Does anyone know a good, thrifty homemade squirrel repellent that won't harm them, but will keep them away? My mom's squirrels are eating all the bird seed and driving her dogs mad.
Kim from Rochester, MI
One thing she can try is to buy red pepper flakes at the store (often the dollar store has them, you don't need expensive) and grind them in a blender and put some of the powder in with the seed. The squirrels don't like the pepper, and the birds don't care.
But if there were one tried and true method, there wouldn't be so many "foil the squirrel" products and books. If persistence to the task would do it, my father-in-law would have "beaten" them years ago. (07/15/2008)
I think it's too early to be feeding birds in the yard there are still plenty of food sources available. When the weather gets colder and the birds which remain through the winter months are finding it difficult to find food, begin filling the feeders (don't forget fresh water, too). If you can't manage to repel the squirrels, you can feed them separately (quite a distance away) with ears of dried corn.
Make sure the bird-feeder isn't reachable from any branch or the porch railings, etc., and put a squirrel baffle on the pole (like a garbage-can lid with a hole in the middle for the feeder pole to go through and supported by a couple of nails). Be sure you are feeding high-quality seeds so that the birds won't pick through them and kick out seeds they don't want. Feed seeds for the type of birds you get at the feeder. Clean up under the feeder regularly to keep the squirrels from scavenging the dropped seeds.
Nancy from NC (07/16/2008)
We had the same problem and were told to feed the birds safflower seeds, because squirrels don't like the seed. We have had no problem, with the squirrels eating the seed. The seed is kind of expensive, more expensive than sunflower seed, which we were using, but we feel it is worth it. We don't feed seed in the summer, only in the winter. (07/16/2008)
Cayenne or any red pepper is effective with any bird seed it will not harm the birds, but the squirrels won't go near it. I live in a heavily wooded, squirrel infested area and the red pepper thing really works. I don't see why sprinkling red pepper on hoses in car engine compartment on hoses wouldn't work as well. Squirrels also ate through a gas line (metal) my outdoor grill. Guess what? Coated it with a mixture of Vaseline and red pepper and they never came near it again. (03/01/2009)
By Sylvia bird lover
For my bird feeder, I tried the cayenne pepper mixed with the seed, but it didn't work. However, I placed my bird feeder on a metal post in the middle of my yard, where they could not jump "on" it (away from trees and such). I lubed up the conduit pole I used for the feeder, with a mixture of cayenne pepper and Crisco.
The only way they could get to the feeder was if they climbed it and they could. However, after climbing it and getting the Crisco mixture all over their feet, they were forced to clean themselves and we all know how hard it is to wash grease off your hands. Well, they only climbed it once and they learned their lesson. Now, they just sit at the bottom of the feeder and take whatever seeds fall from the birds. I love it and its harmless, but painful for them since they have to clean themselves. Worked here in New England all year round. Just grease the pole periodically. Cheap, too. (05/05/2009)
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