Do Squirrels Eat Trash? Here’s What You Need to Know Now!

As someone who has spent years observing and interacting with squirrels all around the world, I can confidently say that yes, it is true that squirrels do eat trash. But knowing what type of trash they are eating and why is important to understand. In this blog post, I’ll discuss why squirrels are drawn to certain types of trash and how you can prevent them from doing so.

Squirrels are omnivores and eat both plant and animal foods. While they generally prefer nuts, fruits, fungi, and greens, squirrels may also eat insects, eggs and even small animals. Although some people feed them human food or table scraps, it is not a good idea to do so as it can upset their natural diet.

Many species of squirrels will take advantage of easily accessible sources of food like trash cans or compost piles if the opportunity arises. However, this does not mean that all squirrels will routinely raid garbage cans for food – it all depends on the situation.

Do Squirrels Eat Trash?

It has been long suggested that when given enough opportunity some types of squirrel can occasionally start consuming refuse left within city dumpsters or residential garbage cans making them yet another nuisance animal for people living within urban areas overcome.

How Common Is Garbage Eating Among Squirrels?

Though wild squirrels have adapted to survive in urban areas, they are still primarily animals of the forest. Just like their tree-dwelling kin, city squirrels eat a variety of nuts and seeds. They can also be seen foraging for fruits, buds, insects and other small creatures. To supplement their diet, these mammals also become expert scavengers, nibbling on anything from bread crusts dropped by careless pedestrians to potato chips left in outdoor stairwells.

Unfortunately, one thing these crafty feeders sometimes enjoy raiding is our garbage cans. When trash bags make their way onto the street during windy days or when humans fail to properly secure them after taking out the garbage—or even when curious critters smell something appetizing inside—squirrels can be found busy rummaging.

The Pros and Cons of Eating Refuse

  • Urban scavengers do stand to benefit from eating human food waste. Aside from providing more calorie intake than natural sources such as fruits and nuts alone offer, some discardables deliver additional vitamins that are often lacking in wild foods.
  • However while eating trash may provide short term benefits, especially if predators are hard at work near your neighborhood. There’s something else lurking behind this abundant nutrition supply, namely toxins brought into an animal’s body through consuming human food containers contaminated with resources like plastics or pesticides used on produce.

Preventing Squirrelly Garbage Raiders

Squirrels love rummaging through our trash, leaving a mess and making it nearly impossible to enjoy outdoor activities. To prevent these pesky rodents from invading your space, there are several steps you can take.

  • Ensure all lids on garbage cans are tight and secure;
  • Install wire mesh or sheet metal around the base of the bin;
  • Discourage squirrels by sprinkling some dried or powdered chili pepper around the perimeter.

Using Aluminum Cans Instead of Plastic Ones

Using aluminum cans instead of plastic ones is a great way to help protect our environment. Aluminum is more easily recycled than plastic, since it’s easier to collect and process. Cans are also lighter and smaller than other types of containers, making them easier to transport. Additionally, aluminum doesn’t leach harmful toxins into the environment like many plastics might do if not properly disposed of or recycled. While it may cost a bit more up front to use aluminum cans, you’ll be helping our planet for generations to come!

Hot Pepper Sauce and Water

Hot pepper sauce and water can be an effective way to deter squirrels from eating your trash. The spicy smell of the pepper sauce mixed with water will discourage them from approaching. As a bonus, the mixture won’t harm the critters, unlike other methods like poisons. Just fill up a spray bottle with equal parts hot pepper sauce and water, then lightly spray on areas near your garbage bin or around your garden where squirrels tend to visit.

Squirrels Have a Distinct Odor Aversion.

Squirrels have a keen sense of smell, making them particularly detestant to certain odors. To deter them from entering your yard or trash cans, you can use an odor-based method such as scented citronella candles, peppermint oil and garlic spray. Additionally, consider using predator urine on the perimeter of your space; this will make the squirrels think they’re not safe in that area and keep them away!

