A Leftover Soda Bottle Is All You Need For A Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

A bird feeder will help bring more birds to your yard, especially if it's filled with the right kinds of seed. However, squirrels will shamelessly climb bird feeders to get their hands on some enticing bird seed. To prevent squirrels from eating all your bird seed, one option is to suspend your bird feeder and create a DIY squirrel deterrent made from a soda bottle. Although squirrels are great climbers, they have their limits. If set up correctly, a suspended bird feeder combined with a couple of soda bottles can stop them in their tracks without preventing birds from easily accessing your bird feeder.

To use this hack, choose two trees that are about 10 feet apart and string a wire from one to the other. Pull it taut and ensure that the wire is at least 5 feet off the ground. If it's too low, squirrels will be able to jump onto it. After stringing up the wire, add the bird feeder to the middle of it. Then, add two or more 1- or 2-liter soda bottles on both sides, stringing them horizontally on the wire. With this setup, a squirrel will have to climb over soda bottles to get to the bird feeder. Because the soda bottles will spin and be difficult to cling to, squirrels will be unable to get to the bird feeder in the middle. 

Other ways to protect bird feeders

While this method works for deterring most squirrels, some of them are particularly tenacious. Occasionally, a squirrel may make it past this bottle setup, but it's unlikely. Squirrels will definitely get their hands on much less bird seed with bottles obstructing their leap than they would otherwise. Fortunately, there are other ways to prevent squirrels from stealing food from your bird feeders. You may want to try using some of these other tricks along with this soda bottle hack if you want to have the best chance of deterring squirrels.

One way to deter squirrels is to provide them with an alternative food source that's easier to access but also far away from your bird feeder. Squirrels will get food in whatever looks like the easiest feasible way in the moment, so giving them another food source can be helpful. Other ways to get rid of squirrels include adding spices to your bird seed, tidying up your yard, or even growing plants that they hate such as mint and daffodils. You might also want to try adding a squirrel baffle to your bird feeder pole to prevent them from climbing it.

Why you need to deter squirrels

While it's true that squirrels deserve to eat, many homeowners don't want a lot of squirrels in their yards. Because of their agility, squirrels can quickly become a nuisance and can eat (and hoard) a lot of bird seed. This can cause your bird feeders to run dry quickly.

Homeowners put up bird feeders to observe the many types of birds that are in their local area and pesky squirrels can ruin this experience. A squirrel is a type of rodent and they can cause a lot of damage around the home. Squirrels can rip up screens on windows and doors and may chew on other things around the home such as electrical wires. They may even make their way into your house or attic.

Squirrels don't just eat bird feed, either; they may also take interest in your vegetable garden if they have the opportunity. They'll readily eat any fruits, berries, or seeds that you're growing as well. While a squirrel problem may not be as damaging to your home as a pesky rodent problem consisting of rats and mice, they can cause a lot of trouble. Taking steps to get rid of them can be well worth it if you want to protect your garden, prevent damage around the house, and ensure that the birds in your yard always have plenty to eat.