Do Squirrels Eat Mealworms? (Live, Dried & Mealworm Suet)

When I was volunteering at the wildlife hospital, we stored 3 types of mealworm products to feed our patients during rehab.

  • Live Mealworms
  • Dried Mealworms
  • Mealworm Suet

For the most part, these protein packed meaty treats were intended for the birds, but our resident squirrels were  happy to chow down on some mealworms when offered.

But, they did prefer one over the over.   Read on to find the scoop….

Do Squirrels Like Eating Live Mealworms?

Most squirrels will eat a live mealworm or two whereas a very hungry squirrel might eat dozens if available.

While it wasn’t offered to them every day, they did seem to enjoy the live mealworms when offered.

mealworms alive

Some squirrels were extremely interested and would watch them wriggle around the bird enclosures…as if calling them to head their way.

Feeding Live Mealworms to Squirrels

If we wanted to offer live mealworms to squirrels, we would use tweezers, pluck a couple from the mealworm pen and add them as toppers to a squirrels normal dish.

Of course, we had to make observations as to whether or not the squirrel ate them, and for the most part, they’d be gone.

We did notice however, when it came to the living mealworms, most squirrels preferred young, white mealworms over the larger golden ones.

It was also observed that a well-fed squirrel did not eat mealworms incessantly, like they might with nuts.  EXCEPT, when it came to our next type of Mealworm.

Do Squirrels Like Dried Mealworms?

When squirrels were offered dried mealworm, they were gobbled up.  Squirrels responded to dried mealworms nearly the same way they responded to nuts.  They even make squirrel proof nut and mealworm feeders, which supports how much they like them.

Though I’ve never tasted a dry mealworm myself, I have to believe they are very similar to a dried seed or nut.  Which is likely why squirrels enjoyed them so much.  Go ahead and put mealworms in your squirrel feeders.

Where do Mealworms Live?

At the wildlife hospital, we raised them in plastic tubs.  It’s a lot of work and volunteers were always cleaning out the bedding so it didn’t stink or go bad.

mealworm shelter

In nature, mealworms will live under rocks, deck boxes, plants, pieces of wood etc.   They will bury themselves wherever it’s warm, dry, yet moist enough to not dry out.

Video of Squirrel Eating Mealworms


What is Mealworm Suet Made of

Mealworm suet typically consists of dead, dried mealworms,  seeds, millet, peanuts, corn, oats, grains, soy.  Unfortunately, many suet offerings list mealworms as the last ingredient.

And to combine all of the above ingredients so the product sticks together to form  suet “cakes,”  a binding fat, oil or gelatin is used.

In many cases, it’s rendered beef fat or beef gelatin.  But some makers use soy or vegetable oils.

That’s why it’s important to read the ingredient list so you know exactly what you’re paying for.  Some mealworm suet may seem expensive, while others are far cheaper.

One look at the ingredients should reveal any cost discrepancy across brands of mealworm suet.

Do Squirrels Like Mealworm Suet

Squirrels definitely eat mealworm suet.  It can be very difficult to keep wild squirrels off the suet cage when you’re trying to attract and feed woodpeckers.

Though they love it, we never purposely fed our hospitalized squirrels mealworm suet.

But we did hang mealworm suet outdoors for our juvenile birds and the wild squirrels would eventually outsmart the baffles and grab their fair share.

In Summary

Squirrels love Mealworms!  If I had to rank their preference, it would be in this order:

  1. Dried Mealworms
  2. Live Mealworms
  3. Mealworm Suet

Maybe it’s a tie between the live mealworms and suet.  But dried mealworms were a consistent favorite.  To see our complete list of food favorites check our squirrel diet table

And don’t forget our homepage which is loaded with other squirrel related resources.