What Kind of Birdseed Deters Squirrels?

What kind of birdseed deters squirrels?

Squirrels are not ugly or evil. But you didn’t spend your hard-earned money and time on bird feeders and bird seed to make a squirrel sanctuary! These fuzzy little rodents are sneaky and intelligent.

No matter what type of bird feeder you use, they find their way to feast on whatever you put in your yard! Let’s discuss what birdseed types squirrels like and don’t like.

What Kind of Birdseed Deters Squirrels?

bird-seed-pan-ladle- what kind of bird seed deters squirrels

There are some types of bird seed that can deter squirrels because of their sharp and bitter taste. Some of the most common types of such bird seeds are listed below:

  • Canola seed
  • Canary seed
  • Safflower seed
  • Millet
  • Nyjer seed

It’s important to note that squirrels usually avoid these seeds. They can be used to deter squirrels if other food sources are available to them. Otherwise, it’s almost impossible to stop a hungry squirrel from eating these seeds because it’ll eat anything and everything.

All these seeds are also commonly used to feed birds.

However, in some areas, squirrels have also developed a taste for many of these seeds as well. If you find yourself in such a situation, consider mixing some red pepper flakes with the birdseed of your choice.

Effects of Using Hot Pepper with Bird Seed

All types of peppers contain a compound called “capsaicin” that causes humans and other mammals, including squirrels, to feel a burning sensation when eating chilies. According to NPIC (National Pesticide Information Center), birds can’t feel the taste of capsaicin, and they can easily eat peppers.

Capsaicin is also a non-toxic compound that doesn’t harm birds in any way. Birds can also digest pepper flakes, seeds, or oil easily. Adding peppers to bird seeds will keep the squirrels at bay- they’ll avoid the hot and spicy taste.

The only downside to adding hot pepper (in a powdered form) to bird seeds is that it can cause a little discomfort to birds’ eyes in high wind. So, the best way is to use hot pepper flakes instead of powder.

Learn more: What kind of birdseed deters rats and mice?

Which Kind of Birdseed Do Squirrels Like?


Squirrels like to eat pretty much all types of bird seed except the ones mentioned above. However, some seed types that squirrels love the most are listed below.

  • Sunflower
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Black oil sunflower seeds

Do you like seeing squirrels in your yard, but want to keep them from raiding the bird feeder? Try this strategy on for size. Consider filling your bird feeders with the seeds that squirrels usually avoid. You can also add some hot pepper flakes and use a squirrel-repellent bird feeder to keep squirrels away.

Then you can add the seeds that squirrels love to eat to another feeder. Place it on a spot that’s easily accessible to these little fluffy rodents, preferably away from the bird feeder. Make sure that both the feeders are filled all the time to enjoy the best of both worlds.