We had so many squirrels around last winter that were eating the seed, and we did put up squirrel proof feeders. They do work well, but the problem we had was the squirrels still come to eat the whole seeds that the birds drop under the feeders. I didn't want squirrels that close to the house, up on the patio, because they can do plenty of damage, and they were climbing on and through all my flowers breaking things (just like the bunnies
). I switched to just feeding plain safflower seed, the squirrels do not like it so we have only a couple passing through now and again, but the only problem with that is that some of the song birds don't like it either. We do still get the grosbeaks, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatch, and finches coming in to eat though. I found the goldfinch actual prefers the safflower over their thistle seed. The other good thing is the woodpeckers don't care for safflower either. We had soooo many this winter, they were actually damaging alot of our trees right behind the house.
The bunnies were chewing my flowers, and running through breaking them, just like the squirrels. I found moth balls keeps them away also.........if you can hack the smell of them yourself!
Just a few sprinkled around the flower bed has kept them out of it.