How To Keep Pests Out Of Your Bird Feeder

A bird feeder needs to protect his/her feeder pole from squirrels and other pesticides. It is not easy to keep critters at bay, yet it is not impossible. Firstly, why do you need to protect your bird food from squirrels? Well, squirrels may steal all the bird food you worked on, so all the bird feeders need to take some precautions. 

Here are some tips and tricks on how you can protect bird feeders from squirrels and other pests. 

Install Pest-proof Bird Feeders

Firstly, all you need to do is install a squirrel and pest-proof bird feeder. 

You will have to get the right kind of bird feeder, which comes in various forms depending on their primary purpose. Some examples of good pest-proof bird feeders are Caged Feeders, Pole-Mount Feeders, Weight Active Feeders, Decorative Squirrel-Proof feeders. These squirrel-proof feeders serve the same purpose, but they work on different mechanisms and are available in various qualities and designs. Some weight-activated, squirrel-proof bird feeders close themselves instantly when the squirrel tries to enter it and open up again as soon as the squirrel leaves. 

These bird feeders are readily available on Amazon and various other websites. 

The Location Where You Place Your Feeder Is Quite Significant

After selecting the right type of bird feeder, the next crucial step is choosing the right place to hang or place your bird feeder. Choose a place where the squirrel or pests won’t even dare to approach. 

You need to keep in mind these essential rules while choosing a place to install your bird feeder. 

  1. Squirrels can hardly jump more than 5-6 feet in the air.
  2. They cannot jump from one place to another, which is more than 7-8 feet. 3. If you place your feeder somewhere in the air, above 10 feet, then you will be on the safer side. 

While keeping this in mind, you must also know that squirrels can jump more than 10 feet (horizontally). So always ensure that you install your feeder 10 feet or more away from trees, fences, and pillars. 

In case you do not have enough space to hang your feeder far from trees, walls, pillars, etc., you should tie your feeder to a string and hang it high on a tall tree. 

Present Meals That Squirrels Don’t Like 

Birds and squirrels have similar tastes when it comes to food. Yet, there are some ingredients that squirrels do not appreciate, such as Nyjer seeds, Safflower seeds, Proso Millet, hot peppers, which you can sprinkle on grains and seeds. 

Although the above-mentioned seeds are not liked by squirrels yet, there are other pests like finches, cardinals, and chickadees that love to eat them. 

Use a Trick To Lure Squirrels

Just like us, squirrels are also animals who are trying to feed themselves to survive. Squirrels are not pests. They don’t invade the food sources. 

You can protect your bird feeder by merely installing another squirrel feeder. You can do this by placing the squirrel feeder a few feet away from the bird feeder. You should also ensure that the bird feeder is not easily accessible, but the squirrel feeder is placed at ease. 

Abusing animals and living creatures is a crime. You can prevent harming them by giving them the source of food they need and not worry about the bird feeder, as squirrels will not push that hard if they have easy food sources.

Spice It Up 

Hot pepper is an excellent ingredient to mix in the birdfeed. It does not affect birds but is a natural retardant for squirrels. There are no reports of any health issues faced by birds due to the spraying of pepper. Some pepper-treated foods like birdseed and Wild Delight Sizzle and birds relish heat Suet as a meal. 

Squirrel Baffle

Installing a squirrel baffle is another option to deter squirrels from eating the birdseed. A squirrel Baffle is a dome-shaped, plastic device that is attached right under the feeder. This device makes it difficult for the squirrels to reach the arm and access the birdseed. 

These Baffles must be at least 17-18 inches long and wide to prevent squirrels and other pests like mice and rats. Also, make sure to place the feeder above 5 feet so that the squirrels cannot access the Feeder by jumping over it. 

Grease The Feeder Pole 

Greasing the feeder pole is a highly recommended option. By greasing the rod, you will make it slippery for the squirrels to climb it. 

You can effortlessly make the pole slippery by using mustard oil. Do not use any chemical-based products that make the pole slick like petroleum jelly, glue, grease, etc. 


Using a slinky is a fun way to deter feeders from approaching squirrels. A slinky is a metal device that will make it extremely difficult for the squirrels to climb the pole. 

Also, keep in mind that you place the slinky higher than 5 feet and not close to a wall or another tree lest the squirrels might jump over it. You will be amazed to see the squirrels trying hard to reach the food because they don’t know that their efforts are going in vain.

Get a Pet 

You can get a pet dog or a cat to scare off the squirrels. If you plan on getting a dog, you must go for the larger breeds to protect your bird feeder. 

The aforementioned is also a highly recommended way for preventing other pests from invading the birdseed. 

Removal of Natural Shelters

The last thing you must do is to get rid of any potential shelter. Make sure that there is no convenient shelter near your feeder. 

You can start by getting rid of any attics, old sheds, and under-eaves. 

We do not suggest destroying any home or shelter far away from the bird feeder. 


These were ten tips and tricks on how you can stop squirrels from climbing bird feeder poles. Please ensure that you follow all the necessary steps to protect your bird feeder.