Squirrel Proofing Tips, Whether You Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em

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Squirrel Proofing Tips, Whether You Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em

Squirrels. Most folks either love ’em or hate ’em. They are clever, relentless and can become an nuisance when trying to feed the birds. In fact, many people may become disenchanted when feeding birds because squirrels can be so destructive. They have voracious appetites and will eat their way through all of your birdseed within hours. But, we have a few squirrel proofing tips that will dissuade squirrels from feasting at your bird feeders. You may even learn to love their antics!

Just the Facts, Ma’am!

We feel that knowledge is power. One of your best defensive tools is learning what you can do about these furry critters.

Tail or Sail?

Eastern Grey Squirrels are famous for their leaping skills. They can jump over large open spaces and land safely with grace and agility. The explanation for this balance is found in their fluffy tails. It acts as a rudder, a counter-balance, and an air brake. The tail can even be manipulated as such in mid-leap!

The Paws Have It

Squirrels are master climbers without a doubt. And, their paws are perfectly designed to help them go places, man or other beasts could never dream of going. They have four long toes on their front paws, and five on the back paws. Each toe has a long claw, which further assists in climbing. However, these clawed toes also allow squirrels to grasp and manipulate objects.


The ankle joints in their hind legs offer an adaption like no other as well. These joints allow squirrels to rotate their back feet, allowing them to climb down objects head-first.

Squirrel Proof Feeders.

These feeders are your best bet to keep squirrels away from your birdseed.

Weight-Activated Feeders

These nifty feeders will automatically close the feeding ports when a squirrel lands on them. However, because birds are lighter than squirrels, they will not trigger the mechanism.

Cage Style Squirrel-Resistant Feeders

Some feeders have a cage built around them so that birds can access the food, but squirrels, chipmunks, and larger aggressive birds cannot. The enclosures are constructed of metal, so pesky critters will also not be able to chew through them.

Squirrel Baffles

A squirrel baffle is a clear plastic or black metal dome placed over the top of your feeders. They have a slick, sloped surface, so squirrels have nothing to grip onto, and slide right off. They are available in many shapes, and we recommend either the dome or cone shape. Squirrels are able to manipulate and climb over flat baffles, so avoid them.

Location, Location, Location!

Like your local real estate agent will tell you, location is everything. So, reconsider where you are placing your feeders and have consideration for hungry squirrels.

Hang Bird Feeders from Trees

When hanging a bird feeder from a tree, aim to hang it around 12 feet away from the trunk. That way squirrels may not be able to leap to it. Also, for the same reason, make sure your bird feed is at least 9 feet off the ground. Choose a thin limb; this will further dissuade squirrels because they do not like to feel exposed to predators.

Hang Bird Feeders from a Line

Once again, if hanging the feeder off a line, make sure it is at least 9 feet off the ground. Try to use a thin line made of a chew-resistant material, like a metal chain, piano wire, or mono-filament fishing line. Avoid rope or plastic lines. Squirrels will easily chew through them, causing the feeder to come crashing to the ground.

Mount a Bird Feeder on a Pole

If using a pole-mount for your feeder, it needs to be tall. That way you can install the pole at least a foot into the ground and still keep your feeder high enough so squirrels cannot jump from the ground. You can also hang the feeder from a shepherd’s hook. Choose one that is smooth, so that squirrels are unable to grip it.

Don’t forget your Baffles.

I’m Not Going to Eat That!

Squirrels will eat almost anything, but there are some kinds of bird seed and additives that squirrels are not enthusiastic about eating. Choosing some of these could help to squirrel-proof your bird feeders.

Safflower Seed

Safflower seeds appeal to a number of birds, including cardinals, doves, titmice, nuthatches and house finches. Squirrels, don’t like the taste of safflower

Niger/Thistle Seed

This seed comes from Africa or Asia and squirrels simply do not like it. It attracts a variety of finch species, including American Goldfinches, Purple Finches and Pine Siskins. However, you will need to buy a special finch feeder, with small feeder ports to accommodate the size of this seed.

Cayenne Pepper

Another option is to sprinkle your bird feeder with cayenne pepper. The taste will repel squirrels. Don’t worry about birds though, they cannot taste it. But, keep an eye out because squirrels may build a tolerance to the taste so you may need to increase the dosage. Use this in conjunction with the other squirrel proofing methods, because some squirrels may simply not care how it tastes.

Looking for squirrel proof feeders and accessories? Check out all the options at Sneade’s Ace Home Center. We love our feathered-friends and hope these tips will encourage and inspire you. Squirrel proof bird feeders and tips… another reason why Sneade’s Ace Home Center is the place!


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