Got squirrels? Love Them, Hate Them or Want to Find a Way to Feed Everyone – There are Solutions!

November 8, 2016

solutionsOften people become disenchanted when feeding the birds, as squirrels are attracted to the feeders for an easy meal. Although many people enjoy feeding both squirrels and birds, often squirrels become a problem as they destroy feeders and chase the birds away. Squirrels are curious and very creative when it comes to finding food.

There are many options to allow you to feed the birds even when you are inundated with squirrels. Using a pole system that is properly placed and baffled is extremely effective in keeping squirrels off your feeders. It’s important that your pole system be tall enough that you can add a baffle at a height of 4-5 feed high, while still keeping the bottom of your feeders higher than the baffle. Your pole system will be also need to be placed 8-10 feet from anything the squirrels can launch themselves from.

polesystemA pole system such as this one from Wild Birds Unlimited  is what I like to call the Cadillac of all pole systems. The pole system is flexible and allows you to design a system to meet your individual needs, while also offering options for creativity. Most importantly, it can be squirrel AND raccoon proofed! Squirrels can jump as high as 5 feet and up to 10 feet from adjacent objects. It takes a special birdfeeding station to defeat these little guys, but it is possible.

If a feeding station is not possible, there are some squirrel proof feeders that have proven to truly be squirrel proof. Many feeders claim to be squirrel proof, but I tend to think of them as squirrel resistant. They will slow a squirrel down, but they are not fool-proof. If you are considering a squirrel proof feeder, you will want to make sure it has a weighted option that will completely cover the food ports when a squirrel steps on to them. Also make sure that there is no way for the squirrel to open the lid and enter through the top of the feeder.

eliminatorI have found the Wild Birds Unlimited Eliminator to be an excellent squirrel proof feeder and a wonderful addition to my own backyard. After two years of having this feeder hanging from my deck rail, no squirrels have been able to defeat it and in fact, they don’t even bother to try anymore! Success! Some feeders can also have a cage added to them to help you win the battle.

Hot pepper is an option to spice things up and keep the squirrels away from your birdseed. Not just any hot pepper, but a special hot pepper that is hotter than human consumption hot. Suet, seed cylinders and suet cylinders are all options for easy to feed the birds, but not the squirrels and the hot pepper is already blended for you. Additionally, there is a spicy liquid that you can treat your seed with to make it less attractive to the squirrels.

For those who enjoy being entertained by squirrels and their silly antics, you can still feed the squirrels too. Give them their own feeding station away from your birdfeeding station. Provide them with a wildlife blend and they’ll be thrilled. Squirrels really don’t want to work hard for a meal, so if they have easy access to a food they will prefer that over having to complete an obstacle course to get to your bird feeders. It really is possible to feed both the birds and the squirrels!

We pride ourselves on solving problems. Stop by Wild Birds Unlimited of St. Mary’s County and we’ll help you find a squirrel solution. We are located in the plaza with Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods.