Squirrels are extremely intelligent creatures. They can be cute, but they can also be destructive pests.
If you’ve been keeping a close eye on your bird feeder or birdhouse and found that a squirrel is continuously outsmarting you, well, you’re not alone!
So, how to keep squirrels away from bird houses?
Read ahead as we discuss a few ways you can deter squirrels from ravaging your birdhouses and stealing seeds from them.
1 – Keep Your Birdhouse Elevated
If you ask yourself where you’ve seen squirrels the most, your answer might be, on electrical poles, rooftops, or tree branches.
Because squirrels can usually jump pretty high, you’ll have to keep the 5-7-9 rule in mind, as indicated below:
- Squirrels can’t jump more than 5 feet in the air.
- They can’t jump more than 7 feet across.
- And they can’t jump more than 9 feet below.
Any birdhouse that hangs low enough to the ground or close to any hanging branch is unsafe from those squirrels.
With that in mind, use these distances, plus an extra foot to be sure, and hang your birdhouse away from anything that’s climbable for a squirrel.
2 – Use a Wire
To keep squirrels away from your birdhouse, hang it from a wire. Squirrels are large creatures and they will find it hard to walk vertically on the wire and will instead jump down and away from your birdhouse.
The kind of wire you should use is not really specific, as long as it’s strong and safe, your birdhouse will be fine.
3 – Install a Squirrel Baffle
Well, what if your birdhouse is on a pole? To keep squirrels away from your birdhouse, try using a baffle!
Squirrel baffles come in many different shapes and designs, depending on the user’s needs. If you’re not sure what kind to buy, here are the most common baffles explained so that you can make an informed decision.
A wrap-around baffle is a piece of metal, in the shape of a cone, that you can literally wrap around the pole.
It works as a divider between the pole and birdhouse or bird feeder. This helps to stop any creature from climbing up the pole and getting to your birdhouse.
The difference between this baffle and oval or cone-shaped ones is that this one moves loosely and causes the squirrels to slip off. This works well only if the squirrels are coming from the ground.
A dome baffle means maximum protection! The domed shape serves a dual purpose: keeping the squirrels away from the birdhouse, while also providing protection from rain and snow.
With its curved edges, squirrels are at a disadvantage when trying to access the food inside. So, you can rest assured it will keep your birds safe from both predators and bad weather.
4 – Get a Slinky
If you’re looking for an easy, inexpensive DIY project that will keep those pesky rodents out of your birdhouse, look no further than a slinky toy!
Hook the slinky beneath your birdhouse and thread it around the pole. Let gravity pull the rest of the slinky to the ground.
Any squirrel trying to climb will provide a comical spectacle that is sure to brighten up your day, adding a little fun to the task of protecting your lovely birdhouse.
5 – Protect the Entrance Hole
Make sure that the entrance to the birdhouse is the right size for the type of birds you’re trying to attract.
For example, if you’re trying to attract a cute chickadee, the entrance hole should be around 1 ⅛ inch. This can help keep and larger rodent or bird at nay
Unfortunately, a hungry squirrel can chew the wood away to gain entrance to your birdhouse! In turn, you might need to install a metal guard.
A metal guard is a piece of metal that can be used to cover the entrance hole and protect the wood. Using it as extra security can help you control who gains access to your birdhouse and who doesn’t.
6 – Choose the Food Wisely
A key factor in attracting birds to nest in a birdhouse is to choose the perfect meal for them. But how can you do that in a way that won’t also attract the furry little creatures?
There are three types of seeds and food that birds like, but squirrels don’t usually bother with. Here’s a list of them:
- Nyjer seeds: Goldfinches love them!
- Safflower seeds: Chickadees and Cardinals enjoy them greatly.
- White proso millet: A favorite of Sparrows and Doves.
7 – Feed the Squirrels
Though this might not be high on the list, you can actually feed the squirrels. However, you need to be aware of the risks it can bring.
If you don’t put the squirrel food far enough from your birdhouse, the little creatures will try to chip away at the wood to gain entrance to what’s inside.
Another potential risk of feeding squirrels is they may use your house as a nesting home. This can lead to many dangers.
To prevent this from happening, you can build nesting boxes for the squirrels around your yard so that they are less likely to enter your house.
Be Kind and Avoid Cruel Methods
While keeping squirrels away from your birdhouse might be a tiresome task, please don’t use any harmful methods to achieve that goal.
Steer clear from anyone advising to catch the squirrels using glue or any other adhesive material. This can be very cruel and can rip away their fur.
Some people think it’s a good idea to grease the pole so the squirrels can slide off. However, this can lead to injuries if the squirrels slip from high above the ground.
Also, grease may stick to their fur coats, causing them to struggle with it in the wild.
Squirrels may have won the first few rounds, but not to worry. If you set up your squirrel-proof birdhouse correctly, the birds will likely win in the end.
And hopefully, you’ll get to enjoy many interesting and entertaining birds that come to visit your charming birdhouse!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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