How to keep squirrels from my bird feeders?

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What can I do to keep the squirrels from eating the food in my bird feeders? I have tried sprinkling some paprika on the seeds and from my observance, it does not work. Any ideas?

how to keep squirrels from my bird feeders, gardening, outdoor living, pest control, pets animals, I enjoy feeding the birds but not the squirrels
I enjoy feeding the birds but not the squirrels.
  29 answers
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 20, 2013
    There is NO way! I stopped having bird feeders because I did not want to feed squirrels! And the seeds under it brought weeds!

    • Margie*Lee Margie*Lee on Nov 22, 2013
      @Jeanette S We were having the same issue with squirrels until be finally bought one of those feeders that twirl around if a squirrel gets on it and it throws them off. We also discovered the tube baffles that we put on our poles and they work great. We feed lots of birds and the squirrels feed under our feeders on the seed that spills over. We also learned early on to buy good quality bird feed and we have very little weed issues. The cheap bird seed was a waste of money. Not only did the birds not like it (too much filler) but it grew weeds in my flower beds.

  • SheilaShrubs.com SheilaShrubs.com on Nov 20, 2013
    There are a number of squirrel proof bird feeders that may help. Some people also try putting up a squirrel feeder in another part of the yard to keep them away from the birds' food. Have you tried putting something around the pole under the feeder so the squirrels can't climb up? Something like a plastic coke bottle that they can't grip or jump over might be worth trying. Good luck!

  • G. Bryant G. Bryant on Nov 21, 2013
    How about squirrel corn on the trees for the squirrels.

    • Margie*Lee Margie*Lee on Nov 22, 2013
      @G. Bryant This will work but...be prepared to store LOTS of corn because you will need to replace it daily.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Nov 21, 2013
    In my experience the only way to keep squirrels out of a bird feeder is to get a squirrel-proof feeder. I have a Brome Squirrel Buster Plus and I have happily watched many a thwarted squirrel try to get seed out of it. http://bromebirdcare.com/products/plus/

  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Nov 21, 2013
    Keep the post slicked down with some Vaseline or WD40 they can't climb it.

  • Beverly Beverly on Nov 21, 2013
    Put ground hot pepper on the bird feed. The birds don't mind but the squirrels hate it and will not eat it..

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Nov 22, 2013
    I agree with the others......get a squirrel proof bird feeder. I had one and had more fun watching the squirrels getting into the feeder! They are not cheap but worth it.

  • Michael Willis Michael Willis on Nov 22, 2013
    I agree squirrel proof feeder with a baffle on pole, away from trees helps. I like the squirrels just not in my bird feeders.

  • Szewe Szewe on Nov 22, 2013
    In your picture, your feeder is too close to the ground, those buggers can jump; just watch one going through the trees. I have a plastic dome that fits on top of the feeder which hangs from a tree. Squirrels are not a problem since the feeder is far enough away from the ground and the dome keeps them from accessing the feeder from the tree.

  • Donna J Donna J on Nov 22, 2013
    Thanks for all your suggestions. I've tried just about everything suggested here except the squirrel buster bird feeder. Thanks @Douglas Hunt for the suggestion. I've visited the website and decided to get at least one to start. They are a little expensive but, it would be worth it. Enjoy the weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    • Randy Randy on Nov 22, 2013
      @Donna J - I think I'm going to have to do the same thing. They are pricey, but then again so is wasting bird seed! I have had squirrels go through 1/3 of a $12 bag of feed in 2 days, so it doesn't take long at that rate to pay for a better feeder!

  • Margie*Lee Margie*Lee on Nov 22, 2013
    Forget about the cones that are meant to be mounted on your pole because squirrels will figure out how to jump on them. If the squirrels are climbing up your pole you can get a baffle that is a hollow tube. We have our feeders hanging from shepherd hooks and use the tube baffles and they work! If the squirrels are getting to your feeders from surrounding trees, then you simply must move your poles far enough from tree branches or trim the tree branches away from your feeders. We have now conquered our squirrel problem but have the fattest squirrels in our neighborhood because they feed off the seeds that spill onto the ground underneath the feeders.

