FTC Disclosure:  If you make a purchase via a link on this site, We may receive a small commission on the transaction - at no added cost to you. Thank you!

How To Keep Squirrels and Raccoons Off Feeders

The best way to keep squirrels and raccoons off feeders is to use a pole or shepherds hook with pole baffles installed or hanging baffles installed above the feeder.

We DO NOT recommend adding grease, oil or petroleum jelly to a pole or hanger to make it too slippery for squirrels and raccoons to climb. It can coat the animals’ fur as well as birds’ feathers. This can cause illness and vulnerability to predators.

Ornithologists have warned that this is a bad practice because hummingbirds are fantastic flyers and this could impair their flight. They often bump into the pole, hook, chain, string or feeder when coming to feed and during territorial fights. This can be disastrous for hummingbirds when they are coated with petroleum jelly or vegetable oil.

Squirrels and raccoons are excellent climbers and easily scale a pole or shepherds hook to reach a feeder. If your feeder(s) is hung from a pole or shepherds hooks we recommend using pole baffles. There are 2 types of pole baffles, one is the "cylinder shaped" or torpedo baffle and the other is a "cone shaped" or a wrap around baffle. 

Squirrel at Hummingbird FeederSquirrel at Hummingbird Feeder

Popular cylindrical pole baffles are proven to prevent squirrels and raccoons from climbing up to your feeders. Since the top of the cylindrical baffle is closed off, these pests have nowhere to go when they climb the pole. They can’t grasp the smooth metal sides of the baffle and will slide right off!

The torpedo baffle comes with a clamp which is slid down the pole to the desired height and attached. Then slide the baffled down the pole to rest on the clamp.

Torpedo Pole Baffles

When properly installed these baffles are highly effective in preventing squirrels and raccoons from raiding seed or nectar, damaging feeders and houses, or harming your birds. The Squirrel and Raccoon Defeater Cylinder Pole Baffles are the BEST protection from squirrels and raccoons.

Some "DIY" bird enthusiasts have used 4" X 4" posts to hang bird feeders.

There are 2 types of baffles available for this situation. The post "cylinder style" baffle and the post "cone style" baffle. These slide down the post to the desired height and then attached with screws.

4 X 4 Post Baffles

In some instances, a feeder(s) is hung from a shepherds hook and a torpedo baffle cannot be used because there is no way to slide the clamp and baffle onto the pole.

In this case we recommend a wrap around baffle which is a cone shaped baffle preventing squirrels and raccoons from climbing past the baffle.

Wrap-around Baffles

If the feeder is hung from a branch of a tree or is too close to a tree the pests can easily jump onto the feeder. Hanging baffles are installed over a hanging feeder which will deter squirrels and raccoons and protect a feeder from the elements.

These are a "dome shaped", usually plastic baffle installed above the feeder(s) preventing squirrels and raccoons from climbing or jumping onto the feeder. When a squirrel or raccoon climbs onto the baffle, it will rock and the intruder will slide off.

Another advantage of this style baffle is weather protection; sheltering the feeder contents from the elements.

When used over hummingbird feeders, the red baffle will help to provide shade over the nectar prolonging the freshness and preventing spoilage from the heat of sun. And still another benefit; If a red baffle is used the red color can help to attract hummingbirds!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.