Can Squirrels Eat Crabapple

A squirrel eating a crabapple

Do you have a crabapple tree in your backyard and are wondering whether it’s safe to feed its fruit to squirrels? The good news is that squirrels can eat crabapples, and doing so can provide them with essential nutrients that they need to thrive. However, there are certain precautions you need to take to ensure that feeding your furry friends crabapples doesn’t cause any harm. In this article, we’ll discuss all the important aspects of squirrels’ diet, nutritional value of crabapple for squirrels, and how to safely feed them this fruit as well as other fruits that are suitable for squirrels.

Understanding Squirrels’ Diet

Squirrels are omnivores, meaning that they consume both plant and animal-based foods. Their diet primarily consists of nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects. However, in urban and suburban areas, squirrels also feed on bird feeders, pet food, and leftover human food.

It is important to note that while squirrels have a diverse diet, not all foods are safe for them to consume. For example, feeding squirrels bread or other processed foods can lead to health problems such as obesity and dental issues. Additionally, feeding squirrels can disrupt their natural foraging behaviors and lead to overpopulation in certain areas. It is best to let squirrels find their own food in their natural habitat and avoid feeding them human food.

Nutritional Value of Crabapple for Squirrels

Crabapples are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. These essential nutrients help promote squirrels’ overall health and well-being. Vitamin A is vital for good eyesight and immune system function, while vitamin C boosts their immune system and helps fight off infections. Moreover, dietary fiber helps improve their digestive health and prevents constipation, which is common in captive squirrels.

In addition to the nutritional benefits, crabapples also provide squirrels with a source of hydration. Squirrels need to drink water regularly to stay hydrated, especially during hot and dry weather. Eating juicy crabapples can help supplement their water intake and prevent dehydration.

However, it is important to note that while crabapples are safe for squirrels to eat, they should be consumed in moderation. Overeating crabapples can lead to digestive issues and diarrhea. It is recommended to offer a variety of foods in addition to crabapples to ensure a balanced diet for squirrels.

How to Feed Squirrels Crabapple Safely

While feeding squirrels crabapples can be beneficial, it’s essential to take precautions to ensure their safety. Always wash the fruit thoroughly to remove any pesticide residue or bacteria that may be harmful to squirrels. Moreover, avoid feeding them moldy or rotten fruit, as it can cause digestive problems. Always serve fresh fruit in small amounts to avoid overfeeding and always provide access to clean drinking water. Additionally, do not leave the crabapples out for an extended period as it may attract insects or rodents.

It’s also important to note that feeding squirrels should not replace their natural diet. Crabapples should be considered a supplement to their regular food sources, such as nuts, seeds, and fruits found in their natural habitat. Overfeeding squirrels with crabapples can lead to health problems, such as obesity and dental issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to limit the amount of crabapples given to squirrels and to provide a varied diet to ensure their overall health and well-being.

Benefits of Feeding Squirrels Crabapples

Feeding squirrels crabapples has many benefits, including improving their health, providing them with essential nutrients, and helping them thrive. It also helps them build their immune system and strengthens their resistance to disease, ensuring that they remain healthy and active. Moreover, feeding squirrels can provide a unique and rewarding experience for both you and the animals. It can help create a special bond between you and the squirrels in your backyard.

Additionally, feeding squirrels crabapples can also help to reduce their destructive behavior. Squirrels are known to chew on wood, wires, and other materials, which can cause damage to your property. By providing them with a food source that they enjoy, such as crabapples, they may be less likely to engage in destructive behavior. This can help to protect your property and keep the squirrels happy and healthy.

Risks and Hazards of Feeding Squirrels Crabapple

While feeding squirrels crabapples can be beneficial, there are some risks and hazards to keep in mind. Overfeeding squirrels can cause obesity, which can lead to various health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Moreover, feeding squirrels too much of one type of food can lead to nutritional imbalances that can harm their health. Lastly, feeding squirrels may attract other unwanted animals and pests to your yard, which can create other hazards.

Another risk of feeding squirrels crabapples is that they may become dependent on this food source and stop foraging for other natural foods. This can lead to a decrease in their overall health and survival skills. Additionally, if the crabapples are not properly cleaned and washed, they may contain harmful pesticides or chemicals that can be harmful to the squirrels.

