Ground squirrels are either herbivores, which eat only plants, or omnivores, which eat both plants and animals. Different species eat different diets, depending on their habitat.Continue Reading
Herbivorous ground squirrels, such as the California ground squirrel, feed on grasses, herbs, seeds, nuts and grains, according to the University of California. Ground squirrels in desert environments might also feed on barrel cacti, mesquite beans and prickly pear fruit, states the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
Omnivorous ground squirrels, such as the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, eat the same plants as herbivores, but they also include animals in their diet. This includes insects, insect eggs, earthworms and small mice. They may also eat other ground squirrels.
Many communities consider ground squirrels to be nuisances due to their diets and habitats. While foraging, ground squirrels eat seeds and destroy young plants in gardens. They might also kill trees by eating the bark. In addition, burrows can dry out and kill plant roots, and the holes they dig create hazards for operating machinery, including lawn mowers.
In many cases, people can trap or kill ground squirrels to remove them from the property. However, some states consider some species of ground squirrel to be protected. For example, in Pennsylvania, the thirteen-lined ground squirrel is considered threatened, and property owners must get a state permit to trap or kill them, states the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management.Learn more about Rodents
Flying squirrels are omnivores with diets consisting of a variety of foods, such as nuts, seeds, fruits insects and fungi. Flying squirrels that reside in southern regions tend to be a bit more carnivorous, and they even eat eggs, carrion and birds.Full Answer >
According to the West Virginia Wildlife Magazine, squirrels make tree cavity dens and leaf nests which are built inside trees or up on branches located very high off the ground. Tree dens offer greater protection from the rain and other elements, but leaf nests are most common in woods where there is a shortage of den trees such as oaks, elms and beech trees.Full Answer >
To stop squirrels from eating plants, deter them with sprinklers, motion sensor lights, predators, unattractive smells or fences. Gardeners can also lure them away by offering them nuts and seeds in another part of the yard.Full Answer >
Shrews are omnivores, eating insects, spiders, worms, frogs, mice and some plants and seeds. The main diet of a shrew is carnivorous, with shrews preferring a meal of millipedes, earthworms, or birds rather than nuts and seeds. A shrew has venomous saliva that it chews into its prey, helping to immobilize the prey, which is how shrews are able to hunt and overtake larger prey.Full Answer >