- 1. Woodlink NABAF18 Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle, 18-Inch
- 2. North States 2-Way Baffle
- 3. Audubon Torpedo Steel Model NATORPEDO
- 4. Squirrel Stopper SQC05 Black Stopper Pole and Baffle Set
- 5. Erva SB7 Disk Baffle, Tan, 22.5-Inch
- 6. Perky-Pet 340 Transparent 16-Inch Baffler
- 7. Achla Designs Squirrel Deflector For 4 by 4 Post
- 8. Woodlink Kay Home ProductS 14-Inch Wrap Around Baffle Bird Seed
- 9. Perky-Pet 341 Metal Pole Baffler
- 10. Droll Yankees SQG 15-Inch Green Dome Squirrel Guard
- Selecting a Squirrel Baffle
- Types of Baffles
- Top Brands
- How to Build Your Own Squirrel Barrier
- Baffled about Baffles? Here are Some Answers
Yes, no matter how cute or cuddly, squirrels can become a veritable nuisance when they constantly try to filch food off your bird feeders. Not only these bushy-tailed critters steal and waste precious bird food, but they also disturb the peace of the birds and of your backyard space in general. And although not aggressive by nature, these furry rodents may also pose threat to the birds’ lives at times.
These are all good enough reasons to find some way to keep the squirrels off your bird feeders. However, it is easier said than done. When it comes to finding food, these creatures are incredibly persistent and resilient and would not get discouraged too easily. This is why you must choose your squirrel guard or baffle carefully. Make sure what type should work best for you and then diligently follow all the instructions for installation such as how high on the pole you should put your baffle; not to install the product at a space from where the squirrel can jump on to it; and so on.
So, here’s our list of TOP SQUIRREL BAFFLES
The wrap-around is one of the most common and popular squirrel baffle types. Their easy-to-install feature and their effectiveness are the prime reasons for their popularity. Unlike some other baffles, such as the Torpedo type, a wrap around baffle can be attached any time to an already standing bird feeder pole.
There is a coupler that you need to secure to the pole or to a shepherd hook and then there is the cone-shaped wrap with a seam. Once the coupler is attached to the pole or rod, you simply put the wrap cover over it and then apply a little pressure to snap together or close the seam.
This Woodlink model is made of rust proof powder-coated steel. It is a sturdy product that will last long and the metal make ensures that the squirrels won't be able to chew its edges. The cone wrap is 18 inches in diameter which is large enough to deter even the big squirrels (although the raccoons may be able to beat it if you've them visiting your yard as well). The coupler will attach to poles with a diameter of 0.5 inches to 1.4 inches.
Pros & cons
o Sturdy, rust-proof, metal design
o Large enough to keep bigger squirrels away
o Easy install feature
o Cannot keep raccoons away
o The coupler is not too strong, so you may have to buy a separate one
2. North States 2-Way Baffle
This 2-way baffle is another common squirrel baffle type. The name 2-way refers to the fact that the product can be either pole-mounted or hung above a bird feeder, whichever is more convenient with you. You may mount it on a pole with the help of the flange and screw (that comes with the product) or hang it above a feeder using the S-hook and the adapter (again included in the box).
If you choose to hang it above the feeder, the baffle will also function as an extra protective cover for the feeder. The good thing about this product is that the squirrels can't sit on top of it without holding on to something, i.e., they cannot gain a foothold since the inverted bowl shape of the baffle will tip and make them slide and fall off the hood. That said, some of the larger (and smarter!) ones can actually get to the feeder by hanging upside down with their feet wrapped around the hook for support.
If this happens too regularly with your feeder, use a galvanized chain (5-6 inches) to hang your feeder. This way not even the tallest of those mammals can maneuver their way on to the feeder. Or, you can simply mount it on a pole (0.5" - 1.25" in diameter) if that works better for you. However, as with the torpedo style, if you decide to pole-mount the item, you'll need to do it before you set the pole on the ground. The baffle is made of resin polymer but it is thick enough, so squirrels won't try to chew it off.
