6.5.15

why won't squirrels stop ruining my life?


One of the best things about living in the country is nature.

*remembers all previous posts about bad times with nature*

Err...let me rephrase my opening sentence: One of the best things about living in the country is the sound of birds.

In the morning, it sounds more like an arboretum than the great outdoors. The previous owners of our house had bird feeders all over the place, and it's been awesome to see so many different types of feathered friends.

For instance, we've got Cardinals!


Blue Jays!


Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks!


Robins!


Mourning Doves!


Finches!


Red-Winged Blackbirds!


White-crowned Sparrows!


 Heck, we've even got ducks!

 Sorry about the reflection. I took this shot from inside. 

And they all hang out on our property, singing their beautiful songs and looking pretty. 

Naturally, the only way to keep the birds around, is to keep feeding them. We've downgraded to only two feeders, though, because seed can get pricey. So now, we only use the chair feeder and three-tube feeder you saw in the pictures, and we sprinkle seed on the grass by the pond, for the ducks. 

But even with our downgrades, we buy a whole lotta birdseed. And through that, we've learned that it's important to keep the birdseed outside, because it can attract rodents and bugs. However, finding an outdoor storage option that can keep animals out is a challenge, so when we heard about these amazing new garbage cans specifically designed for thwarting animal attacks, we splurged on two of them.

At first, they worked great! The cans got tipped over a few times, but the seed was always safely inside, thusly saving us from having to replace it every five seconds. 


After about a month, we were convinced our seed-stealer days were over, but then I started to notice squirrels around the cans. One day soon after that, I went outside and saw that they'd eaten through the top of the lid.

Reaction Seriously animated GIF

Luckily, I'd caught them early in their peanut-raiding adventure and they didn't get much. So, to discourage further raids, we stuffed the holes with steel wool, and then secured the top with thick layers of duct tape.

A few more days passed and then I heard a scurry by the door...


What a ballsy little buggar, eh? He juuuuuuuust can't help himself. I chased him away and assessed the damage. After I took a picture, of course. Haha!


He'd gotten right through the tape and hollowed out some of the steel wool, so I brought the lid back inside, stuffed the hole with more steel wool, removed the old tape, and then secured the top with fresh layers of duct tape. For the two days after the re-wooling/taping, it seemed like we were winning, but then we came home to this (and a whole lot of empty peanut shells, grrrrr).


So if you've got any tips on how I can stop squirrels from ruining my life, or different, more effective animal stopper garbage cans, I'd love to hear them! As of now, I'm fresh out of ideas. I'm all for squirrels joining in on the morning feast of seeds and nuts I put out, but I'm not having the thievery. It's just rude, you know? And expensive.

angry animated GIF


3 comments:

Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife said...

Since we live close to the forest the communal trash cans are in a building that has metal portholes with handles about halfway up that you open toss in your trash and then close back up. Seems very effective but perhaps a bit pricey for a private home!

Beth W said...

A shotgun. Seriously, squirrels are assholes. We've got one who keeps digging up my tulip bulbs, eating HALF of each bulb, and leaving an empty peanut shell in its place. I hate squirrels.

As for deterrents, are the lids protected from rain? You might try dousing the problem area in pure chile oil, or bleach- something to burn their paws and mouth if they try chewing through (assuming the dogs can't get at it).

How is it they stay away from the feeders themselves? My mom had to get the fancy kind with a pressure sensor (the openings for the birds to get at the seed closes when something as heavy as a squirrels climbs on it).

(and a side note about seed: you should only have to refill the feeder once every week or two. Birds create caches of seed, so too much supply and you're just wasting money, as they're going to forget some of those caches, which will create further attraction for squirrels. Plus they do well finding their own food and will still remember to come back and check your place for it regularly).

Good luck!

Alisha Lampley said...

OMG I'm cracking up at "lies" about the top being an aniaml stopper...LOL!!! I actually just throw out butt ends now because I got tired of Sammy (the squirrel) always getting his fat butt in my feeder. I went out one day and just taunted him when he got himself wedged inside...oh man that was awesome! LOL Hope you find something good!