Muskrats eat roots and aquatic plants in the form of water lilies, arrowheads, sedges and duckweeds. They also eat turtles, fish, mollusks and certain invertebrates. Muskrats feed on fruits, agricultural crops and garden vegetables when venturing on land. They eat decaying flesh, particularly dead fish left by the spring melt.
Muskrats feed on other forms of vegetation, such as pickerel and pond weeds. Aquatic vegetation is the primary diet of muskrats. If food becomes hard to find, muskrats prey on insects, crayfish and frogs. Water mussels are important to their diet in the winter. Muskrats that inhabit marshes mainly eat cattails. Muskrats also feed on algae mats in certain areas. Muskrats make feeding platforms in marshes where they eat gathered food.