Rodents will often eat whatever they can, no matter what kind of food it is. For this reason, rodents often can be found hanging around bird feeders. A rodent in a bird feeder not only steals the food from birds, but it can expose the birds to disease. Keeping rodents away from a bird feeder isn't always easy, but a few techniques are available.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- "No-waste" bird seed
- Seed tray
Vacuum under the bird feeder regularly to remove any shells or unwanted seeds from the ground. This discarded food is often what attracts rodents to the feeder. Use the hose attachment of your home vacuum or wet/dry vac to collect the discarded material. Empty the bag or canister into a thick, plastic trash bag, seal it, and throw it away in a garbage can that has a lid.
Feed birds a "no waste" bird seed mix. "No waste" mixes contain only seeds that most birds like, such as peanuts, sunflower hearts and hulled millet. The food excludes "filler" seed that many birds discard. The fewer discarded items, the fewer seeds will drop to the ground to attract rodents.
Install a seed tray to the bottom of your feeder. Seeds trays catch the seed as it comes out, reducing the number of seeds that fall to the ground.
If your bird feeder sits on top of a pole, install a baffle around the pole. Baffles are funnel-shaped objects that sit upside down around the pole and make it extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- for a rodent to make its way toward the top. Most baffles are simply wrapped around the pole, but read the directions on your product label for best results.
Tips and warnings
- Install bird feeders as far away from your house as possible. This will help prevent rodents from entering your house.
- Store your bird feed in an airtight, watertight, rodent-proof container.
- Baffles are available at many home improvement and garden centres.
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