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Can Squirrels Climb Pvc Pipes? (Read This First!)

If you are craving to get in touch with nature, and want to surround yourself with singing birds then installing a bird feeder is the most effective step. But you might face squirrel problems, they will take all the food and even scare the birds away from the bird feeder. 

If you are looking for an effective solution then this is the perfect article for you.

Can squirrels climb PVC pipes? 

The slippery surface of PVC pipes is quite challenging for a squirrel to climb up. It is seen that an 8-inch diameter with 6 to 7 feet length PVC pipe is a perfect choice. Attaching a long and wide PVC pipe to the bird feeder can make it safe from the squirrel to climb up & take the food.

Squirrels have great climbing abilities. This animal is equipped with an agile body structure and claws to climb up trees, massive buildings, and much more. Squirrels may look cute and their climbing ability might mesmerize you but they can be pretty annoying. 

The most common complaint against squirrels is that they take all the food from the bird feeders. It might be okay to think that you are helping nature, it doesn’t matter if the food is taken by birds or squirrels but it’s not as simple as that. 

The squirrel eats a certain amount but it takes even more food with it and buries it underground, most of the time it forgets where it buried the food so eventually goes on collecting food again. So squirrels waste a lot of food instead of eating. 

If you want to keep your bird feeder safe from squirrels then there are several effective ways but the most practical one would be to attach a plastic pipe or make the bird feeder out of plastic pipes. 

You are familiar with how fast a squirrel can climb trees, it’s mostly because of the rough surface of the tree that gives it a better grip to climb. 

Plastic pipes are smooth and don’t have any hidden roughness, so climbing a PVC pipe will be a great challenge and almost impossible to get a grip on for the squirrel.

Can a squirrel climb 2, 4, or 6 inches PVC pipes? 

Using a 2 inch or a 4-inch pipe may not be enough, even using a 6 inch PVC pipe may not give you the desired result, but it may just do the job. It is highly recommended to use an 8-inch diameter Plastic pipe. 

Usually, the squirrels can not climb PVC pipes due to the smooth surface and rigid build of the pipe. Squirrels’ sharp claws don’t get a proper grip while climbing a PVC pipe. 

But when it comes to jumping and using their body to hug and climb, a small and thin PVC pipe won’t get the job done. 

What size PVC can squirrels not climb? 

After utilizing the jump height and body measurement of squirrels, it’s found that an 8-inch diameter PVC pipe with at least 6 feet height would be a practical choice for your bird feeder. The smooth surface and sturdy construction of PVC pipes prevent squirrels from climbing them.

Climbing a PVC pipe is difficult for squirrels because their sharp claws lose traction. However, a tiny and thin PVC pipe will fall short when it comes to jumping and utilizing their body to grasp and climb. 

So you will need to use a pipe that poses a certain height and thickness to prevent them from getting close to the bird feeder. 

What diameter pipe can a squirrel climb? 

A squirrel can easily climb a 2 inch, 4-inch even 6-inch diameter pipe.

So, you can say an 8-inch diameter would be a safe bet, but It’s not only about the diameter. Whether a squirrel will climb up to the bird feeder depends on several things, the pipe material, built quality, length, width, placement, and much more. 

If you plant a bird feeder near a tree or anywhere that is accessible for a squirrel to jump and reach then all your efforts will go in vain. If you use PVC pipe with small elevation and dia then it won’t do any good to your purpose.

How high can ground squirrels jump? 

From the ground, a squirrel can jump up to 5 feet. It’s quite astonishing that it can jump that high with a 200mm body. Not only that it can jump and glide up to 7 feet from tree to tree and it can jump down from almost 9 feet and land perfectly fine.

How to make a bird feeder pole out of PVC pipe?

The following steps might help you to make a bird feeder pole out of PVC pipe – 

Getting the right shape and size: 

when you are planning on installing a bird feeder pole out of PVC pipe then you need to be aware of the fact that squirrels can jump 5 feet from the ground and also can climb almost any surface using their sharp claws. 

PVC pipes have a smooth surface so the squirrel’s claws won’t have proper traction while climbing, but if you choose a small dia pipe then the squirrel can easily use its arms, body, and legs to get enough traction and control to climb up. 

So you need to have a pole at least 6 feet above the ground and wide enough almost 8 inches to prevent the squirrel from getting to the bird feeder. 

It will be wise to get a 7 to 8 feet pipe so that you can dig a 1 or 2 feet hole for better stability and still have enough length to be out of the squirrel’s jumping range.

Placement and stability:

A plastic pipe won’t be able to sustain a structure with too much load. Look for a lightweight bird feeder, and place it as far away from trees or any other structures that a squirrel can climb and jump to reach the bird feeder.

How do you get rid of squirrels around bird feeders? 

The following tips might help you to get rid of squirrels around your bird feeder –

Attach PVC pipe poles:

Attaching a PVC pipe or making the bird feeder pole out of Plastic pipes will make it pretty much impossible for the squirrel to have proper grip while climbing. 

You should always look for a PVC pipe with at least a length 6 feet above the ground and 8 inches dia.

Adding spice to the food:

compared to avian birds, the squirrels are higher intelligent mammals who have a developed sense of taste and smell. You can put it to the test by adding some spice to the bird feeder, chili seeds, or any other spicy stuff. 

The capsaicin present in the chilly seeds will make the food unbearable for the squirrels but it won’t affect the bird’s taste buds at all. So it’s perfectly safe for the bird and keeps the squirrels away from the feeder.

Finding a suitable place to set up:

Squirrels can jump from one tree to another even if there is a 7 feet distance between them. The skin under its arm expands like a gliding suit and it is quite fascinating to watch. 

So you need to place your bird feeder at least 10 feet away or more from any tree, fence, or walls. Not only that, squirrels can jump from 9 to 10 feet in height and land in bird feeders so make sure there aren’t any tree branches above your bird feeder. 

Feed the squirrel:

when you are looking out for birds, installing a bird feeder and bath then hopefully you can also show kindness towards the squirrel. 

If you give them a few nuts or any regular food separately from the bird feeder they won’t bother the bird or won’t mess with your bird feeder set up.

Install anti squirrel bird feeder:

there are bird feeder options available that keep the squirrel at bay, you can give them a try.

Woodlink NABAF18 Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle, 18-Inch - Black

Can squirrels climb shepherd hooks? 

It is going to be difficult for the squirrel to climb up Shepherd hook but it’s not impossible. There are pictures and video recordings of squirrels overcoming the difficulty and reaching the bird feeder on Shepherd hooks.

Can squirrels climb metal poles or galvanized pipes? 

Yes, squirrels are great climbers and they can easily climb metal poles or galvanized pipes. However, you can attach a certain extension to your metal pole to make it inaccessible for the squirrels.

Can squirrels climb chicken wire or fishing line? 

fishing line and chicken wire both are too slippery to climb for squirrels but they can certainly chew and damage them.

Can squirrels climb walls, vinyl siding, or brick walls?

Yes, squirrels can easily climb walls, vinyl siding, or brick walls. The rough surface and slightly uneven edges give them the required grip to climb.

Final thoughts:

Because of the smooth surface of PVC pipes, a squirrel will have a difficult time climbing them. The bird feeder can be protected from the squirrel by attaching a long and wide PVC pipe to it, a PVC pipe with an 8-inch diameter and a length of 6 to 7 feet has been found to be the ideal choice.