How To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Bird Feeder

Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by Susan Levitt

If you’re an avid bird watcher or simply enjoy the sight of feathered friends outside your window, then a backyard bird feeder is likely a staple in your outdoor space. However, there’s nothing more frustrating than watching chipmunks raiding that same feeder and stealing all the seed meant for your winged visitors. As a wildlife control professional, I’ve seen my fair share of homeowners struggling to keep these adorable yet pesky critters at bay. But fear not! With some simple tips and tricks, it’s possible to deter chipmunks from wreaking havoc on your beloved bird feeding station.

Firstly, let’s understand why chipmunks are attracted to bird feeders in the first place. These tiny mammals have a voracious appetite for seeds – an essential part of their diet which provides them with much-needed nutrients. And what better way to find an abundance of seeds than by visiting a fully-stocked bird feeder? Unfortunately for us bird enthusiasts, this means our feeders become prime targets for chipmunk infestations. In the following paragraphs, we’ll explore various methods to prevent these furry pests from taking over your bird feeding area and ensure that only birds can enjoy the feast you provide.

Understanding Chipmunk Behavior

Chipmunks can be quite a nuisance when it comes to bird feeders. To effectively keep them out, it is important to understand their behavior. Chipmunks are small rodents that belong to the squirrel family. They are diurnal animals, which means they are active during the day and sleep at night.

One of the key factors in understanding chipmunk behavior is their diet. These creatures mostly eat nuts, seeds, berries, fruits, insects, and fungi. However, they will also consume birdseed if available. In fact, many people find that chipmunks tend to take over bird feeders and empty them quickly. This can lead to frustration for those who want to attract birds but end up feeding these mischievous little critters instead.

It’s important to note that chipmunks have natural predators such as hawks, foxes, owls, snakes, and even domestic cats and dogs. As prey animals themselves, chipmunks are cautious by nature and prefer areas with plenty of cover where they can hide from potential threats.

Understanding this predator-prey relationship can help you identify some strategies for keeping chipmunks away from your bird feeder area without harming them or other wildlife nearby. With proper planning and a few simple steps, you can protect your bird seed supply while still enjoying the presence of birds in your yard. So let’s explore how choosing the right bird feeder can make all the difference!

Choosing The Right Bird Feeder

When it comes to choosing the right bird feeder, there are several factors to consider, such as types of feeders, material selection, design, size, and location. Most feeders should be made from metal or plastic, since these materials are more chipmunk-resistant than wood. The design should be large enough to let the birds eat comfortably, but small enough to prevent chipmunks from entering. Location also plays an important role, so make sure to choose an area that’s out of reach for those pesky critters.

Types Of Feeders

When it comes to choosing the right bird feeder, one of the factors you should consider is the type of feeder that would best suit your needs. As a wildlife control professional, I can tell you that there are several types of feeders available in the market today.

One popular option for DIY enthusiasts is making their own feeders using materials they already have at home. A simple and effective design involves attaching a plastic bottle or milk carton to a wooden board with screws or nails. This type of feeder is easy to construct and allows you to customize its size and shape according to your preferences.

Another type of feeder you might want to consider is one that comes with accessories such as cages or baffles. These attachments help keep unwanted guests like squirrels and chipmunks from accessing the food meant for birds. For instance, cage feeders have wire mesh around them which prevents larger animals from getting inside while allowing small birds to enter without any trouble.

If you’re looking for something more sophisticated, then a tube feeder could be just what you need. Tube feeders come in various sizes and designs but generally consist of a clear plastic cylinder with multiple feeding ports attached to it. The ports usually have perches for birds to rest on while eating, and some models even have seed trays underneath them for extra convenience.

In conclusion, when choosing the right bird feeder for your backyard, consider going down the DIY route if you enjoy crafts or getting creative with recycled materials. Alternatively, invest in a high-quality commercial feeder that comes equipped with useful accessories such as cages or baffles. Whichever option you choose, make sure it meets your specific needs and provides an inviting environment for our feathered friends!

Material Selection

Now that we’ve discussed the different types of bird feeders available, let’s move on to another important factor in choosing the right feeder: material selection. As a wildlife control professional, I can tell you that the materials used for your bird feeder can affect its durability and effectiveness.

For DIY solutions, you might want to consider using sturdy and weather-resistant materials such as wood or metal. Avoid using plastic which is prone to breakage over time due to exposure to sunlight and extreme temperatures. Additionally, make sure that any screws or nails used are rust-proof and won’t corrode easily.

Professional services often offer higher quality commercial feeders made from durable materials like steel or aluminum. These feeders tend to be more expensive but are worth investing in if you’re looking for something long-lasting. You’ll also find that many commercial feeders come with warranties so you can have peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected.

