How To Keep Rats Away From Bird Feeders

Here’s how to how to keep rats awaay from bird feeders…

How to Keep Your Bird Feeders Rat-Proof

If you’re a bird lover, you know how important it is to provide a safe space for them to eat and play. 

Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges bird enthusiasts face is keeping their bird feeders rat-proof. 

Why Is It Important to Keep Bird Feeders Rat-Proof?

Bird feeders can be a great source of food for rats and mice, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it. 

Not only can rodents eat up all your bird food, but they can also carry diseases that can be harmful to birds, humans, and other animals. 

Rat droppings can contaminate bird food and water, leading to the spread of diseases like salmonella, E. coli, and avian pox. 

Plus, rats can cause extensive damage to your home and property, gnawing on wires and insulation, and even causing fires.

List of Rat Behavior Traits You Need to Know

To effectively protect your bird feeders from rodents, it’s important to understand their behavior. Here are some traits that make rats and mice challenging to deal with:

  • Rats are excellent climbers and can easily scale bird feeders and poles
  • They are intelligent creatures and can quickly figure out how to overcome obstacles
  • Rats and mice can squeeze through tiny spaces and gaps in your home and property
  • They are nocturnal creatures, making it difficult to catch them in the act

Comparing Methods for Rodent Control of Rats

There are several methods for controlling rodents around your bird feeders, including traps, repellents, and exclusion techniques. Let’s take a closer look at each option:


Traps can be an effective way to catch rats and mice, but they must be used correctly. 

Snap traps are the most common type of trap, but they can be difficult to set up and may not always be successful. 

Live traps, which capture rodents without killing them, can be a humane option, but you’ll need to release the rodents far away from your property to ensure they don’t return.


There are several types of repellents on the market that claim to keep rats and mice away, including electronic devices and natural deterrents like peppermint oil. 

While some of these products may work, they are not always effective and can be expensive.


Exclusion techniques involve sealing off areas where rodents may enter your home or property. 

This can include using mesh screens to cover vents, sealing gaps in walls and foundations, and installing metal flashing on the bottom of bird feeders to prevent rats from climbing up.

Why Are Mice and Rats Bad for Birds?

Mice and rats can be harmful to birds in several ways. For one, they can consume all the bird food, leaving nothing for the birds to eat. 

This can lead to malnourishment and other health problems. Additionally, rats and mice can spread diseases to birds through their droppings and saliva. 

If you notice rats or mice around your bird feeders, it’s essential to take action to protect your feathered friends.

Can Cats Stop Rats?

Cats are natural predators of rodents and can be an effective deterrent to rats and mice. 

However, not all cats are skilled hunters, and they may not be enough to solve a severe rodent infestation. 

Plus, cats can pose a threat to birds and other wildlife, so it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits before bringing a cat into your backyard.

What Problems Arise When Rats Visit Bird Feeders?

When rats visit bird feeders, they can cause a host of problems. Here are a few of the most common issues:

  • Rats can consume all the bird food, leaving nothing for the birds to eat.
  • Rodents can contaminate bird food and water with their droppings, spreading disease.
  • Rats and mice can damage your home and property by chewing on wires, insulation, and other materials.
  • Rodents can attract other predators to your yard, like snakes and owls, which can pose a threat to your pets and small children.

best ways to prevent rats and other rodents

Maintaining Backyard Habitat

One of the best ways to prevent rats and other rodents from getting into your bird feeders is to maintain a healthy backyard habitat. 

This can include planting native shrubs and trees, which can provide natural cover for birds and other wildlife. 

You can also install a birdbath, which can be a great source of clean water for your feathered friends. 

By creating a healthy, welcoming environment for birds, you can help ensure that they stick around and keep rodents at bay.

Portland Rat Control

If you live in Portland, Oregon, you may be familiar with the city’s rat problem. 

Portland has been ranked one of the most rat-infested cities in the United States, and the rodents can be a real nuisance for homeowners and business owners alike. 

