be a bit salty for some animals’ liking. 

Hulled peanuts are usually the most popular type for squirrels due to their high caloric value and easy digestion process. Squirrels prefer unsalted peanuts because they’re more time-consuming to digest. So, if you’re feeding peanuts to squirrels, make sure the peanuts you’re using are unsalted!

Shelled Peanuts

Squirrels eat shelled peanuts as part of their natural diet, allowing squirrels to have chewing exercises.


The favorite food of squirrels is acorns and beechnuts, but hazelnuts are their favorite nut by a wide margin. Interestingly enough, squirrels will eat any nut – even peanuts! However, hazelnuts contain more fatty acids than any other type of nut, providing thriving squirrels with vital essential nutrients such as protein and fiber.


Walnuts are a great source of healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants. Squirrels love them and will go to any length (including breaking into your home) to get their hands on a stash of walnuts! So be sure to keep your walnut stash locked up, or squirrels will have free access – not a good idea if you’re trying to stay healthy and nut-free!

Virginia Peanuts

Virginia peanuts are the most common type of peanut, and they come in various flavors, including but not limited to Spanish Roasted Peanuts and Black & White Peanuts. Squirrels like these peanuts for their nuts (not their flavor), so if you live in an area where squirrels are common, it is best to store your peanut feeder away from your feeders meant for bird feed.

Runner Peanuts

Runner peanuts are a type of peanut usually ground up and eaten as a snack. They have a high protein like other peanuts, making them more beneficial. Squirrels love to eat runner peanuts, so it’s essential to keep an eye on them if you want to avoid having your stash raided!

Valencia Peanuts

Valencia peanuts are sweeter and have a softer texture, making them the most popular type in the US. They grow mainly in New Mexico and Texas. Spanish peanuts are harsher, have a more complex texture, and are the most common type of peanut.

Spanish Peanuts

Spanish peanuts are a type of nut that is especially popular in the United States. They have a sweeter flavor and are often used for baking, peanut butter, etc. Squirrels love Spanish peanuts because they give them an energy boost during the cold winter months. Make sure to store your Spanish peanuts in a cool, dry place to prevent squirrels from eating them.

Peanuts That Are Not Allowed for Squirrels

Salted Peanuts

Squirrels may seem to like peanuts, but you should avoid feeding them salted peanuts. It may contain harmful ingredients that are not good for squirrels. If you have any leftover salted peanuts, place them in a sealed container or garbage can to avoid attracting squirrels.

Roasted Peanuts

Roasted peanuts are not safe for squirrels as they have a high amount of sodium. However, the consensus is that it’s okay to feed dry roasted peanuts to squirrels, but it’s better not to give them raw or hulled peanuts because of the potential for disease transmission.

Tips on Feeding Your Squirrels Peanut

Squirrels are cute little creatures often seen in parks and other outdoor areas. They are known for their intelligence and agility, making them a favorite food of many humans. However, squirrels can be a bit tricky to feed. If you’re looking to feed your squirrels peanuts, be sure to keep the following tips in mind: 

  • First and foremost, squirrels will eventually learn that peanuts are there as a snack. As a result, it’s essential to keep an eye on them and feed them regularly. 
  • Second, squirrels are natural seed eaters. Shelled peanuts are the perfect food for them as they are high in protein and fiber. 
  • Lastly, store your peanuts in a secure place away from birds and other animals. Squirrels are susceptible to many diseases, so feed them nuts that have been stored in a clean and dry place.

Best Food for Wild Squirrels

Squirrels are fascinating animals, and they deserve to be treated well. That means feeding them the right food in moderation and avoiding feeding peanuts excessively. Thankfully, there are other foods that squirrels will enjoy as well! 

Examples include hazelnuts, bird feeder seeds, and fresh fruits and vegetables. If you feed peanuts to squirrels, make sure the amount is reasonable and in moderation. Remember, squirrels are omnivorous animals and eat various foods – feeding them peanuts isn’t the only thing they’ll eat!