Red Hot Nuts


Bird Feeder Mark III (aka The Borg Bird Feeder)



Bird Feeder Mark IV


Yep. They got to it again. I suppose I half expected it.

Our pesky squirrels are back with a vengeance. Bite Out Of Ear and his partner in crime, White Spot On Nose. The metal reinforcements had held up perfectly. The trouble is, they just turned their attention to the old wooden top, gnawing away until the fixings were revealed and then completely undermined. I’d really like to avoid having any more metal on the feeder. Not that Mark III had any realistic claim on ‘rustic charm’. So Mike has just replaced the top with something more durable. There used to be an old treehouse at the far side of the lawn. He’s just pinched a bit of the old decking from that.

Nevertheless it was time for a strategic review. A little shift, shall we say, in the fine line between defence and attack. Nothing significant. Chemical weapons ought to do it.

I purchased a bottle of anti-squirrel spray. Capsicum Chilli. Pepper. It’s sprayed all over the bird food. According to the label squirrels HATE the taste, but birds don’t seem to mind it. Sure enough, the birds came and went and didn’t seem to notice it at all. Then the squirrels came and went. And didn’t seem to notice it at all. A brief shake of the head from Bite Out Of Ear, then business continued as normal.

As suggested by the RSPB, neat chilli powder came next, straight out of the spice drawer. It was even within its use by date too. Woodrow the woodpecker turned up at the feeder and we held our breath. Absolutely no reaction. We waited. White Spot On Nose. A sniff in the air. Something wasn’t right. As soon as he got it on his paws he knew it. Rubbing his paws against his body did not help. Now he had it there too. And then against his face..

If you’ve ever done this while cooking you’ll know how it feels. His little eyes closed and he rubbed even more. It was a heart stopping moment, I’d never intended to harm them. He spent a long time preening. A good 20 minutes, getting every last bit of pepper off. Now he’d just jump down off the bird table and scurry away. Yes?

No. Five seconds later he was back on the feeder for more. Those peanuts must be seriously worth it.


2017-11-07T12:48:16+00:00December 8th, 2012|Tags: |


  1. Julie December 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    I love it! He’s probably telling all the other squirrels about the special chilli peanuts at your house right now ( I think they sell them at supermarkets!) x

    • Jessica December 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm - Reply

      Perish the thought! We are surrounded by trees, so there are squirrels everywhere. Our battle with them has been a longrunning one, and likely to continue by the look of it! If you would like to read some of the previous ‘instalments’ look under the Squirrels tag.

  2. Rosie December 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    You have to award them ten out of ten for tenacity! I love the way you name your squirrel visitors, we do that too – thin tail, plumpy brown back and skitty scat – the latter seems to run in figure of eights and doesn’t sit still for a minute:)

    • Jessica December 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Skitty scat – I do like that! Does your neighbour use chilli powder, or maybe itching powder?! 🙂

      • Rosie December 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm - Reply

        I’ll have to ask! They do put sausage rolls out for the foxes, though so maybe Skitty Scat got a bite or two of an extra spicy one:)

        • Jessica December 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm - Reply

          When we were in our rented cottage (the one with the geese), there were also some runner ducks. One day one of them went totally berserk.. running around in mad circles, screeching, frenetic preening.. then eventually just dived headlong into the lake. I think he sat on an ants nest!

  3. knitsofacto December 8, 2012 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Hardcore squirrels! Have you tried actual chilli’s, mushed up … that’s what a friend uses.

    • Jessica December 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm - Reply

      No… but I will now!

  4. BadPenny December 9, 2012 at 10:06 am - Reply

    This battle has reached another level – bringing in the big guns – Chilli powder ! I put chilli seeds all over the back garden ( which is open to a field ) to deterr a neighbour’s dog coming in & leaving his calling card !

    When one of my brothers was little, a boy used to pinch his sandwiches. My mum put a stop to it by adding chilli, mustard etc one day…. the boy came up to my brother & said, ” I didn’t like your sandwiches today ” !!!

    • Jessica December 9, 2012 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Did you get a crop of chilli ??
      Love the sandwich story too.

  5. Simone December 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Who would turn their noses up at chilli peanuts? Yum yum!!!

    • Jessica December 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      Chilli is supposed to be a squirrel DETERRENT. Ours, though, would appear to agree with you!

  6. Ali December 9, 2012 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Perhaps he will get the message in the morning when he gets it the other end!

    • Jessica December 9, 2012 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Ha Ha !!!! 🙂

  7. Mise December 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Whatever their squirrelproofness, those feeders are lovely. They look sturdy and real, unlike the poncey ones in the shops.

    • Jessica December 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      It started off life as a poncey one Mise, but with the replacement of the roof there is now only one piece left of the original.. the metal hook on the top!

  8. CherryPie December 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Crikey they are persistent little blighters!!

    • Jessica December 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      They certainly are!
      But I’m not finished with them yet..

  9. Natalie December 11, 2012 at 1:29 am - Reply

    You know, I thought our red squirrels were bad, but your squirrels are worse! Time to man the gun-towers! 😉

    • Jessica December 11, 2012 at 9:59 am - Reply

      Our squirrels are scheming. They’re the worst kind.

  10. wherethejourneytakesme December 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Are you making them a Nut Roast for Christmas?

    • Jessica December 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      If it were down to me WE would be having Nut Roast for Christmas. They could have had the crumbs off my table. As it is, they won’t.

      • wherethejourneytakesme December 11, 2012 at 11:43 pm - Reply

        You could have the Nut Roast and give them the Turkey with lots of Chilli!

        • Jessica December 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm - Reply

          I’ve seen a squirrel with a dead mouse in its mouth, so I’m sure they’d have a go at Turkey too.. 🙁

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