Keep Squirrels Out of Bird Feeders

Squirrels may look like cute and timid creatures. But they can be highly competitive when trying to control any resources around them, including bird seeds. Bird seeds are high-energy foods that squirrels find valuable. These rodents will climb up your bird feeders just to get the nutritious seeds. So, how do you keep squirrels out of bird feeders? Find out below…

8 Ways to keep squirrels out of bird feeders

1. Hang your bird feeder on a pole

You need to put your bird feeder in an elevated area. This is both beneficial for birds and detrimental to squirrels. Of course, birds have wings, so they will have an easier time getting to the bird feeder if it is elevated. The elevation also keeps them safe from potential ground predators, including your house cats and dogs. Obviously, squirrels don’t have wings, so they will have to think of a workaround to reach the bird feeder and the prize inside it if it is elevated.

Choose a pole that is sturdy enough to not sway on the weight of the bird feeder and the birds. It should be at least six feet tall to make it more difficult for squirrels to access. It should also be smooth, so there will be no bumps that squirrels can use to easily climb it.

2. Put the pole in an open and well-lit area

Even though there are cases where squirrels become aggressive, they are generally docile creatures. They are vulnerable to a lot of predators, and they know this. This is why they try to avoid being seen easily. One way to keep squirrels out of your bird feeders is to put your pole and bird feeder in an area that is open, such as in your garden, lawn, or yard. This will make squirrels think twice, as the area is fully exposed and makes them vulnerable to predators.

It’s also ideal for the area to be well-lit. The light adds an extra layer of exposure that will make squirrels think twice about approaching the pole and the bird feeder.

3. Put the pole in an area with no elevated structures

Don’t let the natural timidness of squirrels fool you. They are agile and athletic animals. Their hind legs in particular make them very good jumpers. Generally, they can jump about six feet horizontally and about four feet vertically. But this can increase because of several factors, such as the size and species of the squirrel and the kind of surface it is jumping from.

And it’s not just a basic jump either. They can basically do “parkour,” jumping from object to object — such as tree branches and walls — to reach their destination. This is why it is very important to put your pole and bird feeder in an area where there are no elevated structures that squirrels can use to jump around.

Keep squirrels out of bird feeders by placing their poles in open areas.

4. Add a baffle in the pole

Squirrels can also climb from the base of the pole up to the bird feeder on top of it. One way to keep squirrels out of bird feeders is to make the pole more difficult to climb. You can do this by adding a baffle in the length of the pole.

A baffle is an object, usually cone-shaped, that you can put in the length of the pole to block squirrels that are trying to climb up further to get to the bird feeder on top. You can buy a baffle in garden supply stores, hardware stores, and online retailers that focus on gardening and wildlife products. Just make sure to buy one that is big enough to block the squirrels in your area. Some squirrels are big enough to get through a small baffle.

5. Build a cage around your bird feeder

Even if you follow the tips above, there is still a chance that squirrels will be able to reach the bird feeder on top of your pole. After all, squirrels are quick learners. They can think of workarounds to reap the rewards they seek.

You need to add another layer of protection against these rodents. One such layer is a cage around your bird feeder. You can buy a caged bird feeder or you can make a cage yourself and put it around your bird feeder.

Cages don’t just deter squirrels. They also keep small birds safe. Big birds can bully them around to take the seeds for themselves. But these big birds will not be attracted to your bird feeder if they can’t even get through the cage.

6. Make sure that seeds don’t overflow

You will encounter a lot of problems if you keep your bird feeders overflowing with seeds. The seeds can fall to the ground, making them easy targets for squirrels looking for food in the vicinity. When they see and smell that there are more seeds up in the pole, they may try to get to them.

Overflowing bird feeders also make seeds vulnerable to molds and spoiling, especially if you live in a damp environment where mold can easily grow. Birds can experience digestive issues when they eat seeds with mold or are spoiled.

Squirrels can also snatch seeds that have fallen from bird feeders.

7. Motion-activated sprinklers will keep squirrels off of your bird feeders.

Abrupt movements and sounds can scare off squirrels. Motion-activated sprinklers are a common choice. When these sprinklers detect some kind of movement in the vicinity, they will suddenly spray jets of water around and these devices also make some noise, hopefully scaring off any squirrels in the vicinity.

This is a particularly good way of deterring squirrels from your garden — especially if you have plants in your garden as well.

8. Spread natural squirrel deterrents around your property

There are natural ways to keep squirrels out of your property. You can spray the urine of squirrel predators around your bird feeder or garden to make squirrels look the other way. The urines of cats, coyotes, and foxes are particularly effective. But take note that predator urine has a distinct smell.

If you are not a fan of predator urine, you can try sprinkling cayenne pepper, chili flakes, or garlic powder. But this can have very limited effectiveness.

You can keep squirrels off of your bird feeders…

Squirrels can get to your bird feeders and ransack the seeds. But hopefully, now you are armed with our tips above, you can stop this from happening… Good luck!

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