Grubs and worms are an essential part of your garden and backyard ecosystem. But have you ever observed the behavior of squirrels around these creatures?
I was surprised to find a squirrel munching on a grub in my backyard! I am pretty used to observing birds eating grubs, insects, and earthworms, but squirrels eating lawn grubs?
Squirrels do eat grubs but they aren’t known for actively seeking out soil insects to consume unless their other sources of food such as nuts or seeds are unavailable. Since squirrels are opportunistic feeders, they will consume lawn grubs if it crosses their path.
However, a friend told me that squirrels are opportunistic omnivores. This intrigued my interest, and in this post, I will discuss some of the questions that crossed my mind about squirrels eating grubs.
Can squirrels dig grubs out of the ground?
Squirrels use their forelimbs to dig holes in the ground, especially when they store nuts and seeds. Similarly, they can dig grubs out of the ground and consume these. But squirrels will not go actively looking for worms.
If you observe squirrels digging the earth in your garden, you will find that when these creatures come across a worm, they will quickly snack on it.
They will grab the grub with their forelimbs and transfer it to their mouth. Hence, yes, squirrels can dig grubs out of the earth.
Why do squirrels eat grubs?
When you think about it, grubs are small creatures, but they are packed with proteins.
As a result, squirrels, especially the tree climbing ones, need significant energy to remain active.
Few food items can counter these protein-packed snacks like grubs when it comes to getting the necessary energy.
Hence, squirrels often snack on grubs to fulfill their energy needs.
Can pet squirrels be given grubs?
If you want to give your pet squirrel grubs or worms as a part of its diet, you need to consult your veterinarian to understand the best way to do it.
In most cases, you need to give your pet squirrel live grubs; hence acquiring the grubs can prove to be a challenge.
If you want to give your pet dried mealworms, consult with a local veterinarian to find out if the particular breed of squirrel you have as a pet can digest dried mealworms.
Can grubs prove to be harmful to squirrels?
In the wild, squirrels can eat grubs that they hunt and dig out from the ground. But when giving it to your pet squirrel, you must be careful.
Like most foods that are not a part of an animal’s regular diet, it can cause digestive issues.
After consulting with a pet nutritionist, you can give your pet squirrel grubs without fearing any harmful effects.
Do squirrels eat grubs due to the lack of regular food?
Squirrels will consume grubs when there is a shortage of seeds, nuts or when they do not have access to their regular food.
Squirrels are hoarders and they will collect nuts, seeds, and so on and bury these in the ground. However, they will eat grubs if they find these easily.
They do not go looking for grubs, and rarely do they consider grubs or worms as a replacement for their usual food.
Do grubs provide squirrels any other nutrients?
Squirrels need to get adequate nutrients and minerals to help them build a healthy immune system.
Worms often provide the creature with nutrients such as iron, copper, manganese, and zinc.
However, wild squirrels do not actively seek grubs to satisfy their requirement for these minerals and nutrients.
Nevertheless, when they consume grubs, the requirements for these nutrients are met.
Do squirrels like eating grubs?
Grubs are not the natural food for squirrels. However, they will snack on the occasional grub if they come across these while hunting for nuts and seeds.
Moreover, squirrels can get attracted to grubs if there is a significant lack of other food. On the other hand, squirrels usually do not like eating grubs.
Hence, if they cannot find nuts or seeds to satiate their hunger, they will consume whatever edible item they come across.
Do squirrels search for grubs like birds?
Squirrels will eat grubs as a substitute for seeds and nuts because these are rich in protein.
In addition, squirrels are opportunistic omnivores, known to eat the occasional grub.
Is the behavior of squirrels and birds different when hunting grubs?
There are no records of squirrels hunting for grubs like birds. However, squirrels are known to snack on grubs while hunting for seeds and nuts.
Yes, squirrels and birds do not eat or hunt for grubs similarly.
When it comes to eating grubs, squirrels will eat these where they find the worm.
Squirrels never carry the grubs away from the spot like birds to eat them. Moreover, you will hardly ever find a squirrel carrying a grub or a worm to its nest as a bird does.
Hence, the behavior of squirrels and birds when it comes to eating grubs is entirely different.
Is there any squirrel that likes eating worms?
The answer is yes. Grey squirrels like to eat grubs and worms.
This is because when grey squirrels breed, they have an increased requirement for energy and protein.
Sometimes their diet of seeds and nuts is insufficient to meet this requirement for protein and energy. Hence, they often eat worms.
What is the most unusual food that a squirrel eats?
Regarding unusual food consumed by squirrels, there are quite a few other than grubs and insects.
For example, records show that squirrels are known to consume bird eggs, fungi, and even small animals.
The primary reason is that squirrels are omnivores and can consume plant and animal-based food.
When there is a lack of food like nuts and seeds, squirrels are drawn to alternative food sources, including insects, bird eggs, and even meat.
What foods are unsafe for squirrels?
If squirrels eat grubs, the common notion is that they can eat any food. However, this is mistaken because there are particular foods that you can never give squirrels.
If you have a pet squirrel, never provide it with food like dates, figs, persimmon, or prunes. Dried fruits are not suitable for squirrels.
In the wild, squirrels are naturally inclined to avoid such food items.