Squirrel Food Selection Tips - What Squirrels Like to Eat

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squirrel Squirrels can be a real delight if you are lucky enough to have these whimsical characters in your area. They can also be a real pain if they raid your bird feeders and scatter the bird seed on the ground. We have found that the best way to discourage squirrels from raiding your bird feeders is to give them one or more feeders of their own filled with their favorite foods.

The main reason that squirrels tend to scatter bird seed is because they have little interest in the millet and other small seeds found in most wild bird food mixes. They are searching for what they like the best, which is peanuts, corn and sunflower seeds. From a squirrel's perspective, everything else is waste material.


Either shelled peanuts or whole peanuts in the shell can be used, but do not use salted or seasoned peanuts intended for humans. They will likely make the squirrels sick. Use only peanuts intended for feeding wildlife. These can be purchased either online or at your local wild bird food store or local farm store.


Corn is another favorite food for squirrels. Either dried corn-on-the-cob or whole kernel corn can be used. The fun part about using corn is that there are many interesting backyard gadgets available, such as squirrel spinners, that will keep you laughing for hours as the crafty squirrels try to figure out how to get at the elusive corn. Don't worry, they always figure it out, but they do have to work at it a bit. If you don't have the room to store bulk corn, try some squirrel logs, which are made from ground corn. A squirrel log usually fits on a post on the same type of feeders that you would use for corn-on-the-cob.

Sunflower Seeds

Squirrels love any type of sunflower seed, but they particularly like black oilers. This it usually what they are looking for when they shovel your regular bird seed mix onto the ground. Once again, do not use salted or seasoned sunflower seeds intended for humans. Use only sunflower seeds intended for feeding wildlife.

Keeping Squirrels Away From Your Bird Feeders

The easiest way to keep the squirrels away from your bird feeders is to locate one or more squirrel feeders as far as you can from your bird feeders. One part of the yard becomes bird feeding territory, while the other is a squirrel feeding area. Also, make sure that your squirrel feeder is kept full or they may migrate back to your bird feeders.

As with most wildlife, if you want to attract them, give them what they want. Selecting the best food for squirrels is easy, because their needs are simple: peanuts, corn or sunflower seeds.