How to Keep Squirrels Away from Bird Feeders

A running joke around professional wildlife removal circles is if you have a bird feeder, then you also have a squirrel feeder. The squirrels have a big appetite and waste bird seed by pouring the bird seed they don’t eat to the ground. They’ll dominate the feeder and begin to chew and burrow everywhere.

The good news is you can still keep your bird feeder and keep the squirrels off it.

Change to Squirrel Proof Feeder

This is by far the easiest and most straightforward solution. Squirrels on bird feeders are big enough problems that they now make bird feeders specifically designed with keeping the squirrels off. The squirrel-proofing designs vary with some using a weight-sensitive mechanism to lock the food away any time a heavy animal such as a squirrel sits on it. Others have a metal cage around them that can let in small birds access the food but not squirrels.

Install Squirrel Baffle

Squirrel baffles are available cheaply at most hardware stores and it is also easy to make one. These are dome or bowl-like additions that install on top or under the bird feeder depending on how the bird feeder is installed. Use a dome at least 15-18 inches wide so the squirrels can’t reach around. The dome facing downwards, for example, prevents the squirrel from continuing on its way up. It also tilts and twirls to make it impossible for the squirrels to patch and access the feeder.

Change Bird Feeder Location

Sometimes the solution may be to change the location of the bird feeder away from anything that a squirrel can use as a launch pad such as power lines, house, tree branches and trees. A squirrel can jump up to 10 feet to ensure a generous clearance in this case.

Install Spinners

Hang your feeder from a thin horizontal wire and install spinners such as thread spools, plastic bottles or short lengths of hoses or pipes on the wire. These additions spin when the squirrels attempt to walk on the wire causing the critters to drop to the ground. Squirrels are very athletic so don’t worry about them getting injured from the fall, they can fall a considerable distance and be merrily on their way.

Change Your Bird Seed

Although squirrels enjoy most types of bird seeds, they appear not to enjoy safflower seed and nyjer. These have a distinctly bitter taste. Just make sure that your birds eat the seeds. Blackbirds, for example, don’t like safflower seeds while chickadees seem to enjoy them.

Install a Separate Feeder

If you have no issues with the squirrels other than eating the bird food, you may opt to give them their own separate feeding station. Ensure that this feeder is easily accessible to the squirrels and has a constant supply of food. Corn is a great inexpensive food that they enjoy.

Squirrels can be overwhelming to deal with but there is no reason to injure or harm the animals. Shooting, poisoning, trapping without experience are all terrible ways to deal with wildlife of any kind. Keep in mind that it is illegal to harm or kill wildlife and to transport wildlife for more than a kilometre without a permit.

Call an Expert to Remove Squirrels

Squirrels on your yard may attempt to nest in the attic, deck, shed or other crawl spaces. Call a wildlife removal company in Canada that handles wildlife humanely. The expert will also seal your home to prevent the critters from invading as well as keep them out of your yard permanently. Ask for a warranty for the service to ensure that the problem is solved once and for all.