4 Tips & Techniques On How To Stop Squirrels From Climbing A Bird Feeder Pole

January 9, 2022 // 8 minute read

Articles » How To Stop Squirrels From Climbing A Bird Feeder Pole

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Squirrels are undeniably cute. They are one of those rodents that can be so fun to watch when they visit the backyard. However, if you’re a bird watcher, these animals may not be so cute at all. 

Squirrels can easily take over bird feeders, leaving birds with nothing to eat. That’s why preventing them from even climbing up the bird feeder pole is extremely important. Fortunately, this can be very easy to do. 

In this article, we’ll share some easy ways to stop squirrels from climbing a bird feeder pole. This might include: 

  • Using a slinky
  • Putting a baffle
  • Make the bird feeder pole out of PVC pipe
  • Following the 5-7-9 rule

And if this is not enough, we’ll also share more tips on keeping squirrels away, what you shouldn’t do, and also answer some FAQs. 

So, if you’re ready to learn more about it, read on… 

Easy Ways To Stop Squirrels From Climbing The Bird Feeder Pole

Use a slinky

One of the things you can do to stop squirrels from climbing your bird feeder pole is using a slinky. This is a very common solution, as it’s cheap and easy. 

You can buy a slinky in any store near you. Then, insert that in the bird feeder pole, attach it at the very top, and then just let it fall. 

When a squirrel attempts to climb up the bird feeder pole with a slinky, it will just be brought back down to the ground. No matter how many times the squirrel tries to climb up, it won’t succeed. 

And this is exactly the reason why many bird watchers choose to put a slinky. Because the scene where the squirrels keep on attempting to climb up is fun to watch. Just take a look at the video below: 

Putting a baffle

Another way most bird watchers stop squirrels from climbing a bird feeder pole is by putting a squirrel baffle. 

There are several types you’ll find in the market: 

  • Dome-shaped Squirrel Baffles
  • Cone-shaped Squirrel Baffles
  • Platform or Disk-style Squirrel Baffles
  • Tube-shaped Squirrel Baffles

Dome-shaped squirrel baffles are mostly made of transparent material and shaped like a dome or an umbrella. This is usually used as protection for bird feeders from above. This way, even if squirrels jump down from a tree or any nearby platform, they will just automatically slide down from the baffle. 

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Cone-shaped squirrel baffles, as the name implies, look like an upside-down funnel. It’s often mounted on the bird feeder pole below the bird feeder. With this baffle type, even if the squirrels climb up or jump to the bird feeder from the ground, the baffle can effectively stop them from reaching the feeder. 

The cone shape’s purpose is that if the squirrel lands on the baffle, the baffle will tip, causing the squirrel to slide down. It’s also important to make sure that the base is wide enough to actually cover the base of the bird feeder. 

squirrel stopped by baffle
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The platform or disk-style squirrel baffle serves the same purpose as the cone-shaped baffles. They are mounted on the bird feeder pole right below the bird feeder to stop any squirrels that attempt to climb the pole. 

Among all baffles, this one is probably the least recommended. Because of its flat surface, when squirrels jump high enough, it could be easier for them to land on the baffle without any problems. 

The main solution most bird watchers have is using an old record as the platform-style baffle. Thanks to the slippery material of the disk, it can be more challenging for squirrels to land on it. 

Tube-shaped squirrel baffles are baffles designed to cover most parts of the bird feeder pole. This somehow tricks the squirrels to still climb the pole while stopping them on their tracks as they reach the top. 

If you want to get an idea how this baffle looks like, you can watch the video below: 

Make A Bird Feeder Pole Out Of PVC Pipe

Now this one requires a bit of work on your side. Because instead of buying a ready-made bird feeder pole and mounting a baffle or a slinky to it, you can make a whole new one using a PVC Pipe. 

Why PVC Pipe? 

The reason is simple. Because PVC pipes are made of hard plastic, it would be harder for squirrels to grip onto them and climb up. A PVC bird feeder pole gives a similar effect to a slinky, which is sending a squirrel back down to the ground. 

The good thing about this is that it’s very easy to make, and you won’t even need to buy a brand new pipe. 

You’ll also need a fence post, as this will serve as our base. Drive the fence post deep into the ground, then place the PVC pipe over it. Make sure that this whole structure is long enough that the squirrels won’t reach the bird feeders even if they jump. 

And that’s just about it! 

Following the 5-7-9 rule

Last but not least, you always need to keep in mind the 5-7-9 rule.

You should always remember that squirrels can’t jump off the ground more than 5 feet, jump more than 7 feet sideways, and drop more than a 9 feet height. With this in mind, you need to get or make a high bird feeder pole to support the requirement. 

You can’t get a bird feeder pole that is exactly 5 feet in length. If you’re hanging a bird feeder there, it would be possible for squirrels to reach when they jump high enough. 

The pole length should be at least 8-feet, while other bird watchers prefer it to be higher. 

Other Tips In Keeping Squirrels Away

Squirrels can be very persistent. So, it would probably be best to use the technique above together with the following: 

  • Mixing bird seed with cayenne pepper spices: This would be a really smart move because mammals are the only animals affected by spicy taste. Birds, on the other hand, won’t notice any difference at all. So, once squirrels realize that the bird seeds in your bird feeder are spicy, there’s a very small chance they’ll try to come back for a feast. 
  • Serve safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds: As much as squirrels can be such a pest, they are pretty picky. And it’s been noticed that they don’t like the bitter taste of safflower seeds. 
  • Use a squirrel-proof feeder: Aside from squirrel-proofing your bird feeder pole, it’s also best to use a squirrel-proof feeder as well. Squirrel-proof bird feeders are usually weight-sensitive, where the feeding ports close when a  squirrel climbs on the perch. These can also be caged so that squirrels won’t have access to them. 

Check out these tips for how to squirrel-proof your birdfeeders.

Read More…
  • Feed squirrels separately: Another way you can deal with the situation is by offering separate food for the squirrels. This way, they won’t bother eating the bird seeds you left for the birds. 

There are many cute squirrel feeders available in the market, and you might love having them around your home, too!

The Don’ts When Preventing Squirrel From Climbing The Bird Feeder Pole

Now that we know several ways on how we can prevent squirrels from climbing bird feeder poles, there are a few things you don’t want to do: 

DON’T PUT GLUE ON THE BIRD FEEDER POLE

This is plain cruel and can be very painful for the animal. They might even end up ripping their furs out trying to get out of there. On top of that, birds might also accidentally stick to it, making this a terrible danger for all wildlife. 

DON’T PUT GREASE OR PETROLEUM JELLY ON YOUR BIRD FEEDER POLE

Although grease or petroleum jelly won’t cause squirrels to stick to the pole, these substances can be very hard to remove from the animal’s fur. They might even ingest some material trying to get the oil off their skin, which will make them sick. 

If not removed, their fur might end up clumped up together, putting them in a very dangerous situation for winter. 

Final Thoughts On Stopping Squirrels From Climbing A Bird Feeder Pole

And that’s how you can stop squirrels from climbing up a bird feeder pole. 

  • Slinky
  • Baffle
  • PVC material
  • Bird feeder placement

These four things are all you need. Each technique is very effective, very easy to do, and won’t even cost you a lot. So, if you’re still being bothered by squirrels, just remember to put these tips into use, and enjoy bird watching without the disturbance of these animals. 

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