How to Get Rid of Squirrels at the Bird Feeder

How to Get Rid of Squirrels at the Bird Feeder
Squirrels are notorious bandits when it comes to stealing food from bird feeders. Depending on the type of bird feeder being raided, one or more of these methods can be employed to rid the bird feeder from squirrel theft.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Place the bird feeder more than 15 feet away from any overhanging tree branches, eaves or other launching areas to prevent squirrels from jumping onto the feeder. Raise the bird feeder to more than four feet from the ground to prevent squirrels from using the ground to reach the feeder.
Step 2
Mount the feeder on a smooth metal pole surrounded by a metal baffle. This will prevent the squirrels from climbing up the pole to get to the feeder. If a wood mount is the only choice, nail 12-by-12-inch squares of aluminum flashing to all four sides of the wood mount about four feet from the ground to make a baffle that the squirrels can't climb over.
Step 3
Place a dome-shaped plastic baffle over the top of the feeder to help protect the feeder from flying squirrels.
Step 4
Cover the feeder with a loose cage of 1 1/2- to 2-inch poultry wire. The wire mesh will be large enough to let most song birds through but small enough to keep squirrels out of the bird feed.
Step 5
Grind or crush dried peppers into your bird seed. Birds are immune to capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers hot. The birds will continue to come to the feeder, but squirrels who get a taste of this hot pepper feed won't come back for seconds.
Step 6
Feed the squirrels by providing them with their own squirrel feeders or laying out trays of cracked corn. Squirrels are notoriously territorial. The squirrel who claims the feeder will chase other squirrels away from the yard. A well-fed squirrel is much less likely to steel food from bird feeders.
Step 7
Use a squirrel repellent which repulses squirrels but will not deter birds from coming to the feeder. Squirrel repellent formulas come in spray, granular or concentrated formulas.

Tips & Warnings

If the feeder is emptied at night, the feeder is probably being raided by raccoons, opossums or flying squirrels.
Squirrels don't just rob bird feeders of bird seed--they also rob nests of eggs and sometimes nestlings.

Article Written By Jamie Hobbs

Jamie Hobbs graduated from Central Washington University with a BAed. She has been writing for Demand Studios and Suite 101 since 2008. Mrs. Hobbs work has also been printed in Yakima Family Times.

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