    • Lynn5280 Lynn5280 on Nov 24, 2013
      @Margie*Lee where do you get the hollow tube baffle? I bet my squirrls are fatter than yours lol

  • Mary Ann Coleman Mary Ann Coleman on Nov 22, 2013
    we changes to safflower seeds only. The squirrels hate it. The beautiful colored birds loved it.

    • Amy Amy on Feb 04, 2014
      @Mary Ann Coleman I did not know this! THanks for sharing!

  • J K  Weigle J K Weigle on Nov 22, 2013
    I Crisco the pole and watch them slide down.

  • Mary M Mary M on Nov 22, 2013
    I save the used grease from cooked hamburger and spread it on my birdfeeder pole and watch the squirrels try time after time to climb the pole without success. It is so funny to watch them slid up and down the pole until they finally give up. Also, my feeder is mounted on a tall 9' pole and that makes a lot of difference because I have to use a ladder to fill the feeder.

  • Donna R Donna R on Nov 22, 2013
    I have a big feeder and just let them all eat together. I love watching the squirrels as much as the birds. I buy cheap bird food and mix it with more expensive bird food so that it last longer and feeds all kinds of birds. Be careful about corn in your yard if you have a dog. We had Dachshund almost die from eating moldy corn that had fallen from a corn cob.

  • Linda Linda on Nov 22, 2013
    My husband put a big round metal round plate under the feeder, it seems to help.

  • Pat Mountfort Pat Mountfort on Nov 22, 2013
    put the pole inside a piece of 4" PVC pipe with a squirrel baffle on top of that.

  • Lou Lou on Nov 22, 2013
    100% effective, my is mounted on a pole. http://www.sportys.com/toolshop/product/8647

    • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jan 01, 2015
      @Lou Listen to Lou, when I was feeding birds, I used one of these. And he is right, it is 100% effective!

  • Kathy Kathy on Nov 23, 2013
    The baffle should work the hot pepper didn't work on my red squirrel. It was the sharp Shin Hawk that reduced the numbers.

  • Margie*Lee Margie*Lee on Nov 24, 2013
    LOL...I think we got them at a a bird feeder store like Wild Birds Unlimited. You may be able to find them at a garden center too. They were pricey but they work! We put the cone shaped ones in our last garage sale because the squirrels were able to jump up on them and feed away!

  • SheilaShrubs.com SheilaShrubs.com on Dec 01, 2013
    Donna, as Margie suggests, we have a lot of squirrel-proof and squirrel resistant feeders at Sheila Shrubs. Feel free to check them out and holler if you have any questions. I'll do what I can to help out.

  • J K  Weigle J K Weigle on Dec 01, 2013
    Sorry,no. Wish I did.

  • Barbara C Barbara C on Dec 28, 2014
    Mary Ann Coleman. The Squirrels chase my birds away.I bought Safflower seed and Squirrels will not eat it. My birds are much happier now.

  • Judy Judy on Dec 28, 2014
    Get axle grease at the auto parts store & grease the pole.

  • G. Bryant G. Bryant on Dec 31, 2014
    Grease the pole, so the squirrel will slide each time he tries to climb into the bird feeder. Also fun to watch him slide. Ha-ha !!

  • Tina Jones Tina Jones on Dec 31, 2014
    My husband screwed a metal slinky to the bottom of the feeder around the pole & it's worked amazingly! It's funny to watch the squirrels try to climb it but they've given up now & stay on the ground to eat the seed lol

  • BS BS on May 04, 2015
    My first thought was to buy a squirrel proof bird feeder, but the slinky idea is genius!

  • Barbara C Barbara C on May 05, 2015
    My Squirrels don't climb poles, they jump from trees onto the top of the feeders.But they will not eat Safflower seeds.Birds love these seeds,Squirrels don't.