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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.



Shotgun Bookertoo! Sorry a non native tree rat introduced by the Victorians. You have my commiserations. 


Bookertoo.  I too sympathise with you, but I have no idea how you get rid of them.

I just want to empathise with you as I feel the same about Moles. I HATE THEM WITH A PASSION.  


That's all I wanted really, just a chance to get some others on board!  Interesting about a horizontal line to hang the feeder from, I can't see any reason why they should not walk across it, but am certainly willing to give it a go - let's be honest - I'll try anything by now. 

Runnybeak, I am so glad we don't have moles as well - poor you, my friend invested in an electric sound maker which she says works, but I guess like me with the rats, you've tried it all?

Dave M.,  I'd love to try a shotgun but I'd probably shoot the neighbours, who are very nice people, and the chance of my hitting the squirrels is remote. I know they are an import, that makes it even worse somehow doesn't it? 


Bookertoo, I sympathise as I'm having the same problems. Are your feeders suspended from a tree/bush or are they on a pole?  I ask because my brother has a pole with feeders and uses one of those clear plastic pudding basiny thingies at the bottom third of the pole which apparently the squirrels can't climb over - says it works for him. They are expensive though about £20-£25.

My feeders suspend from a pole but are near to a magnolia and a rose arch which the squirrels jump from - can't move it as won't be able to see the birds from my chair.

I suspect it's a case of learning to accept them and the fact they'll eat a lot of bird feed and thus keeping your blood pressure down!


You could try those feeders where a metal cover goes over the feeding holes when the squirrel lands on top of the feeder. It does work.


Apparently moles taste quite unpleasant - very few animals will eat them.

We are so fortunate! Not a squirrel left in the county. A government project to eradicate them was carried out two years ago. It was 100 per cent successful. Our local gamekeeper was involved in it so I heard the details you won't see one from Dumfries and Galloway all the way up to Central. As is usual it has stepped down in intensity due to funding.  I have actually seen red ones surviving now


I must be on my own then, I love squirrels


cover the nuts/seeds in the hottest chili powder you can find, bird can't taste it as the capsaicin oil only effects mammals. (it will also stop any mice or rats you have eating fallen seed)

and wear gloves when you do it! otherwise...unpleasantness can follow when you rub your eyes, or worse go to the bathroom! 

I could rent you out one of my cats, he's a very adept squirrel hunter, doesn't leave much behind either, just the odd tail!


I also love squirrels ,in the Forrest not the garden, and yet i would love to see a red one in my garden, if we could get them back in number with very few grey it would be nice,


Can't remember what but the greys carry some disease to which they are now immune but which affects red squirrels.  It's a pity it's not a commercial proposition to reverse engineer some bug that will reduce the greys.

Not a problem we have here in Belgium where there are plentiful red quirrels - but not in my garden unfortunately.   I took some scientists on an imemrsion trip to bristol once and they were nechanted by the lack of fear of the greys who posed for photos by Cabot tower.  Couldn't believe they are vermin when in the wrong place.

I don't know where you are Bookertoo but maybe this site and this organisation can help -


In South Scotland there are controls in place. The virus that the greys carry doesnt affect them, only the red.  The greys can reproduce several times a year whereas the red only once.  

Controls are working and the reds are reappearing I saw one just a few weeks ago, so cute!


If you have problems with them digging plants out of pots as I do, I read they dislike slug pellets and avoid pots containing them. I tried it and it worked, but you will need a plentiful supply.

What worked for me is that I bought a squirrel feeder, attached it to the fence  and filled it with the cheapest peanuts I can find.  The squirrels visit that and leave the bird feeders alone.   Mags


Thank you to those who gave various suggestions regarding squirrels and the deterrence thereof.  Sliding down feeder covers don't work because squirrels soon learn to approach from above and not to to touch the perches so the covers don't close.  iI have used chilli, fresh, oil and raw until the seeds were bright red - it deterred them for about half an hour! I am tempted by the clear domes mentioned, but am unsure as to how I could affix them to the site where the feeder is.  Moving it is not an option if I want to see any birds who manage to make it there.  I'll examine that idea for the future - thank you. 

They certainly do not leave the bird feeder alone if they get fed, they just empty their feeder and then attack the birds one.  When I tried that I got through around 4 kilo's of peanuts in a day!  I can't keep that up even if I wanted to - and I don't, I'd rather they starved thanI  feed them, and it made no difference whatsoever to how much they took from the bird feeders.   I am experimenting with prickly foliage around the metal poles, they don't like it much but soon learn to get between the prickles.

Hate them tho' I do, you do have to give them 10/10 for persistence and cleverness!




With you all the way Bookertoo - they have also been making a right mess of my lawn stashing cobnuts, walnuts etc. Would love to have red squirrels though - I would actively feed them - does that make me a squirrel racist?

Ref the suggestion to hang the bird feeders from a clothes line or similar. I watched a programme devoted to seeing just how clever & inventive grey squirrels could be when accessing food (VERY!) & they filmed a squirrel 'climbing' upside down SAS style along a horizontal wire - all to the Mission Impossible theme tune. Made me laugh out loud.

Gotta hate 'em - gotta admire 'em


Absolutely love the whirligig thing, that would give me hours of entertainment and might even get the furry rats to stop!!  Can I get it here?  Thanks a million for that.

Not so keen on electric shocks, as I'm not sure unite how green that is - but eventually I might be happy to try that too.

Not shooting anything here, thanks though.

Cayenne does not work here, tried it to the point it almost made me cry when I hung the feeder it was so strong.  Tried it dried, powdered and fresh - no go for these terrors..  Birds didn't notice (they can't taste it), the squirrel jumped the first time then just carried on as usual.