Other Tips on How to Reduce Unwanted Visits from Wild Animals.

Want to reduce unwanted visits from wild animals? See the tips below:

  1. Eliminate all sources of food. Securely store pet food, bird seed and other attractants.
  2. Remove piles of debris, and trim back overgrown brush in your yard.
  3. Install motion-activated lights and sprinklers to keep animals away.
  4. Block off potential nesting sites or cover them with metal flashing.
  5. Use humane harassment tactics like sound deterrents, visual scare devices and other forms of harassment when appropriate.

Keeping Your Trash Safe From Critters

Squirrels raiding your trash cans isn’t just messy – it can pose health risks if you don’t take steps to limit their access properly! Here are some preventative measures that you should consider when storing your garbage:

  • Aluminum Cans Instead Of Plastic Ones: Opting for aluminum cans will ensure that critters won’t be able hot pepper sauce around entrances/ exits as they won’t be able chew through them easily.
  • Hot Pepper Sauce And Water: A combination hot pepper sauce mixed with water sprayed once every two days has proved successful deterrent when it comes preventing rodents from accessing any area undesiredly.

Preventative Measures for Discouraging Squirrels from Raiding Your Garbage Cans

Preventative measures for discouraging squirrels from raiding your garbage cans include:

  • Using heavy-duty lids that fit tightly on the container.
  • Enclosing trash cans with a wire cage or box.
  • Coating containers in an unpleasant scent such as peppermint, mustard, or garlic oil.
  • Hanging bird feeders and other squirrel snacks away from the garbage area.

Using Odor Deterrents To Keep Out Unwanted Guests.

Odor deterrents play an important role in dissuading wild animals away from human populated areas since odor is usually associated with fear and danger Installing odorous substances near possible intrusion points will help set boundaries in order curb incursions by non – pleasing creatures.. Vinegar, bleach, garlic powder concentrated amounts cigarettes all add unpleasant aromas keep unwanted visitors away due them offensive smell.. Even raising chickens providing natural predators really useful case need deter animals invading home ground.. Using these tactics combined each other should sufficient enough discourage any uninvited guests entering space happily living!.


What causes squirrels to gnaw on plastic objects?

Squirrels are curious and adventurous creatures that may gnaw on plastic out of instinct. Chewing is a natural behavior, as it helps them to keep their teeth healthy. Additionally, they may chew because something smells attractive to them or because there are food particles trapped in the plastic.

What animal can break through a plastic trash bin?

Garbage cans may be a safe haven for many pests, but not if they are made of plastic. Raccoons are notorious creatures that can easily chew through the material, leaving a mess of broken bits behind.

How can I prevent animals from accessing garbage?

To keep animals away from your garbage, you can spray a mixture of water and ammonia. You can also use scents that animals don’t like, such as white pepper, black pepper, or garlic. Additionally, some people have had success with sprays containing peppermint oil.

What is an effective way to keep squirrels away naturally?

If you’ve been wondering how to keep pesky squirrels away from your property, there are natural deterrents that can help. Spraying a mixture of water and ammonia around the area is a good start. You can also try using strong scents like white pepper, black pepper, garlic or peppermint oil to create an unpleasant odor for the rodents. Furthermore, placing metal trash cans rather than plastic ones will also be more effective in deterring them.


In conclusion, it is important to know the answer to do squirrels eat trash? Squirrels are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of any food sources that are available, including trash. That being said, when there’s no other food available, squirrels will eat out of garbage cans. As a responsible pet owner or property manager, it is important to discourage this behavior by not leaving out unsecured food sources and cleaning up after yourself.

By understanding what do squirrels eat and why they seek out human trash for sustenance, you can make sure your property is free from these unwanted guests. A secure composting bin or compost pile away from your house is an ideal way to keep them from scavenging around in your trash while still providing a safe and healthy treat. Do remember though: if you don’t want them eating your trash, never leave it unattended!

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