Are you tired of chasing squirrels from your bird feeders and wondering how to keep squirrels out of bird feeders? Here are our top five tried-and-tested fail-proof methods.
It’s obvious that most people love squirrels. There’s even a day set aside to appreciate the little furry creatures – January 21 aka as National Squirrel Appreciation Day. However, for bird keepers, our relationship with squirrels tends to be more of a love-and-hate one because of the headaches they cause stealing bird feed.
We understand. That’s why we’ve scoured high and low to bring you the most effective top five ways to keep squirrels out of bird feeders.
1.Change your bird feed
It’s no secret that squirrels and chili pepper don’t see eye-to-eye. If you’ve done everything you can to ward squirrels off of your bird feeders with no luck, it might be time to try something new. Introduce a bird feed prepared with chili pepper. you can find one on the market on Amazon, which is a type of bird seed infused with the hot stuff.
Alternative: Once you have the bird food, just sprinkle some cayenne pepper on your current seed. One sniff and those squirrels won’t be coming back!
2.Lubricate the bird feeder poles
Squirrels are some of the most resilient pests you’ll ever find around. They’ll find ways to reach their goal no matter what! If you have a bird feeder mounted on a pole smear a lubricant to the pole to stop any squirrels climbing up. Olive oil works for some time, but you need something that’ll last a bit longer. When applying the lubricant make sure you’re wearing disposable latex gloves, otherwise you’ll have a real hard time getting the lubricant off of your hands!
Alternative: Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) works well in warmer climates too, but freezes during winter.
3.Hang your bird feeders on a wire
Eliminate the poles and hang your bird feeders on a wire strung between two trees. Additionally, add spools, short pieces of hose pipe, and or soda cans to the wire to further deter the squirrels. Also don’t hang the bird feeders near any low hanging branches. Make sure that the feeders don’t hang too close to the ground either because squirrels have been known to jump up to heights of five to six feet vertically! Talk about determination.
4.Consider caging your bird feeder
A wire cage is another great solution to stop squirrels from eating up all your bird feed. The small wire will keep the bigger animals out, while letting the smaller birds enjoy their meals in peace. This is also a great way of keeping bigger unwanted birds such as grackles from accessing the bird feeder. You can find mesh or a wire cage to enclose your bird feeder in from your local hardware shop.
5.Change your feeders
If all else fails, get custom-made bird feeders that are sensitive to weight and close when a squirrel gets near them. These feeders will allow lighter birds to access the feed while restricting squirrel access.
Final thoughts: what NOT to do
As tempting as it may be, do not hunt squirrels because it is a federal offense in many states. Do not poison the feed as this might negatively affect other animals. If you’ve exhausted all options, engage national parks and wildlife officials to help you find a way to reduce the squirrel population legally.