To enjoy birdwatching, you don’t have to go to the forest; you can attract birds to your yard by installing feeders. But delicious seeds and nuts can bring unwanted guests like squirrels that are known disease vectors and pests. They not only steal bird food but can even build a nest in your house since there is a good food source nearby.
To protect yourself from these obsessive pests, use protective devices. Today I will tell you about the five best squirrel baffles for bird feeders and share my recommendations on choosing the right item and installing it correctly. I hope my guide will help you make your choice.
Top 5 Best Squirrel Baffle Reviews
As usual, everything great is simple. Squirrel baffles have a simple construction and are designed to protect bird feeders from above or below. In this section, I have reviewed the five squirrel baffles that really work.
The Best Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle — Woodlink NABAF18
Wrap around squirrel baffles are some of the most popular models. They look like a cone with a hole in the middle and wrap around a shepherd hook or a pole on which a feeder hangs or stands.
Woodlink NABAF18 has an adjustable hole size and is suitable for posts of different diameters – from 0.5 to 1.375 inches. The diameter of the product itself is 18 inches.
This large squirrel baffle is made of metal – powder-coated steel, which means that squirrels will not be able to chew. The surface of this cone is smooth enough so that animals cannot climb on it. To install it, you do not need any additional tools. Attach a secure coupler to your pole, put on the cone, and snap its two sides together. There is no need to remove the feeder itself to install the baffle.
|Adjustable hole diameter;Made of smooth metal;Does not rust.||Not suitable for wide posts.|
Metal Anti Squirrel Cone — PREDATORGUARD Squirrel Guard Baffle
The PREDATORGUARD Squirrel Guard Baffle is another version of a cone-shaped feeder guard. The device is made of thick galvanized steel so that it can cope not only with ground squirrels but also with such large animals as raccoons. Besides, the cone is water-resistant and does not rust.
This metal squirrel baffle can be used on poles with diameters from 0.5 to 1 inches. Installation accessories and necessary instructions are supplied in the kit: a hook for hanging ones, and a coupler for pole-mounted feeders. The diameter of this cone is 17 inches. Be sure to place it at a sufficient distance (4-5 feet) from the nearest poles, platforms, and tree trunks.
|Can be used in any weather;Very dense material;Effective even against large animals.||Only for narrow pillars;|
The Best Squirrel Baffle Pole — Perky-Pet 341
Another type of anti-squirrel protection is cylinder tubes, which are attached directly to poles. Perky-Pet 341 is made of durable, but lightweight metal, and painted green to blend in with the natural environment. Unlike cone-shaped structures, such baffles are designed exclusively for pole-mounted feeders.
It is understood that the animals will try to get close to the bird feed from the ground, and there are no trees, other posts, or any platform nearby.
The pipe has a length of 14.7 inches and a diameter of about 7 inches. The manufacturer recommends using it for posts about 1.375 inches in diameter. You need to install a clamp at a sufficient distance from the ground, put this squirrel blocker on a pole and only after that attach the feeder. The device rotates freely around the pillar, preventing the squirrels from climbing high.
|Easy to install;Effective against squirrels, possums, and raccoons;Clamp made of metal.||Only for pole-mounted feeders;Not suitable for short pillars (less than 6 feet long).|
Slide-on Squirrel Guard for Bird Feeders — Audubon Torpedo Steel Squirrel Baffle
Audubon Torpedo Steel Squirrel Baffle is a slide-on type baffle. Like the previous model, it can only be used for feeders that are mounted on poles. The design of most shepherd’s hooks does not let you use such protection. It is suitable for posts with diameters from 0.5 to 1.375 inches; the device itself has a length of 15.75 inches and a diameter of 6 inches.
The pipe is made of dense textured powder-coated steel, is water-resistant and does not rust. Remember that it should not sit too tightly on the post; otherwise, there will not be enough space for rotation. This baffle rotates on a special clamp, which should be set 4-5 feet above the ground. This clamp (or a coupler) does not seem very reliable, so if possible, replace it with something sturdier.
|Made of solid metal;Durable;The pipe is quite long.||Unreliable clip;Cannot be used with shepherd’s hooks.|
The Best Plastic Squirrel Baffle — Perky-Pet 340
Perky-Pet 340 is a universal squirrel baffle that can be used for any kind of feeder. The product is made of transparent, smooth plastic and has a shape of a dome. According to the manufacturer, the transparent material does not bother the birds (unlike metal structures), and they feel safe under it. Even though the plastic used is quite dense, squirrels can likely chew it.
The dome has a diameter of 16 inches and can be used both on a pole of a standing feeder and on hanging one. The necessary parts for installation are supplied. The hooks for hanging the product on a branch are made of plastic and can withstand up to 50 pounds of weight. However, it seems that they can easily break with a strong wind.
|Universal;Dome-shaped profile;Transparent, so birds feel safe.||Made of plastic;Hooks seem flimsy.|
Squirrel Baffle Buyer’s Guide
As you can see, there are different configurations and types of squirrel blockers. Here are some criteria you should pay attention to when choosing the right item:
- Material. Baffles can be plastic or metal. The most durable, of course, metal products. However, they can rust due to regular exposure to rain, so choose squirrel deflectors with an anti-corrosion coating. Plastic ones do not rust and are usually cheaper, but can be easily chewed by squirrels.
