It’s almost impossible to have bird feeders without squirrel interference. Since squirrels weigh more than birds, when the squirrel steps on the bar, it closes off access to the seed. BUT NOW THE GREEDY EXCESSIVELY EATING HOARD OF SQUIRRELS LIVING IN MY OWN YARD ARE DEVOURING MY GOURMET BIRDSEED. The spacing between the wires is large enough to allow smaller songbirds to enter and feed but small enough to keep squirrels out. One of the quickest and most entertaining ways to keep squirrels out of your bird feeders is to give them a feeder of their own.
Another frustrated bird lover threaded plastic tubing, cut into half-inch lengths onto his horizontal wire. By peak activity time for squirrels during mild weather is the first two hours after sunrise, and in winter, around noon. Watching squirrels scamper over the lawn plucking acorns from among fall leaves is entertaining, but listening to the scritch-scratch of their claws in the attic is a warning sign. Squirrels are most active at dawn and dusk, but sharp eyes aided by a pair of binoculars can spot them moving among the treetops any hour of the day.
OP, your feeder is so pretty, but the only other thing I can think of is to buy a new one that is squirrel proof. After one or two visits at a feeder filled with hot pepper flavored bird seed, many squirrels decide to stop visiting this restaurant” because they can’t stand the discomfort. Killing tree squirrels is also, at best, a short-term solution to any problem you may have.
Just spray directly onto the feeder, and it will keep squirrels away without affecting the birds. But the best thing to do would be to take your feeders in at night when the raccoons are most active. Usually, this takes place in stages so no part of the bird is entirely without feathers at any given time; but cardinals, blue jays, and other species have been documented losing all their head feathers at once. I’ve lathered the pole to the bird feeder with vasoline; it doesn’t look terrific but it seems to work as it’s too slippery for the critters to climb/walk on! I use squirrel proof feeders and place safflower seeds on my wooden fence posts and areas on the ground for the ground feeding birds.
Again, hot peppers do not harm squirrels and if they used their paws near their face at all, then the result would be temporary discomfort and nothing more. Squirrel Slip Squirrel Slip is a blend of coconut and soy bean olis, which causes the pole to be slick, so squirrels can’t climb up to the feeder. If other mammals become a nuisance, the best tactic is to make your feeders inaccessible with fencing. Nyjer seed (also called thistle seed) is a favorite of goldfinches, purple finches, pine siskins, and even mourning doves, but squirrels won’t bother with it. They were finding ways to get food from impossible places long before anyone put up the first bird feeder.