If you are like most nature lovers, bird watching is a cherished pastime. One way to get your favorite birds to visit your lawn is to feed them. Unfortunately, birds are not the only ones who are attracted to free seed and feed. Squirrels are notorious for stealing from bird feeders, as they are agile climbers, nimble on their feet, and great at grasping things with their tiny dexterous paws. With all of these built-in attributes, how can you expect to protect your beloved bird feeders from thieving squirrels? The answer involves a combination of making some environmental changes and implementing some new pest control strategies.
Continue reading to learn some truly effective tips for stopping squirrels from emptying your bird feeders.
Hang Them in the Right Spot
The first strategy to implement is an easy one. Just move your bird feeders to a new spot that is far away from trees, power lines, roofs, and anything else squirrels can use to climb. If they cannot easily access something to climb near the feeder, it is unlikely that they will attempt to access it at all. You can also run a line of string between two trees and position the feeder on the string away from the trees. If you use this approach, be sure to hang the string as high as you can reach, and do not use wire or rope. Squirrels have trouble climbing on a wobbly string, but a wire or cord will be sturdier for them.
Buy a Baffle
There is a device called a squirrel baffle that you can purchase and install in your backyard. It is essentially a plastic dome that connects under a bird feeder and creates a curved barrier that squirrels cannot climb over. They are sold online, or you can buy them at any local home improvement or gardening store. Expect to pay anywhere between $15 and $20 for a quality product.
Cover the Bird Feeder Pole
If squirrels cannot climb a pole, they cannot access the feeder that is at the top. You can make the pole harder to climb in a few different ways. You can add layers of plastic tubing, wrap it in thin sheet metal, or apply grease (or petroleum jelly). Although they are probably still capable of reaching the top with several efforts and a lot of hard work, they are not likely to go through all the trouble; instead, they’ll move onto an easier target.
Use a Natural, Non-Toxic Repellent
If you have the basic household ingredients and a clean plastic spray bottle, you can make your own homemade, non-toxic animal repellent. All you need are the spices that squirrels hate, such as menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint, spearmint, cayenne pepper, black pepper, red pepper, or any other kind of pepper. Mix them with some water, transfer them to the plastic bottle, and spray the perimeter of your feeder or property. This solution will be harmful to pets, so keep them away after application.
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em!
A last resort to dealing with squirrels stealing from your bird feeders is to simply provide them with their own food. This may deter them from taking the bird feed, allowing you to continue enjoying your bird observing hobby. A mix of cracked corn should do just fine, and you can buy specially-designed squirrel feeders online or at any local home improvement or gardening store.
How to Safely and Humanely Get Rid of Squirrels in Indianapolis, Indiana
Call Modern Wildlife Control at 317-847-6409 for affordable squirrel removal and control services in Indianapolis, Indiana and its surrounding counties. Our DNR licensed and insured wildlife rescue and control specialists offer safe and humane squirrel abatement services, clean up and minor restorations for animal damages, 24 hour emergency service, and free estimates. Get started by requesting a free estimate or advice, today.