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Home » Blog » How to Keep Squirrels Off a Bird Feeder: Effective Tips and Tricks

How to Keep Squirrels Off a Bird Feeder: Effective Tips and Tricks

How to Keep Squirrels Off a Bird Feeder: Effective Tips and Tricks

One way to bring birds into your garden is by using Bird feeders and so you can enjoy the beauty of birds. However, squirrels can be a nuisance and cause damage to the bird feeder as well as scare away the birds. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep squirrels off a bird feeder.

One effective method is to use a squirrel-proof bird feeder. These feeders are designed with features to prevent squirrels from accessing the bird seed, such as weight-activated perches that are really close off the feeding ports, so when a squirrel tries to land on them, they have to try hard. Another option to use is a baffle, this device is cone-shaped, and it's placed above or below the bird feeder to prevent squirrels from climbing up the pole or tree trunk to reach the feeder.

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Bird Feeder

Another way to keep squirrels off a bird feeder is to use spicy bird seed. Squirrels do not like spicy foods, so adding cayenne pepper or other hot spices to the bird seed can deter them from eating it. However, it is important to note that this method may also deter some birds from feeding, so it should be used with caution to avoid risk. By using one or a combination of these methods, it is possible to keep squirrels off a bird feeder and enjoy the beauty of birds in your garden.

Reasons for Keeping Squirrels Away From Bird Feeders

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Squirrels are cute and fun to watch, but they can be a nuisance to backyard bird enthusiasts. So here we’ll discuss some reasons why you want to keep squirrels away from your bird feeders.

Squirrels Will Eat All the Bird Food

Squirrels are notorious for their love of bird seed. They can easily climb up a pole or jump onto a feeder and devour the entire contents in no time. This can be frustrating when you want to enjoy bird watching because it attracts a variety of birds and critters to your yard. When squirrels eat all the bird food, there is nothing left for the birds, and they may go elsewhere to find food.

To prevent squirrels from eating all the bird food, consider investing in a squirrel-proof bird feeder. These types of devices are designed in a way that prevents squirrels while allowing birds to access the food. Another option is to use squirrel baffles, which are placed above or below to prevent squirrels from climbing up or jumping down onto the feeder.

Squirrels May Damage the Bird Feeder

Keeping squirrels out of bird feeder is a hard task because they are not only hungry, but they are also curious and mischievous creatures. They may climb onto a feeder and start chewing on the plastic or metal parts, causing damage, which later can be costly not only to replace or fix, but it can also be dangerous for the birds if the feeder becomes unstable.

To prevent squirrels from damaging the bird feeder, consider using a feeder made of durable materials such as metal or ceramic. One strategic way to prevent squirrels from engaging is to place the feeder in a location that is very hard to reach for squirrels, high spaces like a tall pole or in a tree.

By keeping squirrels away from your bird feeder, you can create a more tranquil and relaxed environment for both birds and yourself. Remember to always be mindful of wildlife and their habitats when making decisions for your yard or garden.

Strategies for Keeping Squirrels Away From Bird Feeders

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Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Squirrels can be a major problem when it comes to bird feeders. They can easily climb up poles, jump from nearby trees, and even chew through plastic to get to the food. If you are wondering what keeps squirrels away from bird feeders, here are some strategies that can help you:

Choose a Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

The first step in keeping squirrels away from bird feeders is to choose a squirrel-proof bird feeder. Lucky for you, there's a plethora of designs to choose from, which include those with weight-activated perches that close the feeding ports when a squirrel tries to get on, or those with cages that prevent squirrels from reaching the food. This is one of the best ways to keep squirrels away from bird feeders.

Employ Tactics to Discourage Squirrels

In addition to choosing a squirrel-proof bird feeder, there are other tactics that can be employed to discourage squirrels. One tactic is to use a squirrel baffle, which is a cone-shaped device that can be placed on the pole or hung above the feeder to prevent squirrels from climbing up. Another tactic is to make the feeder unappealing to squirrels by using spicy or bitter seed mixes that they don't like.

