If you're lucky enough to have wildlife in your garden, you've probably noticed how squirrels are one of the most agile creatures that'll use their acrobatic nature to target bird feeders and scupper some tasty treats - running away with their cheeks full as soon as they've been caught red-handed. This is where squirrel baffles come in to play, helping protect your feeders from greedy squirrels.
Squirrels may be cute and entertaining to watch, but it can persist as an issue when the birds you are trying to feed can’t get a beak in edgeways.
Here we’ve listed some great squirrel baffle options for you to help deter them, as well as ideas on how to create your own using bits and pieces from around the home.
What is a squirrel baffle?
A squirrel baffle is a protective shield used to cover a bird feeder or bird table in order to stop squirrels from climbing up to steal the tasty seed, or from jumping down onto the feeder from above.
Usually made from metal or plastic, this contraption often works by blocking a squirrel's path or stopping the squirrel from getting firm footing, causing them to harmlessly jump to the ground. While they still might do their best to reach it, they shouldn’t have much success with one of these.
What type of squirrel baffle should I get?
The type of squirrel baffle you get will depend not only on your style of the feeder but also on the strategies of your backyard squirrel. You may need to experiment and watch your garden friends first to determine their main strategies in order to best prevent them. Alternatively, you may want to give them their own squirrel feeder to distract them from what isn’t theirs.
There are two main styles of squirrel baffle. We've listed each with some great options to buy based on what you need.
Hanging squirrel baffles
This type is preferable for stopping squirrels from jumping onto your feeder and can be hung from above on the surrounding trees and foliage. It also doubles as a fantastic ‘weather-proof dome’, protecting your birds and feed from the elements come wind, rain, or snow. This may help make your feeder more versatile for inviting birds all year round.
Wraparound squirrel baffle
This type is best used for feeder poles or feeders based on wooden stands where squirrels are more likely to climb up to get their goods. These can look much like the hanging squirrel baffles with a similar dome shape, but fixed below the feeder it acts as a barrier.
They can also be designed to look more like the bottom of a lamppost with a wider, slanted tube placed around the bottom of the feeder preventing the squirrels from getting a good enough grip to climb up.
Bird feeder guardian
Another option is a bird feeder guardian that works by creating a cage around the feeder to stop squirrels from getting their paws through and larger birds from stealing all the seed. It also helps protect smaller birds from predators who can treat your feeder as a safe haven – definitely encouraging for getting more birds into your garden.
Best hanging squirrel baffles
This universal squirrel baffle comes with a hook included to hang it up above your bird feeder,
- Different sizes available
- Comes with hook
- Sturdy and strong
- Attachment complicated at first
This twin pack of squirrel baffles will keep those pesky critters from nabbing any bird feed. Each
- Comes with attachments
- Great price for two pack
Best wraparound squirrel baffles
This universal-fit squirrel baffle will keep even the most determined squirrels from climbing your
- Good value for money
- Easy to install
- Need to be positioned right and at height
Best easy-to-fit wraparound squirrel baffle
What's fab about this baffle is that you don't need to take your bird feeder down in order to fit
- Cleans easily
- Made of metal so a lot sturdier than others
- Easy to fit on poles
- Some reviews say it doesn't look amazing but works a treat
For bird tables or feeding stations with square stems measuring up to 6 x 6cm, this squirrel
- Solid construction
- Easy to attach
- Squirrels may chew the edge
Best bird feeder guardian
This bird feeder is perfect for housing fat balls and suet balls for small birds, without
- Takes a while for small birds to adjust
Best for bird seed
This heavy-duty seed feeder has a cast cage to provide maximum resistance to squirrels and large
- Easy to fill and clean
How do you make a squirrel-proof baffle?
If you want to save money, test if it works at low cost, or can't find one suitable for your bird feeder, you may want to try to make your own.
For a hanging squirrel baffle, you can easily drill a hole through the base of a large plastic mixing bowl and hang it above your feeder using wire or string.
For a wraparound squirrel baffle, you can try re-using an old 2-litre bottle by cutting a hole in the base and sliding it onto the pole below the feeder. However, make sure to place it at waist height or above so the squirrels can't jump over. You can also try making a baffle out of an old pipe, or cheap piping bought from a DIY store.
How high off the ground should a squirrel baffle be?
Squirrels can jump a great distance and use their spring-like abilities to leap from tree to tree. Unfortunately, they use this to jump from tree or ground-to-bird feeders too!
To keep squirrels at bay, make sure to leave ample distance around the feeder to defer any leaping attempts and place your baffle above the capabilities of a squirrel's vertical jump.
As squirrels can jump more than 7 feet across, make sure to place any feeders and hanging baffles 9-10ft away from overhanging tree branches and wires.
Squirrels can jump more than 5 feet off the ground so make sure your guardian or wrap-around baffle is placed higher than this to bring a halt to any treat-stealing attempts for good!
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