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Lasco

Squirrels and hummingbird feeders

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Lasco    1

So I've done a pretty good job (so far) of keeping the feeders out of reach...but now they're all over the suet and even the hummingbird feeder. I'm going to try adding some hot pepper sauce to the suet (I even found a hot peanut butter that I'm going to try in my next batch!) but I don't know what to do about the hummingbird feeder. It's on my deck because I enjoy watching them, but every day now the squirrels are popping off the flowers and trying to drink the sugar water. I have a bird bath and I live near a small pond and a brook, so it's not like they're lacking a water source. I think they're punishing me for moving the seed where they haven't been able to get it (yet!) Is it safe to put a hot pepper spray on the feeder petals?

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blueorchids    9

I don't know what your set up looks like, but perhaps using squirrel baffles above your feeders? I have one above my suet feeder, and try as they might, they are unable to get to it. You could also try buying the hot pepper suet bricks.

I have my humming bird feeder hanging under the eves of my house, close to a window. It is fun to watch them from the other side of the window because they are so close. 

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Lasco    1

Baffles won't work for my situation. Picture attached. It's not a great picture but it'll do. This is a screenshot from my outdoor camera. I couldn't paste it as an image so I printed to a pdf and attached it.

My problem is keeping the squirrels off the deck!! I think I'm going to get bird spikes to put near the hummingbird feeder to see if that works. I have other feeders out in the yard for nyger and mealworms and fortunately the squirrels aren't bothering with those. They've never gone after the hummingbird feeder before either, but it's what they've been doing since I moved the seed feeders out of reach.

I'm going to try the hot pepper suet, but I'm wondering if there's a safe alternative to do something similar for the hummingbird feeder. I think hummers are more sensitive to things and I don't want to do anything that would harm them. But if a hot pepper spray on the feeder would deter the squirrels and not harm the birds I might try it. Do you know if that's safe?

feeders.pdf

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blueorchids    9

I have squirrels on my deck all the time as well. I have had to resort to using Squirrel Buster feeders and caged suet feeders- that seems to keep them out, in my situation. 

Sorry, but I don't have any advice on the humming bird feeder besides trying to move it to a location they can't reach. I don't know about the safety of hummers and hot pepper, so I can't recommend it. Maybe someone else will chime in on the subject. Good luck, it seems like keeping those pesky squirrels out of the feeders is a never ending battle! :)

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Lasco    1

I WIN!! At least for now. I made a spray with habanero peppers. I spray the suet and I spray the petals on the hummingbird feeder. Birds don't seem to mind and the squirrels have left everything alone. I've been leaving things out overnight and I got up this morning in time to see one of the squirrels leaving the deck in defeat...with all of my suet intact and the hummingbird feeder untouched.

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Tclarkwood    47

How did you make your habanero pepper spray?  I'd like to try it on my bird feeders. 

 

Thanks! 

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Lasco    1

I just cut them up and simmered on low for about 45 minutes then strained the water into a spray bottle. Careful when you spray...it's spicy enough to irritate my throat and makes me cough!! 

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Tclarkwood    47

Ok.. I'll try it... I have a ton of young squirrels in my yard (new litter) and I can't keep them out of my BOSS ! 

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Lasco    1

Let me know if it helps. So far it seems to be working out great for me. Good luck. Those pesky little squirrels are persistent little brats!!

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Tclarkwood    47

I will let you know.. I bought my peppers and spray bottle today. I won't get around to it for a couple of days. 

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Tclarkwood    47

So far the pepper spray is not working.  I had two juvenile squirrels on my feeders when I woke up this morning.  I sprayed the pepper spray on the feeders again to see if it does any better today.  I was hoping this might end my squirrel problems. 

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Lasco    1

Sorry to hear it didn't work for you. You must have some tough squirrels!! So far it's still keeping mine away. I've noticed it doesn't bother the chipmunks...but they're only eating what's on the ground and aren't in the feeders.

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Tclarkwood    47

Yeah... The squirrels have been sitting in the pepper sprayed seeds and on the pepper sprayed bird feeder and they are not even phased by it.  I know the solution is very hot because I can feel it on my skin when I spray it so I know its spicy.  Perhaps I'll try some even hotter peppers like ghost peppers or Carolina Reapers?   You have to handle them with gloves on. 

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Tclarkwood    47

Well... The squirrels are winning the battle so far.  I purchased a very well made squirrel proof feeder a couple of weeks ago online and it was working great.  However, the squirrels figured out how to bite the parachute cord that was holding the feeder in place and the feeder fell to the ground an broke.  So now I have a new squirrel proof feeder with cracked glass and a feeding port that is bent up on one side and doesn't work.. I email the company to see if they would help me out on a new one and I'm figuring out how to mount the feeder so that there is nothing the squirrels can do to cut the feeder free.  I also have two small raccoons that are wrestling around with the feeder trying to get it open.  The battle is not over yet. I will keep you posted on whether the varmints win or i win. 

broken feeder.jpg

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Lasco    1

Ugh!!! They are persistent and obnoxious little rodents. I had one of those squirrel proof ones on my tree out front. It lasted for almost 5 years, but then they chewed through the rope and sent it crashing to the ground. Haven't had much trouble with raccoons, which is kind of surprising considering where we live. As long as I bring the suet in at night they don't get in to too much. Once in a great while they'll try to get the feeders but they don't come around much. We have a bear that comes around, but even he ( or she?) hasn't been able to get to them lately. And as long as I remember the hot pepper spray then my hummingbird feeder stays safe. If I forget even once then the damn squirrel gets at it.

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Tclarkwood    47

The bird feeder company would not cover the damage so I resorted to making the repairs myself.  I super glued a new piece of plexiglass to the inside of the feeder to fix the hole and then I took it apart to bend everything back as close to original as possible.  I still have some cracks in the glass but that's not a huge deal.  I placed a large bicycle hanger into my deck post where it was hanging before and hung the feeder so there is no way that the squirrels can tear down the feeder now (famous last words).   We'll just have to wait and see how good the feeder is at keeping squirrels out of it?   I gave up on the pepper spray because it wasn't even phasing the squirrels.   If I do pepper spray sometime in the future, I will try much hotter peppers.   I will report back on how it is working and take a picture of the set up I'm using and a picture of the pole I'm using to take the feeder up and down off the hanger.  Let's hope that this set up will put squirrels in their place before fall migration starts.  

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Tclarkwood    47

Well the squirrels have been losing the battle now for almost 2 weeks.  The squirrel proof bird feeder that I purchased has been totally squirrel proof and I think the squirrels have given up for the time being.  If anyone is interested in the brand of bird feeder that has been working for me, I have posted it below.  I'm probably going to buy another one and get rid of my hopper style feeders that I have been using for years.  I just need to get one of the fancy squirrel proof suet cages also.   Still looking forward to Fall migration.  Should start during September. 

https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/audubon-vista-squirrel-resistant-bird-feeder/0000000204404?bc=11232|11304|11307

 

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