Feeding birds can be a great source or relaxation and joy! It can also be a source of frustration and expense when squirrels come to visit! Our most asked question is "How do I get rid of the squirrels?"
Traditionally, three methods were the most common: First, squirrel proof feeders (yes, there is such a thing!) were, and still are, a great solution. These feeders have mechanisms that, when triggered by a squirrel's weight, cut off the seed supply making it impossible for the squirrels to get to the food. Second, Safflower seed has been used for many years to deter squirrels because of it's bitter taste. However, it seems squirrels have developed a tolerance, if not a liking, to Safflower over the years. Safflower's efficacy rate is probably in the 50% range...it works well for some and not at all for others. Third, baffles are often used to keep squirrels from climbing poles to get to feeders. Like squirrel proof feeders, placement of the poles is critical to their success.
Hot pepper treated products have also been around for years, and with a probably better than 95% efficacy rate, it seems to be a great way to go. Hot pepper suet has been our number one selling suet for over a decade, and maybe two! We have also had "DIY" hot pepper products customers could apply to their own seed. But recently Wild Birds Unlimited has stepped up it's hot pepper game! Beginning about five years ago, WBU introduced Hot Pepper Cylinders and Hot Pepper Bark Butter Bits. In late 2018, we introduced Fiery Feast and Sunfire Chips pre-treated seed. Fiery Feast is our WBU No-Mess No-Millet seed blend and Sunfire Chips are simply hulled sunflower seeds, both treated with the hottest coating of any similarly treated seed on the market.
The beauty of the hot pepper products is that, unlike squirrel proof feeders that require careful placement, they can be used ANYWHERE...and the Fiery Feast and Sunfire Chips can be used in feeders you already own!
The number one question we get about hot pepper products is "But, will they hurt or deter the birds?" The answer is "NO!" Birds, not being mammals, have a different olfactory (sense of taste and smell) system from humans...and squirrels...so they are not affected by the hot pepper. Likewise, their digestive systems are different and so they are not bothered that way either. Birds, in fact, eat the seeds of hot peppers!
So, if you have squirrels, we have solutions! From squirrel Proof feeders, to baffles to keep squirrels from getting to your feeders, to hot pepper food solutions, we've got you covered! Stop in and talk to one of our knowledgeable sales associates to figure out which solution will work best for you!