Do Squirrels Eat Cherry Pits?

Do squirrels eat cherry pits? No, squirrels do not eat cherry pits. They may gnaw on the outer flesh of the cherry to get to the seed inside, but they do not consume the hard, indigestible pit. 

 Squirrels are notorious for raiding backyard gardens and stealing fruits and nuts from trees. However, when it comes to cherries, they will only eat the fleshy part and spit out the pit. In fact, consuming cherry pits can be harmful to any animal, including squirrels, as they contain cyanide. Therefore, if you want to keep squirrels away from your cherry trees, you may not need to worry about them eating the pits.

Squirrels and Their Diet

Squirrels and Their Diet

Squirrels are fascinating creatures known for their love of nuts, and if you have ever watched a squirrel in action, you might be curious about what else they eat. Many people wonder if squirrels eat cherry pits. In this post, we will explore squirrels’ dietary and eating habits and whether they eat cherry pits.

Overview of the diet of squirrels

Squirrels, being omnivorous creatures, consume a combination of plant matter and animal sources as part of their diet. The main components of their diet are nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects. Squirrels are opportunistic eaters and will feed on whatever food is available to them. Below are some key points about the diet of squirrels:

  • Squirrels mainly feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects.
  • Being opportunistic eaters, they will readily consume whatever food comes their way and is accessible to them.
  • Squirrels have a high metabolism, so they need to eat frequently to keep up their energy levels.

Different types of squirrels and their dietary habits

There are many types of squirrels, and their dietary habits can vary depending on their species and habitat. Some squirrels are herbivores and eat only plants, while others are omnivores and eat both plants and animals. Below are some key points about the different types of squirrels and their dietary habits:

  • Gray squirrels are omnivorous and mainly feed on nuts, seeds, and insects. They will also eat fruits, vegetables, and fungi.
  • Red squirrels are herbivores and mainly feed on seeds and fruits. They will also eat bark, leaves, and flowers.
  • Flying squirrels are omnivorous and mainly feed on nuts and insects. They will also eat fruits, fungi, and bird eggs.
  • Ground squirrels are herbivores and mainly feed on grasses, seeds, and nuts. They will also eat insects and small animals.

You don’t need to be concerned about squirrels eating the pits of your cherry tree in the garden. Instead, take pleasure in observing these nimble creatures as they skillfully move up and down trees, searching for their next meal.

Are Cherry Pits Harmful?

Are Cherry Pits Harmful

Do squirrels eat cherry pits? This is a common question among people who feed these cute little creatures in their backyards. Some people believe that cherry pits are harmful to squirrels, while others think it is safe for them to eat. In this blog section, we’ll take a closer look at whether or not squirrels can eat cherry pits and if they’re harmful.

Explanation of what cherry pits are

Cherry pits are the hard, oval-shaped seeds found in the fruit of cherry trees. They’re also known as cherry stones or pits and are usually removed before eating or cooking the fruit. These pits are not just found in cherries but also in other fruits such as apricots, peaches, plums, and nectarines.

Why some believe cherry pits can be harmful to animals

Some people believe that cherry pits can be harmful to animals, including squirrels, due to their cyanide content. Cyanide is a toxic substance that can pose a danger when ingested in significant quantities. The cyanide in cherry pits is released when the pits are chewed or crushed, exposing the toxic substance.

Are cherry pits poisonous?

Yes, cherry pits do contain a small quantity of cyanide, which can be toxic when consumed in large amounts. Nonetheless, the cyanide present in a solitary cherry pit is insufficient to cause harm to humans or animals. Squirrels are known to eat whole fruits, including the pits, but are less likely to chew on the pits themselves, meaning they are at less risk.

Why Squirrels Might Eat Cherry Pits

Why Squirrels Might Eat Cherry Pits

Squirrels, charming rodents found across various regions of the world, are recognized for their agile agility and fondness for food. When considering these delightful creatures, a significant inquiry arises: Do squirrels consume cherry pits?

Squirrel behavior and diet preferences

Generally, their primary diet preference includes nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. However, squirrels won’t hesitate to eat insects, eggs, and even small animals if they are hungry. They will even scavenge through garbage cans to find their next meal.

