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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Squirrels!!!! (1 Viewer)

A new visitor to my bird table today was a grey squirrel. I have never seen any squirrels in or near my garden for the 13 years I've lived here.
A quick visit to the RSPB chat page assures me that mixing chilli powder in with the seed will deter squirrels. Apparently they are super-sensitive to it but birds cannot taste it and are totally unaffected. Worth a try and much easier than "squirrel-proof" paraphernalia - which would also keep out the blackbirds ☹️
The squirrel had one feed of the dosed bird food about an hour ago and so far hasn't returned.....
🤞🏻 8FF3C40A-E010-4240-8199-374EEFCC0278.jpeg
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
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United States
I use red pepper and pepper suet which keeps them from destroying and draining my feeders.
 
Hi, I understand your concern for the squirrel. Chasing them away is pointless I'm afraid.
I can't imagine the RSPB recommending any action that would harm any wildlife. I guess if you put in a mega-dose of something really hot the squirrel would suffer. It's meant to be a deterrent, not a poison and so I used as little as I thought would be effective. 🙂
 

John Nihon

_______________
Hi, I understand your concern for the squirrel. Chasing them away is pointless I'm afraid.
I can't imagine the RSPB recommending any action that would harm any wildlife. I guess if you put in a mega-dose of something really hot the squirrel would suffer. It's meant to be a deterrent, not a poison and so I used as little as I thought would be effective. 🙂
I'm going to try that, many thanks for mentioning it. (y) Squirrels, along with Box Tree Caterpillars are great adversaries of mine. We've had many hours of fun chasing and trying to outwit each other. :rolleyes:;)
 
I'm going to try that, many thanks for mentioning it. (y) Squirrels, along with Box Tree Caterpillars are great adversaries of mine. We've had many hours of fun chasing and trying to outwit each other. :rolleyes:;)
I put the chilli powder in the bag of bird food and gave it a good shake before putting it on the bird table. If you try and add it later it can be a bit hit and miss - to say nothing of the risk of it blowing around and into your eyes.
Good luck! 😁
 

Kits

Picture Picker
The squirrels in our garden loved the chilli. I think they were under the impression I was giving them a treat. Didn't stop them at all.
 
I’ve got 6 of the little blighters they seem to love Chilli and chasing them away lasts for about 3 minute. I’ve decided to just put less food out.
 

Sasha Rusyn

New member
United Kingdom
A new visitor to my bird table today was a grey squirrel. I have never seen any squirrels in or near my garden for the 13 years I've lived here.
A quick visit to the RSPB chat page assures me that mixing chilli powder in with the seed will deter squirrels. Apparently they are super-sensitive to it but birds cannot taste it and are totally unaffected. Worth a try and much easier than "squirrel-proof" paraphernalia - which would also keep out the blackbirds ☹️
The squirrel had one feed of the dosed bird food about an hour ago and so far hasn't returned.....
🤞🏻 View attachment 1392329
As much as we all care about the birds, I have to say I'm just as happy to see squirrels in my garden and local area. They have just as much right to eat - surely they can co-exist :)
 
GREAT AND I MEAN GREAT picture. I love the expression on his face.
Thanks - it looks a bit cheeky!
As much as we all care about the birds, I have to say I'm just as happy to see squirrels in my garden and local area. They have just as much right to eat - surely they can co-exist :)
Yes, of course they could but there are lots of reasons why I'm trying to discourage it.
I put food out because I enjoy seeing the birds and I like to think I'm doing something towards helping our declining numbers of garden birds to survive. I don't necessarily enjoy watching grey squirrels. I can take them or leave them. As far as I know grey squirrels are not declining in number and don't need my help. Nor do I want to spend my money fattening up a squirrel and seeing no birds because there's no food left for them. This squirrel is new - we have no nearby (natural) food sources available (unless other people are feeding it) and if I allow it to continue feeding it might rely on my food supply and take up residence. There is probably a reason why they don't live round here.
Grey squirrels are technically vermin in the UK - apart from doing huge amounts of damage if they nest in buildings they also carry disease and are an enormous threat to our native red squirrels. If you trap a grey squirrel (whether intentionally or unintentionally) it is illegal to release them back into the wild and you are obliged, by law, to kill them (humanely - although I can't think of any humane way to kill a squirrel). So, all things considered, I prefer to discourage it with a bit of chilli.
Well, you did ask! 😉
 

Sasha Rusyn

New member
United Kingdom
Thanks - it looks a bit cheeky!

