If You Cant Beat Them, Enjoy Them

Squirrel, Common Squirrel, Eating

Squirrels are a nuisance. They get into the garbage and birdfeeders. They build nests in the most irritating areas of the garage, attic and eaves. The biggest nuisance of all is if they”swear” at you when you come and go from your own house.

There are several ways to discourage them:

Put a baffle or squirrel guard on bird feeder poles.
Make certain the bird feeders are at least squirrel-jumping distance away from trees and perches.
Use metal garbage cans and bird feeders rather than plastic which they can chew through.
Use a spring loaded perch bird feeder set so it will not open with the weight of the squirrel.
Use live traps to move them to another area.
Use squirrel repellents such as chili powder, red peppers or cayenne sprinkled in which you need them to stay away.
Put chicken wire over your flowerbeds (coated with a light dusting of dirt) to keep them from digging up your bulbs.
Find the holes where they’re getting in and patch them up.
All of the work, I can tell you from experience. I will also tell you that when you try to keep them away from one area they invade another area. One night I came home to find a dead squirrel in our toilet. He crawled down the drain vent stack thinking it was an interesting place to build a nest, swam into the restroom and then panicked when he discovered the toilet seat down until he drowned. I still think about all the fun my cat and dog could have had if the chair was up – and my family still teases me about crying my head off when I discovered it!

You do have to admire the little rodents.

They can pull a tortilla through a quarter inch hole in a garbage bag and keep it in one piece.
They are aware that the dog can not chase them past the fence and the cat can not get them through the display, so they can swear at them all they need at a safe distance.
They are amazing acrobats that will try anything and chew through anything to get to food.
My ingenious husband came up with a plan to use their inquisitiveness against them. He wrapped empty coffee cans on trees spaced several feet apart (since squirrels are territorial) and place sunflower seeds in them to feed them.

That’s when we made the most amazing discovery. Should you feed them, they’ll leave other areas alone! They didn’t even make nests in our garage anymore; rather then made nests in the trees near the feeders.

Now I must warn you that you will need a coffee can feeder for every squirrel unless you want to obey them squabble all day long when another squirrel enters their territory. Screaming squirrels confuse the other animals and birds it’s a danger alarm and they stay away, which defeats the purpose of feeding the birds.

Soon we found that every squirrel had its own character. One squirrel ate so the sunflower shells fell outside the can. Another would grab a seed, eat on the rim of the coffee can with its rear the tree trunk so it could watch its domain name while it ate. Others preferred to hide inside or to peek out now and then like it was a soldier in a foxhole. We found squirrels even more entertaining than birds!

Speaking of amusement … squirrel feeders are a fun way for the furry court jesters to work for their dinner and”earn their keep”.

Put ears of dried corn on the end of a squirrel spinner or arrow feeder and enjoy watching them attempt to consume it.
Set a corn cob at the conclusion of a squirrel bungee.
Put nuts or seeds at a squirrel munch box where they need to open a lid to pull food out.
Extend a cable or cable from one tree to another so that they have to tightrope-walk to get to the food.
There are also cute corn cob feeders made to look like little picnic tables or adirondack chairs.
As they say, if you can not beat them – join them. We found that feeding the squirrels not only kept them out of trouble, but amused us as well. As an added bonus flying squirrels were visiting the feeders at night!

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