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Squirrels: Feed or Repel?

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Replies to: Squirrels: Feed or Repel?

  • SC AnteaterSC Anteater 354 replies17 threads Member
    Ugh, definitely repel squirrels.

    I've actually given up feeding birds; instead I've planted native plants that are food sources (and let others, like basil, go to seed because the birds like them). I like this way much better! I've had a much wider diversity of birds in my yard since I've started this.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26675 replies268 threads Senior Member
    "but the squirrels and the other rodents with skinny tails went after the seed that was knocked to the ground"

    That I have never minded and figure it's fair game and actually helpful at cleaning up. Some birds are really messy eaters or finicky and seem to kick anything they don't like out of the bird feeder.
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  • deb922deb922 6402 replies202 threads Senior Member
    We had a squirrel proof feeder, with a baffle and greased the pole. Worked, no squirrels (except for that pesky flying squirrel). But then we had tons of deer that ate the leftover bird seed. But the last straw was the bear that bent the pole at a 90 degree angle and took off with the feeder. We haven’t had a bird feeder since. Miss all the birds.
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  • droppeditdroppedit 1035 replies18 threads Senior Member
    The only success we've had against squirrels is using food that they don't like (thistle) or High Energy Suet in a cage on a thin wire away from everything. Even a feeder where the suet was wasn't enough because the squirrels would climb up the nearby drain pipe and jump to it. I greased the pipe but knew it wasn't a long term solution.

    The High Energy Suet cage in the same place worked wonders. We get all the birds and none of the squirrels (bluebirds, cardinals, woodpeckers, goldfinches, etc.).
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  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom 5752 replies270 threads Senior Member
    Eat the squirrels?

    I don't know. I think they are a lot cuter than birds.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 41296 replies479 threads Senior Member
    @jym626 has some good suggestions. :) Squrrels are pests and menace to our power grid. I will never voluntarily feed them... birds don't much feeding unless their food sources are covered with snow. That said, Mr. B keeps a few feeders... and a few mouse traps in the garage. Pests get attracted to the fallen bird seed.
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  • jym626jym626 57689 replies3023 threads Senior Member
    I can’t take credit for the squirrel catapults. But there are some great ones :)
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  • silverladysilverlady 835 replies19 threads Member
    We had a non squirrel proof feeder for a while, and we had the fattest squirrels you ever saw. They would gorge themselves daily.

    Then, we got squirrel proof feeders from Lowe's. My DH was skeptical, but the first morning it was up, we watched from the kitchen window. The fattest squirrel climbed the tree. He looked at it from the bottom, then the middle and then the top. He jumped onto it from the top and went down to the holes. Lo and behold, the holes were covered up and he couldn't get any seed. He walked around it, but he couldn't get anything. He knew we were watching and laughing. He glared at us, but we still kept laughing and pointing at him!!! We had won!!!

    We are still winning. The squirrels will find seed that drops under the feeder, but have given up even trying to get seed out of the feeder. We love it!! The birds love it!!

    As a side note, the term bird brained fits. It the birds had had any smarts, they would have dive bombed the squirrels when on the old feeders, but they never tried.
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  • HImomHImom 36022 replies396 threads Senior Member
    One if my friends said that squirrels and/or chipmunks are carriers of bubonic plague, so I’d do what I could to repel all rodents from our area (fortunately we don’t fave any of these).

    We have a fig tree and unfortunately the birds find our figs d licious. We don’t purposely feed them. They also help thems lives to avocados if we let them stay on the tree till they ripen.

    We don’t purposely feed any critters and fortunately I don’t believe our neighbors feed wild creatures either. There is no snow here, so creatures can firage year round.
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  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1218 replies3 threads Senior Member
    What's the difference between a squirrel and a rat? A fluffy tail.

    I have trapped and relocated them, but we still get them (along with chipmunks, opossums, raccoons and who knows what - but I do like the wild rabbits). It's not legal, but I do have a neighbor who uses a .22 to take care of business.
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  • MomofJandLMomofJandL 2082 replies41 threads Senior Member
    We have squirrel-proof feeders that hang from tree limbs. We had to work on the hanging mechanism because the squirrels learned to swing the feeders enough to get the seed to spill out. The nice thing is that the distance between the perches and the feeding holes is such that the larger birds (jays and grackles) can't contort themselves enough to feed, so the finches get most of the food. The doves and squirrels and chipmunks eat what falls to the ground, and the hawks eat the doves and squirrels and chipmunks.

    And an air rifle would be better than a .22 to deal with any problem rodents, according to a friend.
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  • MaterSMaterS 1846 replies51 threads Senior Member
    I am not a fan of feeding squirrels but during a prolonged cold spell this winter I noticed that a squirrel spent two days trying to extract a walnut from the frozen ground. I gave it a couple of more hours and he was successful. Poor little guy.

    A bird bath is an excellent way to enjoy the birds.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 41296 replies479 threads Senior Member
    "...extract a walnut from the frozen ground."

    He must have been the one who played Scrat the squirrel in Ice Age! :)
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35380 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Growing up in the suburbs outside Phila, semi rural, at the time, I don't remember a squirrel problem or even seeing them in my neighborhood. Now, in New England, they're everywhere.
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 4114 replies15 threads Senior Member
    We have a bird feeder on a pole with baffle, kept away from anything squirrels can jump on to reach the feeder.

    I stopped buying bird feed because the feeders were overtaken by house sparrows and starlings. Boooo!
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  • travelnuttravelnut 2048 replies15 threads Senior Member
    Waving a white flag. Feeders in our wooded setting bring squirrels and chipmunks. In spite of loving to see the birds, we gave up years ago. Even the dropped seeds from a secure bird feeder attract them near the house. Not that I ever could secure the feeder...
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  • psychmommapsychmomma 3332 replies47 threads Senior Member
    The squirrels aren't going to leave (they've been around for several years) so I'm trying a corn cob feeder on the other side of the yard to coax them away from the bird feeders. I've been enjoying several cardinals all day. They do like the safflower seeds!
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 41296 replies479 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    We had a fountain in our old yard that was attracting a lot of chickadees and hummingbirds. Those were fun to watch! Especially, the territory disputes between the species. :)
    edited February 2018
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  • bookwormbookworm 9254 replies74 threads Senior Member
    I think of squirrels as tree rats.hate them. Pressed my gardener to cut the branches that were close to roof yesterday.

    After hurricane in 2005, these rats invaded my house. So scary and destructive.
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  • MaterSMaterS 1846 replies51 threads Senior Member
    INRE: @bunsenburner post Checkout some of the youtube videos of hummingbird disputes. Very comical.

    The ground squirrels in my neighborhood are very destructive. They burrow under driveways and cause them to collapse.

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