How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Bird Feeders

How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Bird Feeders


How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Bird Feeders: Bird watching is a cherished pastime for many nature enthusiasts, offering an opportunity to witness the vibrant beauty and diverse avian species that inhabit our surroundings. Whether it’s the melodious chirping of sparrows, the vibrant plumage of cardinals, or the graceful flight of finches, bird feeders have become a common fixture in our gardens, balconies, and backyards, a haven for these feathered friends. However, there’s often an uninvited guest in this avian feast the squirrel. Squirrels, with their acrobatic prowess and insatiable appetites, can quickly become a source of frustration for bird enthusiasts. 

These bushy-tailed creatures seem to have an uncanny ability to infiltrate even the most well-designed bird feeders, leaving many bird watchers wondering how to keep them at bay. The battle between bird lovers and squirrels has become a classic backyard skirmish, but fear not, for there are effective strategies to peacefully coexist with both birds and squirrels. In the art of keeping squirrels rabies out of bird feeders, sharing valuable insights and practical tips to help you maintain a harmonious balance in your backyard ecosystem. From cleverly designed feeders and barriers to natural deterrents and feeding solutions, we will explore a variety of methods that cater to different preferences and budgets.

Our feathered companions deserve a safe and undisturbed dining experience, and as stewards of our outdoor spaces, it’s our responsibility to ensure this. By learning how to thwart the persistent squirrel’s efforts without causing harm, we can cultivate an environment where both birds and squirrels can thrive. So, whether you’re a seasoned bird watcher or a novice with a newfound passion for ornithology, join us on this journey to discover the secrets of keeping squirrels out of bird feeders and enjoy the melodious symphony of avian life in your own backyard.

What can I use to keep squirrels away from my bird feeders?

Greasing poles with petroleum jelly can also make it hard for squirrels to grasp onto poles and prevent them from climbing. Feed them: If you can’t beat them, join them. Try feeding squirrels away from your bird feeder with a mix of cracked corn.

Investing in squirrel-proof bird feeders is one of the most direct and effective methods. These feeders are designed with innovative mechanisms such as weight-activated perches or cages that prevent squirrels from accessing the birdseed. Some popular options include the Droll Yankees Flipper Squirrel-Proof Feeder and the Brome Squirrel Buster Plus.

Install baffles or squirrel guards on your existing bird feeders. Baffles are dome-shaped shields that can be placed above or below the feeder, making it difficult for squirrels to reach the seed. Squirrel guards are cylindrical or cone-shaped obstacles that can be placed on feeder poles.

Consider where you place your bird feeders. Mount them on poles with baffles, at least 10-12 feet away from trees or structures that squirrels can use to jump onto the feeders. This will make it harder for squirrels to access the food. Squirrels dislike spicy substances. You can sprinkle cayenne pepper or chili powder on the birdseed or mix it into the birdseed itself. Birds are not sensitive to capsaicin, the compound responsible for spiciness, but squirrels will avoid it.

What is the best homemade squirrel repellent?

Cinnamon: A generous amount of ground cinnamon or cinnamon oil mixed with cayenne extract or peppermint oil and warm water must be applied to affected areas to ward squirrels away. And as elements such as rain can wash away the scent, reapply the perimeters at least once a week or as needed to get the best results.

Squirrels have a strong aversion to spicy substances. Create a spicy spray by mixing a few teaspoons of hot sauce or ground cayenne pepper with water. Spray this mixture on birdseed, around your bird feeders, or on the areas where squirrels are causing problems. Be sure to reapply after rain.

Squirrels dislike the smell of peppermint. Mix a few drops of pure peppermint essential oil with water and spray it on your bird feeders, the ground around them, or even on nearby plants. Refresh the spray every few days. A mixture of white vinegar and water can be an effective squirrel repellent. 

Spray this solution on bird feeders, tree trunks, and the ground surrounding your feeding area. The vinegar smell fades quickly for humans but can deter squirrels. Blend cloves of garlic and onions with water to create a pungent mixture. Strain it and spray it on your bird feeders, birdseed, or any areas where squirrels are a nuisance. The strong smell is a deterrent.

