Whether you feed squirrels or not (yes, many folks actually do) the last place you want to see them is in your bird feeders… period! And inevitably, no matter how much you feed the critters, they’ll still go for your birdseed.
The only surefire way we’ve ever witnessed to keep them at bay is by installing a decent squirrel baffle. It’s a one-time investment that promises you’ll never have to deal with the issue again. Some people “grease” their poles, and this may work for a while, but it becomes a continuous chore.
Cylinder and cone shaped baffles are most common for feeder poles. Say you have a shepherd’s hook and the baffle won’t fit around the top or the bottom ground stake? No problem – many of the cone baffles actually open and lock, allowing for placement on the fanciest, and curviest of poles.
A hanging baffle is best suited if your feeder’s suspended from a tree limb or branch. Baffles like these do double duty, acting as weather guards to protect both food and dining birds from the elements. But be careful, not all weather guards are hefty enough to qualify as an effective squirrel baffle.
You can even try to make your own baffle with a few supplies from a home improvement store. Stovepipe type baffles have plans available online, Just do a search “stovepipe baffle”. They can be made from sheet metal or PVC pipe.
Whatever type of baffle you may choose, feeder placement is the key! Make sure there is no horizontal “launch” point for squirrels to jump from, and if hanging, be sure the bottom of the feeder is at least five to six feet from the ground. So heed these precautions… as squirrels’ acrobatic stealth is nothing short of amazing!