KENNESAW, Ga., Jan. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — For bird lovers, the sight of a bushy tail hanging off the side of birdfeeders means one thing: war. Love them or loathe them, most birders agree they don’t want squirrels devouring seed meant for birds.
Squirrels must eat, too, and no one wants to harm the persistent critters. However, that doesn’t mean bird lovers have to put up with squirrels scarfing down birdseed, damaging feeders and bumping up blood pressure. It’s possible to discourage squirrels – and even outsmart them – with the right seed mix and some natural squirrel-control tactics.
Because squirrels love birdseed as much as birds do, both groups routinely battle for rights to birdfeeders. It’s not an equal fight – most squirrels are bigger than the average bird, so chances are they’re going to devour the seed.
“Squirrels are one of the biggest problems for people who feed birds. They can eat large amounts of seed, destroy birdfeeders and chase birds away. When squirrels claim your feeder as their territory, it’s hard to get rid of them.
While they can be relentless in their perpetual pursuit of birdseed and don’t like to share, you don’t want to hurt them, just set them on the straight and narrow. One of the most effective tactics to keep squirrels out of birdfeeders is taste aversion – serving seed birds find delicious, but squirrels consider downright distasteful. Simply put, if the seed you serve tastes terrible to squirrels, they’ll seek sustenance elsewhere,” said Elaine Cole, birding expert and owner of Cole’s Wild Bird Products, Co., a leading, national, quality bird feed supplier.
Cole suggests putting pesky squirrels on notice your birdfeeders are meant to be bird-exclusive by stocking them with products infused with fiery hot habanero chili peppers, like Cole’s “Hot Meats” that appeals to birds with top-quality sunflower meats and spicy taste but turns squirrels away with hot chili-pepper oil. Or offer “Blazing Hot Blend,” combining the same habanero chili oil formula with preferred seeds to attract a maximum variety of songbirds. Birds find the spicy taste delectable but squirrels detest it.
Studies show mammals, including squirrels, have receptors on the tongue and mouth that react to chili peppers by sending heat signals to the brain. Although there’s no actual damage, the sensation makes it seem like the mouth is on fire. Birds lack receptors that make chewing chili peppers such an eyewatering experience for mammals and they love the spicy flavor.
Another option is Cole’s “Flaming Squirrel Seed Sauce,” a nutritional birdseed supplement that contains all-natural, 100% food grade ingredients with a hot and spicy flavor. It’s a safe, effective and humane way to feed birds while thwarting squirrels. Remember, birds can’t taste the heat, but squirrels sure can. Add this chili pepper formula to any birdseed to reduce squirrel visits at birdfeeders or spray it on garden plants to keep squirrels from digging up bulbs and eating plants.
Squirrels can be amusing additions to backyards. To allow them to co-exist with birds without a battle, try diversion feeding, an effective tactic to lure squirrels away from birdfeeders by providing them their own food source. Set up a squirrel feeding station away from birdfeeders and make it easy for squirrels to access their own feeder filled with favored temptations. “Critter Munchies,” a blend of whole yellow corn, striped sunflower, peanuts in the shell, black oil sunflower and raw peanuts, will satisfy squirrels and divert them from birdfeeders.
Bird lovers have long tried countless, ineffective devices and gimmicks to thwart seed-stealing squirrels. Cole’s suggests using taste aversion and diversion feeding tactics to help win the age-old war at backyard birdfeeders. For more information, visit coleswildbird.com.
SOURCE Cole’s Wild Bird Products, CO.