Given that there are 11 different types of squirrels found throughout the United States, you have probably had some of these furry visitors in your yard or around your neighborhood. If you have ever taken the time to watch these squirrels, you may have noticed that they spend quite a lot of time rooting around on the ground, and wondered to yourself “do squirrels eat grass?”.
Read on to find the answer to this question, as well as a small glimpse into the secret life of squirrels!
Do squirrels eat grass?
Yes, squirrels do eat grass at times. But they actually have a very diverse diet! They eat things like plants, seeds, nuts and berries, and they also eat insects, bird eggs, small snakes or even other rodents.
When it comes to eating grass though, squirrels seemingly prefer grass seed over actual grass stems.
Are squirrels herbivores or omnivores?
Squirrels are omnivores. Omnivores eat both plant matter and other animals or insects, while herbivores solely depend on plants, fruits, nuts and seeds for their diet. That being said, squirrels tend to eat mostly plant matter, but will eat other animals, eggs, or insects on occasion.
What do squirrels find to eat in the grass?
When a squirrel is digging around in the grass, it is possible that they are actually eating the grass. But more likely, they are probably collecting small seeds, twigs, nuts, bark, or insects to eat or stash. There is actually quite a lot of food in the grass if you’re a squirrel and know where to look!
What do squirrels do with grass?
Squirrels eat grass in some cases. But squirrels may also use grass to help create nests, which they make using leaves, twigs, grasses and essentially any soft material they can find. These nests can be quite large and impressive!
Why might squirrels be eating your grass
Squirrels could be eating your grass, but more likely they are there for other food. Squirrels are mainly foragers, meaning they seek out food to eat rather than actively hunting down prey. They will cover a lot of ground, sniffing, digging and rooting around in your yard attempting to find small seeds, nuts and plant stalks, and maybe nibbling on your grass in the process.
Do squirrels damage lawns?
They certainly can damage lawns, but on a very minor scale. To prepare for the winter, squirrels will collect and stash food in hiding spots. They will try to collect foods high in fat, like acorns and other nuts and spread them out in different hiding spots, this practice is called caching. Squirrels will bury their food underground, but will only dig down a couple of centimeters.
If you have a squirrel that has picked your lawn as it’s hiding place, then you may have little holes throughout your yard where it has cached its goods, and then later has dug them back up. But these holes will only be small, and you may not even notice them.
How to stop squirrels from eating your grass
While squirrels do eat grass from time to time, they much prefer other things and it is unlikely that the amount of grass they are eating is noticeable or damaging to your lawn. However, if you are attempting to grow your lawn and have put down grass seed, then you will definitely have an issue with squirrels eating the seeds!
There are several things you can do to prevent squirrels from eating the newly laid seed in your yard. Perhaps the first thing you should do prior to putting down seed, is to rake your lawn and make sure that there are not things like nuts or acorns in your yard to attract squirrels to begin with.
If you want to take a more involved approach, you can always put chicken wire down over your newly laid seed. However, this method can be costly and quite an eye-sore in your yard. Not to mention, if you have a large yard this might not be the most feasible.
You can also place things in your yard that act like squirrel repellent. Using sprinklers has been known to keep squirrels away. Others report success using reflective pinwheels in their yard to keep squirrels at bay!
Squirrels are omnivores that have a very diverse diet. They can and occasionally will eat grass, however there are other types of food that they prefer over grass, such as nuts, berries and seeds. In fact, squirrels tend to love grass seed which can cause headaches for people hoping to improve their lawn!
Despite this, squirrels don’t tend to cause much damage to your grass. And if they do, there are luckily things you can do to prevent this! Ultimately, squirrels are more interested in the other types of food in your yard.