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Do Squirrels Eat Mealworms + How To Protect Your Bird Food!

With more and more people starting to feed the wild birds in their area from bird feeders in their yards and gardens, we have noticed a number of people starting to wonder where their birdfeed is going.

Some people have been noticing that they will fill their bird feeders and just an hour later they will be empty and even though the answer is right in front of them, they discount the local squirrel population due to thinking that squirrels are herbivores when they are in fact omnivores.

This means that squirrels will happily eat meat-based food sources when needed allowing them to eat certain types of bird food that people didn’t initially think that a squirrel would eat.

This is why we have noticed a spike in the number of people asking if squirrels eat mealworms as well as a number of other related questions about squirrels eating mealworms as well as how they are able to protect their bird food supply.

We have added our table of contents below so you can quickly and easily skip to specific sections of the article to make it easier to navigate.

We know that some of our readers will only want specific parts of the information that we will be covering about their mealworms being eaten by the local squirrels so the table of contents prevents you from having to skim through our whole article.

Do Squirrels Eat Mealworms?

Squirrels are omnivores meaning they will happily eat animal and plant-based foods including mealworms.

With some mealworms intended for use as bird food being covered in fat, a squirrel will see them as a quick, easy, and tasty source of calories and nutrition, especially in the colder months of the year when food is scarce.

A single squirrel can eat a surprising amount of mealworms and other types of bird food if it is hungry too. This is why so many people find their freshly filled bird feeders empty within an hour or so of filling them due to hungry squirrels quickly emptying them for an easy meal.

A squirrel-proof bird feeder is usually the best investment to prevent squirrels eating your mealworms while still making it easy for the local wild bird population to get access to the mealworms.

That said though, many people do take pity on the local squirrel population in the winter months too as it really can be difficult on them, especially during times of snowfall.

This is why some people will pick up a squirrel-proof bird feeder to ensure the birds get their fair share of the mealworms while still putting some mealworms on the floor for the local squirrels to eat too.

Should Squirrels Eat Mealworms?

Although many people presume that squirrels are herbivores, they are actually omnivores meaning that they can eat plant and animal-based foods with ease.

Insects such as mealworms are a natural part of their diet so squirrels are usually fine to steal some of your mealworm based bird food and won’t have issues from the easy meal.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, some mealworm products for birds like this one will add fat or suet to the mealworms to make it easier for the birds to get some much-needed calories during the winter months.

Although this is usually fine for squirrels too, some of the additives to the mealworms may cause some minor issues but this is usually in mealworm products designed for use as reptile food, not the ones for bird food.

Mealworms are not only a great source of calories for birds and squirrels alike during the cold winter months but they are also jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

This is another reason why squirrels will try to eat as many of the mealworms in your bird feeder as possible when they have the chance as it is an easy way for them to top up the nutritional profile in their diet when there is not much food around.

Do Squirrels Like Mealworms?

The majority of squirrels do seem to like eating mealworms.

If you catch the local squirrels raiding your birdfeeders to get access to the mealworms you put out, you can watch just how quickly they will eat the mealworms they are able to get access to and it usually seems like they are really enjoying their meal.

Although this can be put down to the lack of food available in some locations during the winter months meaning that some squirrels may be close to starvation, there are also plenty of incidents of squirrels eating mealworms from bird feeders during the warmer months when there are plenty of food sources available to them too.

Wild squirrels will naturally eat a large number of insects and bugs that they are able to find any way with various things similar to mealworms such as grubs making up a decent chunk of their calorie intake.

When you factor in the additional fat sources that some mealworms designed for use as bird feed have on them then it is not surprising that so many squirrels will try to get their tiny paws on them.

How Do You Keep Squirrels Out Of Mealworms?

We have seen some people come up with some absolutely ingenious ways to keep squirrels out of their mealworm bird food but the quickest, easiest, and cheapest is a squirrel proof bird feeder.

Not only will a squirrel proof bird feeder keep the squirrels out of your mealworm supply but it will also ensure that the birds have easy access to them at the same time.

One thing that you do have to factor in when it comes to these bird feeders is that some of the designs are not suitable for use with mealworms.

This is why we would highly recommend that you use this type bird feeder as it keeps the squirrels out, offers easy access to birds, and works well with mealworms as the bird food of choice.

As we touched on earlier in the article, it can be a good idea to help out your local squirrel population by putting some mealworms on the floor if you do end up getting a squirrel proof bird feeder.

It can be very hard for some squirrels to find enough food to make it through the winter so a small number of mealworms each day really can make the difference.

What Bird Food Do Squirrels Not Like?

Some people opt to use a bird food option that squirrels don’t actually like such as safflower or nyjer seed but these can have mixed results.

Food is food and if the squirrel is desperate enough in the colder months when it is hungry, it may still come for these bird food options that it wouldn’t usually eat.

This is why a squirrel-proof bird feeder is usually the better option than trying to find a bird food that squirrels will not like.

Still, Nyjer seed birdfood and something like safflower bird seed are cheap enough for you to try if you really want to.

We just want to quickly touch on millet seeds for birds too as this has started a number of arguments on social media when it comes to if squirrels like millet or not and in our opinion, both sides are actually correct.

When it comes to stronger tasting seeds such as millet, it seems to depend on the local trees and plants in your local area and the seeds that the squirrels are used to eating. Some squirrels will eat millet while others will avoid it.


That brings our article going over if squirrels eat mealworms to an end. We hope that we have managed to help our readers understand why so many squirrels will happily eat large quantities of mealworms as well as why it can be an important food source for some squirrels during the winter months too. That said, the mealworms are usually an even more important food source for birds during the winter months so we understand why so many people want to ensure that their local wild bird population gets the majority of the mealworms on offer.