I have had lots of problems with squirrels eating bird fat cakes that I put out.  I remember reading somewhere about adding a large spoonful of chilli powder to stop this, as birds are not affected by chilli.  But I don’t want to do this if the birds will be injured in some way.

The above is a question I’ve received from Mike

Ages ago I myself had trouble with squirrels and tried chilli pepper.  I had read that the RSPB said it was a way to keep squirrels away.   So I tried it.  It did not work.  I know coating birdfood with chilli pepper  did not work, but I could not remember the reason why.  I looked up some notes and saw that I had written this on 17 November 2008

Notes below have been taken from 17 November 2008  Chilli pepper and keeping squirrels away 

I have taken the RSPB’s advice about how to keep squirrels away from bird food.  It hasn’t worked.
The RSPB report that chilli pepper powder on bird food keeps squirrels away but does not bother birds.  

RSPB advise that the bird food is put in a bag with the pepper powder and shaken together.

Tell that to the birds.
None of the bird food that I covered with the pepper powder has been touched by birds.
The bird food was on the ground feeder and bird table.  I even took the meshed cover off the ground feeder and still the bird food was not eaten.  Not one seed was touched
On the other hand I haven’t seen a squirrel today.
Have brought the bird food inside and will put it outside again tomorrow.
Has anyone ever used this method to keep squirrels away?


Has anyone else used chilli powder to keep squirrels away?


I do have some squirrel proof bird feeders and a meshed garden feeder.  They are brilliant, but, of course,  blackbirds and thrushes can’t get to the food and I wanted to keep some open bird feeders for the blackbirds and thrushes. 

It does seem though that squirrel proof caged feeders are a good way to keep squirrels off any type of bird food.

What do you think?

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