The other day I was watching a YouTube video, I can’t remember who it was by, but he created an intricate assault course to stop squirrels getting to his bird feeder but they were so persistent that they tackled the course in a few weeks and got the feeder anyway, at which point he figured they had earned the right to the food!
That being said, it shouldn’t be as difficult as that, and you don’t need a mass amount of engineering skills like that guy had in order to stop squirrels getting to your bird feeder.
Most methods will work in some manner but which strategy will keep squirrels and do so most effectively? If you keep reading we’ve gone into several methods that you can try and utilise.
There are many approaches you can use to try and stop squirrels. Some will succeed, some will fail and also a great deal of cash can be spent on goal. On the other hand, the best means of beating these intelligent squirrels and the easiest way is entirely free, using household items.
Squirrels are extremely intelligent animals, don’t by any means underestimate them or it will be to the peril of your bird feeder, make sure you try a few of these solutions. They’re able to quickly adapt to many situations especially when the result of their success means a free lunch. You’ve got to be smarter and think tactically to outwit the squirrels. I know, it sounds ridiculous, like I’m overplaying it, but believe me, I’m not!
Top Tips To Keep Squirrels Off Your Bird Feeder
I’ve done the research, looked at all the online resources and found the best ways that you can stop squirrels from getting to your bird feeder, so without further ado here are your options:
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Pole
There are a few ways that you can squirrel proof your bird feeder pole, here we go through a couple of the ways you can do this:
- Mount a Squirrel Baffle
- Attach a Slinky
- Purchase a “Squirrel Spinner”
A baffle, such as the garden mile® Large Universal 40cm Clear Squirrel Baffle Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Accessory, it’s a simple device attached to bird feeder poles to prevent anglers from hitting the bird seeds. The cone-shaped device will cause squirrels to slip off if they attempt to jump towards the bird feeder. Smearing the baffle with Vaseline can offer added security and will mean they struggle to get any grip.
It does sound a little bit silly, but also a more entertaining solution, you can try attaching a slinky into the upper section of this bird feeder rod, it completely baffles them! The squirrels will have little luck since the slinky will drop them down when they hang on to it.
Another alternative that’s harmless to squirrels is to get a bird feeder which will spin the moment the squirrel lands on the bird feeder, but we’ll go into a few different bird feeder options later.
Smart Bird Feeder Placement
The squirrels around your home can jump up to ten feet but they can not fly, at least not yet anyway! The simplest way to handle this gravity-defying trick is to rope up a cable between two trees.
To begin with, locate two older trees that are at least 10 feet apart from one another. Run the cable between the trees and then pull it tight. After that, conduct a few “spinners” across the cable to stop especially determined tightrope walkers. Squirrels will not have the ability to walk upon the spinner without breaking the cable and on the floor. At length, hang the bird feeder at the dead centre of the cable, far from the tree. Voila! Terrestrial mammals don’t implement.
Just ensure that the bird feeder is large enough to be a significant distance off the floor. All this work will not matter whether your squirrels can simply leap up and knock down seed if they need.
Choose Foods Squirrels Dislike
There are a few kinds of food that squirrels don’t actually like and will avoid eating unless they are desperate. Unfortunately, though, they are still rodents, which means if they are really hungry they will still seek nourishment from whatever they possibly can.
Here are three seeds you can stock your bird feeder with that will make squirrels look elsewhere:
Cardinals, chickadee’s, titmice, and lots of finches love this little, white seed while our little squirrel friends do not. Blackbirds (starlings and grackles) don’t consume safflower seed, so this could possibly be the best kind of food to be stocking your bird feeder with!
Here’s an example: Maltbys’ Stores 1904 Limited 1kg SAFFLOWER WILD BIRD FOOD PARROT PIGEON FOOD
Goldfinches can not get enough, but squirrels do not bother with nyjer seed, they don’t like the taste.
Again, here is an example of some Nyjer seeds Maltbys’ Stores 1904 Limited 10KG PREMIUM WILD BIRD NIGER SEED NYJER SEED
White Proso Millet
The little one, and the reason behind this is that I believe that it’s too little for those pesky squirrels to mess with, however, doves, juncos, and sparrows will definitely be glad it is accessible.
Here’s a further example of White Proso Millet Seeds, although seemingly a less common option: 200 PROSO Millet White Common Panicum Miliaceum Ornamental Grass Vegetable Seeds
Use Capsaicin (A hot pepper)
Capsaicin is a pepper material, akin to jalapeno peppers, a pure chemical, used in birdseed to discourage squirrels from feasting in the bird feeders, although birds will eat it fine, squirrels hate it!
Capsaicin products are usually purchased as a seed mix with the interior and outside of the seed treated with capsaicin plus it’s marketed as an additive that’s added to birdseed or so the powder is sprinkled or sprayed on the bottom of the garden crops. In accordance with the Squirrel Proof marketing materials, Capsaicin educates or conditions squirrels into knowing they do not enjoy and the odour of the food.
When you find the squirrels averting your bird feeder, and the odour has been established, squirrels don’t have to consume the Capsaicin based meals any longer since it’s the odour that keeps squirrels from the feeder.
This procedure might take a couple of weeks, however, after meditating, it is possible to then use these seeds to keep squirrels from different regions of your backyard.
Feed The Squirrels Seperately
Part of me says don’t write this, because if you feed pests they never leave, but I figured you’re feeding them with the bird feeder anyways!
To stop and deter squirrels from eating the meals that you’ve intended for the birds, consider feeding them in another feeder set out specifically for them.
Squirrels love a lot of things including peanuts, peanut butter, pecans, pistachios, grapes, corn, squash, zucchini, pumpkin, strawberries, carrots, apples & sunflower seeds so you can choose to set any of these aside for them.
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Cages
If you’ve tried the above options and can’t seem to get the squirrels to stay off, then you can also get a bird feeder cage that will do the job. The cages are designed so squirrels can’t get the feed, they come in all sort of shapes and designs, but I’ve picked out the best one I could find based on reviews.
Here’s a bit of a description of the aforementioned product and it explains how it works perfectly.
Stop squirrels stealing your prized bird food. Squirrel Buster miniature is your compact, high-quality bird feeder that is 100% Squirrel proof. Secure and humane, it is fantastically capable of denying a free meal to those sneaky squirrels. When a squirrel climbs onto the feeder, then its own weight automatically shuts off the feeder interfaces, preventing seed. There is a generous selection of perching and clinging choices, which makes Squirrel Buster miniature popular with a vast selection of various backyard bird species.
But there are a lot of different shapes, designs and prices of products you can choose from, you can see a range of Squirrel proof bird feeder here.
What Else To Consider?
So you’ve gone through how to get rid of Squirrels but we know that it’s easier said than done, if they want to find a way to get to your bird feeder, then they tend to do so!
Just live with them
it is annoying that squirrels feed from your bird feeders, I get it, but they are beautiful creatures themselves, so why not just live with them? Can’t beat them, join them, right?
Don’t Hurt The Squirrels
Another thing, don’t hurt the squirrels. Please don’t be trying to hit them with an air rifle or get them with traps. Believe it or not, it’s a common question to ask if you can kill squirrels.
Unfortunately, the answer is that if you can do it humanely you can, grey squirrels at least, as red squirrels are protected. It is unlikely however that you will be able to kill a squirrel without causing it pain, which means you easily cross the legal boundary.