Repel Rats, Stymie Squirrels...Outwitting Pests

Hot PepperBackyard Problem-Solving Solutions

Hot Pepper Foods: Squirrels and Other Rodents Say Yuck!

Lots of birds enjoy foods containing hot pepper, like our Hot Pepper-infused seed cylinders, suet or Bark Butter Bits — birds usually aren't deterred by spicy food because it doesn't cause them pain. But squirrels and other mammals? Not so much!

That's the point of our Hot Pepper-infused foods, Hot Pepper Seed Cylinders, Hot Pepper Suet Dough cylinders, Hot Pepper Bark Butter Bits..and more. Most mammals: squirrels, rats, cats, and more, find eating hot pepper-infused food to be awful! 

On-Guard CageOn-Guard Cages

Enjoy seeing the finches, chickadees and other colorful birds at your tube feeders? Some of us find it necessary to deter squirrels or larger birds like starlings, to keep them from taking over our feeding stations. With our On-Guard™ cages, you control the size of bird that dines at your feeder. They allow small birds to go in and out to get their seed but stop larger birds and squirrel-sized animals from entering (some rats can get in,  though). Our cages will fit a variety of feeder styles and sizes.


Squirrel-Resistant Feeders

The Eliminator™ feeder (below right) stops squirrels from eating your seed, as do several others we carry.

Featuring unique, weight-sensitive technology, the seed ports close when a squirrel touches the perch ring.

Set the sensitivity level to exclude large birds such as pigeons or doves if desired. It's easy to hang, holds about three quarts of seed and is backed with a limited lifetime guarantee.

This feeder has some "cousins", too, with similar technology but different designs.. Stop in to see them and explore ways to keep squirrels..or other pests...out!


Deterring Rats and Other Rodents

Here are recommendations we make for those contending with rats or other rodents in the yard.

More than 81.1 million people in the US feed birds and watch wildlife in their yards, and more than 1.7 million of those are Oregonians. Bird-watching and feeding is second only to gardening as the most popular hobby in the US. 

Below are a few of the recommendations we offer customers who want to feed birds responsibly, and we have more detailed suggestions if you stop in to ask….

  • Employ “tidy feeding” methods by selecting the proper food. Use sunflower chips or a limited-ingredient No Mess blend to keep the feeding area clean. These foods have no shell to be kicked to the ground and the seed is eaten at the feeder. Avoid using inappropriate, cheap seed mixes that contain fillers that birds don’t eat, it's those fillers that get kicked to the ground.
  • Use sensible feeders with trays. Trays or screens designed to fit below quality feeders can eliminate ground spillage.
  • Baffle mammals. Properly secured baffles on a pole below feeders prevent rats or others from climbing to reach feeders.
  • Use domes if rats can access feeders from above, from trees, etc. A dome covering a feeder can keep rats from reaching feeders from above.
  • Do NOT feed on the ground. Avoid tossing food on the ground to keep ground in your feeding area clean, eliminating a food source for pests.
  • Keep feeding areas tidy. Sweep, rake or clean up spilled seed and seed husks on a daily basis.
  • Don’t overfeed. Put only a single day’s worth of seed out so birds will eat it all with no “leftovers.”
  • Store seed properly. Keep seed in a metal, rodent-proof container.