Natural Ways To Keep Squirrels Away From Birdseed

what can you putin birdseed to keep squirrels away

If you love feeding birds in your backyard but constantly find squirrels devouring the birdseed, it can be quite frustrating. These sneaky little creatures seem to have an insatiable appetite for birdseed, leaving your feathered visitors hungry. But fear not! There are clever ways to keep squirrels away from your bird feeders. From spicy additives to unique baffles, we have a plethora of options to help you outsmart those pesky squirrels. So, let's explore what you can put in birdseed to keep these acrobatic thieves at bay!

Characteristics Values
Spices Cayenne pepper, chili powder, black pepper, paprika, cinnamon
Seeds Safflower seeds, nyjer seeds
Nuts Raw peanuts, almonds, walnuts
Fruits Dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins
Oils Vegetable oil, hot pepper oil
Plants Daffodils, marigolds, geraniums or any other plants with strong scents
Containers Squirrel-resistant bird feeders or feeders with weight-activated mechanisms
Physical Deterrents Squirrel baffles, squirrel guards, wire cages
Scare Tactics Reflective objects, noise makers, motion-activated sprinklers
Cleanliness Regularly clean the feeding area and remove spilled seeds or debris


Natural deterrents for keeping squirrels out of birdseed

If you love bird-watching and feeding birds in your backyard, one common problem you might face is squirrels raiding your birdseed. These clever critters will go to great lengths to get to that tasty treat, but there are some natural deterrents you can use to help keep them away. Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Cayenne Pepper: Sprinkling cayenne pepper on or around your birdseed can help deter squirrels. The strong smell and taste of the pepper will repel them, as they are sensitive to spicy substances. Be sure to reapply the pepper after rain or if it becomes damp. It's important to note that this method could also deter some bird species, so use it sparingly and monitor the situation.
  • Safflower Seeds: Squirrels tend to dislike safflower seeds, so using this type of birdseed can reduce their interest in your feeders. Many bird species, including cardinals and finches, enjoy safflower seeds, so it's a win-win situation.
  • Hot Sauce or Tabasco: Mixing a small amount of hot sauce or Tabasco sauce with your birdseed can help keep squirrels away. The spicy flavor will repel them while not affecting the birds. Start with a small amount and gradually increase if needed. Again, reapply after rain or damp conditions.
  • Nuts in the Shell: Squirrels love nuts, so providing them with a separate feeding station can help redirect their attention away from your bird feeders. Place a squirrel feeder away from your bird feeders and fill it with nuts in the shell. This will keep the squirrels occupied and hopefully deter them from your birdseed.
  • Squirrel-Proof Feeders: Investing in squirrel-proof bird feeders can be an effective long-term solution. These feeders are designed with features that make it difficult for squirrels to access the birdseed, such as weight-sensitive perches or cages. They allow birds to feed while preventing squirrels from stealing the seed.
  • Physical Barriers: Creating physical barriers around your bird feeders can also help keep squirrels at bay. Use cone-shaped baffles or metal collars placed on the poles of the feeders to prevent squirrels from climbing up. Additionally, placing the feeders away from trees, fences, or other structures that squirrels can use as launching pads will make it more challenging for them to access the birdseed.

Remember, persistence is key when it comes to deterring squirrels. It may take some trial and error to find the best method for your specific situation. Combine multiple deterrents for a more effective approach, and consider monitoring your bird feeders to assess the success of your efforts. Happy bird-watching!


Homemade squirrel repellents to protect your bird feeders

Bird feeders are a wonderful way to attract beautiful birds to your yard, but they can also be a magnet for pesky squirrels. These furry little creatures have a knack for finding and devouring birdseed, leaving your feathered friends hungry. Fortunately, there are several homemade squirrel repellents that can help keep these critters away from your bird feeders. Here are a few effective options:

