Yes, squirrels eat snakes. I know I was surprised as you to find this out. Let me tell you a little bit of what I've learned about squirrels and their habit of snacking on snakes.
Squirrels are everywhere; including your yard. Did you know snakes are also in your yard. You may not see them, and it may not be everyday, but snakes are in your yard.
I don't know about you, but I would rather have squirrels running around my yard instead of snakes.
Why do squirrels eat snakes
Unlike fruit, vegetables, and insects, squirrels don't actively go around looking for snakes to eat. There are two main reasons a squirrel will kill a snake and eat it. The first is simple. A small snake happens to be in the same area as a squirrel. The squirrels picks the snake up and eats it.
The second reason squirrels eat snakes has to do with survival. Snakes like to attack and eat squirrels. Snakes really like to eat squirrels' young. Squirrels have to protect themselves and their young from invading snakes.
If the squirrel is successful at killing an invading snake then it will often eat it. The invading snakes are usually larger then the smaller snakes they may pick up and nibble on. This makes it very dangerous for squirrels to fight with them. This is also the reason squirrels don't eat larger snakes as a part of their regular diet.
How do squirrels protect themselves from snakes
Their have been some very surprising discovers made about how squirrels protect themselves against snakes that want to eat them.
Squirrels have been observed rubbing snake skins and other snake parts on their bodies to presumably mask their scent from snakes. Researchers believe this technique works. Their studies, although limited, have shown a reduction in squirrels being attacked by snakes when the squirrels use snake parts to alter their scent.
Similarly, squirrels have also been known to roll around in areas where snakes have previously bedded down. This practice seems to work the same as squirrels rubbing snake parts on their fur. The reason given is that snakes can't see very well, but rely on their sense of smell to detect prey. Rubbing the snakes' scent all over their bodies, squirrels are able to fool the snakes.
Nutrients eating snakes provide for squirrels
Snakes are mostly made of meat. This means snakes provide a high amount of protein to squirrels. Snake meat also provides calcium and magnesium to squirrels.
What type of snakes do squirrels eat
Squirrels will feed on small snakes like garter snakes, milk snakes, and ribbon snakes. The main snake to attack squirrels are rattlesnakes.
Rattlesnakes look to eat young squirrels. They try to enter the nest and steal the kittens away when the adult squirrels are not present.
The baby squirrels' mother will stay close to the nest. If she detects a rattlesnake nearby she will take measures to protect her young. One method she will employ is to shake her tail vigorously and heat it up. This tells rattlesnakes they have been detected and may be attacked. Rattlesnakes will usually divert their attention when they get this signal from the mother squirrel.
Do squirrels eat one type of snake more than other snakes
As previously stated, squirrels don't really look for snakes to eat. If one comes their way or they are attacked, then they will heartily eat it. So, no there isn't any one particular snake that squirrels like to eat more than another.
Best way to feed snakes to squirrels
It is probably a good idea not to feed snakes to squirrels unless the snakes are very small. Squirrels in the wild don't need you to feed snakes to them. You probably don't want to feed snakes to squirrels in the wild because you could be introducing unwanted or even potentially dangerous snakes into your local ecosystem.
Since snakes are not a usually meal for squirrels and your pet squirrel is not used to fighting with snakes, you really should feed snakes to your pet squirrel. The other issue with feeding snakes to squirrels is snakes are expensive to purchase.
When do squirrels eat snakes
Squirrels will eat snakes any time of year. It really just depends on when the squirrels encounter a snake.
Squirrels eat more snakes during the hotter months because snakes are more active during that time. Snakes go into a kind of hibernation mode called brumation in the colder months. During this time snakes will sleep most of the time, but will wake to get food and water when it periodically warms outside.
Where do squirrels eat snakes
Squirrels eat snakes in every part of the world. Squirrels and snakes fight no matter where you find them. In every country and region throughout the world you will find snakes trying to eat squirrels and squirrels eating snakes.
Stop squirrels from eating snakes
The best way to stop squirrels from eating snakes is to prevent snakes from getting into your yard where squirrels come to feed. Take steps to make your yard undesirable and inaccessible to snakes.
First, keep your yard clean so snakes don't have a place to hide. Next, set traps to keep small rodents like mice and rats out of your yard. Yes, squirrels are technically rodents, but you want them there.
Finally, install a snake-proof fence to completely keep snakes out of your yard. Make sure there are not trees or other obstacles hanging from outside your yard into your yard over your snake-proof fence. Otherwise, snakes will circumvent the fence by climbing up the trees or obstacles and dropping down.
Are eating snakes dangerous for squirrels
Snakes are dangerous to squirrels if they are poisonous or if the snake is a constrictor. Since squirrels already have to contend with snakes, there is no added danger to them eating them.
The venom of poisonous snakes is located in the salivary glands. These glands are in the snakes head. As long as the squirrel doesn't eat the head of the snake, there is no danger of the squirrel being harmed by the poison.
When feeding snakes to pet squirrels, never give them poisonous or constrictor snakes.
Squirrels eat snakes when the opportunity presents itself. They don't readily go out looking for snakes to eat. Squirrels would rather eat fruit, nuts, berries, vegetables, and insects then eat snakes.
Feeding snakes to your pet squirrel is not cost effective and is not really desired by your squirrel. You would do better to spend the money or a fun toy or new cage for your pet then to buy snakes for your squirrel to eat.