As the long, hot days of summer progress, grasshoppers become an increasingly common sight in yards and gardens just like squirrels. Their distinctive chirping can be quite annoying, however, do squirrels eat grasshoppers?
The Short Answer…
If fruits and nuts aren’t available, squirrels will eat grasshoppers and enjoy the crunchy legs when they can find them. From caterpillars to larvae to winged bugs, squirrels enjoy many insects they find and even small mammals. As grasshoppers live in tropical forests, grasslands, and savannahs (similar to squirrels) and are flightless, they make an easy meal that squirrels are attracted to.
Squirrels will occasionally eat grasshoppers if they’re able to catch them. While grasshoppers aren’t a preferred food source for squirrels, they won’t hesitate to take advantage of an easy meal. So, if you see a squirrel munching on a grasshopper, don’t be too surprised!
Do squirrels really like to feast on grasshoppers? Or is this just another myth about these bushy-tailed creatures? Read on to find out!
Which Insects Do Squirrels Eat?
While most squirrels prefer to eat fruits and plants, some will turn to insects as a source of protein when other food is scarce. During the warmer months when there is an abundance of insects, squirrels take advantage of those.
Here are some of the common insects squirrels eat.
- Caterpillars, larvae, winged bugs, grasshoppers, crickets
Where Do Squirrels Find Grasshoppers?
However, these furry little creatures actually eat insects, such as grasshoppers. But where do squirrels find these insects?
In Tall Grasses, Trees, & Weeds
- One place they might look is in tall grasses or weeds. Grasshoppers often hide in these areas, waiting to jump out and surprise their prey. Squirrels are excellent climbers and are able to reach high places where grasshoppers might be hiding.
Under Rocks & Logs
- Another place to look for grasshoppers is under rocks or logs. These insects like to stay in cool, dark places during the day, so flipping over a few rocks is a good way to find them. Of course, you can also attract squirrels to your yard by putting out bird feeders. As they come to eat the bird seed, they’re likely to spot any grasshoppers that are lurking around.
Related: What Does Squirrels Poop Look & Smells Like? (What Color?)
When Do Squirrels Eat Grasshoppers?
Most of the time, squirrels only eat grasshoppers during the summer when they’re desperate. This usually happens in the summer when there’s a drought and other food is scarce.
If you see a squirrel eating grass, it’s likely because it’s trying to get enough moisture to survive. While grass doesn’t have much nutritional value for squirrels, it can help them stay hydrated during periods of drought. If you live in an area where droughts are common, you may want to consider planting a drought-tolerant lawn to help keep your local squirrel population healthy.
How Do Squirrels Eat Grasshoppers?
It turns out that these agile animals are able to capture and eat these large insects quite easily.
- First, the squirrel will approach the grasshopper from behind. Then, it will quickly jump on top of the insect and bite down on its thorax, or midsection. Sometimes grasshoppers will attempt to fly but squirrels will even catch grasshoppers from air.
This maneuver immobilizes the grasshopper and makes it easier for the squirrel to tear it apart and eat it. So next time you see a squirrel nibbling on a blade of grass, keep an eye out for a grasshopper hiding nearby!
Should You Feed Grasshopper to Squirrels?
If you’re looking for a novel way to feed your squirrels, you may be wondering if grasshoppers make a good meal. After all, they are a common food source for many animals in the wild.
What Are The Risks To Feeding Grasshoppers?
And while grasshoppers can be nutritious for squirrels, there are also some potential risks to consider.
For one thing, grasshoppers may contain parasites that could infect your squirrels.
Grasshoppers could trigger an allergic reaction in some animals.
If you do decide to offer grasshoppers to your squirrels, be sure to cook them first to reduce the risk of problems.
You should also start with a small amount and observe your animals closely to make sure they are tolerating the new food well.
Which Animal Eats Grasshopper?
Grasshoppers are high in protein and low in fat, making them a healthy food choice. While many animals eat grasshoppers, some of the most common predators include birds, reptiles, bats, shrews, raccoons, red foxes, squirrels, opossums, and small mammals.
Ants and beetles also often eat dead grasshoppers, and their droppings provide nutrients that help to fertilize the soil.
Other predators, such as mice, shrews, toads and lizards, find grasshoppers by using their sense of hear. These animals wait until day to go hunting. They rely on the grasshoppers’ noise to help them locate their prey.
Mice and shrews also eat grasshoppers that have been killed by cars on roads. Toads will sit in one place and wait for a grasshopper to come close enough to grab it with its tongue. Once the toad feels the movement of the grasshopper on its tongue, it swallows the insect whole.
Lizards use their sense of smell to find grasshoppers during the day. They will wait until a grasshopper comes close enough before they strike at it with their long tongues. Some snakes will also eat grasshoppers. These predators find their prey by either following the sound of the insect’s movement or sensing the heat radiated from its body.
Do Squirrels Eat Beetles, Crickets & Bugs?
In general, squirrels will eat beetles, crickets and bugs if given the opportunity. They certainly seem to enjoy eating them! Squirrels eat almost anything they get their paws on, so it’s not surprising that they also eat beetles.
squirrels find delicious. In fact, many squirrels consider beetles to be a treat! If you have ever seen a squirrel eating a beetle, then you know that they really enjoy them.
Do Squirrels Eat Mice?
Yes, squirrels are known to eat mice. In fact, they will just eat every small mammals they get their hands on. Occasionally, when fruits like strawberries and nuts are not available, squirrels will opt for mice.
Do Squirrels Eat Termites?
Squirrels are known to eat a variety of insects, so it’s not surprising that squirrels eat termites. Squirrels are known for their furry tails and their love of nuts. However, squirrels are also opportunistic eaters, and they will often feast whatever food is available to them. While most squirrels prefer to eat nuts and berries, if termites are present, they will happily snack on these hard-working insects.