Patriots, one of the more frequent questions we're asked comes from those desperate to keep the bushytail horde out of their birdfeeders.
Some of the emails we receive describe in horrific detail how slavering nutcrunchers not only devoured every ounce of bird seed but demolished the birdfeeder, too.
A few go on to say that the skwerls weren't satisfied with just eating the birdfeeder. They also chewed up the redwood deck, plastic patio furniture, and burrowed their way into the writer's home as well. And several claim that the squirrels eat the seed and the birds.
Others recount their efforts to squirrel-proof feeders with all manner of baffles, cage-like protective coverings, and other implements, all for naught. Somehow, the maniacal chitterboxes overcome every obstacle and effort with devastating results...
Why are skwerls so successful in their assaults on birdfeeders? First the basic design and defense options for birdfeeders have'nt changed substantially since ancient times. This means that the drooling nutzys literally had millennia to develop successful strategies to defeat so-called squirrel-proof bridfeeders.
The ante was upped a bit with the development of the dry cell battery and especially the long-lasting alkaline battery in 1959. This eventually led to electrified birdfeeders that either shocked invading skwerls or spun the feeder around causing the skwerlball to lose its grip and fall.
All "squirrel-proof" birdfeeders provide some measure of protection against the bushytail horde. However, as demonstrated by the videos below, no feeder can withstand the onslaught of a determined nutzy.
The first video demonstrates how the Yankee Flipper, a popular battery operated feeder works. The second video shows what happens when a determined skwerl assaults the same brand in another setting...
Click screenshots for videos: (L) Spun, (R) Persistence
Sadly, the video Persistence demonstrates that not even a flag ship product like the Flipper can claim that it's truly squirrel proof.
Some of you may ask, why bother defending our birdfeeders if defeat is certain? Just as the bushytail horde is rentless in its pursuit of squirrel world domination, the human spirit is indomitable. It's only a matter of time before a clever inventor finds a way to bar the drooling chitterboxes from our birdfeeders, forever. Until then, resistence is not futile.
Patriots, we invite you to consider some of the efforts to stop described below. They were sent in by our readers. All have merit, but none are completely effective...
For feeders on a pole: take a length of alunimum duct, place it around the pole below the feeder. Squirrels climb up, go into the duct, but can't get to the feeder (Ed note: pretty dang stupid skwerls if this works). Similarly, sheathing the pole in rigid, plastic pvc pipe can be effective.
Hang bags of mothballs around the birdfeeder. Squirrels hate the smell and won't bother you anymore (as per the writer) but birds don't seem to mind it. The writer also noted that the little bags can be attractively decorated and/or assesorized (Ed note: artistic but not effective per other writers).
Grease the pole: if your feeder hands from a pole, get some grease, mix capicsum (hot pepper) with it and slather it on the pole. One reader suggested using a mixture of Crisco and Nair, a hair removal product, just to further humiliate the nutkins (Ed note: yuck and requires multiple reapplications. However, skwerls dislike red pepper and some say mixing it with the birdseed works).
Use those gallon plastic juice jugs as baffles: just cut holes in them and slide them over whatever holds your feeder up, secure them in place with duct tape and it doesn't matter if it's hanging or on a pole (Ed note: baffles are probably the worst way to stop the nutkins. However, more than one Patriot swears by them except to say that they had to install multiple baffles and cut down trees within jumping distance from the feeder. Also note, baffles won't stop flying skwerlballs and ordinary nutzys will chew through duct tape!).
Again, for feeders on a pole: run the pole up through some slinkys: the skwerliens leap for the pole, grab onto the Slinky and get unceremoniously dumped on the ground (Ed note: providing you with hours of amusement. Dangle a few from the feeder itself just for fun. Similar to reader recommendations to grease poles but requires less maintenance).
Place chicken wire around the feeder: done correctly, the chitterboxes can't reach the seed, but the birds can. It works for keeping bird pests away, too. (Ed. note: however, this won't work with hanging feeders or with feeders whose poles tend to sway. The force of a bushytail hitting the chicken wire, or trying to force itself through it knocks seed to the ground where their comrades can englut themselves. Worse, most skwerls can chew through standard gauge chicken wire).
