Yes, squirrels eat flies. Most people think that rodents like squirrels, mice, chipmunks, etc. only eat seeds and nuts. However, these types of backyard wildlife can also benefit from eating some insects. Flies are one particular type of often overlooked food source for many different rodent species.
If you have ever seen a flying insect get closely inspected by a squirrel or other wild animal you will know what amazing acrobats they are capable of being. However, this is not just because they want to play with their food before eating it; most rodents will actually go out of their way to catch and eat flies if they can.
Squirrels will eat different kinds of insects such as flies, bees, ants, grasshoppers, crickets and more depending on their availability in your area or what is available at the time. Flies are a fairly common (and tasty) menu choice and many backyard squirrel enthusiasts like to feed them to their squirrel pets to provide some extra nutrition along with entertainment.
It doesn't seem like it could be possible that something so small could actually benefit a larger animal's diet, but these animals know how to get the most out of their food sources when they need to. In this article, we will answer the questions "how do squirrels eat flies", "what are the nutritional benefits of squirrels eating flies?", and "what type of flies do they like to eat?" - and we will answer them all as thoroughly as possible for those who want their squirrels to live happy and healthy lives.
How do squirrels eat flies?
Squirrels catch and kill a fly by pouncing on it's tiny body with their four feet or two hands, cornering the insect against the ground or a branch, then picking it up in their mouth if it is still alive. Squirrels have sharp teeth which are very good at cutting through tough exoskeletons of insects so this process usually doesn't last long. If you have ever seen a flying fly get near your dangling arm you may have noticed how quickly that little bug can dart away from danger if given half a chance. This instinctual skill is what makes a fly a tough meal for a squirrel to catch which explains why they will pounce on them with such fury when they manage to trap one.
Once the fly is caught, the squirrels will just bite into the fly's head or thorax which is where it attaches its wings to its body. Since most flies have hard armor around this portion of their body, squirrels have to use their razor sharp teeth in order to break through this barrier so that they can get at the more tender insides of the fly for a real treat. Once inside, these tiny morsels are quickly gobbled up as fast as they are exposed.
Nutritional benefits of eating flies
The benefits of feeding flies to squirrels are many. For instance, when a fly has been eaten by a squirrel it provides nourishment and helps with digestion in much the same way as other foods do for humans and animals.
There are actually a few obvious nutritional benefits to eating flies, so much so that many experts recommend feeding them to pet squirrels. In the wild, many small rodents will eat whatever they can find in their habitats which often includes plenty of tiny bugs and insects along with nuts, seeds, and berries. Flies are easy for a squirrel's tiny stomach to digest quickly because they have very little mass but provide a lot of energy due to their size.
Since these animals burn a lot of calories every single day just by running around or sleeping they need as much food as possible from nutrient-dense sources like this one if they want to stay healthy and keep up their strength throughout the day.
What type of flies do squirrels like to eat?
If you want to attract these rodents to your yard so that you can feed them and entertain the guests at the same time, it's important to know what kind of fly is going to be most attractive. One of the best types of insects for a squirrel to eat are fruit flies - which might seem strange because they're not technically flying around in trees where most other bugs would roam.
If you notice that your garden or lawn has been overrun by fruit fly infestations then you will certainly want squirrels coming over.
Squirrels will also eat common house flies, horse flies, deer flies, yellow files, and sand flies.
Do squirrels eat flies summary
The answer to the question do squirrels eat flies is yes. Squirrels are omnivores which means they will eat just about anything. Flies are easy prey for hungry squirrels because of their small size. A few flies can provide a meal for an entire day. There's no denying that squirrels eating flies can be beneficial in many ways such as providing nutrition and controlling pest populations around your home or business. If you have any additional questions on how to feed your own backyard squirrels, please read our article about feeding squirrels.