How to Stop Squirrels eating your Wild Bird Food
It is a common problem that lots of bird watchers and feeders suffer from. The very act of attracting birds into your garden can also attract squirrels as they also look to gain from the free source of food. Ignoring the extra cost in food of feeding both the birds and the squirrels, squirrels also damage the bird feeders. Any plastic or wooden feeders are susceptible to squirrel damage, as their tough sharp teeth can chew through them. You will also find that birds will not feed from the feeder while the squirrel is there. If you want to stop the squirrels then follow these top tips!
Provide lots of food - Most Squirrel damage to your plastic and wooden feeders coccurs when the feeders are almost empty. As the feed becomes harder to get at the squirrels are forced to chew their way through the feeder in order to get the food. Therefore ensure the feeders are kept nice and full. Not only will the birds be more likely to regularly visit your garden, but the squirrel damage will become almost non existent.
Keep it out of reach - The standard squirrel proof feeders. These tend to be of a caged design and simply keep the larger squirrels away from the food, while letting the smaller birds through to feed. They are also a good way of stopping large birds getting to the feeders. These are made from tough metal to try and prevent the squirrels chewing through. Although these will stop most squirrels, you will find that a really determined squirrel may manage to squeeze through.
Change the Taste - Feed the birds food that the squirrels do not really like. These foods include: seed, millets, safflower, and canary seed. It is important to bear in mind however, limiting the food you use, also limits the variety of birds you will attract. Squirrels will also always take food if they are desperate.
Make it Hot - Mix hot pepper/chilli flakes into thee seed mixes. This is completely harmless to the birds, however the squirrels hate it. It is advisable not to use chilli powder as this could blow in the wind and cause discomfort if it gets in the eyes of the birds. We also provide a Squirrel Proof Bird Food that works using this concept.
Feed the Squirrels - If you can't beat them, feed them! You can get Squirrel Food Mixes which are designed to be eaten by and attract squirrels. Whilst this may not stop them completely going for your bird food they will be more likely to leave it alone if they have their own easy reach food available.