If you have a bird feeder, you likely already know the damage a hungry squirrel can do. Bird Man Mel has some tips for keeping squirrels out through traditional ways, such as shepherd's hooks, under baffles and hanging baffles, and you can also stop squirrels by purchasing squirrel proof bird feeders. But, for those looking for inexpensive ways to protect your current bird feeder, here are five things to try.
Put crushed cayenne pepper in the bird feed
Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
Since mammals have taste buds, the hot spices bother small animals like squirrels and chipmunks. Putting crushed pepper in the bird food can act as a deterrent. More importantly, the crushed pepper does not have any negative health effects on birds. In fact, one scientific study that monitored the effectiveness of using capsaicin-treated sunflower seeds found that areas with large bird populations saw an increase in visits, while deterring squirrels from stealing seeds.
Use safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds
Many observers have noticed that squirrels tend to avoid bird feeders with safflower seeds. Though they have been spotted on occasion eating safflower seeds, squirrels tend to dislike its bitter taste. Safflower is also very nutritional for birds because it has protein, high fat content and nutritious oil. Finally, another added benefit of using safflower seeds as a deterrent for squirrels is that grackles and starlings, which keep other desirable birds away, are not attracted to it.
Use a Slinky to prevent squirrels from climbing the pole
A Slinky is another quick and inexpensive solution to stopping the squirrel menace. All it requires is attaching the Slinky to the top of the bird feeder pole and letting it hang down to the ground. When squirrels try to jump on the pole or climb it, the Slinky simply dumps them back to the ground.
Make the bird feeder pole out of PVC pipe
That same pipe used for plumbing can make a great stand for your bird feeder. The PVC pipe, typically made out of a hard plastic, prevents the squirrel from getting a strong grip and, like the Slinky, sends the squirrel tumbling back to the ground.
Use an old record as a baffle
If you have an old record lying around, you can put it to good use by mounting it underneath the feeder as a baffle. Its thick circular design and slippery material makes it a great baffle to keep those squirrels out of your bird feeder.
Another sure way to get rid of those pesky squirrels, browse our inventory of squirrel proof bird feeders here. Each squirrel proof bird feeder we sell, like all of our products, is backed by a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee.