25 Crazy Attempts at Preventing Squirrels From Reaching Bird Feeders

Maybe you can pick up a new trick to keep squirrels from reaching bird feeders.

bird feeder squirrelStefan Holm/Shutterstock

You won’t believe some of the lengths people will go to prevent squirrels from reaching bird feeders.


Droll Yankee’s squirrel-proof bird feeder has provided plenty of material for YouTube, and it’s an interesting contraption. It holds a battery powered motor that gets activated when a squirrel hops on and starts spinning. Check out this sure-fire method to prevent squirrels from digging in your potted plants.

Mission Impossible

Someone got creative to build a Mission Impossible-inspired obstacle course to keep squirrels from reaching their bird feeders. The tactic, however, did not work. Fall’s the time when rodents start looking for a warm place to stay during the winter, see what you can do to keep them out of warm places around your home.

A Dash of Oil

Sometimes something as simple as a little lubrication is all it takes to stop squirrels from climbing up the poll to a bird feeder. You’ll be amazed at these 50 ordinary items that can do extraordinary things.

Pepper and Shortening

This YouTuber spiced things up by adding pepper to the mix. It turns out, squirrels don’t care for pepper.

Rainbow Coiled Toy

A coiled toy proved no match for this batch of squirrels, who managed to crawl through the inside of the coil to reach the bird feeder.

Slick Exit

No squirrel can quite prepare for losing its grip like this brilliant idea. It might be one of the best ones out there. Of, course, branches will need to be trimmed regularly to prevent any path for squirrels. Once the squirrels have left, try adding one of these 16 seriously cool birdhouses.

Spinning Soda Bottles

You can add this to the list of nifty things you can do with a plastic jug or bottle because this squirrel couldn’t figure out what to do when it encountered a spinning plastic bottle. But this trick might not work on all squirrels.

Assault Course

YouTuber Steven Barley has devoted his time to setting up elaborate obstacle courses in his backyard to test squirrels on their path to bird feeders. While you’re trying to keep squirrels away, check out how to keep the crows away, too.

Triple Assault Course

Here’s Barley’s triple assault course with the tracks named: Tom, Dick and Harriet. It’s hard to tell if Barley is trying to prevent squirrels from reaching the bird feeder because it’s more like a Ninja Warrior episode for squirrels.

Grand Nutional Course

The squirrel grand “nutional” Barley held ratcheted things up considerably and provided a photo finish. Barley might need to try one of these 12 backyard games to switch things up.

Squirrel School Obstacle Course

Barley took the squirrels to school with this obstacle course and Taylor Sniffed didn’t have much trouble. The squirrel primary colors are red, gray and black. Make sure to follow these tips when it comes to picking out paint.

Movie-Themed Obstacle Course

The films aren’t revealed but you can take your best guess at what picture Barley is referring to with this obstacle course. There are five movie sets among the course. After watching Nutalie Portman perform here, you’ll want to check out 10 tool-related movie mistakes.

Squirrel Baffle

Baffles are designed to defeat squirrels from reaching the bird seed and they work most of the time but not here.

Spinning Bird Feeder

This is like the log spinning competition at a lumberjack festival for squirrels. This holds up because it shuts the door to any seed gathering.

Coiled Toy

Everyone loves a coiled toy and people have seemed to love to put them on the poles of their bird feeders as a deterrent to squirrels. As you can see the squirrel has a tough time dealing with the buoyancy of the coiled toy. You could always wave a white flag and create a squirrel feeder that is just as entertaining to watch.

See-Saw Design

Get inspired to DIY your own preventative contraption for keeping squirrels off your bird feeder with this pivoting design. It uses the squirrel’s weight to block access to the seed. Take a look at these insane pest control ideas.

Furnace Pipe

A stove pipe is a major deterrent if squirrels are climbing up your bird feeder pole. This YouTuber attached a furnace pipe halfway up the pole, then made sure the top of the pipe was blocked off. The squirrels crawl up, bonk their heads and run away! Check out these 15 pest control horror stories that will make you squirm.

Flexible Vinyl, Wood, Screen and Fishing Line

This YouTube user hung a fishing line from his pergola to properly place his bird feeder out of the reach of squirrels. To keep seeds from falling to the ground, he made a catch-all using flexible vinyl, screen material and wood! While you’re trying to keep squirrels away, check out how to keep the crows away, too.

Hanging Upside-Down Trash Can Lid

This YouTuber originally had the trash can lid in the opposite direction, but the squirrels were able to slide down the incline of the lid and flip themselves over to grab the bottom edge with their back feet, hanging and swinging over to the bird feeder’s chain. But upside-down is the answer! You’ll be amazed at these 50 ordinary items that can do extraordinary things.

Cayenne Pepper and Petroleum Jelly

Ready to spice things up? This YouTuber combined cayenne pepper (which squirrels dislike) with slippery petroleum jelly. One YouTube user commented that you can simply add 1/4 cup of powdered cayenne to 10 pounds of bird seed to keep the squirrels away. Because birds don’t have capsaicin (an active component of chili peppers) receptors they won’t mind the taste.

Copper and Glass

This DIY bird feeder is squirrel proof thanks to copper and glass! While birds can enter to get to the bird seed, the contraption prevents squirrel entry. Check out this sure-fire method to prevent squirrels from digging in your potted plants.

PVC Pipe and Cap

A little bit of PVC pipe can go a long way as we well know, like these 56 brilliant PVC hacks. The YouTube user swears by this bird feeder protection method though others on YouTube have been skeptical.

2-Liter Plastic Bottles

This YouTube user has clearly learned that one 2-liter bottle is simply not a strong enough defense against invading squirrels. But two will do the trick … if done correctly. Find out 21 clever ways to reuse plastic bottles in your home.

DIY Squirrel Baffle

A few supplies at a hardware store transformed this bird feeder into a fortress.

Coconut Oil

It seems any kind of oily product will keep squirrels sliding down your bird feeder, plus it seems like good entertainment.

Plus, find out why one of your best defenses in pest control is watching your dryer vent in the video below.