do bird feeders attract mice and rats

One of the joys of nature is the pleasure that comes from watching birds and admiring their beautiful coloration and patterns while listening to their lovely songs. Having a bird feeder brings them right up close for easy viewing. It also brings messes that attract rodents to your door if you’re not diligent about sanitation.

If you’ve ever seen a bird eat, the word “dainty” does not come to mind. The seed flies everywhere, and in no time the floor beneath the feeder ends up looking as though you spread the seed out there intentionally. It’s as if the birds are trying to share their food with all the ground critters in the vicinity.

And mice will certainly accept the invitation to dine with them! So if you don’t want the additional guests to arrive, you should take steps to ensure that your generous act toward one species doesn’t lead to a potential problem with another.

1. Keep Rodents Off Feeders

  • Hot Pepper suet or Hot Pepper-treated seed. These foods have no effect on birds, but they are extremely repulsive to mammals. You can easily switch out the flavors in hot pepper suet cakes, cylinders, balls, and nuggets. You can also serve loose seed in a hot pepper form. Check out our online store’s assortment of foods with hot peppers.
  • Nyjer for finches. Goldfinches will crack open the tiny nyjer seed to consume its edible insides; squirrels and rats are usually not interested in this seed. It has occasionally been reported that exploring animals have damaged mesh finch socks; to avoid this, we suggest solid tube feeders with feeding ports that are precisely the right size for Nyjer. Keep in mind that only specific bird species are drawn to nyjer feeders, and during the summer, activity levels tend to decrease.
  • Hummingbird nectar

How to Keep Mice Away from Feeders

The last thing you want is for your endeavor to appreciate nature to attract rodents that could cause damage to your house. Not only can mice chew through wiring and woodwork and steal your food, but they also carry the risk of infecting you. Particularly, deer mice have been shown to transmit the deadly hantavirus and spread Lyme disease. You ought to be able to stop them from appearing in the first place with a few easy steps.

  • Location: Although placing your feeder directly outside your window may appeal to you, it is advisable to place it a little away from your home to discourage mice from breaking through and searching for more food. If this isn’t an option for your small property, make sure there aren’t any rodent entry points and seal any that you find.
  • Avoid placing the feeder in a location where it could be easily accessed from the ground as a deterrent. It’s best to hang from a branch away from tall hedges, a garage roof, or another tree branch. You can also use metal poles that prevent mice from using their claws to grab hold of objects. Attach baffles as an extra precaution, or if you don’t want metal poles, to keep mice from climbing all the way to the feeding station. To discourage many rodents from eating the mixture, you could even add cayenne pepper, all without compromising the birds’ enjoyment.
  • Reduce spills: Some feeders have a tray that collects seeds and gives birds a place to land. Furthermore, there are no-waste mixes that can assist by removing the hulls and filler seeds that birds carelessly throw away.
  • Keep the area surrounding the feeder clutter-free and tidy by sweeping up any fallen seeds. If you place trash cans or piles over solid ground, remember that mice prefer to hide there. Keep your lawn trimmed if there is overgrowth so that mice can’t hide among the blades.
  • Storage should be out of reach – Ensure that your feed is kept in a canister that seals and that a mouse’s pointed teeth cannot get into. Use glass or metal containers, or store it inside and away from animals that are outside.

2. Keep Food Off the Ground

All you need to do is keep the ground tidy if your feeders are out of reach for rodents. Apart from the “foods that rodents don’t like” mentioned previously, there exist methods to provide nearly every food without causing any mess on the floor.


Are rats attracted to bird feeders?

Rats are attracted to bird seed and will return often for this favorite food. of the ground and 8 feet out and away from any branches, fences, or other objects that rats may use to jump on to feeders. a baffle that will prevent seed from spilling on the ground.

Do bird feeders attract mice and snakes?

Birdseed = Rodents = Snakes In winter and at night, you may see raccoons, skunks, or opossums (or their tracks) under your feeder pole. Deer will even visit feeders for winter feed. If you also put out suet, you will get even more interest.

How far from house should bird feeder be?

Prevent collisions by placing feeders either more than 30 feet from a window or closer than 3 feet. A feeder that is 30 feet or more from a window is a safe distance from confusing reflections, while one within 3 feet prevents a bird from building up enough momentum for a fatal collision.