How do I stop squirrels eating my Suet/Fat Balls that I put out for the birds?
We all love the sounds of wild birds or garden birds chirping away happily in our garden, and one way to encourage them to visit is to put out bird food for them. One of the slightly more unusual foods, which encourage slightly more exotic birds, such as woodpeckers, is the Suet ball feed, or fat ball or suet cakes. These can be plain, or have varieties of seeds mixes in them, and birds of all different shapes enjoy them all year around!
However, there is another creature who would like nothing better than to feast on these hearty balls of nutrition, and that is squirrels! They will stop at very little to get their claws onto them, so how can you try and prevent squirrels from feasting? Read on, to discover some tips and solutions to this on-going problem in your garden.
- A Suet cage
A lot of people think that to use suet to feed the birds, they need a suet cage in which to put the bird food. However, this has many problems. Usually the cage’s holes are big enough that the squirrels can just claw or nibble through and get to the suet that way. Also, the squirrels can knock the cage down from wherever it is hung, and onto the ground, often breaking the cage open. Also, wood peckers cannot feed from these feeders, also you cannot see the birds properly through the cage
- Turn up the heat!
Another thing some people try, as a technique to put off squirrels from trying to steal your suet, is hot pepper, or capsaicin. As birds do not have taste buds, they can eat spicy food all day long, with no ill effects. However, the squirrels, like humans, do, so the use of the spicy stuff is thought to be a deterrent to them. Sadly, this “solution” will only work in the short term, as the squirrels eventually get used to the taste, so it is not a good recommendation and is not effective in the long term.
- Use a Squirrel Proof Bird Suet Ball Feeder!
Possibly your best line of defence against squirrel food theft, are purposely designed Squirrel Proof Fat Ball Bird Feeder. If you cannot keep the squirrel at a distance, get a feeder that won't let the squirrel eat! Simple! There is ONLY one purpose made weight activated squirrel proof suet feeders that has been specifically designed for using with suet balls, fat balls or suet cakes, and that is The Roamwild PestOff suet Bird Feeder. They are designed with little hatches next to the perches, which are closed if the weight of what it perched is more than a 75g weight. The basic premise of this works on the principle that because a squirrel weighs more than a bird, the feeder mechanism lets the birds perch but closes the feeder hatch when a squirrel tries to sit on the perch. The Roamwild PestOff suet cake / ball Bird Feeder, available from Homgar for only £24.99. What’s more, if you like to attract other types of birds, who enjoy seeds more, then the feeder comes in a variety of other options, such as Mixed/Sunflower seeds, Nyjer/Thistle seed, and Mealworm/Peanut.
- Abhinav Gupta