10 Proven Tips - How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Bird Feeders

How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Bird Feeders 1

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How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Bird Feeders?

It is the most important tip for any bird feeder that how to keep squirrels out of bird feeders. Squirrels can easily enter your yard whether you like them or not. The squirrels can steal the bird’s food and can eat almost everything that you have arranged for birds and to create your little bird paradise.

To get rid of this, you need to find out some ideas. In this post, several simple tips and tricks are given to keep squirrels out of your bird feeder.

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i. Install a squirrel proof bird feeder

It is the most common and simple trick to keep the squirrels away from your feeder. The right kind of bird feeder can be installed to protect the bird feeder so that squirrels cannot attack the bird food. The squirrel-proof bird feeders come in varieties.

For example, weight-activated bird feeders, in which a weight-sensitive mechanism is installed. The mechanism instantly closes the seed port when the squirrel stands on it and the port opens again when the squirrel leaves it. The bird feeders can be easily installed as hanging feeders in trees.

Another type of bird feeder is the pole-mounted bird feeders that are not hung in a tree but are hands-on a pole. Where squirrels cannot reach and the bird food will be protected. The design of these feeders is very simple, but you will need a pole to hang them.

Caged feeders are also used to protect bird food. The feeders are surrounded by a chew-resistant cage, which is usually made of steel. The weight of these feeders is not very light but they are not very effective to prevent bird food from squirrels.

ii. The feeder location is the secret key

You should always place your squirrel-proof bird feeder in the right location. The exact location of your bird feeder ensures the protection of bird food from squirrels. You can also follow the 5-7-9 rule for placing your bird feeder in your yard.

Let’s understand about the rule-

  • Squirrels cannot cover more than 5 feet above the air while jumping.
  • The organisms are not able to jump more than 7 feet.
  • They also cannot jump more than 9 feet from above to reach the feeder.

When you keep these numbers in mind while placing the bird feeder and by taking care of these numbers, you can easily get rid of squirrels. Horizontally, squirrels can leap around 10 feet distance, so you should always place your feeder more than 10 feet away from any tree or wall.

You can also string a line between two points if you do not have any suitable place to hang it. The squirrels cannot move on a bouncy string and they jump towards the feeder.

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iii. Offer foods that squirrels don’t like

You can also choose the birdseed, which is not liked by squirrels. However, there are not many types, which squirrels avoid, but you can choose them- Nyjer seeds are not preferred by squirrels, but goldfinches love to consume these seeds.

Besides this, squirrels also avoid safflower seeds but these seeds are eaten by a number of finches, cardinals, chickadees, and titmice. The seeds are also avoided by grackles starlings.

Squirrels also don’t have any excitement for eating white Proso millet because the seeds are too small. However, the seeds are loved by sparrows, juncos, and doves. Hot peppers can be also used in the bird feeder in order to avoid squirrels.

A substance named capsaicin is found in pepper that makes it spice and uncomfortable in the mouth. But surprisingly, animals get affected by pepper and birds can eat it without getting spiced up. So it can be also used in a bird feeder.

iv. Use a separate squirrel feeder (decoy)

Squirrels also need food thus they attack bird feeders. It is a common natural behavior, which can be seen even in humans thus they are not considered pests that try to invade your products.

If you place a separate bird feeder for the squirrels, they can be deterred easily from accessing the bird’s feed and can be scared away from the feeder easily.

If squirrels get easy access to their own feeder, their access to bird feeder becomes difficult. You can choose some inexpensive food materials for them, such as sunflower seeds or corn that are loved by them.

If they get enough food in their own feeder, they won’t think about making any effort to reach bird feeders and remain away from them.

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v. Spice it up

If you want to spice up the seeds for squirrels, you can use hot pepper. Peppers can be also used as a repellent product for them because it acts as a natural squirrel deterrent.

Some retardant sprays are also available such as Critter Ridder. This helps in keeping away the squirrels from the food. Interestingly, birds are not affected by this spray and it only works on the squirrels. The critters such as squirrels do not like to smell or eat pepper so they avoid it. This perfection can be used by a person to get rid of the invasion of a squirrel.

You can also treat your bird seeds with peppers. It is not yet reported that pepper cause any health concerns for the birds, thus it is preferred as the best squirrel-retardent.

vi. Install a squirrel-proof feeder pole

You can buy a pole to hang your bird feeder. You should consider a bird feeder pole, which is specially made for scaring away the squirrels. The grip of the pole is super smooth thus squirrels cannot climb on it.

Sometimes, a spring-loaded baffler or pole baffler is also featured in these poles that help in keeping squirrels away. Such poles can easily solve most of the problems related to squirrels.

They cannot reach the feeder, thus they have to eat from the ground. A spring-loaded construction is used to make these poles that make it hard for the squirrels to climb on them.

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vii. Install a squirrel baffle

You can also install a squirrel baffle that helps to deter squirrels. The baffle is a device of dome shape or pole shape that is made of plastic, you can attach this baffle under the feeder. The barrier is curved shaped which prevents squirrels from reaching the birdfeed.

The baffles are usually made of metal or plastic and can be placed below and above the feeder. The length of this baffle should be 15 to 18 inches and wide. When a squirrel climbs on the baffle, it tilts or twirls while it remains off-balance when there is no access to the feeder.

You can also attach the baffle to your existing pole besides buying a new pole. Separate baffles are also available for this purpose. Baffles are of two types, one is a torpedo baffle and another one is the wrap-around baffle.

Both types of baffles are attached below the feeder. But the height of the baffle should be high enough so that squirrels cannot jump over it to reach the bird feeder.

viii. Grease the feeder pole

It is another good option to grease the pole to get rid of squirrels. Squirrels cannot climb on slippery surfaces and grease applied poles become slippery. You can also cover the pole with a plastic layer for it.

The poles can be greased by oils such as mustard oil because it makes the pole very slippery. But you should not use any other chemical such as petroleum jelly, glue, or grease for this purpose.

It is because these substances stick with the fur of squirrels and become difficult to keep them off. If squirrels ingest these substances while grooming, they can also cause severe problems.

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ix. Get a dog

Squirrels can be avoided with the help of a pet dog. So, you can also consider having a large breed to get rid of squirrels. This method is found useful by most people for scaring away the squirrels as well as rabbits and deer also.

However, there are chances that squirrels can be back when your dog comes in but when the large breeds are out there, the invasion of squirrels is not possible.

x. Remove potential shelter

You can also choose this method to get rid of squirrels. Make sure that there is not any chance to make a convenient home by squirrels right next to your bird feeder. To ensure this, you should get rid of any possibilities for shelter places.

You can try to prevent squirrels from making nests under eaves, attics, and old sheds. Squirrels cannot reach the bird feeder if its home is far away from the bird feeder.


You can take all the necessary steps to get rid of squirrels. There are many ways and instruments that can be used to scare away the squirrels. But make sure that they are not pests and don’t cause any harm to these organisms while scaring them away.

They are also animals, which are trying to find food. You can become a little creative to get entertained by the squirrel. The critters are quite curious and determined and they can be scared away by using their natural instincts without hurting them.

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