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Grey squirrel deterrents

Grey squirrel hanging from peanut bird feeder with coal tit

Image: Chris Gomersall

Grey squirrels can be a problem in gardens and the wider countryside. What can you do to keep them out of your backyard?

  • Fix cones and baffles to the string of a hanging feeder, or try plastic drinks bottles, large domes and discs
  • If the feeder is hung from a washing line, thread the line through a length of hosepipe or a plastic drinks bottle on each side
  • Use a downward-opening cone or a biscuit tin fixed to the pole below a bird table to prevent squirrels climbing up it. Vaseline or other grease on a smooth pole will also help
  • A feeder with a spring-loaded cover is on the market. The weight of the squirrel will lower the cover, preventing it access to the food
  • Remember that all these methods will only work if the squirrel cannot jump directly onto the feeder, but will have to approach via the defended route
  • Feeders with a cage around them are squirrel-resistant, although not squirrel-proof, and a small individual will be able to fit through
  • Strong chilli powder or pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco) can be dusted onto birdfood. Birds are not bothered by the chilli, but squirrels cannot put up with the burning sensation, and will leave the food alone.

How you can help

Keep those pesky creatures off your bird food. All profits go to the RSPB's conservation work

Buy a feeder guardian to help deter squirrels and pigeons