Can Squirrels eat Tomatoes

Can Squirrels eat Tomatoes

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Squirrels are fascinating creatures known for their curious nature and impressive acrobatics. They scurry up trees, jump from branch to branch, and stash away food for the winter. As essential members, ecosystem members play a vital role in seed dispersal and forest regeneration.

One key factor that contributes to a squirrel's health and well-being is its diet. Squirrels are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal-based foods. A balanced diet is crucial for their growth, reproduction, and survival in the wild. So, can squirrels eat tomatoes? Clearly, this article will explain that in detail.

About Squirrels

A squirrel is a small to medium-sized mammal belonging to the family Sciuridae. They are known for their bushy tails, sharp claws, and ability to climb trees with great agility. Squirrels are found in various parts of the world, including forests, parks, and urban areas.

These agile creatures are known for their unique behavior of gathering and storing food for future use. They have an instinct to hoard nuts, acorns, seeds, and other food items, which they bury in the ground or hide in tree crevices. This behavior is essential for their survival during times of scarcity.

Squirrels are diurnal animals, meaning they are most active during the day. They have excellent vision and a keen sense of smell, which helps them locate food and detect potential predators.

About Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a type of fruit widely used and enjoyed as a vegetable in culinary applications. They belong to the Solanaceae family and are scientifically known as Solanum lycopersicum. Tomatoes are native to western South America but are now cultivated and consumed worldwide.

Tomatoes typically have smooth, shiny, and firm outer skin; their color can range from red, yellow, and orange to green, depending on the variety. They come in different shapes and sizes, such as round, oval, or elongated. The interior of a tomato contains juicy flesh with tiny, edible seeds.

Can squirrels eat tomatoes?

Squirrels are primarily herbivores, and their diet mainly consists of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. While squirrels may occasionally nibble on various fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, they are not typically their preferred food.

Tomatoes have a distinct taste and texture; some squirrels may be deterred by their acidity. However, if a tomato is easily accessible to a squirrel and its preferred food sources are scarce, they may take a bite or two out of curiosity or hunger.

If you have a garden with tomato plants and want to protect them from squirrel damage, you can take some precautions. Physical barriers like wire mesh or netting around the plants can help keep squirrels away. Additionally, providing alternative food sources, like bird feeders with nuts or seeds, may help divert their attention from your tomatoes.

It's worth noting that squirrel behavior can vary; some squirrels may develop a taste for tomatoes or show more interest in them than others.



Nutritional Value Of Tomatoes

Tomatoes also contain smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals like E, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.

Tomatoes are low in calories and rich in nutrients, making them a healthy addition to a balanced diet. Here is an overview of the nutritional value of tomatoes per 100 grams (3.5 ounces) based on data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):

  • Calories: 18 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9 grams
  • Sugars: 2.6 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Vitamin C: 21 milligrams (23% of the Daily Value)
  • Vitamin A: 42 micrograms (5% of the Daily Value)
  • Potassium: 237 milligrams (5% of the Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K: 7.9 micrograms (7% of the Daily Value)
  • Folate: 15 micrograms (4% of the Daily Value)

Risks of squirrels eating tomatoes

Tomatoes are part of the toxin-nightshade family, and as such, they contain solanine, which can be poisonous to squirrels if consumed in large quantities. Also, the high sugar content in tomatoes makes them prone to attracting ants and causing other problems to the squirrels. That is to say, giving squirrels tomatoes can lead to other issues that may arise.

It is recommended to give them tomatoes as special treats. Ultimately, the dietary needs of the squirrels should be a top priority to ensure they always remain healthy and active.

Other Foods For Squirrels

Squirrels are known for their love of nuts but have a more diverse diet than you might think. While nuts are a favorite, there are a variety of other foods that squirrels enjoy as well.

Fruits are an excellent option for squirrels, as they provide natural sugars and are often high in vitamins. Some of the best fruits to offer squirrels include apples, grapes, and berries. Wash any fruit thoroughly before submitting it, as chemicals or pesticides can harm squirrels.

Nuts are a staple in a squirrel's diet, but they might enjoy quite a few different types. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans are all excellent options. You can offer nuts in their shells or shell, but be sure to avoid any that are moldy or spoiled.

Squirrels less commonly consume vegetables but can still be a nutritious addition to their diet. Try offering some leafy greens like lettuce or spinach or crunchy vegetables like carrots or celery. Just be sure to avoid any potentially harmful to squirrels, such as onions or garlic.

How to Properly Feed Squirrels

The first thing you need to know about feeding squirrels is that they need a balanced diet. Squirrels are primarily herbivores, which means they eat mostly plants. They require a variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs, including fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Make sure to provide food in a tray or squirrel-proof feeder. That way, squirrels can get healthy food without the risk of predators attacking them. Place the trays or feeders about 10 feet from your home and away from trees where predators, such as cats, could hide. If you want a good view of the squirrels, consider placing the tray or feeder close to a window.

Other Foods

Can Squirrels Eat Pretzels Can Squirrels Eat Zucchini Can Squirrels Eat Guava
Can Squirrels Eat Crackers Can Squirrels Eat Yellow Squash Can Squirrels Eat Walnuts
Can Squirrels Eat Worms Can Squirrels Eat Vegetables Can Squirrels Eat Peaches
Can Squirrels Eat Yams Can Squirrels Eat Yam Berries Can Squirrels Eat Tangerines
Can Squirrels Eat Wheat Can Squirrels Eat Cranberries Can Squirrels Eat Trail Mix
Can Squirrels Eat Yogurt Can Squirrels Eat Watermelon Can Squirrels Eat Vanilla



In conclusion, squirrels are primarily herbivores, and their preferred diet consists of nuts, seeds, and fruits. However, they may occasionally nibble on tomatoes if no other available food sources. 

However, tomatoes are not typically a preferred or significant part of their diet. The acidity and distinct taste of tomatoes may deter squirrels. If you have a garden with tomato plants and want to protect them from squirrel damage, using physical barriers and providing alternative food sources can be effective strategies. 

It's important to note that squirrel behavior can vary; some squirrels may show more interest in tomatoes than others. 

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