How to prevent squirrels from eating bird seed in your garden
Squirrels can be entertaining as they scurry across the grass, up into the trees and then jump from branch to branch. But, when they create a mess in your garden, you might begin to appreciate their antics a little less.
Perhaps most of all, squirrels can cause frustration for bird lovers. They may eat the seed meant for the birds you want to attract, resulting in more frequent refilling of your feeders. Understandably, this can become a source of frustration for even the most patient gardeners.
But, how do you prevent them from eating the bird seed that you are trying to make available for the winged creatures in your garden?
6 easy ways to keep squirrels out of your bird feeders
Squirrels are clever and tricky animals. At times, fending off squirrels can seem like a daunting task. Worry not – there are a few simple and convenient ways to continue feeding the birds and prevent the squirrels from feasting from your bird feeders at the same time:
Don’t use a bird table – Feeders that are easy to access, such as one that is low to the ground, are much more likely to attract squirrels. With so many bird feeder options, you’d be better off adding one that is elevated off the ground.
Squirrel proof feeders – Did you know that you can also buy squirrel proof feeders? There are several different ones to choose from, including squirrel bafflers which prevent them from even reaching the feeder, and ones with weight activated perch bars that close to prevent squirrels from accessing the seed supply.
Baffle them – There are accessories you can add to make your feeders less accessible to squirrels, a baffle is a great option. Most squirrel baffles are large plastic domes that can be attached to your feeders, helping to deter non-feathered critters from reaching the seed.
Pole mount – Another great way to keep away squirrels is to mount your feeders on posts. Metal and other smooth posts lack traction, making it much more difficult for squirrels to climb up the slippery surface.
Sprinkle chilli powder – One of the most effective ways you can deter these bushy-tailed critters is by spicing up your bird food. Chilli powder is a safe and effective way of ensuring that only the intended recipients of the bird seed get the food. The spice is too strong for squirrel, but birds won’t even notice it!
The RSPB suggest that gardeners dust a small amount of the powder over seed and suet mixes. But, be careful not to get it in your eyes or on your skin.
Feed them – It may sound contradictory, but feeding squirrels can actually be an effective way of keeping them away from your bird seed. By providing a food they love, such as whole, dried corn, they won’t feel as strong a desire to steal from the birds – especially if it’s served in something that’s easy to access, such as a tray feeder.
By following these six simple steps, you can say goodbye to the squirrels in your garden and enjoy watching the feasting birds instead. See, it is easier than you thought to deter squirrels, isn’t it?