Hang the Bird Feeder High

Another way to keep squirrels away from bird feeders is to hang the feeder high off the ground. Squirrels are excellent climbers, but they are less likely to climb if the feeder is out of their reach. Hanging the feeder from a high branch or using a tall pole can help to keep squirrels away.

Place the Feeder Away From Trees and Buildings

Squirrels can easily jump from nearby trees or buildings to reach the feeder, so it's important to place the feeder away from these structures. A safe distance is to measure at least 10 feet of distance, which is the recommended stat to prevent squirrels from jumping onto the feeder.

Use an Anti-Squirrel Baffle

An anti-squirrel baffle can be used to prevent squirrels from climbing up the pole to reach the feeder. Baffles can be made from metal or plastic and are designed to fit around the pole, making it difficult for squirrels to climb up.

Make the Feeder Unappealing to Squirrels

Finally, making the feeder unappealing to squirrels can be an effective way to keep them away. This can be done by using seed mixes that squirrels don't like, such as those with cayenne pepper or safflower seeds. It's important to note that some birds may also be deterred by these mixes, so it's important to choose a mix that is safe for the birds.

Overall, there are many ideas to keep squirrels out of bird feeders. By choosing a squirrel-proof feeder, employing tactics to discourage squirrels, hanging the feeder high, placing it away from trees and buildings, using an anti-squirrel baffle, and making the feeder unappealing to squirrels, bird enthusiasts can enjoy watching their feathered friends without the pesky interference of squirrels.

Conclusion

squirrel on tree

Summary of Strategies for Keeping Squirrels Away From Bird Feeders

In summary, there are several strategies that can be used to keep squirrel pests away from bird feeders. These include:

  • Using squirrel-proof feeders that are designed to prevent squirrels from accessing the bird seed.
  • Placing the bird feeder in a location that is hard for squirrels to reach, like on a tall pole with a baffle or in a tree with a squirrel guard.
  • Providing squirrels with their own food source, such as a squirrel feeder, to distract them from the bird feeder.
  • Using spicy or bitter bird seed blends that squirrels are less likely to eat.

Importance of Keeping Squirrels Away From Bird Feeders

It is important to keep squirrels away from bird feeders because squirrels can cause damage to the feeder and scare away birds. Additionally, squirrels can consume large amounts of bird seed, which can be costly for bird enthusiasts. By using the strategies outlined above, bird enthusiasts can help ensure that their bird feeders remain a safe and welcoming environment for birds.

Overall, keeping squirrels away from bird feeders requires a combination of patience and persistence. Trial and error is going to be necessary but when finding the right strategy that works for your particular situation, and with some effort, it is possible to keep squirrels at bay and enjoy the beauty of birds at your feeder.

As wildlife removal experts in the Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex, we always recommend avoiding the DIY trapping and calling the experts to handle the situation. At Critter Stop we have provided hundreds of times before our squirrel removal services in the area, helping homeowners to recover their peace of mind and allowing them to enjoy the beauty of the birds without having to deal with squirrels. Contact us now at (214) 234-2616 to get rid of squirrels now!

Frequently Asked Questions

What substances can I apply to deter squirrels without harming birds?

There are various substances that you can use to deter squirrels without harming birds. Some of these include cayenne pepper, chili powder, and hot sauce. These substances can be applied directly to birdseed or mixed with water and sprayed onto bird feeders. Though, keep in mind that is some of these substances may not be effective for all squirrels and may need to be reapplied regularly.

Can DIY methods effectively prevent squirrels from accessing bird feeders?

Yes, DIY methods can effectively prevent squirrels from accessing bird feeders. Some popular DIY methods include using PVC pipes, slinky coils, and chicken wire to create obstacles for squirrels. Additionally, using a baffle or dome-shaped cover can also prevent squirrels from accessing bird feeders.

What are natural remedies for repelling squirrels from bird feeders?

There are several natural remedies for repelling squirrels from bird feeders. Some of these include planting squirrel-repelling plants such as daffodils, hyacinths, and alliums around the bird feeder. Additionally, using a squirrel-proof bird feeder or creating DIY obstacles can also be effective. Finally, if you have sunflower seeds in your garden, you have to be careful with squirrels, because they never have enough of this food. 

how can I keep squirrels off my bird feeder?

