Woman stops squirrel thief using petroleum jelly to feed birds: ‘They’re too greedy’

Woman stops squirrel thief using petroleum jelly to feed birds: 'They're too greedy'

A grandmother in the UK Find a good way to deal with theft of squirrels.

Sally Stranix, 64, smeared petroleum jelly on her bird feeder to prevent “greedy” squirrels from eating the food she leaves for their winged friends, according to a Southwest News Service report.

The gray squirrel in question climbed onto the food bowl that Stranix kept in the garden “on a daily basis” before the grandmother of six decided to try Vaseline as a deterrent.

Now the stubborn tailed rodent tries to stop for a snack, but it slips down the shaft before reaching the feeder.

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“I think it’s a really small squirrel because it’s so small, and the adults seem to know how to jump into the bird feeder while climbing that pole,” Stranix told SWNS. “I’ve been using Vaseline for a few weeks now – it prevents the squirrel from reaching the bird’s food, even though it doesn’t stop coming back. But every time it tries to climb up the shaft, it stumbles again.”

Before using Vaseline, Stranix said she was looking for a squirrel deterrent. However, she chose this method.

Representatives for Vaseline and its parent company Unilever did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

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While the findings are amusing for Stranix and her descendants, wildlife experts have warned that petroleum jelly and other products containing oils or fats can be harmful to squirrels and similar forest animals.

Wild Birds Unlimited, a US bird food retailer, has published an article stating that petroleum-based products can be toxic to squirrels if eaten in high concentrations.

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Similarly, in 2018, the Maine Animal Center released a Facebook statement explaining that petroleum jelly and lubricants can endanger bird feathers if a squirrel climbs into a feeder with the slippery product on its paws and fur. Instead, the nonprofit recommends that people use a “rough or well-placed pet” to deter squirrels and unwanted critters from bird feeders.

Where the Stranix lives in Ipswich, a town in the county of Suffolk in eastern England, there is no shortage of squirrels around.

“We live next to a small forest, so having squirrels in the yard is inevitable,” she told SWNS. But they are very greedy. I just want to leave some food for the birds. There is plenty of food for squirrels that can be found elsewhere.


According to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, gray squirrels have been in the UK since the 19th century and “contributed to the red squirrel’s decline”. Small mammals are said to eat nuts and leftover food at bird feeders, and they also store their food in the fall.

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