Grey squirrel sciurrus carolinensis, portrait on a garden lawn

Grey squirrel deterrents

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

What you can do

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (eg Tabasco) can be dusted onto bird food. Birds are not bothered by the chilli, but most squirrels cannot put up with the burning sensation, and will leave the food alone.
Grey squirrel clinging to tree, Glasgow, Scotland

How you can help

RSPB bird care product. Small Classic seed feeder and guardian no-mess sunflower mix

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