Apart from Australia and Antarctica, squirrels are popular creatures that are native to all other continents. They are small, furry with bush tails that are just too distinct to miss. With over 200 different species, this creature just becomes a whole more interesting to study. They are omnivores, meaning they will probably eat anything that they find from plants to animals. However, they are known for their antics and undying love for nuts. This love for nuts makes them important to the ecosystem since they end up dispersing seeds and also controlling the insect population. Our main focus in this guide will be squirrels and avocado as their food.
Avocados on the other hand may seem like an odd fruit to have around. You would expect them to turn a brighter color when ripe but instead, they will turn darker. They can be used in a wide variety of recipes, even replacing butter in almost all muffin and cake recipes. As much as it is a healthy fruit it can also turn out to be poisonous to some animals, unfortunately including rabbits. It is one unique fruit that can also be used as a biodiesel fuel. Overall, avocados help us lower cholesterol levels, improve our skin and even boost our immune system. It is indeed an amazing fruit.
Do Squirrels Eat Avocados?
Yes, squirrels do eat avocados. These intriguing creatures are even known to bury avocados for later consumption. Naturally, this helps them prepare for winter. Avocados just happens to be a good source of nutrients for squirrels, furthermore, it can also keep squirrels hydrated. With all the benefits, there is also a dark side to avocados and squirrels. They can also turn out to be hazards or even make squirrels sick. This is just the tip of the iceberg, put on your scuba dive gear as we explore the large chunk of ice underneath the interesting world of squirrels and avocados.
Avocados Nutritional Value
Avocados are not just some type of snack that squirrels chow down. It comes with nutrients that are beneficial to these furry creatures. Among the nutrients, we have healthy fats. Squirrels are known as highly energetic animals that can climb trees in seconds or run away in no time at all. Fats provide the necessary energy to keep our furry mammals as playful as ever. When it comes to cold weather, these fats make the squirrel capable of surviving by keeping them warm. There is also fiber which improves overall digestive health making digestion smooth in this furry mammal.
Avocados make a good source of vitamins C, E and K. Vitamin C can help in collagen production, a protein essential for the structure and repair of tissues throughout the squirrel’s body. It also helps with iron absorption and other immune functions. It also helps with the squirrel’s eye health, heart health, and dental health and even heals wounds. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help protect the squirrel from free radicals. It can also support blood clotting, cell signaling, and other immune functions. Vitamin K on the other hand plays a good role in bone health and also helps with blood clot.
It is amazing that what avocados contain can keep squirrels healthy and also protect the squirrel. Additionally, avocados also contain minerals for the furry mammal. Among the minerals are potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. These minerals pack a variety of importance to bodily functions including muscle function, bone health, and blood sugar regulation. Overall, avocados are a good source of energy, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for squirrels. However, the benefits should not blind the dangers of avocados to the overall health of squirrels.
Squirrel Eating Habits
Squirrels being omnivores are known to eat a variety of foods including avocados. When in proximity to avocados, squirrels may react in a certain way. Squirrels will be attracted by the high-fat content of the avocado and will often eat the entire fruit. If they are satisfied, they are known to bury the avocados for later consumption. Typically this will be a shallow hole marked with a small pile of leaves. When a squirrel sees an avocado that is out of reach, it will somehow try to steal it. What makes them a nuisance is the fact that they will always try to damage the avocado to prevent other animals from eating them.
Avocados aren’t the only thing that squirrels eat though. From plants to animals, there are a variety of things that squirrels find to be tantalizing. Squiirels can eat about one pound of food per day. Being hyperactive animals, they really need a lot of food to stay healthy. To start off, squirrels are known to love nuts. They also eat seeds like corn, sunflower seeds, and millet. They eat many kinds of fruit and vegetables like carrots and peas. The tree climbers make them easily access bird eggs, but they can also eat turtle eggs. In their small animal diet, Squirrels can eat mice, rats, birds, and even snakes.
With this wide range of cuisines that squirrels like, it brings into question how factors affect their preference. Well, first of all, it is the nutritional value. Squirrels need a balanced diet and have to fight for it. However, they will only eat this depending on availability and seasonality. When it comes to taste, squirrels will always pick sweet foods over bitter foods. Don’t expect them to eat that lemon.
Is Avocado Toxic To Squirrels?
