Do you ever wonder what squirrels do with all the gourds they steal from your garden? It turns out that they love to eat them. Gourds are a nutritious food source for squirrels, and they provide many benefits that help keep squirrels healthy. In this article, we will discuss what type of gourds squirrels like to eat, the best way to feed gourds to squirrels, how squirrels eat gourds, when do squirrels eat gourds, where squirrels eat gourds, and why it is important for squirrels to eat gourds. We will also touch on a few things you can do to help corral the gourd theft and keep squirrels safe while feasting.
Before we get into the details of why squirrels eat gourds, let's take a moment to talk about this strange looking fruit. Gourds are edible fruits that come in an assortment of shapes, sizes, and colors. Gourds are grown throughout the world for human consumption, as well as for decoration or tool use (bowls). While gourds come in many varieties around the world, they all share similar nutritional benefits for squirrels. Now that we've got the basics out of the way, let's get into why squirrels eat gourds.
Why squirrels eat gourds
Squirrels are attracted to the gourds because they are a good source of food. The seeds, skin, and flesh of the gourd are all edible for squirrels. The seeds are a good source of protein and fat, the skin is a good source of fiber, and the flesh is a good source of water and carbohydrates.
What type of gourds do squirrels like to eat?
One of the most familiar types of gourds in North America are pumpkins . It's no surprise these bright orange vegetables with their pumpkin-like shape and stem end up in many squirrel diets. Other familiar gourds that squirrels favor over pumpkins are citron melon and squash. Citron melons look like a watermelon on the outside but make no mistake they belong to the same family as squashes. Squashes can come in all colors of the rainbow and vary in shapes and sizes, but they often possess a bumpy surface and stem attachment.
Squirrels eat gourds for the nutritional content
The flesh of many types of gourds contain high levels of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Vitamin C is critical to the production of collagen, which is needed for proper development and growth! So while gourds are not considered an essential part of a healthy squirrel diet, they are definitely beneficial.
Gourds also contain other nutrients that are beneficial to squirrels, such as vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium.
What is the best way to feed gourds to squirrels?
The best way to feed gourds to squirrels is by leaving them in the backyard where you harvest them. This ensures that they are fresh, ripe, nutrient rich, and free of pesticides. It also allows squirrels to access them easily without the use of human intervention.
Some people choose to hang their harvested gourds on hooks or nails driven into trees to keep them safe from other animals. If you choose this method of storage, please be sure to check back daily to ensure that they are not being raided by other wildlife.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your local squirrel population happy is hanging food high enough so they can reach it, but other animals can't. This means that if you are using trees as a place to hang gourds, ensure that they are hung at least fifteen feet from the ground.
Either way, just remember that the less accessible the gourds are, the less likely your local squirrel population will take advantage of them.
How do squirrels eat gourds?
If you have ever seen a squirrel in your backyard, then you already know how squirrels eat gourds. Squirrels use their sharp claws to cut into the skin and carve out the fruit inside. Then they simply stick their heads into the fruit and gobble it up.
When do squirrels eat gourds?
Squirrels eat gourds all year long. If you are serious about not only feeding, but keeping your local squirrel population happy, it's important to keep them fed all year long. Because of this, many people choose to plant winter squashes or pumpkins as a way to feed their squirrels over the fall and winter seasons. Yes, these squashes are still delicious for humans, but they can definitely go a long way in keeping squirrels healthy.
Where do squirrels eat gourds?
Now that you know how to feed gourds to squirrels and when squirrels eat gourds, you may be wondering where do squirrels eat gourds? Squirrels will eat them all around your yard. This means that hanging some on a hook from a tree is not enough to feed your local squirrels.
Some people have had success in feeding their squirrels by planting gourd vines right on the ground near a tree line. This allows squirrels to access the gourds without having to do much work, while simultaneously promoting sustainable agriculture techniques. The biggest danger with this is that other animals will be attracted to the gourds growing on the ground. This could attract some unwanted animals such as mice and rats. It also could attract animals that prey on squirrels.
Are gourds dangerous for squirrels to eat?
Some types of gourds are poisonous to humans and animals alike. Once such gourd is the Stinking gourd. It is mostly found in the southern United States and Mexico. Supposedly, the young Stinking gourd fruit can be eaten, but the mature fruit will make squirrels, and humans, sick if eaten. I have not had experience with this type of gourd, so I don't know if the available information is true. If you don't know anything about Stinking gourds, you should not feed them to your squirrels.
Also, gourds can start to rot on the inside before they show signs on the outside. If a squirrel eats a rotten gourd, it could make them sick.
How to prevent squirrels from eating gourds?
Oak and bay leaves are known to repel squirrels. You can also try planting nasturtiums around the perimeter of your property; they produce an odor that repels rodents like squirrels and rats.
Sprinkling cayenne pepper around your garden can help to keep squirrels from eating your gourds. Of course, you can always put up a fence or wire around your gourds to stop squirrels from eating your gourds.
Do squirrels eat gourds summary
Squirrels eat gourds to get the nutritional benefits. Types of gourds that squirrels like to eat are winter squashes and pumpkins. The best way to feed gourds to squirrels is by planting winter squashes or pumpkins or buying some from the store and cutting it up for them. Squirrels eat gourds when they are hungry.