I HATE squirrels! We have a great number of them around here, and several of those regard our garden as their private banqueting hall. I love to feed the birds, and as I don't always manage to get around easily, I need to have the feeder somewhere where I can see it, and thus the birds,g from my computer table window, from whence I am writing this.
We have lived here for 18 years, and in all that time I have been fighting to keep the squirrels off the feeders.
I have bought just about every brand and style of 'squirrel proof' feeder on the market, and not one of them is. I have treated the feed with every flavour they are supposed to dislike, and they just ignore it. I have used garlic, salt, soap, chilli - both fresh and dried - pepper, and probably several others I can't quite recall now.
I would not encourage other types of rats to come to my garden, so why do we have to put up with these? We are not allowed to trap them - well, you can, but you are not permitted then to let them go as they are vermin (hear hear) so what do you do with your trapped beast? I'm certainly not going to try and kill it, I'd almost certainly get bitten as I nearly did when I soaked one inside a `squirrel proof' feeder last year, soaking wet you could see there was no disguise for the stinking rat it is. I do dislike them intensely but I'm not going to hit it and cause it dreadful suffering, I don't kill anything if I know about it and am not starting here.
I could put the feeder in the middle of the grassy area, from whence I would not see it, and the birds would not use it as there would be no cover - I'm stumped! I don't expect anyone to come up with a definitive answer, I just wanted to vent as I sit here with my cold water spray trying to catch them. It is the only thing they run away from, and that only for a few seconds, but I cannot be there 10 hours a day with the window open, and even if I could, thy'd just get used to it I am sure.
I've chased them off 17 times in the 10 minutes it took to write this - grrrrr.