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Squirrel Solutions

Squirrels can be a real nuisance for people who enjoy feeding birds.   Here are a few tips for deterring squirrels from bird feeders.

If you are having problems with squirrels climbing the pole to the feeder, try using a baffle. Baffles create obstacles above and below the feeder that prevent squirrels from reaching the feeder.  Make sure the baffle is mounted at least four feet high under the feeder and that there is an eight foot open radius around the pole so they can not jump to the feeder.  Make sure the baffle is one third larger in diameter than the feeder.

Caged feeders are also a good solution for these furry rodents.  The plus to caged feeders is that they can be hung from almost anywhere.  The grid size allows small birds to hop through the grid to get to the seed.  The downside to caged feeders is that larger birds are usually not able to feed from them.

Weight activated feeders are also effective against squirrels.  They work by the weight of the squirrel closing off the perches to the seed.  A birds weight is not enough to close the ports so they can still feed.

There are several devices that will twirl the feeders and throw squirrels off when they jump on feeders.  The squirrels weight on the feeder activates a motor which gently twirls them off.  Much like weight activated feeders, the weight of birds will not activate the motor.

My favorite way to deter squirrels is probably the easiest.  The seed I use is infused with chili pepper.  When a squirrel takes a bite, it experiences a very uncomfortable sensation.  This is not harmful to the squirrel as it is a sensory stimulation only.  Birds are not affected by the heat from the chili pepper.  Squirrels learn fast and will not feed on this treated seed again.

Did you know:

-Squirrels can eat their weight in seed in one week.

-Top running speed for squirrels is 20 mph.

-Squirrels can jump 6 vertical feet and 8 feet horizontally.

Happy Bird Watching!

 

Susan Rollins