Squirrels and BarkThe short answer to the above question is that yes, squirrels do eat bark. Typically, red, grey, fox and flying squirrels are the most interested in chewing tree bark. However, the reasons for them doing this are not always the same.
Why Do They Eat It?There are a couple of reasons why a squirrel may go after your tree bark. The most common is that they chew is to get materials for their nests. As such, they aren’t necessarily eating the bark so much as chewing it off to use. Squirrels also like to access the sugars and other nutrients underneath the bark in the cambium layer of the tree. However, there are some circumstances in which the squirrels will eat the actual bark. They may also chew off small branches.
- Teeth Maintenance: Many animals use trees as a way to maintain their teeth. This is kind of like brushing teeth for squirrels.
- Sodium Intake: The tree sap is filled with sodium and other nutrients that squirrels need. If they don’t have a sufficiently nutritious food source, they may go after trees to satisfy this need.
- Food Shortages: Squirrels can eat pretty much anything. While they love things like nuts, fruits and seeds, they will do what it takes to survive. In some cases, this means eating some bark.