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Are squirrel-proof bird feeders rat-proof?

Are squirrel-proof bird feeders rat-proof?

Birds truly are a miracle of nature. Watching these colorful creatures flutter around all day is certainly a treat. Nevertheless, finding them at a close range is no easy task. It is something every birdwatcher will relate to. You can watch these amazing animals in action by adding an attractive bird feeder while helping them quench their thirst and find food in your backyard.

Nevertheless, maintaining a bird feeder can be a bit of a challenge. Why? Well, some creepy crawlies surely find a way into your bird feeder. Yes! Rats are a common enemy. While you can find some squirrel-proof feeding solutions, the question prevails: Are squirrel-proof bird feeders rat-proof?

Do rats visit bird feeders?

While you may be worried about the nibblers visiting your feeder, many overlook the strange possibilities of a rat invasion. Surprisingly, rats and mice are some of the most common reasons why bird lovers stop feeding the birds.

Rats may not intentionally attack a bird feeder, but you might have a part to play in this! Rats are attracted to spoiled food, pet waste odor, husk from seeds, etc. Hence, an unhygienic background or a messy bird feeder can bring rats to your yard. However, that might not be the only reason. Rodents also visit backyards or houses to look for shelter, especially a nesting ground. This is why sealing potential breeding grounds around the house is also a must if you want rats to stay away from your place.

Are squirrel-proof bird feeders rat-proof?

The answer leans toward both. Yes and no. Some squirrel-proof features may deter rodents, but not always. For example, a baffle can be a great tool to keep rats away from bird feeders. However, placing the baffle in a position to keep both of these naughty critters away can be a challenge.

Can rats find ways to mend techniques employed to avoid squirrels?

It is easy for rats to enter the nooks and crannies of your backyard as well as your bird feeder. Unlike squirrels, rats are hard to keep out. Even if you decide to stop the food source for some time, the rodents will eventually return. Besides, some bird enthusiasts also place poles for the bird feeders to keep squirrels away. However, the rats may find it easier to climb the poles and reach the feeders.

Food kept to avoid squirrels might not distract rats

Rats and squirrels have different food habits. While some food options guarantee to deter squirrels, it can be a treat for rodents. Rats can eat almost everything. So, choosing a different food may not be your best bet. Instead, taking precautionary measures and maintaining a hygienic environment are much more effective.

Using rat repellent on bird feeders

Using rat deterrents might be a good solution to keep them away from bird feeders. But, Beware! Chemical repellents contain toxic components which can in turn harm your feathery friends. Instead, choose natural deterrents such as citronella, eucalyptus, balsam fir, mint leaves, etc that have a strong scent keeping rats and mice away from feeders.

Will picking the right feeder keep rats away?

Can’t keep rats away from your bird feeder? Well, you might be using the wrong feeder all along. With a wide array of options available, picking the right bird feeder might play a great role in keeping the rats away from your feeding ground. In such places where rats and mice are often a nuisance, a weight-sensitive feeder can work like magic! These types of feeders are designed with a small opening that closes when it detects something heavy.

How to make bird feeders rat-proof?

Rats and mice are a huge nuisance; chasing after them daily is hectic. But wait! You don’t have to give up on your birdwatching passion just yet! While bird feeders usually come with squirrel-proof options, just a few tweaks can turn your birdfeeder into a formidable fortress to keep the creepy crawlies out of your business.

Before we discuss keeping rats out of your bird feeders, it is quite important to keep your backyard clean as well. Apart from spoiled food, pet waste, etc., rats may wander into your backyard to look for shelter or nesting ground. Check for openings and make sure to seal them with materials like concrete, metal flashing, steel wool, heavy welded wire, etc. Is that enough? Surely not! Choosing good sanitary practices is a great factor that ensures your backyard remains to steer clear of rodents. Surprisingly, the bird food that you buy is also to blame. Many stores offer cheap seed blends or bird food that mostly contains cereals or grain fillers. This can attract rats to your backyard and lead them to your bird feeder.

In addition, barbecue grills, open garbage bins, etc. are some other ways you might be inviting rats to your backyard. Yes, the scraps of food that lie on the grill and the ground or the open garbage cans outside are a buffet for rodents. This will easily lead to an infestation. To avoid this, make sure to clean your barbecue sets thoroughly before storing them in a secure location. Keep the garbage bins closed to deny access to the rats.

Now that we know the consequences of an unhygienic backyard, here are some of the best ways to keep rats away from your bird feeders.

1. Pick a baffle

A baffle is used to keep squirrels away. But, you can easily use it to your advantage against these critters as well. The main trick here is to place the baffle at least five feet away from the ground and 10 feet away from trees, etc to keep the squirrels away as well.

While others choose wooden poles instead, it is advised to avoid choosing poles over baffles since they are easier to climb, especially when you have a rodent problem.

2. Stop feeding the birds temporarily

If your rodent problem is going out of hand, this might be your best shot. As a bird lover, it can be a tough choice, but removing all food sources from your backyard may drive the rats away to another source. Although, if these critters live near your place, they might return. So, make sure you look for other options while they are gone.

3. Step back from the messy seeds

As much as you love watching the colorful birds at play, cleaning up after them surely feels like a chore. What if you could find a “no-mess” option? Sounds like a dream isn’t it? The husk that most bird food contains is a treat for rodents. Avoid the mess by choosing alternate types of bird food that have no husk and are easier to consume for the birds.


Rats are a nuisance. But, that’s not the only concern. While they can disrupt your birdwatching plans, having rats running around your place may be an indication of unhygienic practices. Moreover, they can also invade your home for shelter and result in an infestation. Apart from ruining your bird feeder, rats are a harbinger of disease. They can cause serious illness and should be eradicated immediately.