To deter squirrels from bird feeders, position your feeders at least 4 metres away from any jump-off points to prevent squirrels from reaching them. Use squirrel-proof feeders designed with mechanisms that close feeding ports under a squirrel’s weight. Also, consider using safflower seeds or nyjer, which squirrels typically dislike. Alternatively, you could use a spicy birdseed mix, which birds can eat but squirrels find unpleasant. A baffle installed above or below the feeder can also discourage squirrels.
Key Takeaways On How To Repel Squirrels
Things to consider:
While squirrels can be entertaining to watch, they can also consume large quantities of bird seed and deter birds from visiting your feeders. If you’re having issues with squirrels at your bird feeders, here are some strategies to deter them:
Why should I keep squirrels out of my bird feeders?
While squirrels can be charming to watch, there are several reasons why you might want to deter them from your bird feeders:
What are some effective squirrel deterrents to keep them out of bird feeders?
Squirrels are cute and playful animals, but they can also cause damage to your property by chewing on wires and plants or digging up your vegetable garden. You can use several natural repellents if you’re looking for a way to keep them away.
One of the most effective natural squirrel repellents is using strong smells that they find unpleasant. Cayenne pepper, hot sauce, garlic, hot chili peppers, coffee grounds and black pepper can be mixed with water and dish soap to create a spray that you can use to keep squirrels away.
Apple cider vinegar spray can also be an effective solution. Spraying the bird feeder with this kitchen staple can create a scent harmful to squirrels that will repel them and discourage them from coming back. Apple cider vinegar is harmless to birds and humans.
Another way to deter squirrels is to switch from sunflower seeds to safflower seeds, which is a natural squirrel repellent. Squirrels eat sunflower seeds, which is one of the most common bird feed, but they hate the bitter taste of safflower seeds and will stay away from feeds that have them.
Squirrels are also naturally afraid of natural predators like foxes and coyotes, so you can purchase predator urine from hunting stores or online and put them in a spray bottle to sprinkle around your garden or property.
Mothballs contain a chemical called naphthalene with a strong odor that repels squirrels. By placing a few mothballs around the areas where you want to keep the squirrels away, you can deter them from coming too close. However, you should be cautious when using them around children and pets since they can be toxic if ingested.
Certain garden plants like daffodils, alliums, hyacinths, mint and other flower bulbs contain natural compounds and essential oils that squirrels find unpleasant. Plant squirrel-repelling flowers around your property to help get rid of squirrels.
Creating physical barriers using mesh netting, chicken wire, or fences around your garden or property can also prevent squirrels from entering.
It’s important to remember that squirrels are intelligent creatures and may become accustomed to certain repellents over time. So, it’s a good idea to switch up the type of repellent you’re using from time to time to keep the squirrels guessing.
Always use caution when using any type of repellent, especially around children and pets.
What are squirrel-proof bird feeders?
Food supply such as sunflower seeds and water attract squirrels. Squirrel-proof bird feeders are designed to keep the pesky rodents away from your bird seed while still allowing garden birds access. Many of these feeders are distasteful to squirrels, using strong-tasting ingredients such as chili pepper and cayenne pepper.
Others boast weight-sensitive designs — only when a light bird alights on the feeder can its door open, granting entry. Then once the heavier squirrel lands on it, the door quickly shuts.
Of course, few things are truly squirrel-proof since wily rodents have been known to gnaw and climb their way into all sorts of defenses.
Can I just relocate the squirrels to another area?
Relocating squirrels is not an ideal solution to keeping them away from your garden. Though this method might temporarily keep the wildlife away, it’s likely that they will either return or be replaced by other squirrels in the future.
Plus, relocating wild animals can cause unanticipated problems like destroying their new habitats, breeding issues and disturbing the balance of the natural ecosystem.
Far better solutions exist to discourage squirrels from visiting your garden—for example, using mesh fencing to protect vulnerable plants or setting traps near their entry points.
Ultimately, with a bit of creativity and patience you can find an effective way to coexist with these critters without having to remove them from their natural habitats.
Are squirrel traps effective?
A squirrel trap is not only dangerous but also largely ineffective. They are designed to catch and contain a squirrel but often fail, leading to the trapped squirrel becoming further stressed or scared in unfamiliar and dangerous situations.
A live trap can also cause injury to the trapped animal if they panic and flail around trying to escape. Keep in mind that you might be trapping a mother squirrel, separating her from her babies.
Even when correctly secured, squirrels have been known to break off small parts of their own body in an attempt to set themselves free.
Are squirrel repellent spray safe and effective?
Squirrel repellent sprays are widely available in stores and online as a method to combat the presence of squirrels in yards, gardens, and other outdoor areas.
Although numerous options exist, it is important to consider if they are actually safe and effective before choosing one. Generally, these sprays contain natural ingredients such as peppermint oil that squirrels hate mixed with water or other non-toxic solutions.
When used as directed, these products have proven safe for humans and animals alike, but their effectiveness is variable depending on the yard’s environment.
If there are other potential food sources nearby that a squirrel can access more easily than sprayed areas, the spray will likely be less successful in repelling the critters.
Since repellents work best when freshly applied regularly, customers must factor in not just the purchase price but also their own time spent reapplying to ensure enough protection from troublesome rodents.
How to identify squirrel damage?
One of the most common culprits of damage in gardens and other outdoor spaces with feeders is squirrels. With their playful antics and bushy tails, these mischievous animals can wreak havoc on your garden if the proper preventative measures are not taken.
If you’ve noticed a suspicious amount of broken stems or gnawed bark or seed heads around your feeders, chances are that you may have a squirrel problem on your hands.
Thankfully, they aren’t too hard to spot as they tend to be very active during the day and are often seen around birdfeeders scavenging for food or fertilizer. The only way to truly know whether squirrels or other critters are responsible for the damage in your garden is by carefully examining the area around your birdfeeders and making sure everything is in order.