10 Favorite Attempts at Preventing Squirrels from Reaching Bird Feeders

Updated: Mar. 29, 2023

Are squirrels cramping your style? Check out the extreme measures people take to keep squirrels away from bird feeders.

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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.

Photo: Courtesy of Chris NoTap/YouTube

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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.

Photo: Courtesy of ehowathomechannel/YouTube

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This YouTuber had great success keeping squirrels off of her bird feeder using a plastic slinky. As shown in the video, the squirrel climbs up only to be sent hilariously back to the ground by the kid’s toy! Once the squirrels have left, try adding one of these 16 seriously cool birdhouses to your yard.

Photo: Courtesy of barbiandcats/YouTube

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Aluminum Flashing

“In the battle to keep squirrels out of my bird feeder, I finally won,” says YouTube user Robert Cox. “Tools used were the Yankee Flipper bird feeder, a tree, and some aluminum flashing secured with camo straps (very important).” This squirrel feeder provides an unusually clear view of the squirrels that frequent it, because the bold critters actually climb inside the jar to eat!

Photo: Courtesy of Robert Cox/YouTube

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Empty Soda Bottles and 1/8-Inch Nylon-Wrapped Cable

Using empty soda bottles and 1/8-inch nylon-wrapped cable, this YouTuber was able to fend off squirrels from his bird feeder. He drilled holes slightly larger than 1/8 inch in the cap and bottom of the bottles. The bottles spin well, keeping the squirrels from winning.

Photo: Courtesy of Brian Blais/YouTube

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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.

Photo: Courtesy of Jordy C/YouTube

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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.

Photo: Courtesy of DIY/YouTube

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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.

Photo: Courtesy of Sassafras6090

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Shortening and Dried Hot Peppers

YouTube user KLisaLisa used the combo of shortening and dried hot peppers to deter squirrels from stealing her bird feed. She made the ingredients into a paste and applied to the pole. The squirrels slide down when trying to climb, and get even more thrown off when trying to lick off the shortening! Check out these humane pest control options for critter-proofing your gardens and planters.

Photo: Courtesy of KLisaLisa/YouTube

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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.

Photo: Courtesy of The Winfield Collection