If you've got a bird feeder in your yard, you may have spotted squirrels helping themselves to its contents. Worse, you may have seen them emptying it completely and stashing the seeds away in their food stores.
Dedicated squirrel feeders offer a win-win solution. Instead of chasing the squirrels away from your bird feeder, just give them a place to get their own food and they'll leave the birdseed alone.
Squirrel feeders are available in as many different varieties as bird feeders, if not more. On a basic level, you should start by deciding whether you want your squirrel feeder to only house food, or if you want it to offer some shelter as well.
If you want to provide some shelter, you might want to buy or build a combination squirrel house and feeder. Conversely, if you live in a temperate climate, you might prefer to simply offer the squirrels that visit your yard a snack and let them look after their own shelter.
Should you fall into the latter category, you'll come across all kinds of exciting, creative, cute and interesting squirrel feeder designs available. You might select a squirrel swing design, in which treats are placed on a small wooden swing that sways the squirrel as it snacks. Squirrel arrow feeders are fun, too; these designs place food at one end of a tapered wooden plank that is nailed to a tree trunk, forcing the squirrel to balance itself along the arrow's top edge to keep the food still so the squirrel can reach it.
Homemade squirrel feeders are easy to make, once you decide on a design. You can find free plans for squirrel feeders all over the Internet, which will give you the step-by-step guidelines you need to complete your project successfully.
Regardless of the design you choose, there are some principles to keep in mind. First, know that corn cobs make the perfect food for your squirrel feeder. Thus, your design should make the corn easy for the squirrels to see and recognize as food.
Also, don't forget that squirrel houses can get very hot during the warmer months if you don't have a proper ventilation system in place. Make sure to leave large air holes to promote circulation so the house doesn't become a dangerous place for the squirrel to visit.