Squirrels can be pretty annoying; don’t let the adorable exterior trick you. These pesky creatures will jump on your bird feeder from as far as 10 feet away! Then, they’ll have a food fest, and nothing will remain for the poor little birds.
If hummingbirds stop visiting your feeder, you now know the reason!
Desperate people with feeders in their backyards are constantly looking for a way to drive the squirrels away. One of the suggested solutions is petroleum jelly. Or as it’s commonly known: vaseline.
When you’re desperate to get those squirrels away, any solution will sound smart, but will Vaseline keep squirrels off bird feeders? Vaseline may keep squirrels off your bird feeder, but it’s not a recommended solution. Keep reading for other options!
Will Vaseline Keep Squirrels off Bird Feeders
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In your rush to get rid of squirrels, you don’t want anything to happen to the birds. Vaseline can be pretty dangerous for birds because of its high content of chemicals.
Birds aren’t mindful of their actions. They’ll eat anything on the feeder, even if it’s smudged with petroleum jelly. In turn, the Vaseline can cause risky skin conditions. Besides, it’s not like Vaseline is a magical solution that deters squirrels. It may not work, just like everything else.
So, even if it’s efficient in getting the squirrels away from your feeder, it’s better to look for an organic solution.
How to Keep Squirrels off Bird Feeders
There are multiple solutions you can go for to deter the squirrels away from your bird feeder. They’re much safer than vaseline, and they won’t harm your birds. Here are some efficient methods.
1. Get a Caged Feeder
When getting a squirrel-proof bird feeder, a caged one is the way to go. It prevents any animal from getting into the feeder, and not just squirrels. Additionally, even if the squirrel attempts to chew at it, it won’t budge because it’s made of metal.
If you’re worried about how the birds will get in, caged feeders have wide spaces between the bars. They allow garden birds to get in quickly. Of course, larger birds won’t be able to enter, but feeders aren’t designed for them anyway.
The metal bars of the cage are often coated in a corrosion-resistant material to keep the cage looking shiny and pretty.
2. Get a Spring-Loaded Feeder
Along with caged feeders, spring-loaded bird feeders are also becoming more common every day because they protect the food from intruders. The way they work, spring-loaded feeders are only fit for small garden birds to stand on. Any larger bird or squirrel will be too heavy to stand on the bar, and the chute will immediately close if a heavyweight is introduced.
It’s a weight-activated mechanism, so it ensures efficiency and protection. Small garden birds are too light, so they can eat from the feeder comfortably.
3. Use a Slinky
Using a slinky to deter squirrels away from your feeder is both fun and efficient, so it’s a win-win situation. A slinky is basically a metal spring that constantly stretches and gets back to its original shape. It’s initially used as a toy, but using it on your feeder is applicable, too.
The idea is to wrap the slinky around the feeder’s pole, and when the squirrel tries to climb it, its weight will pull the slinky down.
According to how your feeder is designed, you may have to remove the pole from the ground to attach the slinky. If the rod is designed to come apart, it’ll make matters much easier for you.
4. Choose Your Bird Feeder’s Place Wisely
If you think you know squirrels, you don’t. These miniature creatures can jump from as far as 10 feet, which most people don’t know. They can do 4-feet jumps vertically, and 10-feet jumps horizontally.
So, placing your bird feeder needs to be done with caution. No matter where you put it, a squirrel can get on the nearest tree and jump. Then, voila! All the food is gone.
To protect your bird feeder from squirrels, place it at least 10 feet away from near objects they can use to climb. This includes houses, tree branches, power lines, and decks.
You’ll have some fun watching the squirrels try to jump and fail, so it’s totally worth it!
5. Use Squirrel Baffle
If you don’t want to change your bird feeder’s place or buy a new one, installing a squirrel baffle may be a good idea. It’s an umbrella-shaped or a tubular object that you install on the feeder’s pole. When the squirrel attempts to climb, it’ll be met with the baffle, preventing it from proceeding.
There are two types of squirrel baffles: tubular and dome.
If you have a pole feeder, you can install the baffle at the pole’s base or halfway up. Otherwise, you can install it on top of the feeder, so the squirrel can’t jump on top of it.
6. Put Food Squirrels Don’t Like
If all the previously mentioned solutions don’t work for you, you can simply resort to leaving food that squirrels don’t eat. Contrary to common beliefs, squirrels don’t eat everything. It’s true; they love peanuts, corn seeds, sunflower seeds, fruits, and nuts in general.
However, they don’t like safflower seeds. On the other hand, chickadees, cardinals, and titmice love these, so you’ll still be able to feed small birds.
Squirrels also don’t like nyjer seeds, which are a favorite of goldfinches. Add millet to the list, and you have three different seed types that squirrels don’t like!
So will Vaseline keep squirrels off bird feeders? Squirrels are a nuisance to have in your feeder. They make a considerable mess around them, and they’ll eat all the food before the birds can get to it. That’s why you need to look for immediate and efficient solutions to keep them away.
Installing a baffle is a great solution, as well as using a sling. If you’re still buying your feeder, getting a squirrel-proof feeder is your best bet. Otherwise, you can resort to leaving food that squirrels hate.