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How to squirrel-proof your bird feeders

If squirrels are ransacking your bird feeder, simply critter-proof it with these four easy squirrel-deterring tips.

When you erected the bird feeder in your backyard, you expected throngs of feathered friends to come eating and singing. But, alas, when you look out your window, you see bushy tailed critters feeding on your bird food instead. If squirrels are ransacking your bird feeding experience, don't despair. Here are some ways to squirrel-proof your bird feeder so you can enjoy having both feathered friends and bushy tailed critters in your yard.
When you erected the bird feeder in your backyard, you expected throngs of feathered friends to come eating and singing. But, alas, when you look out your window, you see bushy tailed critters feeding on your bird food instead. If squirrels are ransacking your bird feeding experience, don't despair. Here are some ways to squirrel-proof your bird feeder so you can enjoy having both feathered friends and bushy tailed critters in your yard.



Squirrels need to eat

Squirrels and birds alike get hungry and will seek out the most opportune way to fill their belly. But you don't have to put up with squirrels nibbling up food you put out for the birds. The experts at Cole's Wild Bird suggest outsmarting them. Here's how.

Squirrel-proof your bird feeders

Squirrels are smart problem-solvers but assess the location and type of your bird feeder and see if you can make it less accessible to the furry critters.

Locate feeders far from trees, wires, porches or other launching points to make it more difficult for squirrels to reach the feeder. Remember, squirrels can jump distances of 10 feet or longer. Mounting feeders on a smooth metal pole at least 6 feet high with no surrounding branches or bushes within 12 feet may also work.

Place a wire cage around the feeder with openings just large enough to admit birds but too small for squirrels to fit through. This can also help keep larger birds, such as starlings or pigeons, from accessing the feeder.

Try specially designed feeders that have doors which close when triggered by a squirrel’s weight on the feeder. The doors keep squirrels from reaching the seed. And if you’ve had plastic feeders gnawed to destruction by squirrels, try switching to metal feeders.

Opt for seed that squirrels find less appealing. Check out a seed blend that uses hot spicy flavor to repel squirrels. Cole’s Hot Meats blend infuses top-quality sunflower meats with a habanero chili pepper and safflower oil that birds find delectable, but squirrels simply detest. You can also add Cole's Flaming Squirrel Seed Sauce to any bird seed blend.

Be persistent

Don't give up if one of the above methods doesn't work. Try another or try a combination of squirrel-proofing methods to find the best way to thwart squirrel attacks on your bird feeder. Chances are, if squirrels can't get up to your bird feeder, they will settle for chomping up the bird feed that falls on the ground.

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