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How Do I Keep Squirrels Out of My Bird Feeder?

how do i keep squirrels out of my bird feeder

Does the question “How do I keep squirrels out of my bird feeder” drive you nuts? While squirrels are certified adorable to the eyes, they can be a nuisance if you have a bird feeder in your garden.
There are many brilliant ways to prevent squirrels from eating food for your winged guests.

First, go for physical barriers, such as using baffle poles and weight-activated and caged feeders. Second, Use chemical deterrents like squirrel repellents and hot pepper sprays. Lastly, position your feeder away from trees and design it to be less attractive to squirrels.

Learn more about the most effective ways to deter these bothersome guests, and try some of our tips below!

Physical Barriers methods

putting feeders far from trees

Caged Feeders

An enclosed bird feeder can annoy squirrels because it can distract them from stealing the food intended for your winged guests.

Caged feeders feature perfectly-sized openings, which are broad enough to enable tiny birds to enter. Keeping your feeder enclosed and narrow can effectively keep squirrels out.

Weight-activated Feeders

Weight-activated feeders are other excellent options for fending squirrels off as you set them to support flying animals up to a specific weight.

As such, if more enormous feathered creatures or squirrels come into the feeder, the feeding ports close entirely.

Hence, a weight-activated feeder will block squirrels from taking a bite and disable jackdaws, pigeons, and magpies from accessing the food.

It’s good to note that some units enable bird lovers to adjust the weight, letting you pick which birds feed from your feeder.

Baffle Poles

One of the surest solutions to drive squirrels off is investing in a ready-to-install baffle pole. Please note that it’s best to start with a 4-inch diameter pole; the larger, the better. If you’re a beginner, you can search online for a baffle and squirrel stopper pole set.

A baffle pole makes your bird feeder nearly 100% squirrel resistant as it features a design that restricts squirrels from invading the feeder.

Remember, squirrels are fantastic jumpers; they can jump approximately 10 feet horizontally and 4 feet vertically. Ensuring that your feeder is placed out of a squirrel’s jumping reach can help make your feeder squirrel-proof.

Chemical Deterrents method – Hot pepper sprays

how do you keep squirrels away from bird feeders

Capsaicin, the active content found in peppers, drives squirrels away because they despise its smell and taste. Squirrels will hate visiting your place when you mix peppers with vinegar, as the mixture produces their most hated peppery smell and taste.

Formulating vinegar and Jalapeño pepper solution is a piece of cake since you only need to mix them well. Afterward, spray the solution where the feeder is to deter squirrels from stealing bird food.

Disclaimer: Some ornithophiles perceive that Jalapeño pepper and other spicy seeds may irritate birds’ eyes. Due to this, it’s helpful to research extensively before trying this approach.

Commercial Squirrel Repellents methods

You can find specific squirrel repellents on the market nowadays, as they’re designed to chase squirrels away since their smell or taste is unappealing to them.

Manufacturers of commercial squirrel repellents use peppermints, essential oils, such as cinnamon, corn mint, and rosemary oil, as well as other minty ingredients in formulating their products.

While humans find minty scents relaxing and refreshing, it’s the other way around with squirrels. Peppermints and other minty ingredients work strongly and actively, allowing repelling squirrels to be more effortless in no time.

It’s good to note that most commercial squirrel repellents contain only natural ingredients that are harmless to people and plants and if you have pets around.

Environmental Modifications methos

commercial squirrel repellents

Putting Feeders Far from Trees

Since squirrels excel at jumping, it’s vital to find an appropriate spot at least 10 feet distant from trees or anything they can use as a launchpad. Ensure you keep the bird feeder away from your house, power lines, tree branches, decks, etc.

Making the Feeding area less Attractive to Squirrels

Besides the methods mentioned above, there are other means to make the bird feeding location unappealing to squirrels.

For instance, avoid overfilling the feeder and only add small portions of seeds and nuts at a time.

As you might already know, squirrels need more food to eat, so if they see little portions of food in the feeder, they’ll search for more elsewhere.

Similarly, position the bird feeder out in the open, away from structures, trees, and other materials that can help squirrels easily land in the feeder.

Squirrels are clever creatures, so they’ll hesitate to approach a feeder in a well-lit and open location, as conditions like these allow predators to spot them quickly. Therefore, setting the feeder in the middle of your garden will make squirrels hold back before stealing the food meant for birds.

Providing Squirrels with Separate Food

squirrels baffle poles

While you can’t deny that squirrels are sometimes annoying, they are living creatures that need nourishment. So, wouldn’t it be better if you provided them with their food than trying all possible sorts of deterring them, which could leave you slightly guilty?

You can set up a separate feeder for squirrels and give them the food they love, as this approach can also block them from stealing birds’ food.

Some examples of foods that you can prepare for squirrels include vegetables, grains, fruit, bulbs, nuts, roots, seeds, bark, and fungi.

Install a squirrel feeder in a tranquil location in your yard, away from the bird feeders.


How do I keep squirrels out of my bird feeder? There are countless means to ward squirrels off the bird feeding location. Since they loathe the taste and smell of peppery, spicy, and minty ingredients, you can formulate or purchase squirrel repellents to keep them at bay.

Indeed, learning where to place the bird feeder appropriately is equally essential, or you may also prepare a separate feeder that squirrels can frequent.

Using squirrel-proof baffles and poles also effectively ensures that your winged guests have sufficient food to eat. Regardless of your preferred approach, what matters the most is that you don’t harm any animals, even if they can sometimes be annoying.

How about you? How do you keep squirrels away from bird feeders? Please comment below.

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