I've always said that if you give a man on a mission some duct tape and PVC pipe, he can do almost anything.
----------There has been a fierce battle at our house for quite a while. It's between my husband and the squirrels. For more than a year, the suet feeder hung without disturbance. We watched the squirrels try to climb the pole to no avail. Then one day, one squirrel learned how to get to the suet. Within a week, it had spread the word to all the squirrels in the area. Not only did the squirrels eat the suet, they chewed on the feeder as well.
----------My husband's mission began with a jug of water. Whenever he saw a squirrel on the feeder he would run out and douse the squirrel with water as it ran down the deck post. The squirrels quickly learned that if they ran down to the lower porch, they were safe from the water.
----------Next came the super-squirter water gun. It didn't seem to faze the squirrels at all. I think they appreciated the bath.
----------His next attempt was with a little pistol that shot plastic BBs. The pistol had a range of about three feet, and the little plastic BBs came out with very little force. It clearly wasn't going to work.
----------Bring on the BB pistol with a CO2 cartridge. You know, a BB "Uzi" that shoots 15 shots in a row. I will tell you that my husband is not a hunter so it's not surprising that this pistol didn't work either. Although we do have some BBs imbedded in a few of the trees.
----------We looked everywhere for some kind of baffle that would deter the squirrels. We didn't find one, although the folks at Wild Birds Unlimited said they would replace the suet feeder if the squirrels destroyed it to the point that it wouldn't hold suet.
----------Last week, my husband made his own baffle with PVC pipe and duct tape. The pipe covers the straight section of the pole and swivels when a squirrel attempts to climb up. For the moment, IT WORKS! I say "for the moment" because I know that one squirrel will figure it out and tell all the others.
----------Here are some shots of a squirrel determined to get to the suet. It's quite foggy here, with intermittent rain and warmer than normal temperatures. So the pictures aren't great, but they entertained me. This particular squirrel is a bit cautious. In previous attempts it has fallen all the way down to the ground. And this is a second-story deck.
The instant the squirrel's paw touched the baffle it began to swivel. The squirrel, possibly remembering previous experiences, immediately turned and headed back down the pole.