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Thread: How to keep squirrels off my bird feeder

  1. #1
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    How to keep squirrels off my bird feeder

    I built this birdfeeder, how do I keep the squirrels away from it?
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    Dennis

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    I built this birdfeeder, how do I keep the squirrels away from it?
    There is no way to do it. The squirrel will always get through, itís only a matter of time.

  3. #3
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    We haven't had a bird feeder in a couple of years, since we relocated, but I used to have good luck with a product called "Squirrel Away." It's a hot chile powder that you mix in with the birdseed. Didn't keep the squirrels from getting to the feeder, but rather than parking themselves and emptying the feeder, they'd nibble for a little bit and then jump off to wipe their face in the grass. I think over time, it discouraged them from coming back. The birds didn't seem to mind the chiles.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    There is no way to do it. The squirrel will always get through, it’s only a matter of time.
    Not so. Haven't had a squirrel or raccoon on my feeders in 10 years. I simply enclosed the post in a piece of 6" PVC pipe. At the top of the pipe, just under the feeder, is a circle of clear lexan, about 24" in diameter. Don't need the lexan for the squirrels, they simply can't climb the pvc, and believe me they have tried. But some big raccoons can get their arms around the pipe and sort of shimmy up; the lexan disk stops them. The lexan also catches most of the dropped seeds and the platform feeding birds will eat down there.

    Of course, if there is a tree or tall shrub near enough that a squirrel can jump to the feeder, that's a different story. I chose the location so that doesn't happen.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Ragatz View Post
    We haven't had a bird feeder in a couple of years, since we relocated, but I used to have good luck with a product called "Squirrel Away." It's a hot chile powder that you mix in with the birdseed. Didn't keep the squirrels from getting to the feeder, but rather than parking themselves and emptying the feeder, they'd nibble for a little bit and then jump off to wipe their face in the grass. I think over time, it discouraged them from coming back. The birds didn't seem to mind the chiles.
    Down here in Texas, the squirrels chomp on hot peppers with gusto, as do we all. Those yankee squirrels, maybe not.

    Then youíll have the problem of the squirrels crawling on your window screens, tearing them up, expecting and insisting that you give them a beer.

    Thereís no place on my property that canít be jumped to by a hungry squirrel. Squirrels are remarkably intelligent, probably more so than some of the people I meet, present company excepted of course.

    BTW, you can get a 45 pound bag of premium birdseed at Costco for 15 bucks, so itís not that big a deal.

  6. #6
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    BTW, you can get a 45 pound bag of premium birdseed at Costco for 15 bucks, so itís not that big a deal.
    We have two types of squirrels, chipmunks, deer and various birds eating from our feeder. The raccoons likely come around when we can's see them.

    Sometimes we buy nuts for the squirrels so the blue jays don't eat all the peanuts or sunflower seeds in the mix.

    If you want to discourage the squirrels, Paul's remedy is likely your best way to keep them away from your feeder.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Ragatz View Post
    I used to have good luck with a product called "Squirrel Away." It's a hot chile powder that you mix in with the birdseed.
    One of my wife's hobbies is yelling at the squirrels that engorge themselves at our feeders. Over the years, we have tried just about every "squirrel-proof" feeder on the market: spring loaded, spinning, even the ones that give the squirrels an electric zap when you press the included remote. We have tried a variety of mechanical barriers, baffles, PVC pipes, greasing the poles, etc. Nothing has outsmarted the little devils for long (after all, they have nothing to do all day but try different ways to get past the obstacles... I think they enjoy the challenge).

    For Mother's day, one of our daughters gave my wife some of the hot pepper stuff that you add to the bird seed. Much to our delight, it does seem to work. We tried putting the pepper-spiked seed in one feeder, and the regular stuff in an adjacent feeder, and the birds didn't seem to mind the pepper, but the squirrels would get a snoot full and run off at high rates of speed. It's only been a few weeks, so the jury is still out (we've had other methods that seemed to work at first, but later fell short). My hope is that the squirrels will eventually train themselves to realize that this particular seed is not palatable to them, and take their dining business elsewhere.

    Your mileage may vary...

  8. #8
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    Here's a pic of a clever thief. The bird feeder has a bar that closes if too much weight is put on it, so he hangs from the top of the feeder and lifts the bar and helps himself. Gotta admire the determination.

    _MG_2027.jpg
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  9. #9
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    Our bird feeders are on a 4x4 post. I found a cheap, 18" stainless mixing bowl, cut a hole to fit the 4x4, and ground off the outer edge. It hangs 4ft off the ground. I mounted it to the pole with some wood cleats.
    Squirrels get up the pole, but the bowl stops them.

    I tried the plastic squirrel guards. The sun and weather makes them brittle and they fall apart. This one has been there 5 years. That's like 4 plastic ones.

  10. #10
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    I've had great success with vaseline on the post.

  11. #11
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    I put a 2" PVC pipe around the metal pipe that supports the bird feeder. Then two bare copper wires are wrapped around the PVC. About one wrap per foot. Space the wires about two inches apart. Then connect one wire to the hot terminal of an electric fencer. Connect the other wire to the other terminal of the fencer.

    Haven't had a squirrel in the feeder since. We live in a county where they bring problem bears from cities. Haven't seen one of those at the feeder either.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F Franklin View Post

    Of course, if there is a tree or tall shrub near enough that a squirrel can jump to the feeder, that's a different story. I chose the location so that doesn't happen.
    That's what you have to watch out for. We have a bird feeder hung on a metal rod hanger. We have a metal squirrel baffle just below the feeder which keeps them from climbing the pole. Unfortunately it's near enough to a bush that the more daring squirrels make the leap. We may move the pole and feeder.

  13. #13
    You need to use shields. They look like cones. Google it and you'll get the idea.

  14. #14
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    Squirrels are a problem, so are bear... For us, the jays have chased the squirrels away! -Howard

  15. #15
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    We had a bad squirrel problem having 3 bird feeders.

    I put them up with 1/2" and 3/4" black pipe because I can bend them back straight when the bears bend them over to empty the feeder. The 3/4" pipe is getting harder to straighten as I get older. But I take feeders down too.

    We had 3 35gallon galvanized trash cans with the bottoms rusted out left at the house when we bought it. I drilled 2 holes through the galvanized pipe 90* to each other through both sides of the pipe about 1 foot under the feeders. Then I slipped coat hanger wire through the pipe to make a cross to support the lids from the trash cans that I drilled a hole through the center of so I could slip them over the pipe in the ground. I had to bend the hanger wire so the lids would teeter totter and make it harder for the squirrels to grab ahold of if the could reach edge of lid.

    I had one squirrel in 27 years that could extend off of the pipe and grab the edge of the baffle, trash can lid and pull himself around the lid and up onto it.

    Okay I said, I took the lid off and with a pair of tin snips I cut the edge of the trash can lid all the way around the edge and it left a razor sharp jagged edge that will cut you bad if you so much as touch it.

    That squirrels belly did not like the feeling of the edge of that lid needless to say.

    We put corn and dog food on the ground for the bluejays and squirrels and they live off the fallings from the feeders.

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