A while back, we asked, "Are the squirrels driving you nuts?" Apparently they are because readers flooded us with mail about how they've kept these furry rascals from raiding backyard bird feeders.
From the stacks of pictures and letters explaining anti-squirrel tactics, we've highlighted a few of the very best solutions that you may want to try in your backyard. Each one is easy, inexpensive and has kept these climbing critters grounded.
Squirrels just can't get the footing needed to ransack the bird feeders in Charles Benoit's backyard in Orangefield, Texas. That's because he puts a slippery barrier between the squirrels and the birdseed—a 6-inch diameter PVC pipe used for a pole.
"I've never seen a squirrel that can climb PVC yet," he says. "It's a simple and inexpensive solution to this problem."
Charles first sinks the PVC pole into the ground, then mounts feeders on top using a 12-inch-long tailpiece made from two back-to-back 2 x 4s. The tail slips into the pipe.
"The feeders are easy to fill and clean—just lift them out of the pipe," he says.
Editor's Note: As with all squirrel-proof feeders, we recommend mounting them at least 6 feet high and 10 feet from places where critters can jump to them.
Here's a surefire way to break the spirit of the squirrels in your backyard. Fill caged peanut feeders with peanuts in the shell, as John Jordan does in East Brunswick, New Jersey.
"The woodpeckers, nuthatches and blue jays have no problem breaking the shells and picking out the tasty meats, but the squirrels won't even waste their time or energy getting on the feeder," John says.
"I feed thistle and safflower seeds in my other feeders. The squirrels don't seem to like that either," he adds.
Going Up...and Down
Squirrels in Harold Kenow's St. Paul, Minnesota backyard must have the feeling they've been taken for a ride—literally.
Harold protects his feeders with an inexpensive Slinky toy he purchased at an area dollar store.
"I just wound it onto the pole of my feeder and let the bottom hang free. The wind causes a visual disturbance that keeps most squirrels off. If they're brave enough to give it a try, they get a free ride up and back down again."