How to Keep Squirrels off Bird Feeder: 14 Incredible Tips You Wish You Knew Sooner

One of the best ways to keep squirrels away from your bird feeder is to feed the birds in a squirrel-proof feeder. This will prevent the squirrels from raiding the feeder and give the birds the food they need.

A fox squirrel stealing seeds from a bird feeder in the rain

Ways to Keep Squirrels off Bird Feeders

1. Elevation

To ensure that the birds have access to food, it is essential to place the feeder in an elevated location. To determine how high this should be, consult an expert such as a professional birdfeeder installer.

In addition, make sure not to leave any food behind – squirrels love raiding human-made feeding stations. And finally – always clean up after yourself!

2. Wire Usage to Outsmart Squirrels

To keep squirrels away from your feeder, you first need to make sure the feeder is secure. You can do this by installing a wire around it or using a squirrel-proof feeder. 

If the feeder has enough space for squirrels to get inside, you can create a barrier with wire. This will prevent them from getting to the food and may even scare them away! Ensure there are no ports or openings on the feeder that a squirrel could squeeze through.

3. Pick Your Bird Seeds Wisely

Choosing the right type and quantity of seeds for the birds is essential because this will help deter squirrels from raiding feeders. Using a mix of different seeds, you can entice the birds with variety while keeping squirrels at bay.

Removing food leftovers immediately is essential, as squirrels love bird feeders because they are an easy source of food.

4. Get a Squirrel Baffle

Squirrel baffles are a great way to keep squirrels off your bird feeder. They are simple devices that attach to the feeder using suction cups, making it difficult for the critters to get the food. Eventually, they will give up and move on.

5. Spice Up Your Feed

Adding spices to the bird feeder mix can be a great way to deter squirrels from feeding. Mixes like chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper work well in this regard. You can also try adding sunflower seeds or chopped fruit, which are natural deterrents against these pests.

6. Feed the Squirrels As Well

Feeding squirrels is a great way to enjoy their company and keep them away from your bird feeders simultaneously. You could offer them other food sources such as fruit, nuts, or seeds instead of bird feeders. 

7. Try a Slinky

A slinky will divert the squirrels’ attention from the bird feeder and keep them at bay. Other deterrents include adding a bell or small metal pieces to the feeder.

Squirrel eating from a bird feeder

8. Upgrade to a Caged Bird Feeder

Keeping squirrels away from bird feeders is difficult, but you can solve the problem by upgrading to caged feeders. The birds will now have access to food only during designated feeding times, and the squirrels will not be able to steal the food. 

Feeder designs hang from the roof of your house or business, providing an extra layer of protection against squirrels. Whether you go for a simple feeder with no cage or one with a durable metal mesh enclosure, it is essential to find one that fits your needs and preferences perfectly.

9. Purchase PVC or Copper Poles

Although the feeder might look tempting, the squirrels will eventually figure out how to get their hands on the food; this is where poles come in – they serve as an effective deterrent and keep the critters away for good. 

If you don’t have any poles, try using a bird feeder with a tight-fitting lid. Not only will this prevent squirrels from getting access to the food, but birds will also enjoy feeding from here too!

10. Keep Your Yard Clean

One of the best ways to deter squirrels from raiding feeders is by keeping food scraps and other materials away from the feeder. This includes any branches or tree limbs that could be used as a squirrel’s climbing equipment – making it difficult for them to access the food. 

Additionally, ensure your feeder is clean and free of bird droppings so they don’t get confused and snatch food for their bird friends! 

11. Build a Scarecrow

One of the most common methods involves using a scarecrow – an electronic animal repellent that frightens them away. 

12. Deter Squirrels With Soap

Soap works as an effective repellent against squirrels and will keep them away from the feeder for longer. 

You can also drench the tree with soap to repel squirrels away from it in the same way that you would use pepper spray on pests like mosquitoes. Change the soap every few days to ensure it remains effective against squirrels.

13. Sprinklers

If you’re looking for an extra-effective deterrent, install a motion-activated sprinkler near the feeder. This will drench the squirrels when they come too close and ensure they don’t get too comfortable raiding the feeder.

14. Use Hot peppers

Hot peppers can also be used around the home as a deterrent. For example, you can scatter fresh fruits or chili pepper flakes around your bird feeder to confuse squirrels into thinking it’s food. When squirrels smell the spicy aroma, they think it means there is food nearby and tend to search for closer inspection.