Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Squirrels Are Winning The War

Before I talk about my battle with the local squirrels, I have to show what I’m currently working on.
100_4684 I’ve finally finished this (almost)  I just need to put the backing on.
This will be sold as a finished candle mat.  Once it’s finished, I show better pics.

Let me first say, I like squirrels.  Really I do.  I brake for squirrels.  I’m saddened when I see the breeze blowing a fluffy tail of a flattened one on the road.  I marvel at their abilities to jump from tree to tree and to run across power lines. 
I don’t mind that the squirrels are helping themselves to the birdseed in the birdfeeders.  I DO mind though when they become selfish and greedy.
I have two bird feeders at the back of the house on tall poles.  The squirrels that use those feeders are mannerly and respectful when it comes to sharing the birdseed.  They do climb up the poles to get on top of the feeders but they don’t scatter the seeds too much and they always leave enough behind for the birds.
The one feeder that I have at the front of the house, by the driveway?
Nasty, mean, obnoxiously selfish squirrels come in and overtake the feeder.
They climb to the top of the feeder, knock all the contents to the ground and then wait for me to fill it up, only to knock it all out again.
The ground is covered with spilled sunflower seeds and cracked corn but the squirrels prefer the fresh stuff up in the feeders.  They’re too good to eat off the ground.
It’s a constant battle. 
The grandson even knows now to open the front door and yell at the squirrels when he sees them on the feeder.
100_4680 See, the problem is that the feeder isn’t attached to a pole.  It swings from a cord so it’s easy for the squirrels to tip it over, knocking all the seed to the ground. 
Some say to get a different type of feeder.  I don’t want to.  This feeder was a Christmas gift 2 years ago from Rachel’s boyfriend.  He picked it out just for me and even included birdseed with it. 
I’ve attempted different ways to keep them off the feeder.  I ended up sticking all of my garden/lawn decorations into the ground, surrounding the pole so that the squirrels wouldn’t be able to climb the main pole to get up.
100_4682 I thought it was a really good idea at the time.
However, as you can see in the picture, and as my husband laughingly informed me when he saw my elaborate efforts … I essentially just created a wonderful jungle gym for the squirrels.
100_4681 Great, a squirrel Disney World with free food. 
Hubby said he could try greasing the pole.  I think this is a whole lot of fruitless effort. 
I think I’ll have to mount the feeder on a board so that it doesn’t swing.
They’ll still be able to climb but they won’t be able to knock all the seeds out. 
And here’s one of the squirrels right now as I type…getting ready to play on the jungle gym and then feast on the sunflower seeds and cracked corn in the feeder.
Yes, it is snowing here this morning!

Happy Day everyone!


JVC_Scout_Mom said...

Move the feeder away from the jungle gym. Get a taller pole. Then, put one of those 'no-licking' dog collar like-things (like an upside down funnel)on the pole. It has to be big enough that they can't just climb over/around it.
Similar to this:

Another option is hot sauce. It won't bother the birds, but the squirrels HATE it.

I have something similar to this --

My birdfeeder is a dome, so they have a harder time getting to the seed.

Phyllis in Minnesota said...

Early last winter friends who love to feed the birds purchased a live trap and by spring time they had caught and transported over 100 squirrels to a rural park.

Tanya said...

Don't know much about squirrels, but I do know an absolutely adorable candy cane candle mat when I see one.

Are you going to offer it as a pattern later on?

paulette said...

Love your new penny!! The wreath in the middle is just darling!! Well done!

Diane H said...

Love the candy canes! Now the squirrels - not so much. We feed a whole gang of them as well but only with what falls on the ground. We solved the problem of them 'hogging' the feeders by having the feeders on thin poles with 'baffles'.
We now live in harmony during birdfeeding season.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the squirrels! The candle mat is stunning and I can hardly wait for the pattern.

appleberrycottage said...

LOVE the candy canes!

Squirrels are too funny ~ and smart. Try greasing the pole, but then put something else for them to explore (but not eat!). Then see how long it takes them to learn how to climb the greased pole!

Lois said...

Love, Love, Love that candy cane mat.
Wish List:
1 Candy Cane mat from Cathy!!!! lol

Lois L.

Laurie from Seattle said...

Hi Cathy! My husband made a
"Squirrel Twirler" to deal with
our obnoxious little demons - I
mean squirrels..We would wait for
a squirrel to climb up on the
twirler, which of course had lots
of sunflower seeds on it & then
when they were busy chowing down,
my husband would hit a button that
would cause the twirler to begin
to twirl & hopefully toss the
squirrels off..It did work!! He also used to lure them into a
Hav-a-heart metal cage & then let
them out at a place very far away...He moved over 100 in 1 year!
I can def. relate to how frustrating they can be...we moved
them out of our neighborhood be-
cause they were messing with the
hummingbirds & with other birds'
nests'. I really enjoyed your
blog & love your great sense of
humor...Take care! Laurie pugetsounderguys wife ;)

anya said...

Your candy cane candle mat is beautiful. I came here for some penny inspiration!

Squirrels can be a problem, but it has been suggested to me that if you cannot eliminate the 'things' that squirrels use to climb your feeders (for me it is azalea bushes) you could also just feed them, too! I have lots of feeders for the birds that the squirrels like, but they prefer the peanuts I leave for them. Just a suggestion!