Hudson Valley squirrels are some of the most stubborn creatures on earth, but I’ve finally discovered the key to eliminating them from our bird feeder, and so can you.
I’ve been at war with squirrels for over two decades. Ever since my wife and I moved into our home, we have been fascinated by the wildlife in our backyard. Our birdhouse is a hotbed of activity all year round, with an overwhelming number of bird species visiting daily.
Unfortunately, the squirrels in our yard don’t really bother seeing colorful birds and spend most of the day trying to figure out how to empty the feeder no matter how hard we try to stop them. Over the years I’ve installed high polls, baffles, and bought expensive “squirrel proof” feeders, none of which have ever worked. I stayed up at night making plans to finally stop the squirrels once and for all from being outwitted again and again by those pesky little rodents.
At one point I had strips of carpet tape attached to a post that held a greased pole that held a weight sensitive feeder that would close if a squirrel jumped on it. Within five minutes, the little buggers figured out how to dump all that seed.
I had all but given up trying to rid our bird feeder of squirrels when I saw a suggested item on my Amazon shopping list. In winter we set up a tallow feeding for the woodpeckers. Although they love it, the squirrels usually gobble up the peanut cakes before the birds can get their beaks inside. After buying another dozen tallow cakes, the suggestion for hot pepper tallow popped up.
Intrigued, I decided to click the link and found thousands of reviews from bird lovers claiming the pepper-infused tallow finally rid their feeding station of squirrels once and for all. Having walked this path a hundred times, I was more than a little skeptical. But since I was desperately looking for a solution, I decided to give it a try.
Within minutes of putting the pepper tallow in the feeder, a greedy squirrel jumped on it and started chewing. But instead of feasting, the squirrel fell to the ground and scurried away. After watching other squirrels do the same thing, I began to think that the hot pepper tallow might actually work.
Now, weeks later, not only is our tallow feeding completely squirrel free, but the seed feeding next to it is completely untouched. It turns out that the hot pepper is too much for the squirrels, but has absolutely no effect on birds that can’t taste the heat.
After years of developing sophisticated contraptions and schemes to keep the squirrels away, the $1.99 suet cake did the trick. In fact, it worked so well that I made my own pepper spray that I use on flower beds, pots, and other places I want to keep squirrels and chipmunks away from. I simply mix a generous amount of hot Tabasco sauce and water, put it in a spray bottle and apply it around the feeder and flowers.
I’m happy to report that we haven’t had a single squirrel at our feeder for the past month. They’re all running around our yard as usual, but stay away from the hot pepper laced food.
Having trouble keeping squirrels out of your feeder? If you decide to try the hot peppers, we’d love to hear how it works for you. You can share your results on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.
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