I have to admit it. Even though squirrels can be a nuisance, I like watching them roll a nut around their mouths and devour it with enjoyment, but, can squirrels eat peanut butter?
What is a squirrel’s favorite food? Which foods are toxic for squirrels? How do you give peanut butter to squirrels? Peanut butter can be a treat or a trick as part of a bait trap.
In this article, we will discuss and discover if and how can squirrels eat peanut butter.
Can Squirrels Eat Peanut Butter?
Yes. Squirrels are obsessed with the aroma, taste and texture of peanut butter. They will be drawn to it and fit themselves into bait traps or squeeze their heads into peanut butter jars.
The product sold commercially contains many ingredients including sugar and sodium. The calcium and phosphorus ratio in peanut butter is also very low.
Squirrels can develop MBD (metabolic bone disease) from the overconsumption of peanut butter. Consider peanut butter to be an occasional treat or an effective bait for catch and release traps.
How Do You Give Peanut Butter to Squirrels?
There are many ways you can offer peanut butter to squirrels. You can smear it on a small piece of wood or a leaf. Peanut butter acts as a sticky gooey substance that you can use in conjunction with bait or poisons to either lure a squirrel into a trap or unfortunately end its life .
You can add peanuts on top of the spread of peanut butter to make it more enticing. Some people just choose to leave a leftover jar out and let the squirrels go to town on what peanut butter remains inside.
What Foods Are Toxic to Squirrels?
Squirrels should avoid eating the following food. They may not be toxic at first, but overconsumption of many of these food options could lead to metabolic bone disease, shortened life, obesity and possible death.
If you have a pet squirrel or do not wish for the squirrels around your property to be unhealthy, avoid these foods:
- Sweet breakfast cereals
- Salty foods
- Junk food
- Sunflower seeds
- Dried corn
- Pine nuts
Sometimes, we can feed our little pets snacks that aren’t good for them as a treat once or twice a month. Otherwise, it’s best to refrain and stick to the good stuff.
Can Squirrels Eat Jif Peanut Butter?
JIF peanut butter is one of the most popular brands of commercially sold peanut butter on the market. They contain many other ingredients besides peanuts. Squirrels can experience a degrading disease known as MBD (metabolic bone disease) if they are overfed with peanut butter.
The phosphorus to calcium ratio is quite low even though peanut butter in its natural form without so many additives contains healthy fats and proteins.
Your pet squirrel or backyard visitor will enjoy Jif peanut butter and many other types, but keep the feedings of peanut butter at a minimum to encourage them to keep foraging for their own food.
What Do Squirrels Like to Eat the Most?
Squirrels like to eat anything they can discover and devour. They will go after a mix of foods such as:
Sunflower seeds or peanuts are enjoyed by squirrels, but they are not healthy and should be given sparingly.
What Can Squirrels Not Eat?
Squirrels should avoid being given the following foods:
- fruit juice
When it comes to nuts and seed, there is no need to overdo it. Two nuts in a shell or 3-4 seeds are enough to keep them going. Do you wonder, which nuts are best for squirrels? We have a list below ranking them in order:
- macadamia nuts
How to Catch Squirrels With Peanut Butter
If you wish to catch a squirrel with peanut butter, the task is easy. Find a surface to spread some of this deliciousness like a piece of wood or even a saucer. Spread some of this peanut butter and place it inside a trap mechanism.
The squirrel will easily be lured into the trap when they smell the aroma of peanut butter. Let them eat, keep them trapped and release them as far away from your home as possible.
Squirrels can sometimes find their way back within 2 miles of your home. Try to release them further than that.
Can Squirrels Eat Honey?
Do squirrels eat honey? Sure they can, but they look for more solid foods. Squirrels are not picky, but they would take a solid piece of fruit, nut or vegetables over honey.
They enjoy corn squash, broccoli over honey any day. You can smear honey on apples, oranges or apricots for a sweeter treat once in a while if you want to see a happy and excited squirrel.
Why Not Feed The Squirrels?
Squirrels in the wild should naturally fear humans and other large animals. When we build a relationships with them by offering food, they slowly release that fear. This makes them susceptible to being hunted or killed.
They may also stop foraging and using their instincts to find the best food and shelter sources. They will be focused and drawn to you and your property to receive the best meals or snacks and forget about their adaptations to survive by using their own skills in the wild.
Finally, if you stop feeding a squirrel, they may return, become aggressive and stir up your garden or potted plants in search of their daily or weekly fix you used to provide.
What Is The Best Food For Wild Squirrels?
Wild squirrels will pay you a visit from time to time. They may be intrigued by your landscaping and what you have growing in your yard.
They may come close to you as well because they may have been fed by humans before. Below are some fruits that you can offer squirrels besides their staple diet of nuts and seeds:
Can Squirrels Eat Peanut Butter Crackers?
Crackers are considered junk food. Cheap brands of peanut butter also contain junky ingredients and oils that squirrels shouldn’t eat, let alone humans. Avoid french fries, crackers, chips or pretzels.
Keep clear of salty foods because squirrels won’t be able to digest foods with the strength and durability of human digestive systems. Sugary and salty snacks will do more harm than good, but are perfect for luring squirrels into traps.
Can Squirrels Eat Bread?
Bread should be considered an occasional treat for squirrels. The fact is bread is starchy and white bread is hard to digest. Bread can also get moldy quite quickly.
If you place a large piece of bread, they may not be able to handle it and will save some for later. This moldy piece will harm them afterwards.
Stick with small bite sized portions of multigrain or whole grain bread from time to time or go with fruits, vegetables and nuts instead.
Why Do Squirrels Love Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter has a strong smell for a squirrel to come closer and investigate. Squirrels love nuts, but they also smell some sweetness in the jar of peanut butter that will pull them in closer.
They will enjoy the ease of consuming it without having to peel or bite their way into a seed or nut. There are about 500 peanuts that go into a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter.
Squirrels love the fatty, protein rich peanut, but we must only offer it in moderation or take advantage of it as a lure in a catch and release traps.
Can Baby Squirrels Eat Peanut Butter?
A baby squirrel shouldn’t be eating solid food until it reaches 8-10 weeks of age. Before this point, they drink milk provided by their moms. You can use milk powder like Esbilac powder to feed a baby squirrel.
Although the texture of peanut butter makes us assume that it isn’t necessarily solid food, it still contains many ingredients that a baby squirrel cannot digest just yet.
Is Peanut Butter Safe for Squirrels?
Peanut butter is a snack and not a staple food for squirrels. It is a safe method of catching squirrels that you wish to release somewhere further away from your home.
As a pet, a squirrel should be given peanut butter only as an occasional treat. There are many calories and a low calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Too much sodium, sugar, fat and calories in peanut butter being offered too often can result in health issues for a squirrel who is naturally drawn to the scent and taste of peanuts and its derivatives.
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