It is also important to note that feeding squirrels can create a nuisance for your neighbors, as they may attract squirrels to their yards as well. This can lead to complaints and potential conflicts with your neighbors. Therefore, it is important to consider the potential consequences before deciding to feed squirrels crabapples or any other type of food.

Other Fruits Suitable for Squirrels

In addition to crabapples, squirrels can also eat other fruits that are safe for them. These include bananas, pears, kiwis, berries, cherries, and watermelon. Always make sure to serve fresh fruit in moderation to avoid overfeeding squirrels and causing any digestive problems.

It is important to note that some fruits, such as grapes and raisins, can be toxic to squirrels and should be avoided. Additionally, it is best to avoid feeding squirrels fruit that has been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

If you want to provide squirrels with a variety of healthy snacks, you can also offer them nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Squirrels enjoy almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and carrots, among other foods. Just be sure to provide these treats in moderation, as overfeeding squirrels can lead to health problems and dependency on humans for food.

Tips for Attracting Squirrels to Your Yard

To attract squirrels to your yard, you need to provide them with a suitable habitat that meets their basic needs, such as shelter, food, and water. Planting trees such as oak, pine, and walnut provide natural sources of food and shelter. Additionally, put up bird feeders with seeds and nuts and hold off picking up leaves to provide a safe place for them to play.

Another way to attract squirrels to your yard is to create a squirrel-friendly environment. You can do this by adding squirrel houses or nesting boxes to your yard. These boxes provide a safe and secure place for squirrels to nest and raise their young. You can also add squirrel feeders to your yard, which are specifically designed to hold squirrel food such as corn, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. By creating a welcoming environment for squirrels, you can enjoy watching these playful creatures in your yard.

Do’s and Don’ts of Feeding Squirrels in Your Backyard


  • Provide fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables in moderation
  • Keep feeding areas clean and safe
  • Provide access to clean, fresh water
  • Encourage natural food sources such as planting native trees and bushes


  • Feed squirrels processed or sugary foods
  • Overfeed squirrels, leading to obesity and health problems
  • Leave uneaten food out for extended periods, attracting unwanted pests and insects
  • Feed squirrels if they have signs of illness or disease, including sneezing, coughing, or discharge from their eyes or nose

It is important to note that feeding squirrels in your backyard can have both positive and negative effects on the local ecosystem. While providing food can help sustain the squirrel population, it can also lead to an overpopulation of squirrels, which can cause damage to trees and other vegetation. Additionally, feeding squirrels can attract other wildlife, such as raccoons and skunks, which can be a nuisance to homeowners.

Before deciding to feed squirrels in your backyard, it is important to research local laws and regulations regarding wildlife feeding. Some areas may have restrictions or even prohibit feeding wildlife altogether. It is also important to consider the potential risks to your own health and safety, as squirrels can carry diseases and may become aggressive if they become too accustomed to human interaction.

How to Identify Signs of Nutritional Deficiency in Squirrels

Squirrels that are not receiving proper nutrition may exhibit several signs of deficiency, including:

  • Dull or brittle fur
  • Lack of energy and lethargy
  • Weight loss or poor body condition
  • Inconsistent appetite
  • Poor immune system function

If you suspect that a squirrel is suffering from nutritional deficiency, consult a wildlife expert or a veterinarian immediately.

Overall, feeding squirrels crabapples can be a wonderful way to help them thrive while creating a special bond with these beloved backyard visitors. However, it is essential to take measures to provide fresh, healthy fruit in moderation, while being mindful of risks and hazards. By following these tips and guidelines, you will ensure that both the squirrels and your backyard are safe and healthy.

It is important to note that while feeding squirrels can be a fun and rewarding activity, it should not be the sole source of their nutrition. Squirrels require a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Providing a diverse range of foods will help ensure that squirrels receive all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong.

In addition to providing a balanced diet, it is also important to monitor the amount of food you are giving to squirrels. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems, while underfeeding can result in malnutrition and other issues. It is recommended to provide small amounts of food at a time and to remove any uneaten food to prevent spoilage and attract unwanted pests.

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