Below you can read about and peruse all types of easy to install squirrel baffles, a simple accessory to stop squirrels from raiding the birdfeeder. A baffle is an especially useful accessory for those of us that like ornamental or old wooden birdfeeders and not the new squirrel proof ones.
The article includes some homemade squirrel baffles, as well as some tips and videos which remind you about what to remember/consider before purchasing, as well as before installing. To get an idea of what is available you can take a look at the large selection of baffles available by clicking HERE, or looking or clicking on the Amazon window below.
When a Squirrel Baffle Should be Considered
The best method of repelling squirrels at the bird feeder is to choose a proven squirrel-proof birdfeeder and to hang it in the best method, and in the best place, to avoid these furry felons from getting on the feeder and cleaning out your seed.
However, sometimes this is not always possible for those that already have a non-squirrel proof bird feeder. This is most usually the case with the nice old wooden homemade bird feeders and was my situation because I have a post mounted wooden bird feeder that was built by my departed father and which has sentimental value to me.
So while I may go out in the future and buy a new squirrel proof bird feeder, I want to hang on to the old one as long as possible. In the meantime, I still want to stop the squirrels from cleaning out the birdseed daily. Squirrel baffles, sometimes known as squirrel guards are a tried and true method of accomplishing this.
What Type of Squirrel Baffle is Right for Your Feeder: How is Your Feeder Hung?
Squirrel baffles essentially come in four types. How your feeder is hung or displayed will determine which type you must choose:
1. Dome-shaped squirrel baffles installed above hanging feeders. These have the added benefit of protecting the feeder and seed from the weather;
2. Cylindrical squirrel baffles for feeders mounted on poles;
3. Cylindrical squirrel baffles for feeders mounted on posts, and
4. Torpedo shaped squirrel baffles for feeders mounted on poles.
There are some so-called squirrel baffles, e.g. Twirl a Squirrel that actually is electric and twirl the squirrel off the feeder when his weight is applied to the feeder. However, they are not baffles in the traditional sense.
How Squirrel Baffles Work
When you install a squirrel baffle on your bird feeder pole, post, or over a hanging feeder, it creates a physical barrier that squirrels can’t climb or reach around to get to the feeder. The shape of the baffle makes the squirrel have to reach and the texture of the baffle gives the squirrel nothing to hold on to. It’s quite a simple but proven product:
SQUIRREL BAFFLES DO WORK ONLY IF YOU INSTALL THEM CORRECTLY AND CONSIDER SOME OF THESE TIPS
1. If you buy a squirrel baffle for a pole-mounted, or a wooden post mounted bird feeder, make sure it is appropriate for the diameter of the pole or post you have your feeder on. Product descriptions will say the diameter of the pole or post the baffle fits. Post mounted baffles are usually for 4 X 4 posts.
2. If you buy a dome-shaped squirrel baffle for placing over your hanging feeder remember these only work if the squirrel’s only access to the feeder is from above. If you have the feeder hung so that squirrels can jump on it (they can easily jump 6 feet–see video below) from a nearby branch or structure, this type of baffle will do no good.
In such a case re-hang the feeder farther away from lateral adjoining branches, or trim the branches so squirrels can’t reach the feeder from the side. Make sure the ONLY access to the feeder is from above, then install a baffle.
3. If you mount a squirrel baffle on a pole make sure it is high enough so that the squirrel can’t jump up on it, or over it, and that there are no nearby objects from which the squirrel can increase his jumping-off point. Here is a case in point of in improperly positioned feeder making the baffle ineffective:
4. Also to remember if you buy a domed shaped squirrel baffle is to make sure it is recommended for all types of hanging feeders because some are particularly manufactured for specific bird feeders.
5. Make sure any of the hardware for installing the squirrel baffles comes with the product. You don’t want to receive the baffle and then have to make another trip for hardware to install it.
Installing Squirrel Baffles
Installing squirrel baffles and/or deflectors is a great way to stop squirrels from getting access to your bird feeders. If you have mounted your feeder on a post or on a pole you can feel confident that a squirrel will not be able to get by this obstacle.
If you have hung your feeder you can install a deflector above the feeder but these do not work one hundred percent of the time. Some squirrels are crafty enough to get by these but they are still a good choice.
Squirrel Baffles and deflectors are designed in a way that a squirrel cannot get any grip to hold on or climb. They have a smooth surface and are made of metal or plastic. If you can incorporate both a domed baffle and torpedo-shaped squirrel baffles together, you will never have to worry about squirrels ever getting past this.
The big mistake a lot of us make is not mounting our squirrel baffles high enough on a post or pole. Also, some of us put our feeders to close to a tree or hang a feeder in a way that a squirrel can just leap onto it.
Squirrels are very strong and agile and some have been known to jump up to 6 feet, so make sure you take this into account before attaching your baffle or deciding on a location for your bird feeder.
Squirrel baffles or deflectors mounted above your feeder will protect it from getting wet in the rain and snow which will make your seed stay fresher and keep it from going moldy. This is a nice bonus and the birds will thank you for it.
Squirrel Baffles are all very simple to install but you must make sure that you purchase the right one for your particular situation. If you have mounted your bird feeder on a wooden post then you should make sure that you check the diameter specifications of the baffle so it will fit properly. The same goes for a baffle that would be mounted on a pole.
If you are going to purchase any squirrel baffles to mount above your bird feeders, make sure that they come equipped with all the necessary hardware so you can attach it to the wire or you will be making a trip to your local hardware store.
We are quite confident that once you install squirrel baffles in your yard it will help you keep those pesky squirrels off your feeders. It is well worth the time and investment because in the long term you will save a lot of money on birdseed!