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Squirrel Proofing Your Bird Feeder: How to outsmart those clever bushy tailed fur babies

Place bird feeders away from trees, wires, and fences

Bird feeding is a great way to bring in nature into our gardens. However, bird feeding doesn’t just attract birds. Squirrels are opportunistic mammals that will gladly eat the birdseed meant for your feathered friends. Squirrels have developed a reputation for being able to outsmart even the most advanced “squirrel proofing” bird feeders. But fear not!

There are effective strategies you can use to protect your bird feeder from these crafty squirrels. Firstly, it’s essential to place your bird feeder away from trees, wires, and fences.

Squirrels are agile climbers and will use nearby structures and trees to gain access to the feeder. You’ll want to place it approximately four feet away structure squirrels can use as a launchpad to reach it. If you’re using metal poles to support your bird feeders, ensure that they’re at least six feet high. Also its a good idea to use metal poles instead of wooden ones. You’ll reduce the risk of squirrels climbing them because they cannot climb up metal poles as easily wood posts.

Another crucial factor in deterring squirrels is maintaining cleanliness around your bird feeder area. Remember to take time to removing old seeds or seed hulls from the ground regularly. This is important because decomposing seeds can quickly attract rodents in addition to squirrels visiting your garden. Not only does cleaning up after bird feeding discourage unwanted visitors, but it also keeps diseases at bay. Leftover seeds and hulls can become breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Which can spread among birds and other wildlife in your garden.

By following these steps you’ll be starting off on a great footing in squirrel-proofing your garden!

Squirrel proofing by Encircle existing feeders with wire cage devices

One effective way to squirrel proof your bird feeder is by encircling the feeder with a wire cage device. Consider devices that are specifically designed to keep out larger birds and squirrels. These devices allow only smaller birds to access the feeding port. The wire cage creates a physical barrier that prevents squirrels from reaching the seeds. While still allowing birds to fly in and out freely.

Wire cages come in different shapes, sizes, and styles

Some models are made of metal poles with wire mesh wrapped around them. Others feature a more delicate design with thin wires woven together. Regardless of the style you choose, make sure that the openings are small to prevent squirrels from squeezing through.

Also, ensure that the cage is securely fastened to your bird feeder pole or hanger. You don’t want it to wobble or tip over when birds land on it. Encircling your bird feeder with a wire cage is one of the most effective ways to keep squirrels at bay.

These wire cages can be effective squirrel proofing machines with physical barrier between them and your precious bird seed supply. With the added benefit that they also deters larger birds from monopolizing your feeding station. Moreover, wire cages can be used in conjunction with other squirrel proofing methods such as baffles or hot pepper spray. This can be an effective way of adding protection against squirrels who are determined to steal your seeds.

Use baffles placed above and under the feeders to prevent squirrels from accessing the feed

One of the most effective ways to squirrel-proof your bird feeder is by using baffles. Baffles are essentially cone-shaped barriers that prevent squirrels from accessing the bird feed.

They work by forcing squirrels to either climb down or jump off. Both of which are difficult for squirrels to do due to their weight distribution. You can use baffles placed above to prevent squirrels from jumping down onto it. Or place them under the feeder to prevent squirrels from climbing up the pole.

These can be purchased at any garden or bird feeding supply store. Some people have even made their own DIY baffles out of metal or plastic, although this can be time-consuming. Just ensure that the baffle you choose is large enough and sturdy enough to withstand a squirrel’s weight. Some cheaper varieties may not hold up over time. By using baffles, you can keep your feathered friends happy while preventing pesky squirrels from stealing all the seed!

Squirrel Proofing : Protect your bird feeders

Squirrel proofing by using safflower and nyger seeds, which squirrels are not particularly fond of

One effective way to keep squirrels away from your bird feeder is by limiting the seed supply. Squirrels have a particular taste for certain types of birdseed. This makes it crucial to choose the right feed for your garden birds.

Two great options are safflower seeds and nyger seeds, which squirrels typically won’t eat. Safflower seeds come from a thistle-like plant and have a bitter taste that squirrels find unappealing. Nyger seeds come from the African yellow daisy. They are small and it difficult for squirrels to hold them.

Additionally, you can add hot peppers or capsaicin to birdseed mixtures. They’re unpleasant and mildly painful for mammals like squirrels but harmless to birds.

Restricting the seed supply with safflower or nyger seeds and deterrents like hot pepper are great squirrel proofing methods.

Squirrel proofing by attach a slinky to the bird feeder pole

Another creative way people have prevented squirrels from climbing up their bird feeder pole is by using a slinky! Yes, you read that right. That childhood toy can now come in handy to protect your precious bird seed from the pesky rodents. But how exactly does it work?

The idea is simple yet genius! Attach the slinky to the pole and watch as the squirrels attempt to climb up. They end up continuously sliding down. The metal coils of the slinky will make it impossible for them to get a grip. They are eventually left with no choice but to give up and move on.

It’s a cost-effective solution that adds some fun and creativity to your garden while keeping those squirrels at bay. Just like other squirrel proof methods, it may take some adjustments. You’ll have to find the sweet spot where squirrels can’t figure out how to bypass your defenses.

For instance, You may need to make sure that the slinky is long enough to reach the ground. You may also want to consider using metal poles instead of wooden. Squirrels have been known to chew through soft wood in their quest for birdseed!

Squirrel Proofing : Provide a squirrel feeding station

Create a squirrel feeding station with food that squirrels prefer, such as corn and nuts.

If all else fails, consider creating a squirrel feeding station. Squirrels are an important part of nature and they need to eat too. If you can’t beat them, join them!

Place this feeding station far away from your bird feeder. You’ll want them to have their own source of food that won’t interfere with the birds.

To create the squirrel feeding station

Select an area in your backyard that is away from bird feeders and away from any heavy foot traffic. You can either use a metal pole or a sturdy tree branch where you can attach feeders or trays. Ensure the location is strong enough to support the weight of the feeder and squirrels. Make sure it is stable and won’t tip over easily. Fill it up with an assortment of treats that squirrels love. Include whole corn cobs corn, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Fill feeders or trays with squirrel approved treats such as corn, peanuts, sunflower seeds, or specialized squirrel mix. Add foods that deter it will deter other mammals like raccoons from eating their food.

While creating a squirrel feeding station is a good option to reduce attempts to steal bird feed, it may not completely solve your squirrel problem. They are likely to still attempt to steal your bird feed. However, by providing them with their own food source you may decrease the likelihood of them attempting to steal from your bird feeders as often.

Protecting bird feeders and preserving your garden requires effective squirrel-proofing techniques. Hopefully with these tips, you can prevent those clever squirrels from raiding your seed stash and enjoy a thriving bird-friendly environment.