What smells do squirrels hate?

Now that we know more about them, we’ll discuss the scents they hate! The scents on this list are: Peppermint Oil, Capsaicin, Coffee Grounds, White Vinegar, Garlic, Cinnamon, Predator Urine, Irish Springs Soap, Dryer Sheets, and Rosemary.

Peppermint: Squirrels have a strong aversion to the smell of peppermint. You can use peppermint oil or peppermint plants to deter them. Spray diluted peppermint oil around your garden or bird feeders, or plant peppermint in your garden beds.

Hot Peppers: The capsaicin in hot peppers is what gives them their spiciness, and squirrels are highly sensitive to this compound. Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce around your bird feeders or on birdseed to deter squirrels. Keep in mind that birds are not affected by capsaicin.

Garlic and Onions: Squirrels dislike the pungent odor of garlic and onions. You can create a homemade repellent by blending garlic cloves and onions with water, straining the mixture, and spraying it around your garden or bird feeding area.

Vinegar: White vinegar has a strong smell that squirrels find unpleasant. Mixing vinegar with water and spraying it on surfaces, plants, or bird feeders can help keep squirrels away. Reapply after rain.

What natural smell do squirrels hate?

Cinnamon and Spice

Squirrels distance themselves from hot pepper smells, like jalapeño, cayenne, and black pepper. Because of the spicy nature of cinnamon, you can also use this to repel squirrels from your home! To use pepper as a deterrent, mix three spoonfuls with a half-gallon of water.

Peppermint: The scent of peppermint is known to repel squirrels. You can plant peppermint in your garden or use peppermint oil to create a peppermint spray. Spray diluted peppermint oil around your garden or bird feeders to deter squirrels.

Hot Peppers: Squirrels are sensitive to capsaicin, the compound responsible for the spiciness in hot peppers. Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce around your garden or on birdseed to discourage squirrels from approaching.

Garlic and Onions: The pungent odor of garlic and onions is unpleasant to squirrels. You can create a natural repellent by blending garlic cloves and onions with water, straining the mixture, and then spraying it around your garden or bird feeding area.

Vinegar: White vinegar has a strong odor that squirrels find offensive. Mix vinegar with water and use it to spray surfaces, plants, or bird feeders to create a scent barrier that deters squirrels. Reapply after rain.

What is a simple squirrel repellent?

You can mix apple cider vinegar with its equivalent in water and a few drops of lemon-scented soap to create a squirrel spray for your plants and flowers. This spray won’t harm them, but you might need a lot of it and must re-apply concurrently to maintain deterrence.

One of the simplest and most effective homemade squirrel repellents is a hot pepper spray. Squirrels dislike the spiciness of hot peppers due to the presence of capsaicin. To make the spray, mix a few tablespoons of hot pepper sauce or crushed red pepper flakes with water. You can also add a drop of dish soap to help the mixture adhere to surfaces. 

Spray this solution around your garden or on bird feeders to deter squirrels. Squirrels have an aversion to the strong scent of peppermint. Create a peppermint oil spray by mixing a few drops of pure peppermint essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Apply this mixture around your garden, on plants, or near bird feeders.

White vinegar has a pungent odor that squirrels find unpleasant. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use it to coat surfaces or plants that squirrels tend to target. Reapply after rain. Grate a bar of strongly scented soap, such as Irish Spring, and scatter the shavings around your garden or bird feeding area. The odor of the soap can deter squirrels. Replace the shavings as needed.

Does Vicks Vapor Rub repel squirrels?

“I put Vicks on the pole and the squirrels don’t go by,” Lucy said. “Squirrels don’t like it and ants don’t like it.” If you didn’t already last week, some of you are probably rummaging through the medicine cabinet looking for a little Vicks VapoRub right now. If you can’t find any, don’t worry.

Short-Term Solution: Even if Vicks Vapor Rub does have some repellent effect on squirrels, it may be a short-term solution. Squirrels can adapt to new scents and may become less responsive to the odor over time.

