/ / / / Do Squirrels Eat Pumpkins: Benefits and Healthy Parts

Do Squirrels Eat Pumpkins: Benefits and Healthy Parts

Yes, squirrels eat pumpkins. For some unknown reason, they seem to love the seeds inside the pumpkin more than anything else. Squirrels are natural scavengers, and their diet often includes various food items. So it’s not surprising that some people believe that the furry rodents might enjoy a bite of pumpkin.

Benefits of Pumpkin to Squirrels

When it comes to pumpkins, most people would say that it’s safe for squirrels to eat. However, only a tiny amount should be given as a treat – anything more, and your squirrel may become overweight and develop health problems. So if you have a pumpkin lying around and your squirrel seems to be enjoying it, there’s nothing wrong with giving them some as a treat!

Antibodies

Squirrels may eat pumpkins because they contain antigens similar to their antibodies. This helps the squirrels build immunity against diseases and parasites.

Improves Eyesight

Pumpkins provide squirrels with a good food source, but it also helps improve their eyesight! Squirrels love eating pumpkin seeds because they are rich in vitamin A, which helps develop eye muscles and reduces cataracts in future years. In addition, it also strengthens the cornea – making vision even better for these critters!

Bone Health

Aside from being an excellent treat for squirrels, pumpkins can also help improve their bone health—calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin A benefit the skeletal system. Squirrels will love the sweetness as well as the carbs!

Parts of the Pumpkin Squirrels Can Eat

Stem

Stems are the first part of a pumpkin that squirrels will typically eat, although some of them will not because the seeds are located in the stem and are more challenging to digest. If any small fruits are left on the pumpkin, squirrels may also eat them.

Seeds

Squirrels are adorable little creatures that love to feast on pumpkin seeds! However, because they dislike the center of the pumpkin where the seeds are located, keeping your pumpkins safe from them is essential. Aside from eating the seeds, squirrels consume the rind – including the meat inside. This makes a great source of fiber which helps with digestion and keeps you healthy overall. 

Skin

Squirrels will also eat anything edible – even the skin! Since squirrels are omnivores, they will eat just about anything – including seeds, flesh, and skin. When it comes to eating pumpkins (or any other food), squirrels usually go for the softer parts, such as the seeds or innards. So if you’re looking to keep your pumpkin-eating critter at bay this Halloween season, make sure to store them away safely!

Leaves

It is a safe bet that they can’t eat the leaves of a pumpkin plant, as they’re too big. However, if you see a squirrel eating your pumpkin leaf, don’t get upset – they’re just doing what comes naturally to them! Probably not too much, as long as the leaves on the pumpkin plant are small enough. So, if you’re worried about a squirrel eating your pumpkin plant, keep an eye out and ensure it’s safe for them to access. 

Feeding Your Squirrels Pumpkin

Feeding squirrels pumpkin is a great way to help keep them healthy and happy during the fall season. You can easily feed squirrels by leaving raw pumpkins in your yard or nearby park. If you live in an area where jack-o’-lanterns are common, feed these furry friends pumpkin seeds! 

When Not to Feed Pumpkin to Squirrels

If It’s Rotten or Moldy

Mold on pumpkins can be hazardous for squirrels as they cannot digest it and will likely get sick. Rotten pumpkins are even worse- not only will they eat little or nothing of the pumpkin itself, but they may also get sick in the process. So try to feed your squirrels something else- maybe some bird seed or nuts.

Don’t Feed Them Everyday

Keeping your pumpkin safe from theft by squirrels is integral to Halloween fun. Here are some tips to help you do just that: 

  • Make sure the pumpkin is fresh – a stale or tampered with one will likely be stolen. 
  • Leave it overnight only if it’s in a secure location and there’s no danger of frostbite (pumpkins can get very cold when left out in the cold). 
  • Feed them during the winter when food is scarce, but don’t overdo it as this might make them aggressive and territorial.

Stopping Squirrels From Eating Pumpkin

Squirrels are known for their love of pumpkins; unfortunately, they don’t discriminate. They’ll eat just about anything edible, which includes pumpkins. So if you want to stop them from eating your pumpkins, there are a few things you can do:

  • First, try hiding them in different areas of your yard. If that doesn’t work, use a scarecrow to keep the animals away. 
  • Another option is to use an alarm system or motion-activated lighting to deter the squirrels from stealing your pumpkins. 
  • You can try using a wire cage to secure your pumpkins if all else fails. No matter what you do, keep an eye on your pumpkin patches and be prepared to take action if necessary!

Repel Their Taste Buds

To keep your pumpkins safe from predators and squirrels, you can try the following: 

  • Install a wire mesh fence around your pumpkin patch to keep them out. 
  • Ensure your garden is well-lit at night, so they find it hard to get to the pumpkins. 
  • Use deterrents such as bird feeders or scarecrows that make noise when birds are fed.

Create Unappealing Texture

You can use a few methods, and it’s essential to test different combinations until you find the one that works best in your garden. Some methods include using bird feeders with nuts or bolts, installing hardware cloth around plants, or hanging pots. It’s also a good idea to put signs warning people not to feed the squirrels – this will deter them! 

Give Them a Scare

Scare devices work best when set off at night, while enclosures usually scare the squirrels away during the day. Both methods effectively keep squirrels away and ensure that your pumpkins are safe.

Scare devices include flags, noises, or fake squirrels. If you live where squirrels are a common nuisance, take precautions before harvesting your pumpkin. This includes leaving unharvested pumpkins out to tempt the critters away. 

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