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How To Keep Raccoons Out Of Bird Feeders.


Raccoons are intelligent and resourceful animals that are always hunting for food. These can cause a problem for bird feeders and disrupt the feeding experience of our avian friends.

Once the raccoons discover your bird feeder as a feeding source, you are guaranteed to have issues with them constantly returning.

However, there are effective tactics that you can utilize to discourage raccoons from overwhelming your bird feeder. The first option in fending off raccoons is selecting a suitable bird feeder. Look for feeders designed with raccoon resistance, such as those equipped with weight-sensitive perch mechanisms. These feeders close off access to the seed supply when raccoons attempt to access the food.

Another simple way to keep raccoons off is by elevating the bird feeder and mounting it on a sturdy metal pole sufficiently high off the ground, making it difficult for raccoons to reach.

In the article below, we will delve into other ways of keeping raccoons away from the bird feeder using non-toxic and natural deterrence.

How to Deter Raccoons from Reaching Bird Feeders:

Raccoons have an incredible sense of smell and are always searching for food. They are curious and agile, making it challenging to keep them out of bird-feeding areas.

However, we can discourage them with the right tactics and create a more concentrated feeding space for our feathered friends.

Choose the right bird feeder: 

Raccoons are intelligent creatures; therefore, selecting a suitable feeder that keeps away these rodents is crucial. If you find pesky raccoons raiding your bird feeder and devouring all seeds, it’s time to look for bird feeders designed with raccoons resistance.

One feature to look for when getting a new bird feeder resistance to raccoons is considering a weight-sensitive perch mechanism. These feeders are equipped with perches that close off access to the seed supply when something heavier than a bird lands on them.

Heavier raccoons trigger this mechanism compared to birds. This allows the seeds in the feeder to be only available for feathered visitors you intended to attract.

The other option for a raccoon-resistant bird feeder is a tube feeder with metal cages around them. These cages create a barrier that stops raccoons from getting to the seed ports while still allowing smaller birds to get to the food. The design of the metal cages works well because raccoons can’t squeeze through the narrow openings, so your bird food stays safe and undisturbed.

Elevate the bird feeder:

Raising bird feeders above the ground level is a deterrent for those pesky raccoons. Mounting the feeder on a sturdy pole, the metal pole is an excellent material resistant to chewing. The pole needs to be long enough to provide adequate clearance from the ground, thus hindering attempts to reach the feeder.

Adding a baffle or cone just below the feeder is a brilliant concept to make the pole more effective. A baffle is a disk-shaped cone to deter the raccoons from ascending the pole.

 The obstacle foils the raccoons ‘ acrobatic skills when placed around three feet above the ground. The feeder should be positioned at least five feet above ground level to ensure ample distance between the crafty critters and the feeding platform.

Remove and clean fallen seeds regularly:

Establishing a routine for checking and cleaning the feeder area is needed. It’s essential to do this at least two times a week, preferably in the evening when most of the feeding activity has ceased.

Use a broom or handheld vacuum cleaner to gently sweep or suction up any fallen seeds and dispose of them properly. I’ve learned that some bird seeds may sprout if left on the ground, potentially leading to unwanted plants around the feeder.

Keeping your environment clean and free from chipmunks is helpful and contributes to the overall health and well-being of the birds that visit your feeder.

By maintaining a clean and hygienic feeding area, birds are less likely to contract diseases that can be spread through contaminated seeds or bird droppings.

Application of Natural Repellents

Using non-toxic repellents is another choice for deterring raccoons from accessing your bird feeder. Keeping raccoons away from bird feeders and other sensitive areas, there are two natural repellents that you can try. These solutions will help keep your home safe and free from unwanted visitors.

Hot Pepper-based deterrents: One of the most effective and easily accessible hot-pepper ingredients is cayenne pepper. This spicy pepper is safe for birds and a powerful deterrent for raccoons and other rodents. Here are the steps in creating your cayenne pepper deterrent:

To start, you need these two ingredients: Cayenne pepper and bird seeds. Mix the two ingredients in a mixed bowl or container. Combine the birdseed with moderate amounts of ground pepper.

It is essential not to touch your face and eyes when mixing these items, as they irritate you. 

Apply the mixture to the bird feeder. Birds have a limited sense of taste for capsaicin, the main ingredient responsible for the spiciness of peppers. However, Raccoons can taste the spicy seeds and will likely be put off and look for food elsewhere.

Make sure to add the cayenne pepper-infused seeds to keep the raccoons at bay every time they visit the bird feeder.

Ammonia -Soaked Rags: Ammonia smells horrid to humans and raccoons alike. Raccoons have a keen sense of smell, and strong scents can deter them from entering specific areas.

Here are the details on utilizing the pungent smell from ammonia to keep raccoons from your bird feeder. Due to its strong scent, I recommend using the ammonia mixture on bird feeders just a short distance from your patio or high human traffic areas.

  1. Prepare the rags: Take some old rags or cloth pieces and soak them in ammonia. Make sure to use enough ammonia to saturate the rags thoroughly.
  2. Place the rags strategically: Position the ammonia-soaked rags around the bird feeder area, particularly in the paths raccoons might use to access the feeder. You can hang them from nearby branches or attach them to stakes.
  3. Reapply as needed: The ammonia’s scent will dissipate over time, reducing its repellent effect. Therefore, replacing the rags or reapplying ammonia periodically is essential to maintain the deterrent.

Handling ammonia with care is crucial, as it can be harmful if ingested or if its fumes are inhaled. Always wear gloves while working with ammonia, and store them safely out of reach of children and pets.

Check out these related posts:

How to keep ants off patio furniture

How to keep birds off patio furniture

Ginny Orenge

Hi, my name is Ginny, home and garden decor ideas is a family business specializing in inspiring you in getting in making your own craft at home. I have also loved creating my own art at home. I hope to share my tips in creating both home and garden decorations that you can be proud off.

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