This Is War!

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This morning, I made cayenne spray for my bird seed. If anyone reading has ever tried to feed birds yet ends up feeding squirrels more than flying creatures will understand why I have done this. We have seen cardinals, titmice, chickadees, purple finches, house finches, and goldfinches at my hanging bird feeder. The birds are slowly coming back from their trip down south, and they are finding the seed.

The problem is a squirrel has also found it.

This squirrel, like most of those damned rodents, is very resourceful. I had window feeders that I thought the squirrel wouldn't be able to get to. Wrong. The little bugger crawled up the window screen, hovered above the feeder, and dropped on it. This feeder was made in such a way that the squirrel couldn’t easily hang from it to get to the seeds.

So, it jumped on the feeder until it fell from the window onto the ground. That squirrel had a feast that day.

I have removed the window feeder for the time being. That sucks since we would love to watch the birds up close in that feeder. So far, they haven't used it. It's a new feeder, and we were told by the bird store that sometimes birds take a bit to get used to new feeders.

That left the feeder hanging from a tall shepherd's hook. The squirrel would climb the hook and get to the feeder from above. It ate most of the seed. This is good seed, too – black oil sunflower seeds. The birds love it. The problem is so does the squirrel. I leave seeds out for it on the ground. That's never enough. Greedy little glutton.

My husband recommended I grease the shepherd's hook with Crisco. I did that and it worked. For about a day. The squirrel now jumps from the ground onto the feeder and chows down. So much for Crisco. That left one option.

Cayenne spray.

I found recipes on the Internet, and I tried one. It's three tablespoons cayenne powder, three tablespoons chili powder, three tablespoon hot sauce (Tabasco, in my case), two tablespoons of hot oil, and a spray bottle full of a quart of warm water. The powder clogged the spray bottle, so I had to pour it onto the bird seed. I used metal bowls and utensils to mix a half cup of cayenne water with the bird seed. Then, I poured the seed into the feeder which is now hanging outside on the shepherd's hook. 

Now, we wait.

I hope the birds find it and eat it. Birds aren't affected by cayenne powder or hot sauce. They can't taste it. Squirrels can. We shall wait until the squirrel returns for its daily feeding and see how it reacts. The hot sauce on the seed should repel the thing. I just hope the birds aren't annoyed by it. They shouldn't be. All we can do now is wait.

I'll report back on this experiment. Every year, I battle squirrels over the bird feeders and seeds. I used to leave out peanuts in the shell for the blue jays, but the squirrels always found them first. I may leave some peanuts and seeds on the ground for the squirrel, but that may change. The squirrel won't starve. The only other option is to get a Savaheart trap and relocate the squirrel to the woods a few miles from home. Since everyone is under quarantine and stores aren't open, we can't get that trap as of yet. I hope we don't need it. Maybe the hot seed will be enough. We'll see. I'll keep everyone posted.


Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her two cats. 

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