Another consideration when it comes to material selection is how easy it will be to clean your bird feeder. Make sure that whatever material you choose doesn’t absorb moisture or harbor bacteria which could potentially harm birds. Opt for materials that are easy to wipe down or sanitize regularly.

In conclusion, when choosing the right bird feeder, don’t forget about material selection. If you’re going down the DIY route, use sturdy and weather-resistant materials like wood or metal while avoiding plastics. For those opting for professional services, invest in high-quality commercial feeders made from durable materials like steel or aluminum. And always keep in mind how easy it will be to maintain and clean your chosen feeder material!

Placing The Feeder In The Right Location

After selecting the perfect bird feeder for your backyard, it’s important to consider its placement in order to keep pesky chipmunks away. Height placement is key – make sure to hang your feeder at least five feet off the ground. This will prevent chipmunks from climbing up and stealing food intended for birds.

However, height isn’t everything when it comes to keeping chipmunks away. Nearby obstacles can also be a factor in attracting these critters. Make sure there are no tree branches or other structures within jumping distance of your feeder, as this can give chipmunks easy access.

To further deter chipmunks, consider creating barriers around your feeder. A baffle – a cone-shaped device that wraps around the pole supporting the feeder – can be an effective deterrent by making it difficult for chipmunks to climb up. Additionally, placing slippery substances like petroleum jelly on poles can make them too challenging for even agile creatures like chipmunks.

See also  What Eats Baby Birds

As a wildlife control professional, I recommend taking preventative measures before resorting to more drastic actions such as trapping or poisoning. By following these simple guidelines for proper height placement and avoiding nearby obstacles, you should be able to successfully keep unwanted visitors out of your bird feeder area. In the next section, we’ll explore providing alternative food sources as another strategy for deterring chipmunk activity.

Providing Alternative Food Sources

As a wildlife control professional, my goal is to keep pesky critters away from your bird feeder. One way to do this is by providing alternative food sources for the animals that are attracted to your yard.

If you find yourself constantly battling with chipmunks at your bird feeder, consider setting up another feeding station specifically for them. Fill it with their favorite foods such as seeds and nuts, and make sure it’s placed far enough away from the bird feeder so they won’t be tempted to venture over there.

While squirrels can also become a nuisance around bird feeders, attracting them to an area further away from the feeder can help alleviate some of the pressure on your feathered friends’ food supply. Consider putting out corn or other squirrel-friendly treats in a location farther away from the bird feeder.

On the flip side, if raccoons are causing issues around your property, try deterring them by making sure all trash cans are tightly sealed and secured. Raccoons are notorious scavengers and will often go after any available food source – including what’s left in the garbage bin.

As we’ve seen, providing alternative food sources for animals that frequent our yards can go a long way towards protecting our beloved birds and their feeders. But sometimes these measures aren’t quite enough. In those cases, using natural repellents may be necessary to keep unwanted visitors at bay.

Using Natural Repellents

While there are numerous natural repellents that can help keep chipmunks out of bird feeders, some people may question their effectiveness. It’s true that not all DIY repellents work the same way for every situation, but it’s worth trying them before resorting to more drastic measures like trapping or relocating the animals.

Peppermint oil is a popular option as its strong odor masks the scent of birdseed and deters rodents. Simply mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle and apply around the feeder area. Another option is cayenne pepper, which irritates chipmunks’ nasal passages when they sniff it. Sprinkle this spice generously on the ground under your feeder.

Some gardeners also swear by planting certain herbs like lavender or rosemary near their feeders to deter pests naturally. However, if you choose this route, be aware that these plants may attract bees and other pollinators too. You’ll need to weigh the benefits against any potential risks and decide what works best for your particular setup.

In conclusion, using natural repellents can be an effective way to drive away chipmunks from your bird feeder without harming them or disrupting ecosystem balance. While it may take some trial and error to find what works best for your specific scenario, don’t give up hope! There are plenty of options available to try before taking more drastic steps.

To further protect your bird feeder from chipmunk invasions, installing physical barriers could be your next step. Here are some suggestions on how to secure your feeder with different types of obstacles…

Installing Physical Barriers

Physical barriers are a highly effective solution to keep chipmunks out of your bird feeder. One popular type of barrier is the DIY route, which involves creating homemade solutions that can be installed around your feeder. For example, you can construct a wire cage or mesh netting that covers the top and sides of the feeder but still allows birds in while keeping chipmunks out.

Another option for physical barriers is to purchase commercial solutions designed specifically for this purpose. There are several products on the market that work well against chipmunks, including specialized cages and baffles. The benefit of these ready-made options is that they often come with detailed instructions, making them easy to install even for those without much experience.

