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Thread: I Hate Squirrels (keep eating my suet cakes)!

  1. #1
    Shadle is the Schdizzle Doug West's Avatar
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    Default I Hate Squirrels (keep eating my suet cakes)!

    In my backyard setup I have a squirrel proof feeding station
    that is actually squirrel proof.

    But to attract woodpeckers I have a suet cage hanging from
    a tree. Not only do the squirrels knock it off the tree, but they
    open up the cage and get the whole suet cake.

    I've seen suet cakes advertised that come with hot peppers,
    which squirrels are suppose to hate.

    Any idea if that works?

    Thanks
    Doug
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  2. #2
    Forum Participant John Chardine's Avatar
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    Hi Doug- This is a perennial problem and it is very hard to dissuade a determined squirrel. We have Red Squirrels here and they are fairly small and not as strong as the Greys you probably have. I find a good solid hook and the feeder wired shut works fairly well with Reds.

  3. #3
    Shadle is the Schdizzle Doug West's Avatar
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    Any idea if the hot pepper idea works?
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    Forum Participant John Chardine's Avatar
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    It probably does work. Worth a try anyway. Peppers evolved the ability to make Capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in hot peppers to dissuade animals from chewing up the pepper seeds and thus destroying them. However, capsaicin is cleverly designed by evolution to not affect birds. Birds are important to peppers (and many plants) because they swallow the seeds whole, then poop them out somewhere else, thus dispersing the plant.

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    BPN Member Jim Crosswell's Avatar
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    Doug can you please post an image of your squirrel proof feeder. The squirrels get into all the feeders I have.

  6. #6
    Shadle is the Schdizzle Doug West's Avatar
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    Sure Jim. Here's what I'm using...

    Name:  duncraft.jpg
Views: 592
Size:  220.2 KB

    It's from www.duncraft.com. Cost me $150. The funny thing, it stopped the
    squirrels, but now the deer can get to the feed :)

    Doug
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    http://www.thebirdphotographer.com/
    "Birds are People Too"

  7. #7
    BPN Member Jim Crosswell's Avatar
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    Thanks Doug. Nice variety of birds at your station.

  8. #8
    Shadle is the Schdizzle Doug West's Avatar
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    Sorry Jim, that's not mine. Its an image from their web site. I was to lazy to go out
    and take a picture :)

    Doug
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  9. #9
    BPN Member Andre van As's Avatar
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    Hi Doug
    I had the same problem of having squirrels devour the suet before the birds could have a go at it. So I figured that if birds eat hot peppers they most likely have a poorly developed sense of taste for pepper or they have no taste buds at all. So I coat the suet with cayenne pepper by sprinkling it on liberally and rubbing it into the cake before hanging it up and it seems to work. I have seen the squirrels try to eat the treated suet and quickly back off rubbing and cleaning their mouths with paws and retreating rapidly. The coating wears off over the week and may have to be topped up. This is all a bit of extra work but I have lots of birds visiting.
    Dont sprinkle the pepper while the wind is blowing or you will have burning eyes in no time.
    It would be nice if the manufacturers of suet would impregnate the cakes with pepper or capsaisin. BTW if you rub capsaicin on your painful joints it really helps for a few days.

    Regards

    Andre

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