This Smart Tip May Be The Key To Keeping Squirrels Out Of Bird Feeders For Good

Although squirrels can be an interesting animal to watch in their own right, many homeowners don't want them in their yards. Squirrels can cause a lot of trouble, and they also have the habit of stealing food from bird feeders and taking it for themselves. If you want to do some birdwatching and attract more songbirds to your yard, this needs to be stopped. 

An overactive squirrel population can scare your favorite birds away and make it less likely that they'll come around to visit your bird feeder. It can also be expensive to constantly replace the birdseed that squirrels eat. Fortunately, there's a trick that may help keep squirrels out of bird feeders for good. That trick is to start feeding squirrels their own food far away from where your bird feeders are located, ensuring that it's much easier for them to reach. This is a method that's a bit controversial and sounds great in theory, but does it work? The answer is yes, with some caveats.

How and what to feed squirrels

If you want to try feeding squirrels to distract them from your bird feeders, start by getting some food they'll be happy to indulge in. Squirrels will eat quite a few things but peanuts, sunflower seeds, cereal grains, apples, and popcorn tend to work well. Next, choose a location that's relatively far away from your bird feeders and place a squirrel feeder that's meant just for your local squirrel population.

There are many ways you can set up a feeder for squirrels, but you'll want to ensure that it's located far enough away from your bird feeders to serve as a worthy distraction. You may want to consider purchasing a bird-proof squirrel feeder. A simple hopper bird feeder can also work well for feeding squirrels and allows them easy access to the goods. The food should be easy for a squirrel to access for best results. Add a mixture of a squirrel's favorite foods to the feeder and then you'll be good to go. Remember, however, that squirrels can eat quite a bit of food, so you'll need to refill the feeder fairly often for this method to work.

Why you may not want to feed squirrels

Although feeding squirrels can distract them from the bird feeder, it may have unintended consequences. It may end up backfiring and attracting more squirrels as well as other animals such as raccoons and deer to the area around your home. Squirrels can cause a lot of litter and damage, so you should think twice about feeding them to ensure you don't make matters worse. Providing food to squirrels is also generally discouraged because it could make them dependent on humans for food. In some places, it's even against the law to feed squirrels and other wildlife, so you'll want to know what the regulations are in your area before you consider feeding the squirrels.

Although this trick may work for you, it's wise to use it while also trying other ways to keep squirrels out of your bird feeder. Installing squirrel baffles, making your bird feeder harder to reach, adding foods that squirrels don't like, or adding spices such as cayenne pepper to the birdseed are all helpful ways that you can prevent them from stealing from the birds in your yard.