will raccoons eat bird seed

When it comes to pilfering seeds and nuts from bird feeders, squirrels arent the only thieves in town. Raccoons have a well-deserved reputation for mischief, and that can include emptying our bird feeders.

To beat raccoons at this game, it helps to understand their behavior. Raccoons are nocturnal, so they forage for food at night. If they are being a nuisance around your bird feeders, consider taking them down each night, the Humane Society of the United States advises. Another strategy would be filling the feeders with only about as much seed as the birds will eat in a day. That way theres nothing left for prowling raccoons come nightfall.

Raccoons can climb and jump, but they arent quite as skilled as squirrels at these endeavors, which can make it easier to keep bird feeders out of their reach. Try suspending bird feeders from wire stretched between two trees or other structures, the Humane Society recommends. You can also try using feeders attached to poles less than a half-inch in diameter because these are too thin for raccoons to climb. Another idea would be to attach a raccoon guard to your feeder. These can be found at many places where bird feeders are sold.

Even out-of-reach feeders can attract raccoons when the seed spills to the ground. Many ground feeding birds will feast on this spilled seed, but it can also be an all-you-can-eat buffet for raccoons. To prevent it from becoming a problem, either clean up around your feeders regularly or use bird feeders that are designed to catch the seed that falls, the Humane Society advises. You can also prevent spillage by putting only one type of seed in a feeder instead of mixed seeds.

One strategy to avoid when trying to keep critters away: Do not grease the poles your bird feeders are on in an attempt to keep raccoons — and squirrels — away. This is dangerous for birds because if they get grease on their feathers it affects their insulating ability and waterproofing, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology reports. It can also mat down the fur of the offending animals.

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters, meaning theyll eat what they can find, so its not just bird feeders that they can cause problems with. Theyre masters at getting into garbage cans — hence the trash panda nickname — and other storage containers, and theyll even steal fruits and vegetables from gardens, Wildlife Illinois reports. If theyre causing problems around your home, make sure your garbage cans have tight-fitting, well-secured lids, and dont store pet food or any other food, including bird seed, outside.

In general, raccoons do not pose any health risks to people, Wildlife Illinois reports. They can be carriers of rabies, so any contact with a raccoon should be reported to a medical professional. They can also be carriers of diseases that can affect our pets, including distemper and parvovirus.

Save yourself from heartbreak: Check your yard for rabbit nests before mowing

It’s a good idea to check your yard for rabbit nests before you cut the grass. These nests frequently resemble little patches of dead grass, but the babies are exposed to lawnmowers because they are only a little bit below the surface.

To Save your Feeders and Economize your Birdseed Budget, you Have Only 1 Option:

Use properly sized, metal Raccoon Baffles on tall poles: Raccoons cannot jump onto a pole rather they can stretch out and grab onto a pole if it’s close enough to a tree, fence, deck etc. So placing a pole 4’ from anything sturdy enough to support a Raccoon is fine. If you want to prevent Raccoons and squirrels the top of a pole baffle should be 5 above the ground to prevent jump-overs by squirrels, and the pole itself must be 11 from anything sturdy enough (tree, fence, house, etc.) from which a squirrel could leap and gain access. The pole must also be tall enough so that all feeders stay above the top of the baffle. Most standard shepherds crooks are not tall enough to achieve both of these rules. WBUs Advanced Pole System is and is an effective way to keep them away from feeders. Only Raccoon baffles will prevent Raccoons from climbing up a pole or 4 x 4 posts. You will find baffles quickly pay for themselves in seed saved.

Our patented Advanced Pole System® (APS) is the cornerstone of a successful bird attraction strategy and a ground breaking idea. The APS, which consists of hardware pieces that can be swapped out, allows you to choose the configuration that will work best for the birds you want to attract and the habitat in your backyard. To gain additional knowledge about this product, click on the links below:

Although the best method for preventing raccoons from entering feeders is a pole with a baffle, you can also try:

1. Bring Feeders in Every Night: Raccoons are mostly nocturnal animals, so keeping feeders locked in a shed or garage before dusk every night will prevent them from accessing it. Of course, not everyone will find this to be convenient because it can be a little tedious at times.

2. Locking Them Down and Rationing Food: WBU has a number of tools to prevent feeders from toppling over. To prevent raccoons from removing feeders from the hook, Solution Clips are designed to fit over the end of shepherd’s hooks. Utility Chains are simple-to-use tools that are used to suspend feeders from tree branches. We also have many feeders (suet, corn, fruit, etc. ) that are safe to screw onto a fence or tree

After your feeders are safely in place, carefully monitor the amount of seed or suet your birds actually consume each day. Then, start rationing out just enough food every morning to ensure that the feeders are completely empty by dusk. The raccoons usually lose interest at dusk if there is no food to be found.

NOTE: Raccoons in the Province of Ontario may be trapped and moved up to one kilometer from the original location of the trap. They have no trouble covering the one-kilometer return trip to your home. Relocating your racoons allows more to enter the habitat because when one goes, its neighbor will take its place. Therefore, acknowledging that raccoons are a part of your yard and making an investment in a sturdy pole system and baffle are the best ways to deal with them.

WBU Hot Pepper Products might be the ideal choice in some situations when other strategies are ineffective for discouraging squirrels and other mammals. Distinctive trees, decks, and windowsills may make it challenging to ward off animals such as squirrels, raccoons, deer, and rodents when feeders and food are positioned nearby. Seed, suets, Bark Butter, No-Melt Dough, cylinders, or StackablesTM with hot pepper might be a useful option in these circumstances. Use only products like our WBU Hot Pepper Products, which have the hot pepper tightly bound within.

Roughly 90% of Eastern Gray and Red squirrels do not consume WBU Hot Pepper Products. Furthermore, there is evidence that WBU Hot Pepper Products work well to repel a wide range of mammals, such as skunks, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, rats, mice, White-tailed and Mule Deer, and Fox and Eastern Gray Squirrels. Additionally, there is compelling evidence to support their effectiveness against bears. If you reside in bear country, though, you should read our section on Problem Solving Bears. Given that Eastern Chipmunks have fur-lined cheek pouches, which appears to act as a barrier to the products’ effectiveness, WBU Hot Pepper Products might not be as effective on these animals.

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