To keep squirrels away from your bird feeder, consider using a squirrel-proof bird feeder designed with mechanisms that block squirrels based on weight or design. Alternatively, place the feeder on a smooth pole at least 5-6 feet off the ground and away from trees or structures squirrels can jump from, adding a baffle above or below the feeder to prevent squirrels from climbing down or up to it. Offering squirrels their own feeding area with foods they prefer, like nuts and corn, can also distract them from the bird feeder. 

How can I modify my bird feeder pole to thwart squirrel climbing?

To modify a bird feeder pole to thwart squirrel climbing, you can use a squirrel baffle or create DIY obstacles such as a PVC pipe or slinky coil. Additionally, placing the bird feeder on a pole that is at least six feet tall and away from trees or other objects that squirrels can climb can also be effective.

Are there any household items that double as squirrel deterrents for bird feeders?

Yes, there are several household items that can double as squirrel deterrents for bird feeders. Some of these include using Vaseline or other lubricants on the bird feeder pole to make it difficult for squirrels to climb. Additionally, using a spray bottle filled with water to spray squirrels when they approach the bird feeder can also be effective.

What is the most reliable squirrel-proof bird feeder pole design?

There are several reliable squirrel-proof bird feeder pole designs, including poles with a baffle or dome-shaped cover, or poles with a squirrel-proof feeder attached. Additionally, using a pole that is at least six feet tall and away from trees or other objects that squirrels can climb can also be effective.

Don’t want to see squirrels in your garden? Contact us at Critter Stop, so our specialized team can help you with your squirrel necessities, you can also call us at and we'll gladly assist you and guide you.

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Lee Gorman
Lee Gorman
13:50 21 Nov 22
I’d give a 10 star review if I could! We had a great experience with Critter Stop. Everyone I dealt was friendly, professional, and reassuring. Phillip was very helpful and knowledgeable about the work he was doing. He walked me around the entire house to make sure I saw and understood the services he provided. He was also really nice and answered all my questions — he is exactly the type of person that should be interacting with customers.I love the fact that they will come back for up to 1 year after installation if any problems occur — this shows me they stand behind their work.The owner was great too, he personally came to my house and walked me through their offering. I recommend critter stop to anyone and everyone!
Susan Casey
Susan Casey
14:53 15 Nov 22
Critter Stop is a fantastic business! Everyone involved is extremely professional and very easy to communicate with. Chisam, the owner, did a great job of explaining the process to get the squirrels out of my attic during the initial free estimate. The exclusion crew who did all of the initial work was fabulous. The crew consisted of Phillip, Nick and Corey who arrived promptly when they said they would. They are happy, positive employees. Everyone is very polite and patient in explaining their work and answering questions. They came back several times to check the traps and finish it off with the fogging. Lester was very good about following up to schedule each trap check with me, and the office staff who took care of the billing was very efficient. Critter Stop is a well run company with honest, trustworthy employees! Thank you to all of you who worked hard to make my attic critter free and for the peace of mind that you guarantee your work. Great to know I can call them if for some reason a squirrel figures out a way to get back in!
Karen Eckholdt
Karen Eckholdt
14:54 22 Sep 22
Critter Stop has made this project easy and extremely professional from start to finish! They are very detailed and competent from start to finish and know so much about their business. They made a problem easy for us and at a reasonable cost. We would be happy to recommend this company and their owners and staff to anyone.
Aaron Echols
Aaron Echols
13:51 03 Aug 22
The guys at Critter Stop responded quickly, were very friendly, and gave us an honest estimate of what we might need. They explained why some items on other quotes were or were not necessary. They communicated well to get us scheduled, and did the work well and quickly. Great service at a fair and competitive price.
Jacob Scribner
Jacob Scribner
19:23 27 Jul 22
Brandon and his other coworker Gavin came to install insulation in my attic. I am very grateful for the hard work and professionalism. My house feels a lot better with the insulation installed. 5 star review. Cory Leach was also very nice and helpful. He came to my house to do another job and was very attentive and professional. Thank you Corey and thank you Critter Stop for helping me.The owner very polite and helpful, I’m glad I found this company to help me.
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