Feeding backyard birds can be extremely rewarding, as well as exceptionally frustrating if you’re ill-equipped to keep squirrels from stealing seed from your bird feeders. However, it is possible to prevent squirrels from enjoying a buffet without starving out the birds by the use of easy tricks, specialized feeders and more.
There are a variety of methods by which you may squirrel-proof your bird feeders, in order to deter even the smartest of squirrels. Many feeder designs, while being less accessible to squirrels, won’t restrict appeal to birds, while also looking attractive in your landscaping.
If you have squirrels in your area chances are they’ll eat everything they can put their eyes on and, let’s face it, that means just about everything. While they can be cute, and enjoyable to watch, they destroy bird feeders and dominate among feathered friends. A squirrel is a conspiracy of nature, incapable of knowing the difference between bird feeders and squirrel feeders. They will always opt for the location of their favorite food, as well as the most comfortable feeder for their little butts. Keep your cool and do not despair, tree rats are not worth losing sleepover. You can either beat ’em or join ’em, which is why you can find my favorite tips on live alongside these critters.
1. Utilize Mounted Squirrel Baffles on Bird Feeders
It’s possible you may have heard of something called a baffle, along with your search for ways to stop squirrel invasions on your feeder. Baffles are readily available in two forms for use on bird feeders, including dome and tubular.
These styles offer solutions for different circumstances, considering not every situation is the same. The overall main characteristic of baffles is a smooth, shiny surface that prevents a squirrel from climbing and gripping. Baffles are typically positioned halfway up the pole, below the feeder itself. This means that even when a squirrel can climb up the feeder pole, they’re unable to climb over the baffle.
Considering squirrels are capable of jumping distances of 10 feet or more, feeders should be placed with consideration, away from trees, wires, roofs, gutters, porches or any point they may jump from. This enables you to make it harder for squirrels to reach your feeder from jumping. It is more ideal to mount feeders on smooth metal poles of six feet in height, taking care to prune any branches or bushes back, within a radius of 12 feet.
3. Fill Feeders with Food Squirrels Avoid
Considering how most mammals experience adverse reactions to a component known as capsaicin, squirrels can’t take the heat. Capsaicin is the compound that makes chili peppers so hot, creating an irritating effect perceived as pain by the brain once it hits specific receptors. Birds are quite the opposite and are incapable of experiencing irritation from spicy ingredients.
Alternatively, squirrels show much less interest in Nyer, or thistle, seed, as well as safflower seed and millet. You may consider taking advantage of these specific seeds and fill your feeder with products squirrels find less appetizing.
When squirrels prove to be such a strong nuisance to your feeders, it may be necessary to contact your local wildlife authorities in regards to humane traps and removal of squirrels from the area. Regulations on the trapping and releasing of squirrels vary by location, and you should follow wildlife laws to the letter.
5. Use Vaseline on a Bird Feeder Pole
Greasing a bird feeder pole is an inexpensive and easy way to keep the squirrels at bay. Although it may be less convenient, Vaseline creates a slippery pole squirrels will have difficulty climbing. This cost-effective method is not without cons, as it requires repeat application over time, and has the potential of creating a mess.
6. Place Bird Feeders Away from Trees
Considering how squirrels are capable of jumping seven feet horizontally, squirrel-proof feeder poles are rendered useless when placed too close to a tree. They would simply need to jump onto a nearby limb, and over to the source from above or the side.
7. Use Squirrel-Proof Feeder Poles
Although squirrels are talented climbers, you may easily be outsmarted by the use of pest-proof feeder poles.
8. Protect Your Feeders With Cages
Adding wire cages around your bird feeders is another option for stopping pesky squirrels. They will be unable to fit through the holes, while smaller birds will continue feeding with ease. Additionally, wire cages assist in preventing bully birds from scaring off favored small birds. Pigeons, starlings, and grackles are just a few types of large birds that won’t be able to access seed through a cage.
9. Consider Giving the Squirrels Their Own Feeder Location
Setting up smaller feeding locations for squirrels provides a food source for those less appealing rodents, away from bird feeders. This keeps unsightly feeders and animals away from pretty birds, although some individuals don’t mind feeding and watching squirrels, too.
10. Add a Slinky to Your Feeder Pole
Even if you don’t have one around, a Slinky is an inexpensive toy many remember playing within their childhood. You can easily purchase one for a couple of bucks, and use it around your feeder pole to keep squirrels away from birdseed. Simply slide the Slinky onto the top of the pole, where the bird feeder hangs down. Any furry friends who attempt to climb the pole, or jump from a tree, will be knocked back down o the ground.
Check the best squirrel proof bird feeder here.
Keep Calm and Don’t Lose Your Mind
Squirrels are often an annoyance for most homeowners, content digging up new bulbs in springtime, as well as storing their cache in your flower garden. They are well-known for taking residence up in attics and homes, turning into difficult pest to get rid of. In the grand scheme of things, squirrels are a part of nature just like any backyard wildlife. And while it is possible to keep your bird feeders safe by deterring furry visitors from your birdseed, an occasional squirrel should be expected to stop by your feeder from time to time.