Yes, of course they could but there are lots of reasons why I'm trying to discourage it.
I put food out because I enjoy seeing the birds and I like to think I'm doing something towards helping our declining numbers of garden birds to survive. I don't necessarily enjoy watching grey squirrels. I can take them or leave them. As far as I know grey squirrels are not declining in number and don't need my help. Nor do I want to spend my money fattening up a squirrel and seeing no birds because there's no food left for them. This squirrel is new - we have no nearby (natural) food sources available (unless other people are feeding it) and if I allow it to continue feeding it might rely on my food supply and take up residence. There is probably a reason why they don't live round here.
Grey squirrels are technically vermin in the UK - apart from doing huge amounts of damage if they nest in buildings they also carry disease and are an enormous threat to our native red squirrels. If you trap a grey squirrel (whether intentionally or unintentionally) it is illegal to release them back into the wild and you are obliged, by law, to kill them (humanely - although I can't think of any humane way to kill a squirrel). So, all things considered, I prefer to discourage it with a bit of chilli.
Well, you did ask! 😉
Fair enough! Well explained... I guess we all have our preferences. In fact I've just been complaining about my own pet dislike, seagulls, on a separate thread! (Seagulls....)
 
Update.....
After a few further visits over the following couple of weeks I was beginning to plan a new strategy of relocating my bird table and fixing baffles and so on. BUT the squirrel hasn't returned - yet....... 🤫🙏🤞🏻
 

Ev4dawin

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Squirrels are a big problem for our feeders in my dads garden too and I woke up today to find one of the feeders on the floor! I'm assuming the squirrel managed to tip the feeder off of the tree branch, and even though we had put some cayenne pepper in the sunflower seeds and suet, it doesn't really seem to stop them. At least our resident birds are doing ok, it's just super frustrating to see a squirrel sit on a feeder for hours eating all of the birds food. I was looking at getting a bird feeder station (link is here ->Chapelwood Complete Bird Feeding Station) and then potentially getting a baffle for the bottom to see how the squirrels react to the station. The station comes with 4 feeders so that would make 7 feeders in total. I went a bit off topic there, sorry 🙃. Does anyone else here have a station similar to the link above? If squirrels visit your garden how do they affect the bird food supply?

Edit: I've just read a thread from 12 years ago here and one post says to not use cayenne pepper over the bird food. I now regret that because I just want the squirrels away from the feeders, I don't want to harm them. I'm now quite worried but as far as I can tell it hasn't affected them at the moment.

Second Edit: By searching google for a few minutes, all of the responses that I read through say that it is a good deterrent, but it doesn't affect the squirrels in a bad way, just makes their mouths burn and makes them not want to eat more of the stuff. If anybody wants I can link the thread where I saw what made me write the first edit.
 
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Squirrels are a big problem for our feeders in my dads garden too and I woke up today to find one of the feeders on the floor! I'm assuming the squirrel managed to tip the feeder off of the tree branch, and even though we had put some cayenne pepper in the sunflower seeds and suet, it doesn't really seem to stop them. At least our resident birds are doing ok, it's just super frustrating to see a squirrel sit on a feeder for hours eating all of the birds food. I was looking at getting a bird feeder station (link is here ->Chapelwood Complete Bird Feeding Station) and then potentially getting a baffle for the bottom to see how the squirrels react to the station. The station comes with 4 feeders so that would make 7 feeders in total. I went a bit off topic there, sorry 🙃. Does anyone else here have a station similar to the link above? If squirrels visit your garden how do they affect the bird food supply?

Edit: I've just read a thread from 12 years ago here and one post says to not use cayenne pepper over the bird food. I now regret that because I just want the squirrels away from the feeders, I don't want to harm them. I'm now quite worried but as far as I can tell it hasn't affected them at the moment.

Second Edit: By searching google for a few minutes, all of the responses that I read through say that it is a good deterrent, but it doesn't affect the squirrels in a bad way, just makes their mouths burn and makes them not want to eat more of the stuff. If anybody wants I can link the thread where I saw what made me write the first edit.
Yes, even the RSPB recommends chilli - and I think cayenne probably isn't hot enough. Grey squirrels also damage tree bark and eat the eggs and young of garden birds too. The Woodland Trust also advocates grey squirrel control.
I have a similar set-up but have cages around the hanging feeders. Although the squirrels can climb the pole they can't access the food.
 

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How to Stop Squirrels from Eating Bird Seed? Natural ways you should know: The first thing you have to do is hang the bird feeder away from the trees. So place your bird feeder in the middle of the yard where there is no cover. Hanging the feeder on a fishing line doesn't always work. You can use a divider instead. This is an effective method to keep the squirrel away from the bird's seed if the squirrel dares to climb into the bird's feeder. Squirrels hate the smell of cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper, or garlic. Sprinkleling pepper on the yard or the area around birds is sure to keep annoying squirrels away for a while.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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