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Can Squirrels Eat Sunflower Seeds? (Read This First!)

Squirrels are tiny creatures. They bite nuts with their tiny front teeth and cut them into pieces. Squirrels look cuter when they fill up their mouths with nuts or any other food. The cute little cheeks can also get dangerous sometimes while hunting their food.

Following the below information regarding squirrels’ food habits and if they can have sunflower seeds or not would help you to treat them better.

Can squirrels eat sunflower seeds?

Squirrels can undoubtedly eat sunflower seeds. They love sunflower seeds. Keeping seeds in the yard or around the garden can lure the squirrels. Thus, you can keep the squirrels away from causing damage. Moreover, eating too many seeds is not good for squirrels. The same goes for other foods.

Squirrels are nut lovers. They will take nuts over all foods and also eat too many nuts. You can not prohibit them from having nuts. Moreover, they eat sunflower seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Too much quantity of any food can cause harm to them.

Salted sunflower seeds:

Squirrels would love it if you give them salted sunflower seeds. It is not even bad for their health unless you give them too many sunflower seeds to eat.

Raw sunflower seeds:

Squirrels mostly look for sunflower seeds and often have them from the gardens if they find them. They do not have any problem eating raw sunflower seeds. Rather the garden may damage as squirrels can destroy the garden. That’s why one should protect their garden with fences or in other ways.

Roasted sunflower seeds:

You can definitely give the squirrels roasted sunflower. They can have roasted sunflower seeds. Yet only giving this will not complete their nutritional requirements. Instead, try giving additional foods to fulfil their nutritional requirements.

Shelled sunflower seeds:

Squirrels can bite the shell of the sunflower seeds with their tiny teeth. Still, they prefer to have the shelled sunflower seed. As it is edible, there is no problem if you give squirrels shelled sunflower seed.

Black oil sunflower seeds:

You can always give squirrels black oil sunflower seeds. They do not face any problem while having either black oil or with the seeds. Yet only provide them a certain quantity of sunflower seeds.

Do all squirrels eat sunflower seeds?

Squirrels like to eat sunflower seeds. Different type of squirrels will eat them if they find any.

Baby squirrels:

Baby squirrels can have sunflower seeds. Well, baby squirrels are not affected by eating sunflower seeds. Rather provide them other foods as well. Sunflower seeds are low in nutritional value and will not be able to fulfil the nutritional requirements if eaten only.

Wild squirrels:

Sunflower seeds might not be available in forests. Rather found in the gardens. If you give wild squirrels sunflower seeds, they will have it. Apart from peanuts, sunflower seeds are their favorite food. They will accept sunflower seeds without thinking twice.

Grey squirrels:

Grey squirrels eat corn, nuts, pollen, pumpkin seed. They love to eat seeds. Especially they can not resist bird foods. Sunflower seed is no different here. Yet, you should not feed them as they are really dirty. You definitely do not want the surroundings to become nastier.

Flying squirrels:

Flying squirrels have no different food habits than ground squirrels. They can have sunflower seeds as well. They actually eat more than seeds. They can have eggs, birds, and fungi. Indeed, keep the squirrels away from reaching out to the nest. It will only cause damage.

Ground squirrels:

Ground squirrels are allowed to have sunflower seeds. You can keep the squirrels from damaging the crops by spreading sunflower seeds all around. You don’t even need to peel the seeds as they can also eat shelled seeds. No creating of mess.

Red squirrels:

You will often find red squirrels taking packs of seeds with them. They would rather store them after consuming enough seeds. As a result, they spread many seeds all around.

Are sunflowers seeds bad for squirrels?

No, sunflower seeds are not bad for squirrels at all unless you feed them plenty of sunflower seeds. Having too many sunflower seeds is bad for them. Only eating sunflower seeds would not help them to gain nutrition as required.

Squirrels love to have seeds and nuts. But seeds are not high in nutrition rather than calories. Sunflower seeds contain high calories which can harm the squirrel’s bodily condition if fed too many. Instead, feed them a proper amount and with additional foods.

Squirrels can also have fruits; vegetables and you can add them to the diet of a squirrel. Thus, the squirrel can get proper nutrition. Though an adequate number of sunflower seed doesn’t cause harm, feed the squirrels with additional meals.

What happens if a squirrel eats sunflower seeds?

Squirrels are nuts for nuts and seeds. You can easily feed them any type of seeds including sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. Sunflower seeds are one of the favorites. Often squirrels enter into the sunflower gardens to have seeds. Resulting in losses for the farmers. They can be very harmful to the gardens and also crops.

On the other hand, too many sunflower seeds can lead to health problems. An adequate amount of sunflower seeds can be fed as they will not cause any harm. Some of the problems that can be led by improper amounts of sunflower seeds are included below.


Alone sunflower seeds are not enough for the squirrels to provide sufficient nutrition. If you feed them only sunflower seed, it can lead to malnutrition. Apart from that, sunflower seeds are a good source of phosphorus. There are also other foods that have more nutritional value than sunflower seeds and contain even more phosphorus.

Rather feed them additional foods. A proper diet should be maintained to keep them healthy. Do not only go for sunflower seeds or too many of them.

Excess calories:

Sunflower seeds are high in fats. Fats can lead to many health problems in the body. Even to the heart problems. Squirrels are no different in that case. Excess fat can also lead to damage to the organs. They do not require that many calories lead their body. A proper quantity should be monitored.

How many sunflower seeds can a squirrel eat? Do squirrels eat sunflower seeds whole?

Squirrels can have 2 or 3 sunflower seeds a day. Squirrels can also have sunflower seeds as a whole. That’s kind of beneficial as you do not need to peel the shells off.

Squirrels can break the sunflower seeds into pieces with their tiny teeth. The gnawing even looks cute. They can also chew the seeds with the shells. You can give them sunflower seeds as a whole and they would have them all. It creates no mess. You can also give them peeled seeds.

Moreover, peeling the shells will create a mess. You can reduce this by feeding the squirrels along with the seeds. You should only feed 2 to 3 sunflower seeds. More amounts can make them full. Instead, add other nutritious feed in their diet. It would give the squirrels proper nutrition and cause no harm.

How to keep squirrels from eating planted sunflower seeds?

Squirrels often hunt sunflower seeds. More likely, damage the garden by invading. It also eats sunflowers and bites them. Many methods can be applied to avoid this situation. Some of the common methods are listed below.

Keep dogs and cats nearby:

Squirrels do not invade the area if you keep dogs and cats. They are afraid of dogs and cats. As a result, there will be less chance of the squirrel invading the garden.

Cover the seeds:

You can cover the area with plastic or nets. The squirrels can not get through the plastic or net and can also be unable to cause harm.

Using pepper spray:

Use non-toxic pepper spray which is not bad for the seeds. It would not cause harm, instead only protect the seeds. Squirrels do not come around the pepper.

Keep the fence:

You can also keep a fence around. Well, it doesn’t work mostly as the squirrel can climb up.

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Spread foods:

Spread the foods that squirrels love to eat at a moderate distance. It would lure them and keep them away from the area.

Put up a net:

You can put a high net fence. As a result, squirrels won’t be able to climb up and neither enter into it.

Final Thoughts

Overall, squirrels can have sunflower seeds but of adequate amount. If you provide them with too many seeds, they might have them all or store them. Instead, provide less with additional food. Sunflower seeds are not high in nutrition and can not fulfil the nutritional requirements of the squirrel.