How to Keep Squirrels Away from Bird Feeders Using a Slinky

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Hungry squirrels are no match for a Slinky. It's a simple, cost-efficient way to keep squirrels out of your bird feeders.

The green space called your backyard has seen it all—neighborhood cookouts, family gatherings, potlucks and more. But when the guests say goodbye, your backyard can be a haven for you and the wildlife in your area.

If you love to watch birds stop by your feeders, you know it’s hard to keep pesky squirrels away. But it’s possible to banish squirrels from bird feeders in your yard with a classic toy—a Slinky.

How to Keep Squirrels Away from Bird Feeders

Squirrels are cute, furry little creatures, but they tend to find their way into anything and everything. They love birdseed, as well as certain nuts, sunflower seeds, fruit and corn, and if you have a bird feeder in your yard, chances are they’re going to get their paws in it.

In her viral video posted on Facebook, Deborah Keller shared her genius hack to keeping squirrels away from her bird feeders for good.

If you have a Slinky from your childhood laying somewhere around your house, you’re in luck. If not, you can buy the original Slinky for about $2.99. Just hook the metal spring around the pole of your bird feeder and attach it to the very top. Gravity should pull the spring down, and that’s all you need to do. When squirrels try to venture up your Slinky-adorned feeder pole, they will weigh down the spring and end up back on the ground! If you want to go all out, use a specialized slinky spring that’s made for keeping squirrels away from bird feeders.

How to Clean a Bird Feeder

While you’re outside, consider how clean your bird feeders are. With warm and humid weather patterns prominent at this point in the summer, birdseed can spoil and mold, especially if your feeder gets direct sunlight. High traffic at your feeder can also be a means of spreading disease if things aren’t cleaned thoroughly.

If you’re wondering how to clean your bird feeder, start by diluting one part bleach with nine parts water. Get rid of any leftover or spoiled seed, and scrub down your feeder with a stiff brush before completely rinsing with clean water. Allow to dry before refilling with foods that attract birds.

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Hannah Twietmeyer
Hannah is a writer and content creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for all things food, health, community and lifestyle. She is a journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a previous dining and drink contributor for Madison Magazine.