Possible reasons why squirrels might eat cherry pits

While it is true that most squirrels will eat the flesh of cherry and discard the seeds, some have been known to eat cherry pits. Here are some possible reasons why squirrels might do so:

  • The pit contains some nutrients that the squirrel needs.
  • The pits help sharpen the squirrel’s teeth.
  • There is limited availability of food, and the squirrel is forced to eat everything that is available.
  • Squirrels enjoy the taste of the cherry pits despite the danger of ingesting them.
  • They may hoard the pits for later use

Can Squirrels Digest Cherry Pits?

Can Squirrels Digest Cherry Pits

Squirrels have a varied diet that includes fruits and nuts, but have you ever wondered if they can digest cherry pits? Now, we’ll explore the squirrel digestion process and whether they can digest cherry pits. We’ll also discuss any potential health risks associated with eating cherry pits for squirrels. So, let’s dive in!

Explanation of Squirrel Digestion Process

Before we discuss whether squirrels can digest cherry pits, it’s crucial to understand how they digest their food. Here’s a brief explanation of the squirrel digestion process:

  • Squirrels have a two-chambered stomach that allows them to break down and digest tough foods like nuts and seeds.
  • The first chamber breaks down the food into small pieces, while the second chamber further grinds it down and extracts nutrients.
  • Squirrels also have a long, curved colon that allows them to extract as much water as possible from their food, which helps them stay hydrated.

Can Squirrels Digest Cherry Pits?

Cherry pits are hard and fibrous, which makes them difficult to digest. While squirrels have strong digestive systems that can break down tough foods, it’s unlikely that they can digest cherry pits efficiently. Here are some points to consider:

  • The fibrous outer shell of a cherry pit can be tough for squirrels to break down.
  • The cherry pit holds cyanide, a substance that can become toxic if ingested in large amounts. While squirrels can tolerate small amounts of cyanide, it’s best to avoid feeding them cherry pits.

Therefore, it’s best to avoid feeding squirrels cherry pits and stick to feeding them fruits and nuts that they can easily digest.

Any Potential Health Risks Associated with Eating Cherry Pits for Squirrels

As previously stated, cherry pits contain cyanide, which can be poisonous if ingested in significant amounts. While squirrels can tolerate small amounts of cyanide, it’s best to avoid feeding them cherry pits to prevent any potential health risks. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid feeding squirrels any food that can be toxic or harmful to their health.
  • Stick to feeding squirrels fruits and nuts that they can easily digest.
  • If you notice any changes in the behavior or health of squirrels after feeding them, consult a vet immediately.

In short, while squirrels have a strong digestive system, it’s best to avoid feeding them cherry pits due to their fibrous texture and potential health risks. Stick to feeding them easily digestible fruits and nuts to keep them healthy and happy.

Other Foods Squirrels Eat

Other Foods Squirrels Eat

Squirrels love to eat a lot of different foods. In this blog section, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of food that squirrels enjoy and the impact they have on squirrel health.

Overview of other types of food that squirrels enjoy

Here are some of the foods they enjoy:

  • Nuts – Squirrels are famous for their love of nuts. They like all kinds of nuts, including acorns, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts.
  • Fruits – In addition to cherries, squirrels like to eat other types of fruits, such as apples, grapes, and pears.
  • Seeds – They like to eat seeds, such as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
  • Insects – Squirrels also eat insects, such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles.
  • Vegetables – They are known to munch on vegetables, including corn, sweet potatoes, and squash.

Impact of different types of food on squirrel health

The food that squirrels eat can have an impact on their health. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Nuts and seeds – Rich in fat and protein, these food sources provide squirrels with the necessary energy they require. Nevertheless, an excess of nuts and seeds can result in weight gain, potentially leading to health issues.
  • Fruits and vegetables – These things are good for getting vitamins and minerals, but they can have a lot of sugar. Eating too much sugar can make your teeth decay and cause other health problems.
  • Insects – While squirrels do eat insects, it’s important to make sure they’re not eating insects that have been treated with pesticides. Pesticides can be harmful to squirrels and other wildlife.
  • Junk food – Squirrels are known to scavenge human food, such as french fries and candy. However, these types of foods are not good for squirrels and can lead to health problems.

Squirrels are adaptable creatures that can eat a wide variety of foods. While the food they eat can have an impact on their health, squirrels are generally very good at finding a balanced diet. If you want to feed squirrels, stick to foods that are safe for them, such as unsalted nuts, seeds, and fruits. By doing so, you’ll be helping these furry little creatures thrive in their natural habitats.

