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How to Squirrel Proof your Bird Feed. (1 Viewer)

How to Squirrel Proof your Bird Feeder.

Tobasco Sauce and Cayenne Pepper does not work. Red Chili Flakes do not work. Mint oil does not work. Squirrels keep coming back and dissemate your bird feed. Squirrels are curious, persistent problem solvers and if they want your bird feed they are going to get it. After endless internet searches and trying all sorts of methods for keeping squirrels away from my bird food I have figured out a solution.

Remember, squirrels and deer have tongues and are sensitive to chilis. Birds do not have tongues and are not affected by chilis.

I have used this solution for whole peanuts in the shell and for striped sunflower seed.

1. In a tupperware container add desired amount of bird feed.
2. Lightly sprinkle a few drops food grade oil to your bird feed. (I use both olive and canola oil.)
3. Shake bird feed in sealed container vigorously to coat bird feed with oil.
4. Now for the good part - Sprinkle "Carolina Reaper Powder" over bird feed.
5. Shake bird feed until chili powder is dusted evenly over bird feed. (Add more oil, if necessary, for powder to stick.)
6. Feed your birds.

Observations and Suggestions:

Carolina Reaper Chilis are the hottest chilis in the world so be careful. Wash your hands after this process and "DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES" with your hands or fingers.

My goal is to deter squirrels without harming them. I've read accounts of squirrels clawing their eyes out with similar methods so proceed with caution. The amount of chili powder that's needed will be trial and error. My method is after I've sprinkled my whole peanuts with the chili powder I a put a peanut in my own mouth to gage its effectiveness. (Of course, with a large glass of milk nearby.) Not much of the Carolina Reaper Powder is needed to create an intolerable heat. This makes using the powder fairly cost effective.

I was excited to see what would happen with the squirrels. Several squirrels would eat my peanuts in minutes and leave nothing for my blue jays, grackles, woodpeckers, or cardinals. They would watch me from afar and as soon as I would put my bird feed out they would pounce. So here is what happened when I dusted my peanuts with the Chili Reaper Powder...

The squirrels cavalierly came prancing up to my peanut feeder, giving me the evil eye, of course. A wry smile came upon my face. Then the alpha squirrel took the first peanut as always. Almost immediately I could see a puzzled look on his face. Then he dropped the peanut and and shook his head violently as he ran as fast as he could. The other squirrels got scared and followed. Was I bit worried that I might have harmed the squirrel? Sure I was but only time would tell. It was early evening when I first used this chili method so I did not see the squirrels for the rest of the evening. Even the birds were put off by what they had seen and did not eat any peanuts for the rest of that evening.

The next morning, however, all of my peanuts were gone. I could tell they were eaten by birds and not by squirrels because the squirrels always discard the shells nearby. There were no shells to be seen. Even so, the squirrels came back the next afternoon. I was glad to see that the alpha squirrel had not clawed his eyes out. This time, however, he was far more cautious. I could see him on top of the peanuts sniffing the chili powder, trying to decide whether or not to take another peanut. He did not. His partner then had her turn. She too sniffed the peanuts and walked away.

Then there were a couple of squirrels I had not seen before. They immediately took the peanuts in their mouth and just like the first squirrel violently reacted to the chili powder, dropped the peanuts and ran away. So far, so good! My method is working. I hope this method will work for you too. Please, try and it out and report your findings here. I am also curious to see if this will work with deer.

Good luck.

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Two birds in one.
I found that it's best to find and/or devise ways to exclude SQ access. That ended up involving the purchase of professionally made SQ proof feeders and therefore some capital expenditure spread over a few years, and then improving the designs a bit when the SQs started defeating them, but it's led to a fairly workable standoff at this point. As far as deer go, none of my feeders are at a height that's accessible to them.


New member
Squirrel deterrent

Lots of expensive squirrel baffles on the net so decided to try an inverted plant pot with a hole cut in bottom. Two weeks now and squirrels get part way up pole and just give up. Maybe my squirrels are particularly dumb but it’s working!


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