Being the healthy food they are, it comes as a shock that avocados can also be deadly to squirrels. How will squirrels obtain the necessary nutrients from avocados without them getting hurt?, is the question. To get to this we first how to understand how and why avocados can be toxic to squirrels. Avocados contain persin. This happens to be a natural fungicide that is found in the leaves, bark, skin, and pits of avocados. When persin is consumed by squirrels, it can be a harmful poison that leads to a variety of symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and seizures. As we all know, wild animals rarely get treatment, it is comical thinking of them walking into veterinary clinics on their own. In severe cases, persin poisoning can be fatal and lead to the demise of the poor creature.
If persin does not finish of our furry mammal, then hydrocyanic acid might make a move. These poisons are in small quantities so are unlikely to harm us, but to squirrels, it is a life-and-death risk. This acid is contained in an avocado seed, which looks like a nut, and we know how squirrel love nuts. When consumed, the squirrel my suffer a number of symptoms that include difficulty in breathing, seizures, and even death. Is it even worth it for squirrels to enjoy this fruit? Well if you own a squirrel then it is important that you prevent him/her from having this rare cuisine. Eating avocados to squirrels can be considered similar to eating a puffer fish to us humans. The delicious flesh if not controlled can lead to a painful outcome. Overall, it is important to note that avocados can be generally toxic to squirrels.
Ecological Impact Of Squirrel Avocado Diet
When squirrels incorporate avocados into their diets, they also unknowingly affect the ecological system. This can be in both positive and also negative ways. The positive impacts include the dispersal of avocado seeds. Squirrels may dump avocado seeds which helps with increasing the diversity of plant life when the seeds finally grow. This can in turn increase the plant life and even affect the climate of an area. While on the avocado trees, squirrels will also help with controlling pests such as insects and rodents. This will keep a major part of the pests in check, and hence prevent the destruction of avocado trees. Importantly, squirrels dumping biodegradable substances around the avocado trees will help fertilize them, and in turn produce healthier trees and plants.
While looking at the positive aspects, we are likely to forget that squirrels can also be a nuisance. As much as squirrels can help with preventing insects and rodents from ruining avocado trees, they can also ruin the trees. This furry mammal will typically be stripping the bark or eating the leaves of the tree. They are also capable of spreading diseases as they switch from different trees in the area. At times, their population will be so large and if they gather around an avocado tree, they will be frustrating for us to deal with. Overall, squirrels have both positive and negative impacts when around an avocado tree. The ecological impact of a squirrel avocado consumption can be considered complex. We can praise the positive aspects, but it is important not to forget the negative aspects.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other foods do squirrels eat?
Squirrels being omnivorous have a variety of diet that ranges from different plants to animals. Among the things that squirrels eat are nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, insects, and a number of small animals like insects, eggs and rodents.
Do squirrels eat avocados?
Yes, squirrels do eat avocado since they are attracted to its high-fat content. They will often eat the flesh and avoid the skin and pit. However, if they eat the skin and pit of the avocado it can be toxic to the squirrel.
Are avocados safe for squirrels to eat?
Yes, avocados are generally safe for squirrels to eat. However, they have to stick to the flesh of the avocado since the skin and pit of the avocado contain a toxin called persin that is deadly to squirrels.
What happens if squirrels eat avocados?
Squirrels will get a number of nutrients from eating the flesh of an avocado. Eating the skin or pit of avocado will lead them to experience gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
What are the benefits of squirrels eating avocados?
Avocados happen to be a good source of healthy fats, fiber, vitamin c, k and e and also minerals. It also contains antioxidants that help keep free radicals at bay. This makes an avocado a very healthy addition to the squirrel diet.
How do I keep Squirrels of my avocado?
To keep squirrels off your avocados you can try using physical barriers. This will prevent squirrels from getting to your avocado trees. You can also use scents that are repulsive to deter squirrels from coming to your trees. Noise also scares away squirrels.
What are some natural squirrel deterrents?
There are quite a number of natural remedies you can use to keep squirrels away from your property. Among them are cayenne pepper, peppermint oil, and mothballs. They will repulse squirrels without hurting them.
When it comes to the relationship between avocados and squirrels, it is an interesting one that also has its rocky waters. Squirrels love nuts, and probably anything in the shape of a nut, which of course includes an avocado. Avocados happen to be a very nutritious diet to squirrels, no wonder they love them. Carrying healthy fats and calories which are essential to a squirrel’s survival, avocados make the perfect fruit. They also carry vitamin C, K and E, potassium and fiber which keep the squirrel’s immunity and healthy organs. The relationship is not a one-sided one though, squirrels can also help with fertilizing avocado trees and further even helping the ecosystem.
Avocados can also be toxic to squirrels and to an extent even fatal. Squirrels can also lead to the destruction of avocado trees. In conclusion, the relationship between avocados is a mutually beneficial one, with a dark twist.