This article shows you how to keep squirrels off your shepherd’s hook and improve the functionality of your squirrel-proof bird feeder.
Can squirrels climb shepherds’ hooks? Yes.
Bird feeders are known to attract squirrels and other opportunist creatures often.
They target such areas due to the constant supply of feed. In many situations, squirrels have ready access as they’re able to find their way up the shepherd’s pole to have their fill.
There have been efforts to address this squirrel problem by many people. Some of the techniques used tend to show some promise while others flop entirely.
Squirrel Proof Shepherd’s Hook
This simple tool is designed for multiple uses.
They’re primarily designed using heavy-grade metal and can be used either as a plant or bird feeder hanger. The advantage of this hook is that you can use it anywhere.
However, birds are likely to create a mess by scattering food particles.
This alerts squirrels and other rodents about food availability in the feeder. It won’t be long before they learn to climb up the hook in search of food.
To keep squirrels from stealing your bird food, you can implement several preventive measures. These can be combined to have the most effect.
Keeping Squirrels off your Shepherds Hook
You can apply many ways to prevent squirrels from climbing up your shepherd’s hook.
These include using baffles, introducing a predator, choosing a more suitable location, changing diet, clearing the area, providing a squirrel feeder, and making it more slippery.
Another way to keep squirrels off your shepherd’s hook includes using the right kind of feeder. These are techniques that have proven useful and will work to your advantage.
To understand how to apply such methods, let’s look at each of them for further explanations.
i. Use Baffles
Baffles are simple in their design and are meant for tasks such as these.
This cone-shaped metal can easily be attached to a shepherd’s hook. It’s installed so that its narrow part is pointed upwards while a broader section faces down.
The objective here is to make it difficult for squirrels to make it past the bottom to the upper part of the shepherd’s hook. Of course, squirrels give it their best shot to get across to the upper part of the pole but cannot.
To have the best result, consider shifting the baffle to the upper part of the pole to prevent squirrels from jumping over it. Never underestimate the problem-solving skills of these rodents.
ii. Introduce a Predator
Introducing a predator is one of the easiest ways to discourage squirrels from climbing up a shepherd’s hook.
Pets such as cats or dogs can be of great assistance. Squirrels sense their presence and keep away. However, this might not work all the time, especially when the pet is indoors.
Squirrels may take their chance by still coming around when your pets aren’t everywhere. They’re good runners and will dash off when danger is sensed. Don’t rely much on this method.
However, it can complement other prevention techniques used to like those mentioned here.
iii. Choice of a More Suitable Location
A more suitable location is one that squirrels find difficult to access.
So, is there anything as such? You might have to create the perfect location by choosing one that’s at least 7 feet in areas they can jump, such as trees, etc.
Another attribute of an excellent location for placing your shepherd’s hook is at least five ft. off the ground.
The type of shepherd’s hook you buy matters too. Get one that’s at least five ft. tall. This makes it harder for squirrels to jump toward the feeder. Having good clearance above the feeder will help.
About 9 feet of clearance will be great as squirrels will hesitate to make the jump down.
iv. Change of Diet
A diet change might sound extreme, but it’s a preventive option that serves the purpose. For birds, such change hardly matters as they’ll readily eat any feed.
The effect is seen with squirrels as they have limited diet options. You might want to discuss lots of options with other bird lovers around.
Another option is to research online for more suitable feeds or seeds to include in your birds’ diet.
By doing the work required, you’ll have squirrels avoiding your shepherd’s hook as there’s no point trying to get to the feeder if they can’t eat from it.
v. Clearing the Area
One thing that draws squirrels to an area is when food presence is detected.
As birds feed, food particles fall off. As squirrels come around, they aren’t contented with what’s on the ground but seek to climb up the shepherd’s hook.
You can take specific actions to remedy this problem by clearing the area. This needs to be done regularly to keep squirrels away. However, we must say that this might be unsustainable as some people may get tired.
One possible remedy is infesting a bird feeder, which limits wastage.
vi. Providing a Squirrel Feeder
Animal lovers may want some form of equity by making provisions for a squirrel feeder to lessen the attempts made by squirrels to climb a shepherd’s hook to get to the bird feeder.
While providing the squirrel feeder, consider placing it around areas that keep them away from predators.
vii. Making it More Slippery
Have you considered making your shepherd’s hook more slippery? Slicking it up will make it less likely for squirrels to get a good grip while climbing up. Some oil or grease should do the job.
However, your shepherd’s hook might be messy to the touch.
viii. Using the Right Kind of Feeder
What’s the right kind of feeder? It’s squirrel proof and only allows access to birds.
It also limits food wastage by keeping most of the feed within. With little to no feed on the ground and zero access to the feeder, squirrels do not have an incentive to try.
These are the multiple ways to keep squirrels off a shepherd’s hook. They’re practicable and effective.