If you’re struggling with rats in your home or yard, it’s important to take action to control the population. 

This can include using traps, repellents, and exclusion techniques, as well as hiring a professional pest control company to help.

Cleaning up After Rodents

If you’ve had rats or mice in your home, it’s important to clean up after them properly to prevent the spread of disease. 

Wear gloves and a mask when cleaning up rodent droppings and urine, and disinfect all surfaces thoroughly. 

It’s also important to seal off any areas where rodents may have entered your home to prevent future infestations.

Plant Native Shrubs & Trees

As we mentioned earlier, planting native shrubs and trees can be a great way to maintain a healthy backyard habitat for birds and other wildlife. 

But did you know that it can also help deter rats and other rodents?

By providing natural cover and food sources for birds, you can make your yard a less attractive place for rats and mice to hang out.


In conclusion, if you’re a bird lover, it’s important to take steps to protect your feathered friends from rats and other rodents. 

By understanding their behavior and using the right tools and techniques, you can keep your bird feeders rat-proof and provide a safe, healthy environment for your backyard wildlife. 

From using exclusion techniques to maintaining a healthy backyard habitat, there are many things you can do to keep rats at bay and ensure that your birds have plenty to eat and play.

FAQs About Rat Proof Bird Feeders

Is Mice a Problem?

Like rats, mice can be a real nuisance for homeowners and gardeners. They can cause damage to your property, spread disease, and contaminate food and water sources. 

If you’re dealing with a mouse infestation, it’s important to take steps to control the population and prevent future infestations.

What Is A Rat?

A rat is a common name for a variety of medium to large-sized rodents that belong to the genus Rattus. 

They are found all over the world and can be identified by their long, scaly tails, sharp teeth, and pointed ears. 

Rats are known for their adaptability and intelligence, which allows them to thrive in a variety of environments.

How NOT to Get Rid of Mice and Rats?

There are many methods for getting rid of mice and rats, but not all of them are effective or humane. 

For example, using glue traps or poison can cause unnecessary suffering for the animals and can pose a threat to other wildlife in your yard. 

Instead, consider using humane traps or exclusion techniques to control the rodent population.

How Can I Get Rid of Stink Bugs with Essential Oils?

Stink bugs are a common pest in many parts of the United States and can be difficult to control. 

While essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus can repel stink bugs to some extent, they are not a reliable method for getting rid of them completely. 

If you’re dealing with a stink bug infestation, consider using a vacuum or hiring a professional pest control company to help.

How Can Rats Eat Car Wires?

Rats and other rodents have strong teeth and are known for their chewing abilities. 

They can easily chew through insulation, wiring, and other materials in your car, which can cause serious damage and even lead to a fire. 

If you suspect that rats or mice are getting into your car, take steps to control the population and park your car in a secure, enclosed area.

The Best Techniques for Trapping Rats Outside the House

There are many effective techniques for trapping rats outside the house, including snap traps, live traps, and exclusion techniques. 

The key is to understand the behavior of rats and use the right tools and techniques to control the population. 

If you’re unsure about how to trap rats safely and effectively, consider onsulting with a professional pest control company.

How Can I Keep My House Pest-Free?

Keeping your house pest-free can be a challenge, but there are many steps you can take to prevent infestations. 

This includes sealing off entry points, keeping your home clean and free of food debris, and using natural repellents like peppermint oil and cedar chips. 

If you’re dealing with a pest problem, consider consulting with a professional pest control company to help.

Final Thoughts About Rat Proof Bird Feeders

Rat-proof bird feeders are an essential tool for anyone who loves birdwatching and wants to keep their backyard safe and healthy for their feathered friends. 

By understanding the behavior of rats and using the right tools and techniques to control the population, you can prevent unwanted visitors from stealing birdseed or causing damage to your property. 

Additionally, maintaining a healthy backyard habitat and keeping your yard clean can help discourage rodents from setting up shop in the first place. 

With the right approach, you can enjoy the beauty and wonder of backyard birds without worrying about unwanted pests.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.