Fill the feeder something skwerls won't eat: I tried putting metal spikes all up and down a pole in the middle of the yard with the bird feeder attatched to the top- I stabbed myself several times- but it didn't bother the Skwerls in the least. I then tried double stick tape- While this caused them to lose some fur- the Skwerls were not bothered. I then filled the birdfeeder with stale fruit loops cereal. SUCCESS! The Skwerls have not returned for weeks... Unfortunatly- the birds haven't either.
Patriots, we have our own suggestion for curing the birdfeeder blues. We surmise that the vast majority of birdfeeders are located in urban environments. The skwerls attacking the feeders are woodland intruders threatening our way of life. So, isn't it time for our animal control authorities to round up these wild animals and send them back to the forest?
ordered "fox urine' from a "bird friendly" place - 1st day they ate a hole in the bag. added cayenne pepper to feed - most think its candy - honk a "boat air horn whenI see them eating from the bird feeder" works for abt 2 mins - wife and neighbors are made for days - GOTTA be something birds eat that squirrels hate - anyone one out there???
I used to laugh when people told me their "horror stories" of squirrels at their feeders. How ould anything be so bad? Then I became a homeowner myself, got my own feeders, and am on my way to getting my own BB gun! The war rages on.
I hang my tube feeders from a thin wire, and on top of that feeder i place a vinyl record. That has been sucessful in thwarting the squirrels for three years. When the squirrel slides down the wire, it hits the record and is unable to go around it and falls off. Until recently, it has been successful in thrwarting all feeder raiders (squirrels, possums, and coons). A coon got past the defense the other day.
a length of rod. on one end a birdfeeder the other end an electic motor. Inside the house me with a glass of beer and the controll switch to the electric motor. I leave the rest up to your imagination.
Our birdfeeder is near our back window. Whenever I see an evil squirrel I go outside with my high powered pellet gun and blast them. The only downside is that I can only go shoot them when I am home and done with school
I'm trying " extra hot red chilly powder" ought from an Indian food store for $2.50 lb. Putting it in a flour sifter & sprinklinging it around the world of my back yard. Will it help? I doubt it. The squarrels will probably staire me in the face & show off the 99 ways they know on how to get over on me. Do we use squarrles for medical research?
pvc pipe won't work. They dig their claws in and keep on going.
Load the ole shotgun with BUCKSHOT!!!! Make decoy feeders to attract the little hoard of nutmunchers, and then BLAST 'EM!!!
Put out a Skwerl feeder- it's amusing to watch them pop open the lid and make off with Skwerl feed. In my experience, they usually leave the bird feed alone if they have their own vittles.
Beat em with a stick!
live with it! they need to eat too. just give them there own feeder and make it easier to get to than the birdfeeder. squirrels are COOL!!!
I heard they hate cayenne pepper. Burns they're little toung right off. Ifen it'll keep them outa my shed, I'd buy a 5 gallon bucket of it!!!!!!!!!!
I tried putting metal spikes all up and down a pole in the middle of the yard with the bird feeder attatched to the top- I stabbed myself several times- but it didn't bother the Skwerls in the least. I then tried double stick tape- While this caused them to lose some fur- the Skwerls were not bothered. I then filled the birdfeeder with stale fruit loops cereal. SUCCESS! The Skwerls have not returned for weeks... Unfortunatly- the birds haven't either
Remove the legal protection for them and let every one know that their tails are worth a few bucks on the fly tying market. There will be dead ones laying all over for a while minus their tails. Have some faith. For a bucks they will be taken out quickly.
leave them sweet lttle squirrels alone
A 12 GAUGE SHOT GUN -- GOLF COURSE BEHIND THE HOUSE--CAN'T RISK A RIFLE. OF COURSE, MANY GOLF SHOTS ARE RUINED. GOLFERS, STAY FOCUSED. KEEP HEAD DOWN.
trap them and sell them to the third world for food
i like squirrls and i feed them. some of the birds don't like them much. maybe they could help you.
3M commercial demonstrates that skwerlien
aggression is carefully planned and executed
WIKI HOW-TO: STOP SQUIRRELS
WHAT DO SKWERLS EAT