Benefits of Squirrels

Squirrels are one of the most well-known and beloved animals in the forest. These cute and furry creatures often inspire admiration for their agility and resourcefulness. But have you ever wondered about the benefits of squirrels, especially in terms of the ecosystem and humans? In this section, we’ll explore the role squirrels play in the ecosystem and the benefits they offer to humans.

Role squirrels play in the ecosystem.

Squirrels play a significant role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem. Some of the key roles that they play are:

  • Seed dispersal: Squirrels are known to scatter and bury seeds for future use. This seed dispersal helps to create new plants and trees, which in turn helps in the growth and sustainability of the ecosystem.
  • Forest regeneration: As squirrels bury acorns, hazelnuts, and other nuts, they create a stockpile of food. Many of these nuts remain uncollected, which helps in forest regeneration.
  • Food for predators: Squirrels are part of the food chain in the ecosystem, serving as a source of food for many predators like hawks, owls, and foxes. This helps in controlling the population of rodents and small mammals, thus creating balance in the ecosystem.

Benefits of squirrels for humans

Apart from playing a crucial role in maintaining the ecosystem, squirrels also offer some benefits to humans. Here are a few:

  • Entertainment: Squirrels can provide endless entertainment to people, especially in urban areas where they are often seen playing and jumping around in parks and gardens. Watching squirrels can be a stress-buster and a mood-lifter for many people.
  • Education: Squirrels are fascinating animals, and learning about their behavior patterns could be an exciting educational experience, especially for children.
  • Ecotourism: Many people enjoy watching squirrels in their natural habitat while on hiking or camping trips. This has the potential to boost ecotourism and generate income for local communities.
  • Role in medical research: Squirrels are commonly used in medical research to study diseases like obesity, diabetes, and aging. Such research can lead to the development of new treatments and therapies that benefit humans.

In short, squirrels are not only charming beings but also hold a crucial role in preserving the ecosystem and providing various advantages to humans. They stand as one of the most valuable species on Earth, highlighting the significance of acknowledging and safeguarding them.

How to Keep Squirrels Away from Cherry Trees

How to Keep Squirrels Away from Cherry Trees

If you have a cherry tree in your yard, you know how tempting it can be for squirrels. They’re drawn to the sweet, juicy fruit, but what about the pits? Do squirrels eat cherry pits? The short answer is yes, but the pits can be harmful to their health. Here are some tips on how to keep squirrels away from cherry trees and prevent them from eating the pits.

Tips on Preventing Squirrels from Eating Cherry Pits

  • Harvest cherries before they are fully ripe: If you pick the cherries before they are fully ripe, the squirrels will be less interested in them.
  • Use scare tactics: Hang shiny objects or noise-making devices in the trees to frighten the squirrels away.
  • Netting: Cover the tree with netting to keep the squirrels from accessing the fruit.
  • Keep the area clean: Make sure to pick up any fallen fruit, as the scent will attract squirrels.

Safe and Humane Methods to Discourage Squirrels

  • Use repellents: There are natural repellents, such as peppermint oil, that can be sprayed on the tree to deter squirrels.
  • Provide alternative food sources: Place bird feeders filled with seeds and nuts away from the cherry tree.
  • Plant deterrents: Garlic, onions, and other strong-smelling plants can be planted near the tree to keep squirrels at bay.

Remember, when dealing with squirrels, it’s important to use safe and humane methods. Avoid using poisons or setting traps that can harm the squirrels or other wildlife in the area. By following these tips, you can discourage squirrels from eating cherry pits and protect your tree.

Read More Do Rabbits Eat Raspberry Plants.

Frequently Asked Questions on Do Squirrels Eat Cherry Pits: Understanding the Truth

Can squirrels eat cherry pits?

No, it’s not safe for them to eat cherry pits as they contain cyanide, which can be lethal.

 What do squirrels eat?

Squirrels are omnivores and they eat nuts, seeds, fruits, fungi, insects, and even small animals.

Why do squirrels eat nuts?

Squirrels eat nuts because they are a rich source of energy and essential nutrients, which help them survive long winters.

Are squirrels harmful to cherry trees?

Squirrels can be harmful to cherry trees as they can feed on buds and fruits, which can damage the tree’s growth and production. 


In conclusion, squirrels generally do not eat cherry pits. The pits contain cyanide, which can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. Squirrels are more inclined to eat the flesh of the cherry and leave the pit behind. However, it’s worth noting that squirrels have diverse eating habits and can adapt to different food sources, so individual squirrels may occasionally consume cherry pits.

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