Many people do not know that squirrels like potatoes because they are a good source of multiple nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc., that help provide a complete nutritious meal to them.
Can Squirrels Eat Potatoes? Squirrels can eat potatoes in raw or cooked form and prefer to consume sweet potatoes. They are a good source of nutrients like carbohydrates, fibers, antioxidants, and minerals. Moreover, they are more attracted to plant-based food sources as they provide a good water source in addition to dietary supplements. Furthermore, they can eat raw, cooked, or boiled potatoes in the form of small chunks, but it does not need to exceed a specific quantity.
Squirrels prefer to consume various foods like nuts, insects, fruits, and vegetables to fulfill the requirements of daily intake of all the essential nutrients.
Furthermore, potatoes are a better option for these furry animals to get instant energy that makes them feel full for a long time.
What type of potatoes do squirrels eat?
Squirrels are attracted to nuts and seeds, but they also like to eat vegetables, particularly potatoes
Moreover, they are available to these animals in different forms, like white ones that are raw or cooked white and sweet potatoes.
It is better to give those having dark flesh like Yukon Gold, Purple Viking, and Ruby Crescent.
In the same way, some people give them fries, but these fried potatoes are not suitable for their digestive system if you feed them frequently.
Sweet potatoes are considered the healthiest option for these rodents due to their abundance of vitamins and minerals. In addition, they add a little bit of water content to their diet.
So, you can give all of these types in small chunks that are easier to eat and digest, but it should be a specific quantity, as over-feeding can cause digestion issues.
Why do squirrels eat potatoes?
Many rodents prefer to eat vegetables to get a balanced diet s they are packed with multiple nutrients. Squirrels also like potatoes compared to insects and are usually found in the garden.
Attracted to plant-based food
These rodents prefer to eat plant-based food compared to the meat of insects instead of being omnivorous. They roam in the garden for a good vegetable source and attack potatoes.
Their preference for food depends on two factors; quick digestion of the food and ingestion of energy. Accordingly, nuts and potatoes are easier to ingest and are digested quickly.
They provide fiber-rich food to these furry fellows and are low in calories and fats. A good amount of fiber can keep their digestion system working well and avoid stomach issues.
A medium-sized potato contains almost 2 to 3g that can help meet their daily intake requirement of fiber content.
Their skin or peels are high in fiber, improving the stomach’s condition and keeping them functional. Otherwise, you can see them poop when they walk.
Probably, you have seen them feast on nuts and vegetables as they prefer a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients.
Source of water
It is a good water source when drought conditions or less rainfall. They prefer eating potatoes to get a little source of water that can overcome their thirst.
Fresh vegetables have a higher content of water compared to those that are a week old. They have almost 76% to 80% water in the spuds, but the amount of water varies according to the varieties.
Likewise, those with red skin have more water than others, like russets with dark brown skin and a few eyes.
They are root vegetables like turnip and radish and contain a high content of starch that can slow down digestion.
Moreover, it takes almost 50 to 60 minutes to complete potato processing by the stomach or slow down the digestion rate.
Slow digestion of the food can help retain it for longer inside their body, and they do not feel hungry for an extended time.
High nutritional value
They are a good source of vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, and antioxidants and are considered a life-saving food source for all organisms.
Their nutritional value is high, as a potato of medium size has almost 150 to 170 calories and contains 25 to 28g of carbohydrates.
Moreover, higher content of vitamin C and minerals like potassium can help meet almost 5% to 10% of their daily recommended intake.
Furthermore, antioxidants are essential to combat diseases by reducing the damage from oxidation of free radicals.
Is it safe for squirrels to eat potatoes?
Some people have safety concerns about potatoes and ask whether it is safe to feed these or not. However, excess of everything is bad for health, which goes with these foods.
It is better to offer brown-colored or cooked potatoes to these rodents, as raw ones contain a small number of toxins or glycoalkaloids that are unsafe if you increase their quantity in the diet.
In addition, a high dose of these toxins can make them sick and upset stomach; that’s why they usually prefer nuts and fruits like berries.
Do not allow squirrels to eat the leaves and stems of these plants, as they contain excessive quantities of these toxins that can affect their lifestyle.
How do you stop squirrels from eating potatoes?
You can avoid squirrels from coming into the garden and attacking the potatoes by adding a fence close to the ground. It can be a barrier to these furry rodents and keep them away.
In addition, you can get rid of them by cutting off the food supply, which makes them lose interest, and you would rarely see them inside the house.
Furthermore, some repellants are also effective, like strong scents that are unpleasing for them to smell like garlic and white or black pepper.
Some essential oils like peppermint are also good repellants, so you can spray them on the flowers and stems of the plant to stop them from eating potatoes.