A bird feeder can be a lovely addition to the backyard. They can beautify your backyard and can attract beautiful songbirds. However, opportunistic rodents like squirrels like to use bird feeders as an easy source of food. While it can be impossible to stop squirrels from getting to your bird feeder entirely, there are ways to make it harder for them to get to. This article will explore ways to reduce access to bird feeders for squirrels and other rodents.
Stop Squirrels from Climbing the Pole
Because squirrels can climb almost any surface in your backyard, it can be hard to stop them from getting to bird feeders sitting on a pole. However, there are a few ways to prevent climbing. One way to deter them from climbing is to coat the pole. Covering the pole in a greasy substance, such as petroleum jelly can prevent them from climbing up. However, this is not sustainable, nor is it a long term solution. Additionally, you could purchase a squirrel baffle. A Squirrel baffle is a plastic cone or dome that sits on the pole under the bird feeder. The baffle can prevent squirrels from scurrying up the pole, as they cannot effectively climb past it. Be sure to attach it high enough where the squirrels can’t just jump over it.
Move Feeders Away From Trees
It’s no secret that squirrels are expert climbers. But they can also jump very far, and with great accuracy. This allows squirrels to jump from branches or rooftops to gain access to the bird feeder. Move the bird feeder away from trees and your home, and trim tree branches that hang towards it. This will help reduce access via jumping.
Use Safflower Seeds in Your Feeder
Squirrels aren’t too picky when they raid the bird feeder, but they generally leave safflower seeds alone. If the squirrels are not deterred by the other methods, switch to safflower seeds in your feeder. While many birds will happily eat these seeds, squirrels will not eat them. However, they will sift through seeds to avoid them. Only try this method if you are using safflower seeds alone in the feeder.
Pepper as a Deterrent
Pepper is unpleasant-smelling for some animals, including squirrels. Sprinkling pepper near the bird feeder can be a way to deter the squirrels from going near the feeder. Thankfully, pepper does not deter birds, so you do not have to worry about scaring them off.