A lot of people enjoy feeding the various critters that come wandering onto their property. At some point you might have ask yourself “do squirrels eat apples and how do squirrels eat apples ?” It seems like these animals will eat just about anything, and they usually do. But it is important that you know whether or not you should give them this food. Before you decide to do this, there are a number of things you’ll want to be aware of.
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Do Squirrels Eat Apples?
Do squirrels eat apples? Most squirrels will gladly eat apples when you toss them on the ground. They seem to love the taste of this fruit just based on how quickly they gobble them up. And while these animals will consistently eat this food, not all parts of the apple are safe for them to consume.
The most likely explanation for a squirrel’s obsession with this fruit is its high sugar content. They also like the skin because of its smooth texture. The seeds of an apple are also attractive to these animals, as seeds make up part of their natural diet.
These animals are not picky when it comes to which types of apples they eat. Whether it is a Granny Smith or a Gala apple, you can trust that they will eat it up fast. A lot of people who give squirrels around their house this food find that they keep coming back for more, which can be a problem.
Do Squirrels Eat Apples and Apples Toxic to Squirrels?
The seeds inside of an apple can be very harmful to squirrels. Apple seeds contain minute traces of cyanide, which can cause a squirrel to get very sick or even die. The more of these seeds they consume, the more likely they are to have a fatal result. It is crucial that you keep this in mind if you give squirrels around your home this food.
If you have an apple tree on your property, you’ll probably notice squirrels trying to get the fruit on it at some point. They usually nab the apples while they are small enough to grab and run off with. As cute as this might be, it can be a real nuisance.
The core of an apple is also toxic to these animals, as it contains a chemical called cyanogenic glycoside. These fruit cores do not pose a significant threat to humans, as it would take a lot of them to have a fatal effect.
Do Apples Offer any Health Benefits for Squirrels?
While apples offer a ton of nutritional value to humans, they don’t do much to maintain or improve the health of squirrels. This fruit is not part of a squirrel’s natural diet. In fact, most apples contain a lot of sugar, which is not good for these animals. So don’t think that you will be doing them any favor by giving them this food to eat.
The average unpeeled apple has around 10.5 grams of sugar and 13.8 grams of carbohydrates. While that is fine for humans to consume on a regular basis, squirrels cannot handle that sort of sugar and carb intake. Their bodies are not designed to tolerate these things, especially in large quantities.
Tips for Giving Apples to Squirrels
Give them Small Pieces Only
When you give apples to squirrels, but them up into small slices that they can easily chew, swallow, and digest. If the pieces are too big, they could cause the animal to choke.
There is also a chance that an oversized piece of apple could cause an intestinal blockage in the animal, which will be fatal. As you are cutting up the apples, remember to remove the core and seeds. Both of these parts of an apple can be fatal to squirrels.
Don’t feed them Apples on a Regular Basis
You’ll also want to avoid giving the same squirrels apples on a regular basis. They might keep coming back for more, but you should refrain from giving this food to them every day. This could cause them to to become overweight and/or sick.
Wash the Apples first
Remember to wash the apples thoroughly before giving them to any squirrels. If there are trace amounts of pesticides or other chemicals on the apples, it could be very harmful to them.
How to Keep Squirrels from Gorging on Your Apple Trees
If you have a problem with squirrels stealing apples from your trees, there are a number of effective ways to get them to stop.
Use a Collar
No, we don’t mean putting a collar on the squirrels to keep them from eating apples off your trees. There are actually metal collars designed specifically to go around trees for deterring squirrels and other critters. These collars can be extremely effective, so this method is definitely worth a try.
There are a few different types of collars that you can get for your tree. The first option is a collar in the shape of a cone that measures about two feet across. You can affix this collar to the tree just under the branches. The great thing about this collar is that it goes down so that squirrels cannot climb up.
You can also get a basic metal tube to put around your tree around six feet up on the trunk. This tube is made of smooth metal, which makes it nearly impossible for squirrels to get past when they try to climb the tree. They won’t be able to latch onto the tree with their claws like they normally would.
There are a number of different commercial squirrel deterrent products available on the market. These products usually come in the form of a spray that you can apply to anything you want to keep these animals off of. The efficacy of these deterrents varies wildly, so you’ll want to do your research before deciding on one in particular.
You can try to make your own squirrel deterrent at home if you are on a tight budget. Combine some cayenne pepper with water in a spray bottle. Then you will want to spray it all around the bottom of the tree. You can also put some chili powder around the base of the tree for good measure. This should do a pretty good job of keeping those pesky critters away.
Make some Noise
As silly as it might sound, a noise maker can also be a highly effective way to keep squirrels from stripping your tree of apples. You can put some pennies in a metal can to shake at them. You can also hang wind chimes that will make noise when the squirrel starts climbing the tree. This is a good way to protect your apple tree from squirrels without having to hurt or kill them.
Bag up Your Apples
You might also want to try putting fruit bags around your apples as they begin to form. Wait until the apple measures approximately 1 inch across before doing this. These bags will keep all sorts of pests away, including birds and various insects.
Plant an Apple Tree just for the Squirrels
You should consider planting an apple tree that exists for the sole purpose of distracting squirrels from your other trees. There’s a good chance that they will be so occupied with this tree that they won’t even notice the other ones. This will require sacrificing some of your time and money, but it could be well worth it in the end.
Get a Squirrel Feeder
Putting a squirrel feeder outside of your house can also be a very effective way to keep your apple tree intact. Fill the feeder with commercial squirrel feed, or a combination of foods they like.
Some of the best foods you can use to lure these animals away from your apple trees include:
- Sunflower seeds
Remember to keep the feeder well stocked on a daily basis, because otherwise they might just return to your apple trees. If the squirrels don’t seem interested in the feeder, you can try putting in some different foods. This is a pretty cheap and effective way to solve your problem.
Do squirrels eat apples and how do squirrels eat apples? Squirrels are very fond of apples, but you shouldn’t give them a lot of this food. Feeding apples to these animals on a regular basis will be very detrimental to their health. Make sure that you take all the necessary precautions when giving them apples. If you want to keep squirrels from eating off your apple tree, consider getting a feeder. It is a low-cost solution that tends to work very well for most people. This will also provide the squirrels with a healthier alternative to apples, which contain a lot of sugar.