There are many unusual and clever tricks to keep squirrels from raiding the bird feeder in your backyard. One simple trick may actually work: Use red pepper flakes. Rodents such as squirrels hate the spicy, sharp taste of red paper flakes and quickly learn to avoid stealing the seeds. Our feathered friends, on the other hand, can't detect heat from red pepper flakes and will devour it, along with the seed. The plus side is that red pepper flakes are harmless to animals -- even those that don't like the taste!