  • Hot Pepper Spray: Squirrels are not fond of the spicy taste of hot peppers. By making a simple homemade pepper spray, you can deter them from stealing birdseed. To make the spray, finely chop a few hot peppers (such as jalapenos or habaneros) and mix them with water in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture well and spray it directly onto the birdseed or around the bird feeder. The spicy scent will deter squirrels, but it won't harm the birds.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Another way to use the power of hot peppers is to sprinkle cayenne pepper directly on the birdseed. Squirrels will be repelled by the strong smell and taste, effectively keeping them away from your feeders. Just be sure to reapply the pepper regularly, especially after it rains.
  • Mothballs: Squirrels are also deterred by the strong odor of mothballs. Simply place a few mothballs in a mesh bag or nylon stocking and hang it near the bird feeder. The smell will act as a deterrent, and squirrels will be less likely to approach your bird feeders.
  • Essential Oils: Certain essential oils, such as peppermint, eucalyptus, or lavender, have strong scents that squirrels find unpleasant. Dilute a few drops of your chosen oil in water and spray it around the bird feeder or directly onto the birdseed. The smell will discourage squirrels from getting too close.
  • Predatory Bird Decoys: Squirrels are naturally wary of predators, so hanging a fake owl or hawk near your bird feeder can help keep them at bay. The sight of a potential threat will make squirrels think twice before approaching the feeder. Move the decoy every few days to prevent the squirrels from becoming accustomed to it.
  • Tin Foil: Squirrels dislike the sound and feel of tin foil, so wrapping it around the pole or branches of your bird feeder can discourage them from climbing up. Be sure to wrap the foil tightly and secure it with tape or string to prevent the squirrels from removing it.

Remember, it may take a combination of these homemade squirrel repellents to effectively keep the critters away from your bird feeders. It's important to note that while these repellents are safe for birds, they should be used with caution around pets and children. By using these simple yet effective methods, you can create a squirrel-free zone for your feathered friends to enjoy their meals in peace.


Commercial products designed to deter squirrels from birdseed

If you are an avid bird watcher and want to attract different bird species to your backyard, you know how frustrating it can be to constantly find squirrels invading your bird feeders. Squirrels are notorious for finding their way to birdseed and devouring it, leaving little to nothing for the feathered friends you intended to feed. However, there are commercial products available that are designed to deter squirrels from birdseed, helping you protect your feeders and ensure that your bird visitors are well-fed. In this article, we will explore some of these commercial squirrel deterrents and how they can help you keep your birdseed safe.

Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders:

Squirrel-proof bird feeders are specially designed with mechanisms to prevent squirrels from accessing the birdseed. These feeders typically have a weight-activated system, where the weight of the squirrel triggers a closing or obstructing mechanism, preventing access to the seed. This allows birds to freely feed while deterring squirrels.

Baffle or Dome Guards:

Baffles or dome guards are physical barriers that can be installed above or below the bird feeders. These barriers are designed to make it difficult for squirrels to climb or jump onto the feeders. Baffles are often made of metal or plastic and can be attached to poles or hung from above the feeder. Dome guards, on the other hand, look like inverted bowls with a hole in the center for the bird feeder to hang. These barriers prevent squirrels from reaching the birdseed from above or below.

Hot Pepper-Based Seed Treatments:

Squirrels have a strong sense of smell, and they are deterred by the strong scent and taste of hot peppers. Some commercial products contain hot pepper extracts or capsaicin, which can be applied directly to the birdseed. These treatments are safe for birds but repel squirrels, discouraging them from consuming the seed.

Squirrel-Proof Seed Mixes:

Certain seed mixes are formulated to be less appealing to squirrels while still attracting a variety of bird species. These mixes often include seeds that are less preferred by squirrels, such as safflower seeds. By using squirrel-proof seed mixes, you can reduce the chances of squirrels being attracted to your feeders in the first place.

Electronic Squirrel Deterrents:

For a more high-tech approach, electronic squirrel deterrents can be an effective option. These devices use motion sensors or infrared technology to detect the presence of squirrels and emit a high-frequency sound or flash a bright light to scare them away. These deterrents are safe for birds, but the sudden noise or light can startle squirrels and discourage them from coming back to your feeders.

When using commercial products designed to deter squirrels from birdseed, it is important to carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain and clean your feeders regularly to keep them in optimal condition and prevent any buildup of old or spoiled seed that may attract squirrels.

