9 Simple Methods To Keep Squirrels Out Of Your Bird Feeders!

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9 Simple Methods To Keep Squirrels Out Of Your Bird Feeders!

Squirrels can be adorable as they scamper around your yard, but when they invade your bird feeders, they quickly become a nuisance. These furry acrobats are notorious for their cunning ways of getting into feeders, often scaring away the birds you’re trying to attract.

Luckily, there are numerous strategies to keep these persistent pests at bay. Here are nine simple methods to protect your bird feeders from squirrels, ensuring your feathered friends can dine in peace.

1. Use Squirrel-Proof Feeders

Investing in a high-quality squirrel-proof feeder is one of the most effective ways to deter these clever intruders. These feeders are designed with mechanisms that prevent squirrels from accessing the food.

Some common designs include weight-activated closing mechanisms, where the feeder ports shut when a squirrel’s weight is detected, and cages around the feeding ports that only allow birds to access the food.

2. Add a Squirrel Baffle

A squirrel baffle is a barrier that prevents squirrels from climbing up to your bird feeder. There are two main types: pole-mounted and hanging baffles. Pole-mounted baffles are typically dome or cone-shaped and are placed on the feeder pole below the feeder to block climbing squirrels.

Hanging baffles, often dome-shaped, are suspended above the feeder to prevent squirrels from reaching down from above. Ensure the baffle is at least 4 feet off the ground and 10 feet away from any jumping points like trees or fences.

3. Place Feeders Strategically

Location is key when it comes to deterring squirrels. Position your feeders at least 10 feet away from trees, fences, and other structures that squirrels can use to jump onto the feeder.

Additionally, placing feeders on metal poles can make it more difficult for squirrels to climb. If using a pole, ensure it’s at least 5 feet high.

4. Use Safflower Seeds

Safflower seeds are less appealing to squirrels but are enjoyed by many bird species, including cardinals, chickadees, and nuthatches. By filling your feeders with safflower seeds, you can reduce the attractiveness of your feeder to squirrels without compromising your birdwatching experience.

5. Spice Things Up

Birds have a poor sense of taste when it comes to spiciness, but squirrels are highly sensitive to it. Adding a bit of cayenne pepper or a commercial squirrel repellent containing capsaicin to your birdseed can deter squirrels without harming the birds.

Be sure to mix the spice thoroughly with the seed and wash your hands afterward.

6. Keep the Area Clean

Squirrels are often drawn to the ground below feeders by spilled seeds. To minimize this attraction, keep the area clean by regularly raking up fallen seeds and husks. You can also use a seed tray or a catch basin below the feeder to reduce waste.

7. Use Decoys and Distractions

Providing an alternative food source for squirrels can help keep them away from your bird feeders. Place a squirrel feeder filled with their favorite foods, like corn, nuts, or sunflower seeds, in a different part of your yard. This distraction can keep them busy and satisfied, allowing your bird feeders to be left alone.

8. Secure the Feeder

Ensure that your bird feeder is securely fastened and can’t be knocked down or tampered with by persistent squirrels. Use sturdy hooks, wires, or brackets to mount your feeders, and periodically check to ensure they remain secure.

9. Employ a Squirrel Guard

A squirrel guard is a physical barrier that you can place around your bird feeder. These can be as simple as a piece of PVC pipe around the feeder pole or more elaborate designs like a metal mesh cage surrounding the feeder.

The idea is to create a barrier that squirrels can’t bypass while still allowing birds to access the food.

While squirrels can be a challenge to keep out of bird feeders, these nine methods provide effective and humane solutions. By using squirrel-proof feeders, baffles, strategic placement, and other deterrents, you can enjoy watching your feathered friends without the frustration of squirrel invasions.

Try a combination of these strategies to see what works best for your yard, and enjoy a squirrel-free birdwatching experience!

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