Conkers are not uncommon for squirrels, in fact, they are found in the squirrel habitat a lot. In reality, they always like to collect and bury the conker somewhere or carry it to their safe nest. Most times where there is the presence of squirrels, conkers tend to be very scarce because they are desired by squirrels a lot.
These nuts contain high concentrations of a toxin called aesculin in the saponin class, which is very harmful to many animals, including humans because it can lead to hemolysis (which is the red blood cell destruction). Some animals are resistant to toxins, especially deer and squirrels, and can directly eat the nuts easily.
From nuts, seeds, fruits to insects, mushrooms, or cones, red squirrels can eat everything you can ever think of. Pines are also one of the major components of the diet of red squirrels. So, at the start of the fall, pine cones will always be stored on the ground.
Instead, in the overabundance of fruit at a point in time of the year, they get carried away by squirrels and birds, buried for the rainy day, and forgotten.
The primary animals that eat and store conkers are squirrels in Britain. Like buried conkers, this is handy we all know that squirrels like to store their food by burying it over the winter, right? Have a fair chance to make fresh horse chestnut trees. The opinion on whether conkers are edible for people is divided. It’s best not to try them. They are, at least, too bitter, and potentially slightly toxic.
Must Read: How Long Do Squirrels Live
List of Foods avoided by Squirrels
There are not many kinds of squirrels that will not eat food, although there are still exceptions. Below is a shortlist of the food types that are avoided by food squirrels:
- Some poisonous flowers e.g, daffodil, snowdrops, and hyacinth are always avoided by squirrels.
- Onion or garlic: the taste and smell of these fruits make it a no go area for squirrels and they will definitely not go for it
- Spicy food: squirrels dislike hot food a lot because it affects their stomach. So, in the feeding stations, some gardeners scatter chili flakes that will keep squirrels away. Notice that with these chili flakes, squirrels are fine and won’t give them any trouble.
On a final note, it is already known that squirrels are not picky eaters and can consume almost all from seeds to meat in some cases. So if you wish to bring them close to your yard or wondering what might have caused them to be in your backyard, they might have been preying on all your garbage or have a bird feeder snack which might have been inviting them. You might however keep them away from your birds feeding station from.these squirrels so they don’t get attracted to your backyard. In case the squirrel’s invasion persists, employing the service of a licensed exterminator to handle the squirrel’s attack will be the best.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.