Nobody wants to put bird feeders in their yard only to have it ravaged by wild squirrels. Allowing squirrels to constantly eat bird food straight from your birdfeeder only reinforces this behaviour. And unless something is done to prevent them, they will only keep coming back for more.
This can be problematic as not only do squirrels steal food meant for birds, but they may also cause an infestation problem near your household. Squirrel infestations can lead to damaged gutters, invaded attics, or other damage to your plants and trees.
Unfortunately, in areas such as Toronto, squirrel infestations may be more common than you think. It’s important to deter squirrels from your birdfeeders before squirrels infest other parts of your home. Call our professional squirrel removal Toronto services at 647-496-0815.
Why Are Squirrels Attracted to Birdfeeders?
Squirrels are omnivores and eat a variety of foods, including seeds, nuts, fruits, and various insects. Common bird species in Toronto such as finches, sparrows, swallows, and warblers all have the same diet as squirrels.
And while squirrels enjoy feasting on bird food, there’s a reason it’s called bird food and not squirrel food. Squirrels have a tendency to overeat and can eat up to 1kg of bird food a week if left to their own devices.
If you want to try to deter squirrels yourself, it’s not likely that you will get rid of all of them. But, there are a few options you can try if you want to give it a go.
How to Deter Squirrels from Birdfeeders
Buy a Squirrel-Proof Birdfeeder
Common squirrel-proof birdfeeders can prevent squirrels from reaching the bird food, only allowing birds access. These specially-designed feeders are different than normal feeders in that they use specific mechanisms, such as pressure switches or electrical shock, to identify and prevent squirrels from eating bird food.
However, there are obvious downsides to these birdfeeders. They can be expensive and ineffective. Squirrels are also intelligent and adaptable creatures, so squirrel-proof mechanisms on birdfeeders may be overcome easily.
Place your Birdfeeders In Open Spaces
Squirrels are amazing acrobats, so if you have a birdfeeder anywhere near tall trees, plants, or buildings, they will find a way to their target. With a squirrel’s amazing ability to jump distances of over 20-30 times their size, it’s important to place birdfeeders in areas where they won’t be able to jump far.
Use Cayenne Pepper
We’ve talked about how effective cayenne pepper is against squirrels. In fact, Ontario has already used cayenne pepper to deter squirrels from eating tulip bulbs.
Since birds aren’t affected by cayenne pepper— only mammals are—, squirrels won’t want to eat bird seeds mixed in with it. You can buy bulk cayenne pepper yourself and mix it in, or buy pre-laced bird food online and at bird stores.
This method can be quite expensive and time-consuming, depending on the amount of bird food you need to use. Thus, it’s advisable to seek a more permanent method or solution.
Feed the Squirrels Separately
Another method is to set out another tray of corn, nuts, seeds, or peanuts away from your birdfeeders. This will deter the squirrels from using the trickier birdfeeders, and will also provide squirrels with their own source of food.
However, this may attract even more squirrels to your household, along with wildlife such as raccoons and mice. You also will have to replace the food consistently in order to keep the squirrels away from your birdfeeders.
Hire a Professional Wildlife Removal Company
Since you can’t simply kill a squirrel in Canada for eating from your birdfeeder, you must take precautions in making sure that no matter which method you use, the squirrels aren’t harmed in the process.
That’s why the best method is simply to hire a professional squirrel removal company. Here in Toronto, this is the cheapest option that can have lasting results. A professional wildlife removal company will be able to assess your property and come up with a detailed plan to have your birdfeeders up and running, completely squirrel-free.