A squirrel and pumpkin might seem like an unlikely pairing. One of the most commonly asked questions about squirrels is whether or not they eat pumpkin seeds. 

The short answer is yes, but there’s much more to it than that! Squirrels are highly adaptive and opportunistic creatures, and their diet varies based on the season and location. 

In this article, we’ll look at how pumpkin seeds fit into a squirrel’s diet, as well as possible health risks that could result from eating them.

Do Squirrels Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are a popular snack for most people, but squirrels like them just as much as anyone else. 

However, the question is if squirrels can eat pumpkin seeds. It seems like an easy question to answer: Yes or no. But there’s more to it than that and this section will explore why.

The short answer is that yes, squirrels can eat pumpkin seeds. However, in order to understand this answer better we need to break it down a little bit further and analyze the ways in which pumpkin seeds interact with other critters such as birds, rodents and raccoons in the wild. 

Some animals may eat pumpkin seeds without issue while others might have digestive issues. Raccoons, for example, often have problems digesting these particular types of food. 

For squirrels specifically, they may be able to consume small amounts of pumpkin seeds but any large intake could cause a life-threatening condition called enteritis necroticans caused by the bacteria clostridium botulinum found in some spoiled food items.

The bottom line is that yes, squirrels can eat pumpkin seeds but moderation should be observed when doing so because even these small creatures are susceptible to food poisoning from time to time.


What Seeds Do Squirrels Eat?

Wild squirrels eat seeds from many different types of plants and trees. When it comes to picking out what kind of foods to eat, squirrels can be picky and look for foods that have a high fat content. 

Did you know that during the winter season in certain areas of the United States and Europe, squirrel populations are known to rely on seeds for their primary food source. 

A number of factors play into this decision, including the taste and nutritional value of the seeds. In order to learn more about what seeds squirrels eat, scroll down and find out more about this animal’s diet below.

  1. Pumpkin Seeds

Some of the more common questions about squirrels are: Can they eat pumpkin seeds, or do they only eat nuts? The answer might surprise you. For one thing, squirrels will take as many pumpkin seeds as they can find and hoard them for future use. 

This makes it hard to tell what their intentions are because these rodents also like nuts. Whether or not a squirrel eats pumpkin seeds depends on where he is living. 

In a nut-rich environment, such as in North America, the rodent will take his share of pumpkin seeds but favor other food sources first if available. If there is a lack of seed-producing plants then he will go ahead and eat them when they are not an option.

  1. Sunflower Seeds

Yes, squirrels can eat pumpkin seeds. These seeds are particularly nutritious because they provide squirrels with energy, iron, and fat to help them stay warm during the colder months. 

Plus, pumpkin seeds are a natural source of selenium–a nutrient that helps protect against some cancers and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

So even though it’s too late for your jack-o-lantern, give some sunflower seeds to the squirrel on your porch this winter.

  1. Poppy Seeds

While it is true that squirrels are not keen on the flavor of pumpkin seeds, they do eat them when desperate. Poppy seeds, however, are something that a squirrel will do anything to get his paws on. 

When faced with hunger, squirrels would rather pick at one of these small black seeds then any other food substance. These tiny gray creatures can be very crafty and adaptive in the wild.

It is thought that a squirrel’s diet includes seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables and insects. Given the vast number of food sources available to a squirrel, it would seem difficult for this animal to subsist on just pumpkin seeds alone. However, not all squirrels eat the same type of food. 

Eastern Gray Squirrels are omnivores, so they will consume both meat and plants but mostly nuts and seeds. They also like fruit such as apples. Other species are insectivores (eats insects) or herbivores (vegetarian). 

For example: Red Squirrels live in an area where many pine trees grow which make them poor candidates for eating seeds or nuts. They mainly feed on cones which makes them exclusively insectivores.


Are Pumpkins Healthy for Squirrels?

Pumpkins are technically not bad for squirrels to eat, but they have been cultivated by humans in order to make them sweeter. 

A healthy diet for a squirrel consists mostly of vegetable matter, such as berries and nuts. In addition, pumpkins are high in sugar which can cause the health problems (if too much sugar is consumed). 

If you want to feed your pet squirrel pumpkin seeds then it would be best to give them a moderate amount instead of giving them an entire pumpkin to eat.

Do Baby Squirrels Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are an easy treat for adult squirrels and will contain enough protein, fat, and energy to sustain them. But when it comes to baby squirrels, feeding them this type of seed isn’t the best idea.  

They may get a little sick from eating too many pumpkin seeds as they don’t have fully developed digestive systems yet. Baby squirrels should be fed a diet that is high in carbohydrates, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and niacin.

What Seeds Do Squirrels Dislike?

Nyjer Seed

Squirrels eat a variety of nuts, seeds, and plants. The most common diet for squirrels is a mix of sugar water and dried food. 

Squirrels can be fed in a number of ways; they are safe near humans, so they can be hand-fed or they can also use an automatic feeder. 

Nyjer seed is an especially favorite treat because it’s easy for them to take with them when they’re on the go. It’s best not to feed the squirrel what we would want for ourselves – many humans like nuts and apples but these should not be eaten by squirrels due to their high sugar content.

Safflower Seed

Squirrels have a diverse diet, consisting of berries, nuts, green vegetation, flowers and plants. The thing they like the most is safflower seed. Squirrels tend to bury them for later use but it’s not uncommon for some squirrels to eat the whole seed right away. 

The seeds are beneficial because they contain a lot of protein and oils that keep them active and warm during winter months. Safflower seeds can be found at many garden centers or in pet stores or feed stores that sell animal food and bird seed. 

They come in different sizes depending on the type of bird it is intended for and priced accordingly. They are often used as an inexpensive bird feed substitute when people just want their yard attract birds without giving them too much expensive food.

Should You Feed Squirrels?

If you feed a squirrel, it may not go away after one day or become so addicted that they bother humans or go hungry. In fact, they may never return! They might also come back every day and make a mess. Squirrels should have their own natural food sources to live on. 

That is why feeding them is not recommended. If you must feed them because of unusual circumstances, do your best to supplement their diet with healthy foods like nuts, berries, apples, oranges and watermelon-anything without added sugar or preservatives will be good for them.

Related Post – Do coffee grounds keep squirrels away?


Roughly 90% of the time, your average wild grey squirrel will consume nothing but seeds and nuts. 

Pumpkin seeds are a popular and nutritious squirrel food, but remember that they can be harmful if eaten by a pregnant squirrel. It is important to be mindful of the neighborhood squirrels, who often feel threatened by these small snacks in their environment. 

There is no way to be sure what other foods a squirrel prefers or will eat. Offer them the opportunity for diverse meals – when you see one or more eating something new, don’t assume they are stuck on just that particular snack! 

Squirrels are notoriously fickle about their food sources and habits, so it is difficult to predict what may or may not be edible. But we’re all able to offer some fresh vegetables in our backyards as an alternative.

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Meet Tomas Clayton, a seasoned plant gardener who has been passionate about horticulture since he was a child. Tomas John developed a love for the natural world and a strong appreciation for the beauty of plants while growing up on a farm.

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