While mammalian pest problems exist in every region of the United States, New York City is known for being home to massive amounts of rats and they are able to gain access to human living spaces in the city with relative ease. What makes rats particularly problematic as pests, other than their ability to spread disease, is their tendency to eat just about any type of food scraps that humans discard as waste. Since rats are anything but picky eaters, they will not hesitate to invade a home if they believe that eible munchies can be found inside. Of course, New York City rats are not just spotted in the city’s apartment buildings and business locations, they are spotted frequently in subway stations, parks, streets and even dragging pizza slices away from Italian restaurants. It goes without saying that long time New York residents have become used to sharing a city with the rodents. Now, rats in the Big Apple are being overshadowed by another rodent–squirrels.
Although rats are traditionally known as living and breathing garbage disposals in New York City, more and more squirrels are being spotted eating a variety of discarded foods in the city. Like in all cities, squirrels are commonly spotted in New York city landscapes, but they often stick to parks and other areas that are rich in trees so that they can secure their signature food preference, nuts, as easily as possible. But squirrels seem to be taking more chances at securing food items from garbage dumpsters and other areas where discarded human waste is collected. While this behavior is normal for rats, squirrels are traditionally known for being too cautious to approach areas where humans and animals are abundant. Most interestingly is the taste squirrels seem to have for foods that are relatively hard to secure, such as egg rolls, avocados and strangely enough, Oreos. It is believed that squirrels may be abandoning their usual nuts in favor of human junk food in an attempt to further adapt to human living areas, as such areas contain a greater abundance of food sources.
Have you ever spotted a squirrel eating anything other than nuts?