Did you know squirrels love to eat cicadas? Cicadas are easy prey for many living creatures including birds, fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, and small mammals such as chipmunks and squirrels. Squirrels are often observed catching cicadas one at a time while perched on power lines, posts, or in trees above them or on the ground below when they emerge from the ground any time between early May and late July every year during summertime.
Squirrels eat cicadas for their high protein content which is necessary to maintain the health of the squirrel. This makes sense because squirrels are rodents, members of the family Sciuridae within order Rodentia.
A major benefit of feeding cicadas to squirrels is the great taste they offer. They make an excellent treat for all types of squirrels, including the red, eastern gray, fox, and flying.
Why do squirrels eat cicadas
Squirrels eat cicadas because they are insects and squirrels like to eat insects. Cicadas offer squirrels a tasty snack and good nutrition. Squirrels also eat cicadas because they are in abundance in the summer.
Cicadas emerge in droves during the early summer. Squirrels can hear their daily meals singing every evening as the male cicadas call to their female companions.
Nutrients in cicadas for squirrels
Squirrels get nutrients from cicadas such as protein, fat, antioxidants, zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, niacin, and selenium. Cicadas are low in fat and contain just enough protein to maintain optimal health.
Cicada shells may be a source of calcium for squirrels.
How do squirrels eat cicadas?
When it comes time to feed on a cicada, the squirrel will grab it from behind and take a bite out of the hard exoskeleton. The muscle, or meat, is behind the head and above the legs of the cicada. Squirrels will dig into this part to eat the meat.
Squirrels will catch cicadas when they are alive in trees and other places to eat them. They will also gorge on them when cicadas are finished mating and the males fall to the ground to die. Also, they will eat the females when they fall to the ground after laying eggs.
What type of cicadas do squirrels like to eat?
With more than 3,000 different kinds of cicadas in the world, squirrels have a lot to choose from. Squirrels aren't particular about the type of cicadas they eat. All cicadas provide nutrients to squirrels. No matter what type of cicada, it is tasty to squirrels.
Best way to feed cicadas to squirrels
The best way to feed cicadas to a squirrel is by either purchasing them from a pet store or scavenging for them in your yard. If you want to buy cicadas, simply place an order with any one of the leading suppliers of pet supplies online.
You can also catch cicadas to feed to your squirrels. Look for cicada nymphs outside in the late spring to early summer. Place them in a vented jar and let them grow. They will shed their shell each time they grow. Once they are big enough, you can cover the venting so they die. Then you can give them to your squirrels to eat.
If you have enough time and patience, you can also try attracting cicada by planting a type of vegetation favored by these insects. According to scientists, this is the most humane way of serving cicadas after their short but exciting lives as powerful hopping predators with wingspans measuring more than 5 inches each.
When do squirrels eat cicadas
The best time to give cicadas to your pet squirrel is when you can simply throw them out in your yard or in an open area for your squirrel to discover on its own. It is believed that cicadas are among the safest treats you can ever give to a pet squirrel.
If you are catching your own cicadas, the best time to feed them to your squirrels is in the summer. If you are going to buy cicadas, then you can feed them to squirrels all year.
What part of the world do squirrels eat cicadas
Cicadas are found in all eastern states in North America. In some areas, their population may reach from billions to even trillions of cicadas. If you have never seen a cicada, they look like large grasshoppers with big red eyes and transparent wings. They emerge together in groups numbering in the thousands or millions mainly between May and July every year during summertime.
How to keep squirrels from eating cicadas
To keep squirrels from eating cicadas in your yard. Go through your yard looking for cicadas that have died. Remove them as soon as you see them.
Is eating cicadas dangerous for squirrels
A major concern for anyone thinking about feeding cicadas to their squirrels is the possibility of these insects emitting high-pitched sounds that could damage your eardrums. Outside of that, there isn't any danger in feeding cicadas to squirrels.
Do squirrels eat cicadas summary
Cicadas are a good source of energy and nutrients for squirrels during the summer. They emerge in the late spring and squirrels can snack on them throughout the summer. After mating season, large portions of cicadas fall to the ground. Squirrels can often be seen eating a lot of cicadas at this time.