How To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Bird Feeder

Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by Susan Levitt

If you’re an avid bird watcher, then you know that the presence of small critters like chipmunks can be both a delight and a nuisance. While these furry little creatures are cute to look at, they can wreak havoc on your bird feeder by stealing all the seeds meant for your feathered friends. However, there’s no need to despair because with some simple steps, you can keep chipmunks out of your bird feeder.

As wildlife conservationists, we understand the importance of creating a balance between nature and human activities. We believe that it’s possible to enjoy watching birds while also minimizing any negative impact on other animals in their natural habitat. In this article, we’ll provide tips on how to deter chipmunks from accessing your bird feeder without causing them harm or disrupting their environment. Let’s dive in!

Understanding The Behavior Of Chipmunks

Chipmunks are small, furry creatures that can be found in various habitats across North America. They are known for their burrowing behavior and their ability to climb trees with ease. These animals have a wide-ranging diet that includes nuts, seeds, berries, insects, and even bird eggs. Chipmunks also have interesting mating habits where females mate with multiple males during the breeding season.

When it comes to understanding chipmunk behavior around bird feeders, it is important to note that these animals are opportunistic feeders. They will consume anything they can get their tiny paws on! This means that if your bird feeder is accessible to them, they will not hesitate to raid it. Chipmunks are agile climbers and jumpers which makes it easy for them to access most types of feeders.

Another factor that contributes to chipmunk activity around bird feeders is habitat suitability. These animals prefer areas with dense vegetation cover or nearby shrubs/trees for safe retreats when necessary. If your backyard has such features alongside an inviting bird feeding station, then you might find yourself dealing with frequent visits from these little critters!

Therefore, before deciding how best to keep chipmunks out of your bird feeder; consider learning more about their biology and ecology first. By doing so, you may develop better strategies that address the root causes of the problem rather than temporary fixes like traps or repellents. In the next section we’ll explore ways of choosing the right type of bird feeder that discourages chipmunk access while still accommodating our feathered friends.

Choosing The Right Type Of Bird Feeder

When choosing the right type of bird feeder, materials are key – look for feeders made of metal or thick, durable plastic. Proper placement is also important; make sure to hang the feeder in a location that chipmunks can’t access. We also recommend making sure the feeder is in an area that gets plenty of sun, as this will help to keep the seed from becoming moldy. Lastly, it’s important to make sure the feeder is easy to clean, so you can remove any debris or waste that may attract rodents.


Are you tired of chipmunks eating all the birdseed in your feeder? As a wildlife conservationist, I understand the importance of feeding birds while also keeping other critters at bay. That’s why choosing the right materials for your feeder is crucial.

DIY solutions can be effective and cost-efficient. You can use metal baffles or mesh wiring to create barriers around your feeder that prevent chipmunks from climbing up. Another option is to hang the feeder on a thin wire with no perches, which makes it difficult for chipmunks to balance and eat. These methods may require some creativity and manual labor, but they are worth it if you want to enjoy watching birds without interference.

If DIY isn’t your style, professional services can provide more permanent solutions. Consider investing in squirrel-proof feeders made with sturdy materials like steel or aluminum that will withstand chewing and scratching attempts by rodents. Some companies even offer installation services so you don’t have to worry about mounting the feeder yourself.

Ultimately, finding the right materials for your bird feeder depends on your budget and preferences. Whether you opt for DIY solutions or professional services, remember that providing food for birds should never harm other animals in the process. By taking these steps, you’ll ensure that both birds and chipmunks coexist peacefully in your backyard habitat.


As a wildlife conservationist, choosing the right type of bird feeder is only one part of creating a backyard habitat that benefits both birds and other animals. Another essential factor to consider is placement. The best locations for bird feeders are those that offer cover from predators like cats and hawks while also providing easy access for birds.

One common mistake people make when placing bird feeders is putting them too close to windows or doors. This can lead to collisions with glass, which can be fatal for birds. To avoid this, place your feeder at least three feet away from any window or door or use decals on the glass to create visual barriers for the birds.

Another common mistake is placing multiple feeders too closely together. While it may seem convenient to have all your feeding stations in one spot, this can actually create competition among different species of birds and increase the risk of disease transmission. Instead, space out your feeders around your yard to accommodate different types of birds and reduce overcrowding.

Finally, consider the timing of when you put out food for the birds. During breeding season, it’s important to avoid disrupting nesting sites by keeping feeders at least 10 feet away from trees or shrubs where birds may be building nests. Additionally, removing feeders during migration season (late spring and early fall) can encourage wild birds to continue their journey southward rather than staying in one location.

By following these guidelines for feeder placement, you’ll not only attract more diverse species of birds but also help ensure their safety and well-being. Remember, as stewards of our environment, it’s our responsibility to provide habitats that support all forms of life coexisting peacefully.

Placing The Feeder Strategically

To ensure that your bird feeder remains a safe and welcoming space for our feathered friends, it is important to place the feeder strategically. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of chipmunks nibbling away at the seeds and scaring off birds. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  1. Pole mounting: One option is to pole mount the bird feeder. This involves installing a metal or wooden pole in the ground and attaching the feeder to the top of it. The height should be such that chipmunks cannot jump onto it from surrounding trees or structures.

  2. Hanging options: Another strategy is to hang the feeder using thin wire or fishing line. You can either suspend it from a tree branch (at least 10 feet high) or attach it to an existing shepherd’s hook-style pole. Again, make sure there are no adjacent surfaces that chipmunks could use as launchpads.

When deciding where to place your bird feeder, keep in mind that proximity to cover – such as shrubs or bushes – may increase its appeal among non-bird visitors like squirrels and raccoons. Additionally, avoid placing feeders too close together, as this could lead to territorial disputes between different species.

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By thoughtfully situating your bird feeder and experimenting with various placement methods, you will be able to enjoy observing local avian activity without having pesky chipmunks invade their habitat. Once an optimal location has been found through trial and error, you can move on to implementing squirrel-proofing techniques which we’ll discuss next!

Using Squirrel-Proofing Techniques

As a wildlife conservationist, I understand the importance of keeping our backyard feeders safe from chipmunks and other critters. One effective way to keep them away is by using squirrel-proofing techniques.

DIY solutions can be affordable and easy to implement. For instance, you can install baffles or cages around your bird feeder to prevent chipmunks from climbing onto it. Also, placing the feeder at least 10 feet away from any trees or structures will make it harder for these creatures to jump on it.

Hiring professionals may also be an option if DIY solutions don’t work for you. They have experience in identifying problem areas and implementing long-term solutions that are specific to your needs. However, this route may be more costly than doing it yourself.

To give you a better idea of what works best for you, here’s a table comparing different methods:

Method Pros Cons
Baffles/Cages Affordable; Easy installation May not look aesthetically pleasing
Placing Feeders High Up Keeps Chipmunks Away Not practical for all types of feeders
Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder Effective; Looks Good Expensive

In summary, by using squirrel-proofing techniques such as baffles, cages or high up placement of birdfeeders could help prevent chipmunks from getting into your birdfeeder. You can choose between DIY options or hiring professionals depending on what suits your budget and preferences best. Next step? Providing alternative food sources so that we do not deprive our little chirpers!

Providing Alternative Food Sources

As we discussed in the previous section, using squirrel-proofing techniques can help keep chipmunks out of your bird feeder. However, sometimes these methods may not be enough to deter them from stealing seeds and damaging your feeder. It’s important to remember that chipmunks are natural foragers and will go to great lengths to obtain food.

One way to discourage chipmunks from raiding your bird feeder is by creating barriers around it. This could include placing a cone-shaped baffle below the feeder or wrapping metal mesh around the pole supporting the feeder. Additionally, planting bird-friendly gardens with plants such as sunflowers or coneflowers can provide an alternate source of food for both birds and chipmunks.

It’s crucial to note that while repelling chipmunks may seem like a simple solution, it should only be used as a last resort. Many repellents contain harmful chemicals that can harm wildlife and have negative effects on the environment. Instead, consider using natural repellents such as cayenne pepper or predator urine, which won’t harm animals but still act as effective deterrents.

By implementing these measures – creating barriers, providing alternative food sources through gardening, and utilizing natural repellents- you’ll be able to enjoy watching birds visit your feeder without worrying about pesky chipmunk intruders. Remember, taking steps towards coexisting with wildlife instead of fighting against it is key in protecting our planet’s biodiversity.

Using Natural Repellents

I’m a wildlife conservationist and I’m here to discuss natural repellents. Plants can be used to keep chipmunks out of bird feeders, such as mint, chives, and garlic. Commercial repellents are also available, like pepper sprays and scents. Together, these can be effective methods for keeping chipmunks away.


Picture this: a beautiful garden filled with blooming flowers and buzzing bees. Now imagine that same space being overrun by pests like chipmunks, wreaking havoc on your bird feeders. As a wildlife conservationist, I understand the importance of using natural repellents to keep these critters at bay. One effective method is container gardening.

Container gardening allows you to grow plants in portable pots or containers that can be moved around your garden as needed. This technique not only adds visual appeal but also helps deter unwanted visitors from your bird feeder. Some great options for container gardening include herbs such as mint and lavender, which emit strong scents that chipmunks dislike.

Another way to use plants for natural pest control is through companion planting. This involves growing different types of plants together so they can support each other’s growth while deterring pests. For example, marigolds are known to repel chipmunks and can be planted near bird feeders alongside sunflowers or daisies.

Incorporating these plant-based methods into your garden can help maintain balance between humans and wildlife without harming either party. Container gardening and companion planting provide an eco-friendly solution to keeping chipmunks out of your bird feeder while promoting healthy plant growth.

Remember, there are always alternatives to harmful pesticides and chemicals when it comes to pest control. By utilizing natural methods like container gardening and companion planting, we can create a harmonious environment where both animals and humans can thrive without conflict.

Commercial Repellents

Now that we have discussed the benefits of using natural repellents like container gardening and companion planting, it’s important to evaluate the effectiveness of commercial repellents. While they may seem convenient, many traditional pest control products contain harmful chemicals that can harm both wildlife and humans.

Before considering commercial options, it’s crucial to conduct an environmental impact assessment to determine any potential risks associated with their use. The effects of these chemicals on the environment are far-reaching and can harm not only chipmunks but also other animals in your garden.

Additionally, while some commercial repellents may initially appear effective, they often lose efficacy over time as pests become resistant to them. This means you’ll need to continually purchase and apply more product which leads to added expense and further environmental damage.

In conclusion, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons before using commercial pest control products. Natural methods such as container gardening and companion planting offer a safer alternative without harming the environment or risking animal health. By making simple changes in our gardens, we can help maintain a healthy balance between humans and wildlife.

Trying Electronic Deterrents

Electronic deterrents can be an effective option for keeping chipmunks away from your bird feeder. These devices use high-frequency sounds or vibrations to deter small animals, including chipmunks, from approaching the feeder. The effectiveness of these deterrents varies based on the specific model and brand.

Effectiveness comparison is crucial when choosing an electronic deterrent for your bird feeder. Some models have been tested and proven to work better than others in deterring chipmunks specifically. It’s important to do research and read reviews before investing in a particular product.

Cost analysis should also be considered when deciding on an electronic deterrent. Prices vary widely depending on the brand and features, with some models costing upwards of $100. However, it may be worth the investment if you live in an area with a large population of chipmunks or other pests that regularly raid your bird feeders.

Ultimately, trying electronic deterrents can be a helpful step in keeping chipmunks out of your bird feeder. While not foolproof, they offer a humane alternative to more extreme measures like trapping or poison. Remember to do your research and choose a product based on its effectiveness for deterring chipmunks specifically as well as cost considerations.

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To further ensure success in keeping chipmunks out of your bird feeder, maintaining and cleaning the feeder regularly is essential. This includes removing any spilled seeds or debris around the base of the feeder that may attract chipmunks or other wildlife. Additionally, periodically washing the feeder with hot soapy water will help prevent mold growth and maintain a clean environment for birds to enjoy their food without interference from unwanted guests.

Maintaining And Cleaning The Feeder Regularly

Have you ever wondered if maintaining and cleaning your bird feeder regularly can keep chipmunks out? Some people believe that by doing so, the scent of food will be less attractive to these furry critters. However, this theory is not entirely true.

Cleaning frequency is important for the health of birds who visit your feeder but it may not necessarily deter chipmunks from visiting. Chipmunks are opportunistic feeders and are attracted to easy sources of food. Even a clean feeder can still have remnants of seeds or suet that they will eagerly consume.

However, regular maintenance and cleanliness do play a crucial role in preventing other issues such as mold growth or bacterial infections among birds. By removing old seed hulls and debris, you reduce the likelihood of contamination which could harm your feathered friends.

In addition to maintaining the feeding area itself, it’s also essential to practice good feeder hygiene habits. This includes washing hands before handling any part of the feeder and using gloves when necessary. Disinfecting surfaces with a mild bleach solution can help prevent bacteria from accumulating on surfaces that come into contact with seeds or nectar.

By keeping up with regular cleaning routines and proper hygiene practices, you’re not only creating a safer environment for birds but also reducing potential attractants for chipmunks. While there’s no guarantee that these steps will completely eliminate their presence around your feeder, taking care of the feeding station can certainly make them think twice about making it their go-to snacking spot.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

If you’re looking to keep chipmunks out of your bird feeder, a regular squirrel-proof bird feeder may not be enough. These feeders are designed to deter squirrels with mechanisms such as weight-activated perches or spinning baffles, but chipmunks are smaller and more agile than squirrels. Instead, consider investing in a chipmunk proof feeder specifically designed for these little critters. Alternatively, there are DIY deterrents that can help keep chipmunks away from your bird feeder such as placing mesh netting around the base of the feeder or sprinkling cayenne pepper around the area. As wildlife conservationists, it’s important to find solutions that allow us to coexist peacefully with all creatures great and small.

Will Providing Alternative Food Sources Really Work To Keep Chipmunks Away From My Bird Feeder?

As a wildlife conservationist, I often get asked the question: will providing alternative food sources really work to keep chipmunks away from my bird feeder? The answer is not straightforward. While it may seem logical that offering other types of food would deter these furry critters from raiding your bird seed, the effectiveness can vary greatly depending on several factors. Firstly, the type and quantity of alternative food you provide must be enough to satisfy their hunger. Secondly, if there are limited natural resources in your area, they may still resort to raiding your bird feeder despite having other options available. Therefore, while offering alternative food sources can certainly help reduce chipmunk activity around your bird feeder, it’s important to remember that this alone may not completely solve the problem.

Are There Any Natural Predators Of Chipmunks That I Could Attract To My Yard To Keep Them Away?

Attracting predators and using natural deterrents are key strategies for maintaining balance in our ecosystems. While it may be tempting to use harsh chemicals or traps to control chipmunk populations, these methods can have unintended consequences on other wildlife and the environment as a whole. Instead, consider planting native shrubs and trees that provide habitat for predators like hawks, owls, and snakes. Additionally, installing predator decoys or using scent deterrents made from natural ingredients such as peppermint oil can help deter chipmunks without harming them. By working with nature rather than against it, we can create a harmonious environment where all species thrive.

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

As a wildlife conservationist, it’s important to remember that bird feeders can attract more than just birds. Chipmunks are notorious for stealing birdseed and making a mess around the feeder. To prevent this, cleaning your bird feeder regularly is crucial. The frequency of cleaning depends on the type of feeder you have and how often it’s used. Generally, it’s recommended to clean your feeder every two weeks or when you notice any mold or debris buildup. Additionally, choosing the right type of feeder can help deter chipmunks from accessing the seed in the first place. Look for feeders with weight-activated perches or cages to keep unwanted critters out. By taking these simple steps, we can create a harmonious space for both our avian friends and furry neighbors alike.

Is It Legal To Trap And Relocate Chipmunks In My Area?

As a wildlife conservationist, it is important to consider the legal implications of trapping and relocating chipmunks in your area. While some states allow relocation, others have restrictions or may require permits. It is also crucial to use humane methods when dealing with these animals. Trapping should only be done as a last resort, after attempting other deterrents such as natural barriers or changing feeding habits. If you do decide to trap, make sure to release them far enough away from human habitation and in an environment where they can thrive. Ultimately, our goal should be to coexist peacefully with all creatures in our ecosystem.


In conclusion, keeping chipmunks out of your bird feeder may seem like a daunting task, but it is possible with the right approach. While regular squirrel-proof bird feeders may not necessarily keep chipmunks away, providing alternative food sources can be effective in deterring them from feasting on your feathered friends’ meals.

It’s important to note that cleaning your bird feeder regularly is also crucial in preventing chipmunks from being attracted to it. In fact, according to a study by the National Wildlife Federation, dirty and moldy bird feeders can lead to an increase in rodent activity around feeding areas. So make sure you’re maintaining a clean environment for both birds and other wildlife!

As a wildlife conservationist, I encourage finding humane solutions when dealing with pesky critters such as chipmunks. Instead of resorting to trapping and relocating them (which may not even be legal in some areas), consider implementing natural methods such as planting predator-attracting plants or creating habitat structures that mimic natural environments. By working towards coexisting with these animals instead of simply trying to eliminate them, we can create healthier ecosystems for all creatures great and small.

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