Health and Safety Concerns: It’s to consider the potential health and safety risks of using Vicks Vapor Rub in outdoor areas. Vicks Vapor Rub is designed for topical use on humans and should not be ingested or applied to surfaces where food is prepared or stored. Using it outdoors may not be the most environmentally friendly or safe option.

Alternative Squirrel Repellents: While Vicks Vapor Rub may not be a guaranteed solution, there are other natural and commercially available squirrel repellents that have been specifically designed and tested for deterring squirrels from gardens, bird feeders, and other areas. These repellents often use scents or tastes that are more consistently effective against squirrels.

What oil do squirrels hate?

Garlic: Crushed garlic cloves or garlic oil can be used to create a strong scent that inhibits squirrels and chipmunks. Mix garlic oil with water and spray it around the garden or near the plants you want to protect. Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus oil has a strong scent that can be used to keep squirrels and chipmunks at bay.

Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil is known for its strong and refreshing scent, and squirrels find it unpleasant. You can create a natural squirrel repellent spray by mixing a few drops of pure peppermint essential oil with water and applying it around your garden or bird feeders.

Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil has a potent and somewhat medicinal aroma that squirrels tend to avoid. Mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil with water and use it to create a scent barrier around areas you want to protect from squirrels.

Cinnamon Oil: Squirrels dislike the warm and spicy scent of cinnamon. You can make a homemade squirrel repellent spray by mixing cinnamon essential oil with water and applying it to surfaces or plants that squirrels target.

Can you put coconut oil on a bird feeder pole?

If your bird feeder stands on a yard stake or pole, consider lubricating the pole with cooking oil or grease to make it nice and slippery. This way the squirrel won’t be able to get a decent grip on the pole and will slide back down, hopefully giving up. Coconut oil is a super safe option too!

Limited Repellent Effect: Coconut oil does not possess strong scent or taste properties that are known to be effective in deterring squirrels or other pests. Squirrels are more sensitive to certain scents like peppermint or spicy compounds like capsaicin (found in hot peppers). Using these repellents would likely be more effective in keeping squirrels away from your bird feeder.

Messy and Attractive: Coconut oil, when applied to a bird feeder pole, can become sticky and messy. While it may create an obstacle that makes it more difficult for squirrels to climb, it could also attract other unwanted pests, such as ants or insects, which could potentially deter birds.

Environmental Concerns: Applying coconut oil to outdoor surfaces may have unintended environmental consequences. It can become rancid over time and may not be environmentally friendly. Using large quantities of coconut oil outdoors can have negative effects on local wildlife and the ecosystem.

How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Bird Feeders


In the world of bird watching and backyard bird feeding, the challenge of keeping squirrels out of bird feeders is an enduring one. Throughout this we’ve explored various strategies and methods to maintain a peaceful coexistence between our feathered friends and the ever-resourceful squirrels. Now, as we our journey, let’s reflect on the key takeaways and the importance of finding a balance in our outdoor spaces. First and foremost, we’ve learned that patience and persistence are essential virtues when dealing with squirrels. These intelligent creatures can be relentless in their pursuit of bird feed, but by implementing a combination of techniques, you can discourage their efforts without causing harm. 

From squirrel-proof feeders with baffles and cages to natural deterrents like hot pepper flakes and motion-activated devices, there are solutions to suit every preference and budget. It’s vital to that squirrels are part of the natural ecosystem and have their role to play. While they can be a source of frustration at times, they also contribute to the biodiversity of our squirrels adaptations surroundings. So, when devising your squirrel prevention strategies, aim to strike a balance that respects their place in the ecosystem. Alternative food sources like squirrel feeders stocked with nuts or corn, and consider offering a separate feeding area for squirrels away from your bird feeders.

As responsible stewards of the environment, it’s essential to choose humane methods of deterring squirrels. Avoid harmful traps or poisons, which can lead to unintended consequences and harm other wildlife or pets. Instead, opt for non-lethal approaches that ensure the safety and well-being of all creatures that share your outdoor space. In the pursuit of keeping squirrels out of bird feeders is a testament to our love for nature and the avian beauty that graces our lives. It’s a reminder of our commitment to preserving the delicate balance of our outdoor ecosystems while enjoying the wonders of the bird world. 

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