Ground squirrels are either herbivores, which eat only plants, or omnivores, which eat both plants and animals. Different species eat different diets, depending on their habitat.
Herbivorous ground squirrels, such as the California ground squirrel, feed on grasses, herbs, seeds, nuts and grains, according to the University of California. Ground squirrels in desert environments might also feed on barrel cacti, mesquite beans and prickly pear fruit, states the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
Omnivorous ground squirrels, such as the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, eat the same plants as herbivores, but they also include animals in their diet. This includes insects, insect eggs, earthworms and small mice. They may also eat other ground squirrels.
Many communities consider ground squirrels to be nuisances due to their diets and habitats. While foraging, ground squirrels eat seeds and destroy young plants in gardens. They might also kill trees by eating the bark. In addition, burrows can dry out and kill plant roots, and the holes they dig create hazards for operating machinery, including lawn mowers.
In many cases, people can trap or kill ground squirrels to remove them from the property. However, some states consider some species of ground squirrel to be protected. For example, in Pennsylvania, the thirteen-lined ground squirrel is considered threatened, and property owners must get a state permit to trap or kill them, states the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management.Learn More
Lemmings are herbivores, which means that they eat only plants, and no meat. Their diets consist primarily of moss and grass, but they may also eat some berries, bulbs and lichens. Since they live in the arctic tundra and alpine climates, lemmings must often dig through snow in order to reach their food sources.Full Answer >
Porcupines are herbivores, so their diet consists entirely of plants. Their exact diet varies by season and location, but North American porcupines mostly eat leaves, twigs, bark, acorns, buds and flowers.Full Answer >
Field mice are herbivores that prefer to eat any vegetables, seeds or fruits that are in season. If their preferred foods are not available, they may also eat tree bark, roots or, if they live near a farm, whatever crops the farmer happens to be growing.Full Answer >
According to Fairfax County Public Schools, animals that eat gray squirrels include the great horned owl, barred owl, red-tailed hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, red fox, raccoon, black rat snake, copperhead snake, and the eastern hognose snake. The sarcoptic mange mite also lives on squirrels and eats their skin, technically qualifying in this way.Full Answer >