Pros & cons
o Dual option squirrel guard
o All required hardware come in the box
o The resin polymer may not last as long as metal baffles
3. Audubon Torpedo Steel Model NATORPEDO
This is a cylindrical torpedo-shaped baffle (hence the name) and just like the first item on this list, is made of textured and powder coated steel. The baffle holds its place on the pole with a coupler that can fit any pole of a diameter between 0.5" and 1.40". Baffles of this type are also known as 'slide-on' baffles since you need to slide it up on to the pole at your desired height. But again, you'll have to do that before you plant the pole in the ground. This 6-inch diameter baffle lets the squirrels get inside it, but that's all they can do. For the very moment a squirrel will try to hang on to the bottom of the cylinder, it will rotate, making the critter skitter away and fall on the ground. Remember though that this baffle will only work on a straight pole. And as with the earlier wrap around product, the clamp or the coupler is somewhat weak and doesn't do too good a job of holding the baffle in place, especially in windy conditions. Also, it is not too effective in keeping the raccoons or even big squirrels away.
Pros & cons
o Powder-coated steel material, rust proof and durable
o Chew resistant
o The included coupler is somewhat weak
o Does not provide enough protection against big squirrels or raccoons
4. Squirrel Stopper SQC05 Black Stopper Pole and Baffle Set
This is still another squirrel baffle type, commonly referred to as a Squirrel Stopper Pole. Unlike other items, this product is not simply a baffle, but as the name suggests, a complete bird feeder pole that also includes a highly effective contraption that prevents squirrels or other mammals from going up the pole and access the feeders hung from the pole.
The pole is made of powder-coated 16 gauge steel with a durable black finish and you can hang up to four bird feeders (or feeders and flower pots, etc.) on this pole. Fully assembled, the pole stands at eight feet tall and the manufacturers have also thoughtfully included a ground auger in the package which will help you with the installation of the pole.
Now, as to the squirrel guard, it is placed around halfway up the pole. The contraption has an inverted cone shape with a small diameter. However, that matters little since the baffle is spring loaded and will move both up and down as well as sideways as soon as some pressure is exerted upon it. Therefore, every time a squirrel will try to go up it, the baffle will throw it right down and on the ground.
Pros & cons
o High quality construction
o Extremely effective in deterring the squirrels
o Most expensive on our list; and if you already have all the poles required to hang your feeders, you probably won't want to invest in another pole
o If a squirrel jumps up right over the baffle, you're in for a problem!
5. Erva SB7 Disk Baffle, Tan, 22.5-Inch
Now, if you want a big enough wrap around, disk baffle, this product is it. The disk comes in a diameter of 22.5 inches and is big enough to deter the raccoons, let alone squirrels. This item is however designed for larger 4 by 4 posts and as such, may not be ideal for feeding posts with thinner poles. Apart from that, there is little to say against this model. The disk is made of fully galvanized steel and is powder coated. It is chew-resistant and comes in an eye-catching copper tan finish.
Pros & cons
o Large 22.5-inch disk
o Deter raccoons as well as squirrels
o Made of galvanized, powder-coated steel
o Attractive color and design
o Not suited to thinner poles
6. Perky-Pet 340 Transparent 16-Inch Baffler
This is another two-way hang/pole-mount baffle on offer from Perky Pet, one of the biggest bird feeders and accessories brands out there. The 16-inch dome style disk made in a transparent design looks attractive and it is safer for the birds as they can see when a squirrel approaches the feeder and can get away from it at time.
Although there is little need of that since the design of the baffle ensures anyway that the squirrel cannot reach to the feeder, especially when the baffle is hung over the feeder. The hooks included with the product are especially strong and can hold up to 50 lbs. Or you can pole mount it if that is what you want. This is also one of those 'tip' lid baffles, so if the squirrels put their weight on the dome, it will immediately tilt to one side, making the critter fall off.
Pros & cons
o Two-way baffle with attractive design
o Can hold up to 50 lbs
o All required hardware (screws, baffle hub, 2 hooks) included in the box
o The shield at 16-inch diameter is somewhat small and won't be able to deter large squirrels and raccoons
o The shield, though made of hard plastic, won't be as durable as metal baffles
7. Achla Designs Squirrel Deflector For 4 by 4 Post
Another wrap around model that can be opened and snapped in place again as and when needed. The cone-shaped wrap is made of durable and rust-resistant powder-coated steel. This deflector cone has a large diameter of 18 inches coupled with an impressive height of 5.75 inches and it is made to fit the4 X 4 posts. Overall, a good enough model but that still comes with a shortcoming. And this in the way of the bracket that is meant to hold the cone in place. The bracket can be made by attaching two L-shaped metal pieces with the help of two bolts. However, the bolts are too short for this purpose and the metal pieces do not fit together well.