When installing physical barriers, it’s important to ensure there are no gaps or openings where chipmunks could slip through. This requires careful attention to detail during installation as well as regular checks afterwards to make sure everything remains secure. Remember: if there’s any way for a determined chipmunk to get through a gap or hole, they will find it!

By installing physical barriers around your bird feeder using either DIY methods or commercial products, you’ll be taking an important step toward keeping pesky critters like chipmunks at bay. Of course, physical barriers alone may not be enough – in the next section we’ll discuss how removing potential nesting sites can further enhance your efforts to protect your feathered friends from unwanted guests.

Removing Potential Nesting Sites

To keep chipmunks out of bird feeders, we need to remove nearby vegetation that could provide hiding spots for them. I’d also recommend eliminating any potential entry points like cracks and crevices. If these steps are taken, we can be sure the chipmunks won’t be able to get to the bird feeder. Finally, I’d suggest taking these preventive measures regularly to ensure the chipmunks stay away.

Remove Vegetation

Are you having trouble keeping chipmunks out of your bird feeder? One effective solution is to remove potential nesting sites in the surrounding area. As a wildlife control professional, I recommend starting by pruning shrubs and bushes around the feeder. Chipmunks love to hide and nest in dense vegetation, so removing it will make it less attractive for them.

In addition to pruning, using herbicides can also be an effective way to eliminate potential nesting sites. Herbicides target specific plants that chipmunks may use for shelter or food sources, such as dandelions or clovers. By eliminating these plants, you are reducing the overall appeal of the area for chipmunks.

It’s important to note that while removing vegetation can help deter chipmunks from your bird feeder, it should not completely strip the area of all plant life. This could harm other wildlife and disrupt the natural ecosystem. A balance between maintaining a healthy environment and deterring pests must be achieved.

By taking steps like pruning shrubs and using herbicides strategically, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of chipmunk infestations near your bird feeder without causing any long-term damage to the environment.

Eliminate Entry Points

Now that we have discussed the importance of removing potential nesting sites to deter chipmunks from your bird feeder, it’s time to address another crucial aspect of wildlife control. Eliminating entry points is an essential step in preventing unwanted animals from accessing your property.

Sealing gaps and covering holes are two effective ways to eliminate entry points around your home or yard. Chipmunks are small creatures that can fit through tiny openings, so it’s important to inspect every area for any vulnerable spots where they may be able to enter.

Start by examining the foundation of your house and filling in any cracks or gaps with caulking. Check windows and doors for proper seals and consider installing weather stripping if necessary. Cover vents with wire mesh to prevent rodents from crawling inside.

Don’t forget about outdoor structures like sheds or garages – these areas often provide excellent hiding places for chipmunks. Make sure all openings, including those at ground level, are securely covered with durable materials like metal flashing or concrete blocks.

By taking proactive measures such as sealing gaps and covering holes, you can significantly reduce the risk of chipmunk infestations on your property. Remember that prevention is key when it comes to wildlife control; addressing potential problems before they arise will save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.

See also  What Animal Is Big Bird

Regular Maintenance And Cleaning Of The Feeder

Although removing potential nesting sites can help deter chipmunks from your bird feeder, it is important to maintain regular hygiene and cleaning practices as well. Feeder hygiene plays a significant role in keeping pests away, as leftover debris and seed buildup can attract not only chipmunks but also other unwanted visitors such as mice and rats.

To properly clean your feeder, start by emptying any remaining seeds or food. Use hot water and soap to scrub the inside of the feeder thoroughly, making sure to remove any mold or mildew buildup that may have accumulated over time. Rinse the feeder with clean water and allow it to dry completely before refilling.

When managing pests around your bird feeder, there are several options available depending on your personal preference. One option is using physical barriers such as baffles or mesh wiring to prevent chipmunks from accessing the feeders. Another option includes natural deterrents like planting mint or spraying peppermint oil around the perimeter of your garden area.

In addition to these methods, implementing a consistent pest management plan is crucial for long-term success in deterring chipmunks from your birdfeeder. This may include monitoring seed levels daily to ensure they do not overflow onto the ground, trimming branches near feeders to limit access points for rodents, and regularly inspecting feeders for signs of damage or wear-and-tear.

Maintaining optimal cleanliness and adhering to effective pest management practices can greatly reduce the likelihood of chipmunk infestations at bird feeders. By taking proactive steps towards prevention rather than solely relying on reactive measures after an issue has already arisen, you can enjoy watching birds at your feeder without worry of unwelcome visitors disrupting their mealtime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Regular Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder To Keep Chipmunks Out?

As a wildlife control professional, I’ve seen many customers asking about using regular squirrel-proof bird feeders to keep chipmunks out. While these feeders may work for squirrels, they are not always effective against the smaller and more nimble chipmunks. However, with some DIY modifications or alternative solutions, you can successfully keep these critters away from your bird feeder. Consider adding baffles or cages around your feeder or switching to a different type of feeder that is specifically designed to deter chipmunks. With persistence and patience, you can create a safe and enjoyable feeding environment for your feathered friends while keeping pesky chipmunks at bay.

How Often Should I Clean My Bird Feeder To Prevent Chipmunks From Being Attracted To It?

As a wildlife control professional, it’s important to emphasize the significance of maintaining your bird feeder regularly. Not only does it prevent chipmunks from being attracted to it, but it also ensures that your feathered friends have access to clean and healthy food sources. The best cleaning methods involve using hot soapy water and scrubbing thoroughly before rinsing with clean water. Frequency of cleaning depends on factors such as weather conditions and how often birds visit your feeder, but a good rule of thumb is to wash it every two weeks. Remember, keeping your bird feeder clean not only benefits the birds but also helps keep pesky critters away!

Are There Any Specific Types Of Natural Repellents That Work Best For Keeping Chipmunks Away From Bird Feeders?

As a wildlife control professional, I have found that there are several natural repellent options and DIY deterrent methods that can effectively keep chipmunks away from bird feeders. One option is to use peppermint oil or hot pepper spray around the perimeter of the feeder as these scents tend to repel chipmunks. Another effective method is to create a physical barrier by placing chicken wire or mesh netting around the feeding area. Additionally, making sure that the feeder is regularly cleaned and removing any fallen seeds can also discourage chipmunks from being attracted to it in the first place. It’s important to note that while these methods can be effective, they may not always work for every situation and consulting with a wildlife expert may be necessary if the problem persists.

Will Removing Potential Nesting Sites For Chipmunks Around My Yard Also Keep Them Away From The Bird Feeder?

As a wildlife control professional, I highly recommend removing potential nesting sites for chipmunks around your yard. Chipmunks are attracted to natural habitats like logs and bushes, so clearing these areas out will deter them from making a home in your yard. Additionally, investing in a chipmunk-proof bird feeder can also help keep the critters away from your feathered friends’ food supply. By incorporating metal baffles or cages around the feeder, you’ll ensure that only birds have access to the delicious seed inside. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to managing wildlife on your property!

Can I Use A Motion-Activated Sprinkler To Deter Chipmunks From Accessing My Bird Feeder?

As a wildlife control professional, I highly recommend using motion-activated sprinklers as an effective chipmunk deterrent. These devices work by detecting movement and spraying water in the direction of the intruder, making it uncomfortable for them to continue accessing your bird feeder or other areas of your yard. However, keep in mind that while motion-activated sprinklers may be effective at deterring some chipmunks, they are not foolproof and should be used in conjunction with other chipmunk deterrents such as removing potential nesting sites around your yard and securing any food sources including bird feeders.


Well, well, well. It seems you’re having some trouble with those pesky chipmunks getting into your bird feeder. But fear not, my dear friend! As a seasoned wildlife control professional (which is just a fancy way of saying I’ve dealt with this kind of thing before), I have some tips and tricks up my sleeve to keep those little critters at bay.

First things first: no, a regular squirrel-proof bird feeder will not necessarily keep chipmunks out. Chipmunks are sly creatures who can easily climb or jump onto most feeders. So what’s the solution? Get yourself a specialized chipmunk-proof feeder! Yes, they do exist, and they work wonders for keeping those furry guys from stealing all your feathered friends’ food.

Now let’s talk about cleaning. If you want to prevent chipmunks from being attracted to your bird feeder, it’s important to clean it regularly. And by regularly, I mean at least once a week. This will help remove any leftover crumbs or seed that could tempt our little chipmunk friends to come sniffing around.

But wait! What if you don’t want to use chemical repellents? No problemo! There are plenty of natural options available such as peppermint oil or even cayenne pepper sprinkled around the base of the feeder (just be sure not to get it in the actual food). And hey, while you’re at it, why not try removing potential nesting sites around your yard too? This will make it less appealing for them to stick around near the feeder.

And finally, if all else fails…why not give them a little scare with a motion-activated sprinkler? Trust me when I say this works like a charm. Just be prepared for some entertaining (yet harmless) water fights between the birds and chipmunks!

So there you have it folks – some simple yet effective ways to keep chipmunks out of your bird feeder. Now go forth and enjoy those beautiful feathered friends without any unwanted guests stealing their food!

Leave a Reply