As cute as squirrels can be – they sure can be a handful to handle when it comes to keeping them out of places where they do not belong!
We want to share some tips and tricks with you today on how to squirrel proof your bird feeder once and for all.
First of all we want you to reconsider other ways then using sticky materials that make squirrels slide of climbing spots.
A lot of people have seen funny videos of squirrels climbing places in vain and it sure looks funny. BUT every wildlife animal is worth protecting, and putting vaseline or chemical sprays on surfaces both harms the health of squirrels and birds alike. Even something seemingly harmless like petroleum jelly products are made out of petrolatum, which can cause gastrointestinal problems even in bigger pets like cats and it messes with the animal’s fur or feathers. Just because something is safe for humans does not mean it cannot be hurtful to animals!
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There are a lot of ways to discourage squirrels from climbing bird feeders. Anything with a slippery surface discourages climbing attempts. Reconsider the position of your bird feeder and do not put it close to trees or an already existing squirrel habitat to begin with.
There are also premade squirrel guards that you can attach to bird feeders that are not harmful to squirrels but make it nearly impossible to get access to the bird food.
Another simple way to get rid of food thievery is to change the food selection. There are a variety of bird foods that squirrels do not enjoy! Some common bird food choices are : Nyjer thistle, safflower seeds or white proso millet seeds. Please do not put spicy things in the bird food because it physically hurts squirrels and in our eyes that is a no-go!
Last but not least, you might want to offer squirrels their own food source targeting their needs. You can set up a squirrel feeder in a different area of your garden and make sure that your bird feeder has no fallen of food bits surrounding it.
If that is not an option for you and you do not want them in your back yard altogether, redesign your garden in ways that makes it less attractive to squirrels. Avoid trees that carry nuts and berries, and make food in general unavailable by keeping a clean yard and securing pet food bowls and trash cans.
We hope that you find these ways of proofing your bird feeder helpful. Please make sure to only use methods that are environmental friendly and enjoy observing the wildlife around you!
Photography: “Tamiasciurus hudsonicus” by © Gilles Gonthier , some rights reserved.