Pros & cons
o Large (and long) cone-shaped baffle
o Rust proof, sturdy steel material
o Poor fitting hardware
This model comes with all the same features as the Woodlink wrap-around model listed right at the top of our list, only with the exception that it has a 14-inch diameter compared to the 18-inch of the previous model. This model can only prevent smaller squirrels (such as the Red Squirrel) or chipmunks. So, go for this one only if your yard is never visited by the larger of these mammals such as gray squirrels, raccoons, etc.
Pros & cons
o High quality, rust-proof material
o Meant to deter only chipmunks or smaller squirrels
9. Perky-Pet 341 Metal Pole Baffler
This is another excellent model which does a fairly good job of keeping not only the squirrels, but also the raccoons away. It is a 14.5-inch high cylindrical-shaped baffle with a diameter of 7 inches. The resilient, all-metal construction of the model ensures durability and deters the squirrels from chewing it. The bright golden green of the baffle is also attractive to the eye and blends well with the natural look of a garden space.
Pros & cons
o All-metal construction
o Keeps both squirrels and raccoons away
o Required hardware included with the model
o Made for poles up to 1.25 inches; won't work with a standard shepherd's hook
10. Droll Yankees SQG 15-Inch Green Dome Squirrel Guard
This is a beautiful product from Droll Yankees. The 15" wide and 13" high transparent dome comes with a smaller green dome at top. Special mention must be made of the thoughtfully included and high quality details of the design such as the thick brass rod fitted with a sturdy safety lock and so on. All in all, a great squirrel guard to hang over your feeder.
Pros & cons
o Spacious dome-sized guard with dual protection
o Beautiful design with a keen eye for details
o Sturdy, high quality hardware
o Somewhat expensive for a product made chiefly of plastic
Selecting a Squirrel Baffle
There are a few things to keep in mind when buying a squirrel deterrent for your bird feeders. Most products labeled as “baffles” are slippery, either cone or cylinder-shaped, and can be put on top of bird feeder poles.
Here are the key buying guidelines to remember:
-Compare prices: The squirrel baffle market is pretty irregular in terms of what you get for what you pay.
-Avoid wood and plastic in most cases (but PVC is usually a good choice). Squirrels are notorious for being patient, intelligent and persistent. They’ll chew, scratch, bite and claw their way through just about anything, eventually. But metal and PVC defeats them, so opt for these types of baffles.
-Go for top brands that offer money-back guarantees and warranties.
-Avoid products that shock, trap, maim or otherwise torture squirrels. (There are a few unscrupulous sellers out there who will do anything for a dollar). Keeping squirrels away is not rocket-science. Baffles work, so there’s really no need to overdo the effort and harm otherwise innocent creatures that are simply trying to get food.
-Look for a squirrel repelling product that is the right size for your feeders. Some baffles are huge, others tiny, and most are “in-between” size, so be sure to match your needs with the baffle’s size.
-Consider what the product is made of and/or treated with. Remember, this thing is going to be in the elements 24/7, so you don’t want to have to worry about rust, ugly discoloration, cracking or warping.
-Watch the squirrels in your backyard before deciding on a product to buy. Are the squirrels huge or rather small? Do they come into your yard by walking along power lines, jumping from a roof next door, or do the little devils just saunter in on the ground as they roam from yard to yard? You don’t need to become a squirrel expert, but it helps to know the average size and travel habits of your neighborhood’s squirrels.
-Note the overall color scheme of your house and backyard décor so you’ll be able to make an informed decision about the design elements of the baffle you end up selecting. Many homeowners opt for clear products so they don’t have to fret about color decisions at all.
Types of Baffles
More than 95 percent of all products offered are wrap-around or hanging varieties. Most are hood-shaped with or without a pointed top. A few of the non-hood-shaped versions are torpedo-shaped and are less obvious to the casual observer.
Some designs are decorative or transparent. When selecting a squirrel baffle, many consumers don’t like the look of a large metal hood hanging from a pole in their backyards. That’s why designers came up with clear and decorative baffles.
Some feeders have built-in baffles. A popular style incorporates a colored PVC tube directly underneath a round feeder. It’s a seamless look and avoids having a big metal hood
Simple baffles can connect directly above a feeder pole. For feeders that are suspended by hooks, some consumers place a baffle somewhere along the length of the hook to prevent squirrels from climbing to the feed source from the hook.
The main differences among products in this category are size, color, construction material, shape, and method of attachment. Most consumers who spend a while shopping for baffles soon realize that the basic design is simple and there are few real points of difference among the top selections.
