How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Your Bird Feeder

There are numerous methods for keeping squirrels out of a bird feeder. One way is using a squirrel proof bird feeder; another method employs greasing. Some bird watchers use repellents to discourage squirrels and others feed them separately.

Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

There are several kinds of squirrel proof bird feeders:

  • The steel cage design bird feeder has only enough space for small birds to get in to eat. It is also called a barrier feeder.

  • Another design has a weight sensitive gizmo that shuts the door, if a squirrel tries to get the bird feed.

  • One bird feeder jolts the squirrel with a slight electric shock.


Hulls or seeds dropped by the birds should be raked up. Leaving pet food or food from the grill out will attract squirrels. Make sure the garbage can lid is tight.

The Slippery Method

If the bird feeder hangs from a pole, it is easy to stop the squirrels. First, put the pole in a spot ten feet or more away from trees or other objects the squirrels can launch from and fling itself onto the bird feeder. Next, make the pole slick so the squirrels can't climb it.

  • Shortening will make the pole slippery
  • Petroleum jelly will also work.

The songbirds attracted by the bird feeder need cover nearby to escape from predators. Place the bird feeder close to bushes that the birds can use, but squirrels can't utilize for jumping. A stove pipe baffle three or four feet long going around the top section of the pole will also cause squirrels to slide off.

Give Them What They Want

You distract squirrels from the backyard bird feeder by attracting the squirrels to a different area of the yard with a favorite food, such as:

  • dried corn.
  • sunflower seeds.
  • peanuts.

Try feeding offering squirrels these foods in a squirrel feeding station. A squirrel eats about 1.5 pounds of feed each week. This is basically his body weight. 

A hanging platform feeder is a good means of feeding squirrels and they will begin to mark and defend their territory from other invading squirrels.

Squirrel Repellents

Squirrel repellent comes in many forms. Repellents can smell like fox, a predator of squirrels. The repellent is sprinkled around the edge of the yard. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on the plants and grass near the bird feeder. Squirrels feel the hot stimuli of the cayenne pepper and dislike it, but birds don't feel the sensation. Place rags soaked in ammonia around the edge of the yard or near the bird feeder.

Live Trap

A trap to catch the squirrel and take it to the park or the woods will permanently rid the yard of that squirrel. Put one of their favorite foods in for bait. Peanut butter on bread or a cracker works. Before using this procedure learn about trapping animals.

Plans Bird Feeder

To make your own bird feeder, you'll need plans for construction. They can be purchased or downloaded for free.