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How to Keep Pesky Squirrels Away from Your Bird Feeders

Bird Feeders, Domes, Feeders, Squirrels

I’m an animal lover. I own dogs and cats, and I love to watch wildlife such as birds, deer and squirrels. One thing I don’t like to see, though, is squirrels getting into my bird feeders and emptying them out. If you have the same problem in your yard, then you need to know some tactics on how to keep pesky squirrels away from your bird feeders!

You Can Buy “Squirrel Proof” Bird Feeders
There are several types of bird feeders on the market that are designed to be “squirrel proof.” Many of them have rounded baffles or domes either above or below the actual feeder. Some bird feeders are caged to keep pesky squirrels from eating the bird seed out of them. These feeders offer bird lovers an affordable way to block out unwanted intruders.

I’ve been feeding wild birds for years now, and I already have my stock of feeders in place. So, I didn’t want to have to replace my existing ones just because, all of a sudden, I was having problems with some bushy-tailed rodents. So I decided to figure out how to keep squirrels away from my existing bird feeders.

Use Homemade Baffles and Domes to Deter Pesky Squirrels
Following along the same idea as the manufactured bird feeders that have baffles or domes, you can make homemade protectors that work pretty much the same way. If you hang your bird feeders on a tree branch using a heavy wire, drill a hole in the middle of several metal pie pans. Slide a pan over each wire hook and down on top of the bird feeders. Squirrels are smart critters, and quite agile too, but they’ll most likely give up when they keep sliding off the pie pan.

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Hang Bird Feeders Away From Trees
Squirrels can scamper up and down trees with agile ease. If you hang your bird feeders on tree branches, then you’re placing them directly in squirrels’ paths. An alternative, to help keep pesky squirrels away from your bird feeders, is to use Shepherds Hooks instead. You can purchase these wrought iron hangers at your local garden store. Shepherds Hooks can be placed anywhere in your yard. And, they’re easy to install and move since they are simply pushed into the soil.

Just remember- the taller the pole you hang your bird feeder on, the better!

If the squirrels do find a way to climb up the Shepherds Hook, then rub the bottom three or four feet with Crisco brand shortening. Their little feet will slip-slide on the Crisco and prevent them from reaching your bird feeders. During the winter months, snow doesn’t seem to bother the slippery deterrent. In the warmer months, you’ll need to reapply the shortening after a few heavy rainstorms have passed through your area, though.

You can also mix together some petroleum jelly and Cayenne Pepper and rub the Shepherds Hook with that to keep pesky squirrels away from your bird feeders.

“If You Can’t Beat Them…”
And finally, if you’d rather just commune with nature in a friendly sort of manner, you can buy squirrel feeders and hang them on the far side of your yard, far away from your bird feeders, that is. Giving them their own food supply can keep pesky squirrels away from your bird feeders.

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Squirrels love corn and nuts, and these foods are really better for them than bird seed because they help file down their ever-growing teeth.