By incorporating these squirrel deterrents into your backyard bird feeding routine, you can create a welcoming environment for birds while keeping pesky squirrels at bay. With a little perseverance and the right tools, you can enjoy watching the beautiful feathered visitors in peace, without the interference of squirrels.


Strategic bird feeder placement to discourage squirrel activity

When setting up a bird feeder in your yard, it's important to take steps to discourage squirrel activity. Squirrels are notorious for raiding bird feeders, causing a disturbance as they eat all the seed and scare away the birds. To keep squirrels away from your bird feeder, strategic placement of the feeder is crucial.

Choose the right location:

  • Place the bird feeder at least 10 feet away from any trees, fences, or other structures that squirrels can climb onto. Squirrels are excellent jumpers and climbers, so keep in mind that they can access the feeder from above or from nearby objects.
  • Consider placing the feeder in an open area, such as a garden or lawn, where squirrels will be more exposed and less likely to feel safe approaching the feeder.
  • If possible, position the feeder away from any squirrel-friendly areas, such as bird baths or squirrel feeders, to reduce squirrel traffic.

Opt for squirrel-resistant feeders:

  • Invest in a squirrel-resistant bird feeder specifically designed to deter squirrels. These feeders often feature mechanisms that prevent squirrels from accessing the seed, such as weight-activated perches or seed ports with adjustable openings.
  • Look for feeders with metal or wire mesh cages around the seed container. Squirrels won't be able to chew through these materials as easily as they can with plastic or wood.

Use baffles and guards:

  • Install squirrel baffles or guards to prevent squirrels from climbing up to the bird feeder. These can be in the form of dome-shaped baffles that are mounted above the feeder or cylindrical baffles that are placed on the feeder pole.
  • Make sure the baffles or guards are positioned far enough away from the feeder so the squirrels can't jump or reach over them.

Distract squirrels with alternative feeding stations:

  • Set up separate feeding stations for squirrels away from the bird feeder to entice them away. Fill these stations with squirrel-friendly food like corn, sunflower seeds, or peanuts.
  • By providing a designated area for squirrels to get their fill, they will be less likely to bother the bird feeder.

Consider using hot pepper or squirrel repellents:

  • Some birders have success using birdseed treated with hot pepper or adding crushed red pepper flakes to the birdseed. Squirrels generally dislike the spicy taste, which can deter them from consuming the birdseed.
  • Alternatively, you can try using squirrel repellents that are available in granules, sprays, or powders. Apply them around the feeder and on nearby surfaces to create a barrier that squirrels find unpleasant.

Remember that these methods are not foolproof, and determined squirrels may still find a way to access the feeder. Be prepared to adapt and try different strategies to find what works best in your specific situation. By strategically placing your bird feeder and taking steps to discourage squirrel activity, you can create a more peaceful and bird-friendly environment in your yard.

Frequently asked questions

One option is to mix cayenne pepper or chili powder into the birdseed. Squirrels have a strong aversion to these spices and will usually avoid eating the treated seeds. Just be sure to wear gloves and avoid getting the spice mixture in your eyes or nose while handling it.

Yes, you can. Squirrels do not like the taste of hot sauce, so adding a few drops to the birdseed can help deter them. However, be cautious about using excessive amounts of hot sauce, as it may potentially harm birds if they consume the treated seeds.

Yes, squirrels dislike the smell of garlic, so adding garlic powder or crushed garlic to the birdseed can help deter them. The strong scent is usually enough to discourage them from eating the treated seeds.

Squirrels have a strong preference for sunflower seeds, so using birdseed mixes that contain less sunflower seeds and more nyjer seeds, safflower seeds, or millet can help deter them. Squirrels are less likely to be attracted to these alternative seed types.

Absolutely! Squirrel-proof bird feeders are designed with mechanisms that prevent squirrels from accessing the birdseed. These feeders often have weight-activated or squirrel-resistant features that make it difficult for squirrels to steal the seeds meant for birds. Investing in a squirrel-proof feeder can be a long-term solution to keep squirrels away from your birdseed.

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