- Size. It depends on feeder dimensions and the distance to the nearest buildings or trees from which animals can jump. Do not buy items that are too large so that animals can use them as additional jump points.
- Type. There are three types of anti-squirrel devices: cone or dome, torpedo, and platform. I recommend using only the first two, as flat platforms can, on the contrary, help pests get to bird food. Choose the type depending on your feeder type.
What is a squirrel baffle?
The name of this device speaks for itself. Squirrel baffles are special deflectors that create insurmountable barriers that keep squirrels off your bird feeders. The fact is that squirrels feed on the same things as birds: seeds, nuts, grains. Instead of looking for food in the forest, they try to steal it, because it is much easier. It not only leaves birds without food but also can scare them away from your site.
Besides, squirrels are intelligent and resourceful animals, and they are also very skillful. No matter how high you hang your bird feeder, they will always find a way to climb into it. That is why you need additional protection against these animals.
How does a squirrel baffle work?
A squirrel baffle blocks access to a feeder, deterring squirrels from stealing seeds and nuts. It is usually a tube or plate wrapped around a pillar or bird feeder itself. It has a smooth coating, so animals simply roll off them.
Cone or dome-shaped baffles have a sharp tilt angle and a rather large diameter so that squirrels cannot catch on the edge. Torpedo baffles are secured around the pillar so that they can rotate freely. It creates an unstable surface with which squirrels fall down.
Using such devices is the most humane and safest way to get rid of animals without harming them. Do not try to splatter poles or branches on which your feeders hang with any viscous substances (clue or graze), as this can lead to squirrels’ death. And especially do not add anything directly to the feed, as it can be unsafe for birds.
Related Post: Most Effective Squirrel Poisons For Severe Infestation
How to choose the right squirrel baffle?
Choosing the right squirrel baffle, inspect the territory where you plan to place, or have already put bird feeders, determine how squirrels can climb into it. On the market, you can find such squirrel-proof devices that have built-in protection. For example, there is a feeder with a large dome atop or a bird feeder pole with baffle, which moves freely up and down due to a built-in spring.
However, such devices are often more expensive than simple baffles. Besides, if you already have a feeder and a suitable pole, there is no need to buy something new.
For pole-mounted feeders, use torpedo type baffles, and for hanging ones, choose cone or dome-shaped blockers. Regardless of the type of device, I recommend choosing metal ones, since squirrels can easily chew on plastic.
FAQ About Squirrels and Baffles
In this section, you will find short answers to the most frequently asked questions about squirrel baffles and squirrels themselves.
How to make a baffle for bird feeders?
Since the design of the most popular baffles is quite simple, you may want to do it yourself. To make a cone or dome-shaped hanging squirrel baffle, use an old mixing bowl made of plastic or stainless steel. Drill a hole in the center of such a size that a rope or post from a feeder can pass through it and secure it with hose clamps or brackets.
If you need a cylinder-shaped baffle, you can buy aluminum or stove tube and a seal or end-cap. Install a fastening clip on your pole that will keep a tube from falling, then put on the pipe itself and fix your feeder.
How far can squirrels jump?
The jump height directly depends on the physical characteristics of an animal and species. For example, the most common species in North America is the eastern gray squirrel. Adults reach 9-11 inches in length and can jump up to 9 feet forward and up to 4 feet up.
Besides, do not underestimate their mental and acrobatic abilities. They can analyze the environment and find objects that they can push off to reach their goal in a few jumps.
Do squirrel baffles work?
It depends on a particular type of it. In my opinion, flat platforms or circles are almost useless. In most cases, they, on the contrary, help animals to get to the feeder. If you pick up the cone or dome-shaped squirrel baffle for trees of the right size, it will be an excellent shield against these annoying pests.
If you chose a baffle of a cylinder or torpedo shape, make sure that it has enough space around the pole for free rotation, and then there will be no problems with squirrels.
Related Post: 5 Best Squirrel Traps Reviewed
How high should a squirrel baffle be?
If you have a post mounted type feeder, then the baffle top should be at least 4 feet above the ground (or better more) and right beneath the feeder. As for squirrel baffles for hanging bird feeders, it should be located directly above the feeder, which is hanging on a chain or rope at least 18 inches long, and its bottom should not be lower than 4-5 feet above the ground. Make sure it is 10-12 feet far from the nearest building, post or tree so that squirrels cannot jump from it to the feeder.
Summarizing All the Above
Many wild bird watchers will agree with me that fighting squirrels is a tedious job. Sooner or later, they will surely appear on your site in search of free food. That is why it is important to take preventive measures so that these pests do not scare the birds away from your yard and do not damage your feeders. On the market, you can find a suitable squirrel shield of any kind and price.
Have you ever faced damage made by squirrels? What is your preferred protection against them? And yes, if you still have questions, ask them in the comments below.