I Completely Eliminated Squirrels From My Feeder, You Can Too
Hudson Valley squirrels are some of the most persistent creatures on earth, but I've finally discovered the key to eliminating them from our birdfeeder, and you can too.
I've been at war with squirrels for over two decades. Ever since my wife and I moved into our home, we've been fascinated by the wildlife in our backyard. Our birdfeeder is a hotbed of activity all year long, with a mind-boggling number of bird species coming to visit on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, the squirrels in our yard don't really care about seeing colorful birds and spend most of their day figuring out how to empty the feeder no matter how hard we try to stop them. Through the years I've installed tall polls, baffles, and purchased expensive "squirrel-proof" feeders, none of which ever worked. I've stayed awake at night hatching plans to finally stop the squirrels once and for all, always to be outsmarted by those pesky little rodents.
At one point, I had carpet tack strips attached to a post that held a greased-up pole holding a weight-sensitive feeder that would close when a squirrel would jump on it. Within five minutes the little buggers figured out how to dump out all of the seed.
I had all but given up on ridding our birdfeeder of squirrels when I saw a suggested item on my Amazon shopping list. During the winter, we put out a suet feeder for the woodpeckers. While they love it, the squirrels usually devour the peanut cakes before the birds can get their beaks into them. After purchasing another dozen suet cakes, the suggestion popped up for hot pepper suet.
Curious, I decided to click the link and found thousands of reviews from bird lovers claiming the pepper-infused suet finally rid their feeder of squirrels once and for all. Because I've been down that road a hundred times before, I was more than just a little skeptical. But, desperate for a solution I decided to give it a try.
Within minutes after putting the hot pepper suet in the feeder, a greedy squirrel jumped on it and began munching. But instead of feasting, the squirrel fell to the ground and scurried away. After watching other squirrels do the same thing, I began to think that the hot pepper suet may actually work.
Now, weeks later, not only is our suet feeder completely free from squirrels, but the seed feeder next to it has also been completely untouched. It turns out that the hot pepper is too much for the squirrels to handle, but has absolutely no effect on birds who can't taste the heat.
After years of coming up with elaborate contraptions and schemes to keep the squirrels away, the $1.99 suet cake did the trick. In fact, it worked so well that I've made my own hot pepper spray that I use on flower beds, pots, and other places I want to keep the squirrels and chipmunks away from. I simply mix a generous amount of hot Tabasco sauce and water, put it in a spray bottle, and apply it around the feeder and flowers.
I can happily report that we haven't had one single squirrel on our birdfeeder in the past month. They are all running around our yard as usual, but steer clear of the hot pepper-laced food.
Have you had a tough time keeping the squirrels out of your feeder? If you decide to give the hot pepper a try, we'd love to hear how it works for you. You can share your results on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.