How to Stop Squirrels from Climbing Bird Feeder Poles

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Squirrels are known to be pesky pests and since they are in the rodent family they have similar traits as the rats. Anything edible put in their disposal is made a meal and bird feeders are no exemption. It is possible to keep the squirrels away by learning how to stop squirrels from climbing bird feeder poles.

Due to the fact that we love birds and love watching them; erecting bird feeders may not only attract the birds but also the squirrels. The squirrels compete for the food and without your knowledge, you may end up losing your bird visitors. When making the bird feeders always strive to make them squirrel proof. It is possible to keep the squirrels away by learning how to stop squirrels from climbing bird feeder poles.

Below are some tips to help you avoid these pests:

Simple Tricks to Keep Squirrels from Climbing Bird Feeder Poles

Mount a Squirrel Baffle or deflector

An effective way of keeping the squirrels away from your bird feeders is by installing a baffle or deflector. These gadgets are mounted directly to the pole which first creates a barrier for the pesky pests. Though this method is effective it is not completely guaranteed to keep them off since squirrels are determined and good climbers. Some of the bird feeders may have a deficiency in height and since some squirrels are known to jump up to 6 feet you might install the baffle for aesthetic purposes.

The best thing about these deflectors and baffles is that they have a very smooth surface and are made of either plastic or metal. Since the squirrels lack a tight grip on smooth surfaces it keeps them away from the bird feeders. Before you erect a pole to support the feeders always consider the position and the height. Avoid placing the pole near trees since it would be easy for these acrobats to access the feeders. Another great benefit of installing these baffles and deflectors is that they give cover to the feeders once it rains or snows which prevents molding.

Get a Squirrel Spinner

Another clever way of depriving the squirrels of accessing your bird feeders is by using the squirrel spinners. These spinners work by spinning whenever the squirrels get its way on the perch of the feeder. You get entertained whenever you the squirrel tries to outdo the squirrel spinner. It becomes a nightmare when they try to get their way into the bird feeders.

The spinners can be made of lines of thread spools, empty plastic bottles, and short pipes tied along a wire which will spin whenever the squirrel gets into contact with the feeders. The end result of this struggle is slipping and falling over which is an effective way of keeping these pesky animals out.

Pick the right post

As mentioned earlier, squirrels are known to be excellent climbers and any plastic or wooden pole would not be a match for these acrobats. To make the work more challenging and deter squirrels plus prevent them from reaching the feeders.   Cover the entire post with a slippery material such as a piece of PVC pipe or stainless steel.  This can keep not only one squirrel but deter in keeping many squirrels away from the bird feed.

To effectively do this, get a stovepipe or PVC pipe with a wider diameter than that of the pole used to support the feeder. The aim of getting a wider pipe is to give the squirrel enough space to climb up between the parent pole and wider pole.

The wider pipe should have an opening on the lower part and a cap on top which creates confusion for the squirrel since it will keep on hitting a dead end.

Other effective ways of getting rid of squirrels

Use the 5-7-9 Rule

This rule is basically meant to set and change the location and height of the pole supporting the feeder. The rule has it that the 5-7-9 feet lengths while adjusted according can keep the squirrels away. Each length shows a specific height the pest is able to jump. A squirrel cannot manage to jump for more than 5 feet from the ground, it can’t jump more than 7 feet from a building, trees or shrub to the other side of the feeder and also it can’t drop for more than 9 feet below a hang.

Add Cayenne Pepper into the seeds

Squirrels are not a fan of pepper seeds and they deter them from eating the other seed from the feeder. Use cayenne pepper and mix with other seeds the mixture doesn’t affect the birds at all but it has an effect on the squirrels. The birds lack the taste receptors which are present in squirrels which makes this technique effective.

The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition.

“Undoubtedly the finest guide to North American birds.”—Guy McCaskie, Birding

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Using of Vaseline or petroleum products

Although this method may be effective since it causes the pole to be slippery which makes it more difficult for the squirrel to ascend, it is not recommended since these products could potentially have toxins that are a threat to the survival of the squirrels. The aim here is to keep the squirrels away from the feeders and not to totally eliminate them.

Wrapping it up

Finally, squirrels are wonderful creatures and availing some food sources for them would work out great since they are part of our lives as much as finches, cardinals, and jays are. Learn how to keep squirrels from scaling or climbing a bird feeder pole in your yard. Do research and get the technique that suits you and your environment perfectly.

2 thoughts on “How to Stop Squirrels from Climbing Bird Feeder Poles”

  1. We have an oriole feeder that has the poles for oranges and a glass jar for nectar or jelly. The red squirrels are constantly eating both the oranges and the jelly (apricot). Our orioles love the jelly and oranges, but, it never lasts because of the red squirrels.

    We’ve tried the vaseline on the pole, but, he gets up there anyway.

    We’ll try one of the methods you have listed in your article, which, by the way, is excellent!

    1. Hey Susie, we are glad you stopped by. Squirrels are certainly a pest, but with the right bird feeder and placement of feeder you can have an enjoyable bird watching experience in your backyard.

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