How to keep rodents away

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How to keep rodents away

We’ve all heard the standard list of rodent prevention techniques, but there might be one thing you aren’t thinking about. Your bird feeders could be bringing rodents into your yard, and consequently, your home. Think about it. A food source, readily available and free for the taking…sounds like a pretty good deal.

Why do rodents like bird feeders?

If you live in an area that has a high risk of a rodent infestation, or if you’ve noticed signs of mice or rats, one of the simplest ways to practice rodent pest control is get rid of the bird feeder in your yard. This is not because rats and mice are particularly attracted to the seeds in your bird feeder (although they can scale vertical walls and jump up to 12 inches.) Rather, what they’re attracted to is birddroppings, fallen seeds, and shells on the ground.

How to keep rodents away

How to keep rodents out of bird feeders

If your favorite hobby is backyard bird watching, you don’t have to give it up entirely for your rodent pest control efforts. Instead, take a short break from your hobby while finding a new way to feed your feathered friends.

To begin the mouse control process, take away the bird feeder and keep the seeds in a lidded glass or plastic container for a few weeks. Eliminating this food source will encourage rodents to go elsewhere for a meal.

During your bird-watching break, find a bird feeder that has a catch tray large enough to catch dropped shells, seeds and droppings. With the right tools and materials, you can also make your own catch tray to hang under the feeder. After you reintroduce the feeder into your yard, line the catch tray with newspaper that you change out nightly. Cleaning the tray will help with mouse and rat control as well as limit the spread of disease among the visiting birds.

How to keep squirrels out of bird feeders

For many of the same reasons that mice and rats like bird feeders, squirrels like them too. Often, squirrels will empty out the feeders, leaving nothing behind for the birds. Because squirrels are great climbers, it is difficult to find a place for a bird feeder that is inaccessible to a hungry squirrel. There are “squirrel proof” bird feeders on the market that claim to have the answers to preventing these pesky rodents from stealing the bird seed.

The efficacy of these feeders depends on just how crafty and persistent the squirrels in your yard are. You can also try loading up your bird feeders with things that squirrels traditionally do not eat such as safflower seed or nyjer thistle. If you’re having a squirrel problem that you just can’t overcome, give us a call at 800-937-8398.

How to prevent rodents in your yard

  • Using lids on all of your outside trash cans, compost bins and any other outdoor food containers.
  • Having a nicely manicured landscape that is free of weeds, overgrown grass and thick brush.
  • Trimming tree branches that overhang your home.
  • Sealing all cracks on the outside walls of your home that are larger than 1/4 inch.
  • Never leaving over-ripe or rotten fruits, berries or vegetables in your garden.


If you currently have a rodent problem at your home, do not hesitate to call the experts in rodent pest control at Western Exterminator. The services provided can help get the infestation under control using means that are safe for your family, your pets, and your favorite backyard visitors. Feel free to contact us online or give us a call at 800-937-8398.


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