ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Can I Squirrel Proof My Bird Feeder?

Updated on January 25, 2018

Seed is for the Birds: Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Few people will claim to actually keep squirrels as a pet. Likewise, like rats or other rodents, they oftentimes prove to be more of a nuisance--making one question their real purpose in the world. Growing up in a back wood's home, admittedly I am no stranger to squirrels and their presence throughout our property. With several bird feeders, these squirrels were drawn to the contents like a magnet. Bothered by this, it was not uncommon for my dad to go to extremes and remedy the problem by simply shooting the squirrel. While this is certainly an option, I personally prefer more peaceful remedies or measures, regardless of just how annoying and damaging any animal is being to our property.

Naturally, squirrels are drawn to bird feeders, but there are many solutions to peacefully handle them, while protecting your feeder, besides shooting them. The below hub will show you how!

So, are your feeders looking low? Are birds nowhere to be found? And is there a particularly fat and happy looking little squirrel in your backyard? It looks like you've got yourself a furry little freeloader. Sounds like you need to make your bird feeders squirrel proof.

A hungry squirrel will gobble up all the seed in your feeder very quickly, and scare away the birds you're trying to attract in the process. Here are some ways to keep the food going to your feathered friends, and keep your bird seed away from squirrels.

Block Their Access: Keeping Squirrels Off Bird Feeders

The most obvious way to make your bird feeders squirrel proof is to block their access. This can be done in a number of ways.

Watch how the squirrels get to your feeder, and figure out a method to block their path.

You can try using a cage or netting with holes only large enough for birds to fit through. Some feeders are specifically designed with openings small enough that only birds can access the seed. Of course this prevents larger birds from feeding.

If you find squirrels are are dropping down from above, try attaching a smooth metal or acrylic plastic bowl directly over the feeder, like an umbrella. This might involve some clever drilling. Anytime the squirrel jumps on it, he should slide right off. The are some squirrel proof bird feeders out there that include this feature.

Keep It Clean: Squirrel Proof Your Bird Feeders

Clean up the seed off the ground. Birds are notoriously messy, and with tons of seed lying around all over the ground, squirrels are bound to be attracted to your backyard. Less spilled seed, fewer squirrels to discover the source. The best squirrel proof bird feeder is one that leaves no evidence of its existence to the pesky rodents.

Also trim back bushes, plants and branches that hang near the feeder. Squirrels can jump over 12 feet, so any nearby plant life provides easy access to their favorite treats. Ensuring that your bird feeders are squirrel proof may require some creative planning.

Go To the Source: Make Your Bird Feeder Squirrel Proof

The seed is what they're after, so making the seed less appealing will help solve your squirrel problem. Squirrels love sunflower seeds, but they're less fond of other seeds that birds like, such as niger (or nyger) seed. Experiment with your birdseed choice and find a mix that they aren't too keen on.

Also, I've heard that birds do not taste the spicy effects of pepper, so try sprinkling some of that on the seed to ward the squirrels off.

This Time It's Personal: Keep Squirrels Off Your Feeders

You can 'scarecrow' the squirrels yourself. I don't suggest rushing the feeder every time a squirrel appears, but a nice handy spray bottle full of water works wonderfully to startle away those little interlopers.

Likewise, any automated system that can startle them might work. However, this will scare off the birds too. It's probably better to go with one of the aforementioned techniques to squirrel-proof your bird feeders.

Don't Be Hatin'

Remember, squirrels are just doing what comes naturally, seeking out convenient sources of tasty food. Please don't hurt, shoot or otherwise traumatize them - there are ways to make your bird feeders squirrel proof without going to extremes. Use the methods above and you should have some success.

Good Luck!

Finding Your Way Here.

How did you find this HubPages' Hub article?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • DIYmommy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Gail Meyers-I'm glad you found the hub useful! Bird watching is one of my most favorite hobbies, I hope you enjoy your new bird feeder that you get this year!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 

      5 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      These are great tips, but I have to admit that I love watching them actually succeed in feeding in our bird feeders! They are so cute!

    • Faith A Mullen profile image

      Faith A Mullen 

      5 years ago

      Great list of tips! Making the seeds less appealing by choosing types the squirrels don't love is a great idea. My mom is a bit of a bird feeder fanatic, so I saw lots of squirrels at our feeders growing up. At one point we started enjoying watching the squirrels as much as the birds. Like you said, they're just doing what comes naturally (and looking pretty darn cute while doing it). :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Great tips. I am a sucker for squirrels so I really don't mind if they think the bird feeders are a buffet. Actually what I think has happened is I have said, you win. I have made all kinds of feeding areas for the squirrels alone and they still find the bird feeders appetizing...kind of like the old grass is greener thing, you know.

      It is time to try again...I love my little squirrels so I won't try too hard :)

      Sending Angels your way ps

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 

      5 years ago from Kansas City - United States

      Thanks for the good ideas. I meant to get a bird feeder last year and I'm going to be sure to get one this year. I enjoy watching both the birds and squirrels, but I did not think about the squirrels robbing the bird feeder. I will keep these ideas in mind. Voted up and useful.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)