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Keeping Squirrels Out

Make Sure Your Birdfeeders are for the Birds

Keeping squirrels out can sometimes be challenging -- especially when it comes to birdfeeders.
Squirrels are regulars at many backyard birdfeeders and will also attack a variety of garden targets such as young seedlings, berries, fruits, and vegetables. These furry rodents are smart. Given time, they will find a way to get to their desired target. You need to vary your approach every so often to keep them guessing.

Squirrel-proof feeder
When a squirrel climbs onto the perch of the Squirrel Buster Plus, the seed openings close from the animal's own weight.
Try using birdfeeders that are designed to fend off squirrels. Options include:
Squirrel Buster Plus
Squirrel-B-Gone Feeder
Birdseed Vault

Trapping is the surest way to remove problem critters. Live traps are very effective in trapping a particularly pesky squirrel or chipmunk. However, don't expect to control a whole population of these furry friends with trapping. There's always more where they came from. For more information, read Animal Trapping Techniques.

Try mixing the seeds with a hot pepper powder, making the seed itself squirrel-proof! Made from capsaicin, the spicy part of hot peppers, Squirrel Prevent makes birdseed too spicy for mammals to handle, yet is completely tasteless to birds. In fact, it's an excellent source of Vitamin C.

Try mounting the feeder on PVC pipe, which is to slick for squirrels to climb. To increase the level of protection, run the pole through the center of a Slinky and secure it at the top of the pole, letting the lower end hang. Squirrels will try to climb the Slinky, and their weight will pull them down.

Squirrels love sunflower seeds--but not safflower seeds. Try making the switch.

If you can't beat 'em, feed 'em. Distract the squirrels by providing their own feeding area with dried corncobs.

Try this tip from Sharen in Elyria, Ohio, who found a solution for keeping squirrels out of the suet:
The squirrels got so they were pretty predictable and came around the same time each day. Even putting my dogs out to chase them off failed. They just waiting and returned, especially to the suet. I don't know exactly where, but I had read that squirrels do not like the red hot pepper suet. So, I bought one and put it out. The first few times, the squirrels were angry. How did I know? They were knocking over one particular plant that sat on the deck. This happened repeatedly to the same plant, so I knew it was a reaction to the red-hot pepper suet. Now, when I am home, I put out the regular suet because I have found that the majority of the birds prefer the this over the other. Then, when I'm not home, I will replace it with the one the squirrels don't like. This way, we are able to continue feeding the birds, yet keep the pesky little guys away.