For a product line that only offers a few basic styles and designs, there are a LOT of baffle makers. Squirrel Guard, Woodlink, Roamwild, Perky-Pet, Brome, North States, Hiatt, Champion, Erva, and Universal make some of the best-selling products in the line.
Because so many people make their own squirrel repelling devices, market prices tend to be rather low, with a range from about $15 for a no-frills item to $50 or more for larger products. The average is about $20-$25 for a decent baffle that will get the job done on a single feeding station.
How to Build Your Own Squirrel Barrier
It doesn’t take a high degree of technical skill to build your own baffle to keep squirrels away from bird feeders. Designs are simple and at most will require the use of a drill and maybe having to put in a few brackets. Other than that, you can just take a look at the commercial products and see the ideal shapes for effective baffles. Here’s an inexpensive, easy way to make your own for less than $10.
Tools needed: a drill with a bit that can penetrate very thin metal sheeting OR a can-opener and a hammer.
This do-it-yourself contraption works best for pole-mounted bird feeders.
Step 1: Buy a large metal (aluminum preferably) bowl, about 18 inches in diameter. Most of the big-box stores have these or you can get one online.
Step 2: Buy some cheap aluminum sheeting at a hardware store. Get a piece about 3 feet long (or longer) by 2 feet wide.
Step 3: Drill or punch a hole in the bottom of the bowl. If you use a can-opener type punch, do the punching from the inside of the bowl outward. This will allow the bowl/baffle to slide down the feeder pole.
Step 4: Wrap the aluminum sheeting around your feeder pole with the lowest part of the sheeting being about one foot above the ground. That will allow coverage from 12 inches up the pole to 3 feet above the ground. Use a metal snip to cut off excess sheeting you don’t need or want to use on other feeder poles.
Step 5: Glue or drill holes for screws to secure the aluminum sheeting onto the pole. If you squeeze it as you wrap (wear gloves), it might stay in place without glue or screws.
Step 6: Make sure feeders are at least 6 feet above ground, 7 feet from any nearby “perches” that a squirrel could jump from, and 9 feet from any overhanging branches.
Step 7: Slide the hole-punched metal bowl, in the upside-down position, downward from the top of the feeder pole until it is just above the level of the feeders.
Baffled about Baffles? Here are Some Answers
How high up do I put a squirrel baffle?
In the DIY section above, we noted keeping all feeders at least 6 feet above the ground. This follows the so-called 6-7-9 rule, which suggests feeders be six feet high or higher, be seven feet away from any places where a squirrel could jump from, and be at least nine feet below any overhanging tree branches.
Because healthy squirrels can jump between five and six feet straight up, you have to be careful to distance feeders from the ground, launching points, and tree branches. As for the branches, squirrels usually won’t sky-dive that far in an attempt to land on a feeder, but less than nine feet, they will take a chance.
How high can squirrels vertically jump?
Five to six feet, depending on the size of the squirrel. From a side-launch position, they can leap even farther. For straight-down diving-style jumps, the clever little rodents are usually afraid to jump from a height of more than nine feet.
What’s the best way to keep squirrels away from bird feeders?
Baffles are the best, least expensive way to keep squirrels away from feeders, but there are other “systems” for repelling the repellent rodents.
-Dogs: Some people keep large dogs in the yard, which is a sure-fire squirrel deterrent. However, dogs will sometimes also minimize your bird traffic as well, but if perches are high enough, the birds will eventually come even to a yard with dogs.
-Capsaicin pepper: Birds don’t have a problem with pepper because their digestive and taste systems can’t detect it, and it does them no harm in any case. But squirrels HATE capsaicin, so if you mix about one tablespoon with a 5-pound batch of feed, the squirrels will quickly learn to stay away from your feeders.
-Repellent: You can buy several different types of squirrel repellent. There are liquids and solid products that can be sprinkled around the yard. You can spray capsaicin pepper scent around the perimeter of your yard (put a teaspoon of ground pepper in 8 ounces of tap water and let the mixture sit over night), or even put up a few “scare-owls” around the yard.
Squirrels will remember the pepper scent and begin to avoid your yard after a while. Place the plastic owls correctly for maximum squirrel-deterrent effect. Put owls on fences and roofs, and in the corners of the yard.
-High-tech devices: If you’re willing to invest a bit more ($50 and up), you might try a sonic squirrel repellent device. There are plug-in and battery-powered ones available but be sure to shop around and only buy one with a warranty and money-back guarantee.
-Flowers: Plant some daffodils (squirrels hate the scent that daffodils give off), and be sure to remove fallen fruit and any nuts from your back yard.