One approach is to actively, strategically prohibit the squirrels from accessing your bird feeders. First, you should assure proper feeder placement in your yard. Since squirrels can jump great distances, feeding stations should be 10-15 feet away from overhanging branches, tree trunks, fences, or anything from which a squirrel can jump. Hanging feeders are usually an open invitation to squirrels.
Use metal poles to prevent squirrels from climbing up to your feeder, and add a baffle to the pole, about 4-5 feet above the ground level.
An approach that can be used in conjunction with the above tactics or alone is the use of a taste deterrent or repellent. Pepper products are natural, effective, and will not harm either birds or squirrels. Repellents are also effective and easy to spray around feeders.
The alternative approach is to provide squirrels with their own food source in an attempt to distract them from your bird feeders. Squirrels will happily accept cheaper and more readily available food, such as corn, pumpkin seeds, or nuts.
Watching squirrels at their feeders can be a source of great entertainment, too! There are a variety of squirrel feeders on the market that offer squirrels a challenge to obtain food. Watching squirrels eat from these feeders can offer the observer hours of fun, and an education for the whole family.
Gardens Alive! offers squirrel deterrents, repellents and feed. Click on each product below to read more about it.