How To Keep Possums Out Of Bird Feeders

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by

If you are an avid bird watcher, then you know how frustrating it can be to find your bird feeder ransacked by a pesky possum. While these critters may seem cute and harmless, they have a knack for getting into places they shouldn’t be – including your backyard and bird feeders. As a wildlife management expert with years of experience in animal behavior and habitat preservation, I am here to share some tips on how to keep possums out of bird feeders.

Possums are opportunistic omnivores that will eat just about anything they come across. Their diet includes fruits, vegetables, insects, small animals, and even carrion. Unfortunately for bird lovers, this also means that possums will happily raid their feeding stations if given the chance. Not only do possums steal food meant for birds but they can also damage the feeders themselves in their quest for a meal. In this article, we’ll explore some simple yet effective ways to deter possums from invading your bird feeders so that you can enjoy watching feathered friends without any unwanted guests stealing the show.

Understanding Possum Behavior And Habits

Oh, the possums! Such pesky little creatures that love to rummage through our bird feeders. But before we start devising ways on how to keep them at bay, let’s first understand their behavior and habits.

Possums are omnivorous animals, which means they eat almost anything they can find. Their diet includes fruits, insects, small rodents, reptiles, and even garbage. They are also known to scavenge for food in human settlements like backyards and gardens. This makes bird feeders an attractive source of sustenance for these critters.

In terms of habitat preferences, possums tend to inhabit areas with dense vegetation such as forests or overgrown shrubs. However, they have adapted well to living near humans and can be found in urban environments like parks and residential areas. These adaptable creatures can make their homes anywhere from tree hollows to attics.

Knowing all this information about possums gives us a better understanding of why they are attracted to our bird feeders. The abundance of readily available food coupled with the convenience of urban living makes it easy for these nocturnal scavengers to visit us regularly.

Instead of viewing them as nuisances that need to be eradicated, perhaps we should strive towards coexisting with these fascinating marsupials. In the next few sections, I will provide some tips on how we can effectively manage possum activity around our bird feeders without harming them in any way possible.

Choosing The Right Type Of Bird Feeder

Understanding Possum Behavior and Habits is crucial when it comes to keeping them out of your bird feeders. These nocturnal creatures are attracted to the scent of birdseed, making it difficult for you to keep them away from your feeder. However, there are various ways in which you can make sure that they don’t get access to the food meant for birds.

Choosing the Right Type of Bird Feeder is essential if you want to deter possums. One option is a tube feeder with small perches that will not support their weight. Another alternative would be a squirrel-proof bird feeder with an adjustable closing mechanism that closes off the seed ports once its sensor detects the presence of any animals heavier than birds. It’s also important to ensure that your chosen feeder has no open areas where possums could reach through or climb inside.

Materials used in building your bird feeder play a significant role in preventing possums’ access. Consider using materials like metal, hard plastic, or wood treated with animal-resistant coatings as they’re sturdy enough to withstand possum chewing and gnawing attempts while still being lightweight enough for easy refilling and cleaning. Moreover, design considerations should include positioning the birdfeeder at least five feet above ground level and four feet away from nearby trees or structures that might allow entry points for these pests.

In conclusion, understanding how possum behavior affects feeding habits coupled with selecting suitable Materials used and Design considerations will help prevent damage caused by these pesky critters accessing your bird feeders. Remember, prevention is better than cure; hence it’s always best practice first to eliminate all potential food sources before attempting exclusion techniques such as traps or barriers. By following these simple steps, you’ll enjoy watching beautiful birds without worrying about unwanted guests raiding your feeders!

Proper Placement Of Bird Feeders

When setting up bird feeders, it’s important to ensure they’re at a safe distance from buildings. This will reduce the chance of possums accessing them. Additionally, it’s best to hang them at least five feet off the ground, as this makes it harder for possums to reach. Finally, installing a baffle may help to deter the possums further.

Distance From Buildings

As a wildlife management expert, I have come across many possum proofing techniques to keep them out of bird feeders. One important factor that is often overlooked is the distance from structures. When placing your bird feeder, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s not too close to buildings or trees.

Possums are excellent climbers and can easily scale up walls and trees to reach your bird feeder if it’s placed within their reach. By keeping your feeder at least 10-15 feet away from any structure, you’ll make it much harder for these critters to access your feeder.

Another reason why placement distance matters is because possums tend to avoid open spaces. If your bird feeder is in an area with no cover nearby, they will be less likely to approach it. However, if there are bushes or other hiding spots around the feeding station, they may feel more comfortable approaching it.

Finally, you should also consider hanging your bird feeders high above ground level. Possums aren’t great jumpers and won’t usually climb higher than six feet off the ground. So by suspending your feeder at a height of seven feet or more, you’ll effectively eliminate possums as a threat.

In conclusion, proper placement of bird feeders plays a significant role in preventing unwanted visitors like possums. Remember to place your feeder at least ten feet away from any building or tree and hang it high enough so that climbing animals cannot reach it. With these simple steps, you can enjoy watching birds without worrying about pesky intruders disrupting their mealtime!

Height From Ground

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of placement distance when it comes to possum proofing your bird feeders, let’s move on to another crucial factor: height from ground. This is especially important if you have a lot of trees or other structures around your yard that could provide easy access for climbing animals.

One effective way to deter possums and other critters from reaching your feeder is by hanging it high above ground level. DIY deterrents like greasing the pole or using baffles can be useful, but they’re not always foolproof and require regular maintenance. Tree mounted feeders are also an option, but keep in mind that possums can still climb up trunks and branches.

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Ideally, you should hang your bird feeder at least seven feet off the ground. This will make it much harder for possums to reach and discourage them from trying. If you’re worried about squirrels or other climbers getting to your feeder, consider adding a baffle or cone-shaped guard over the top to prevent them from accessing it.

It’s worth noting that while hanging your bird feeder higher up may help keep some unwanted visitors away, it won’t necessarily solve all issues with wildlife intrusion. If you live in an area with a lot of possums or other pests, it’s essential to take additional steps like proper placement distance and frequent cleaning to ensure that your feathered friends stay safe and healthy.

In summary, placing your bird feeder at a sufficient height above ground can be an effective part of a larger strategy for keeping critters like possums out of your backyard feeding station. However, don’t rely solely on this method – incorporating multiple tactics such as baffle guards and tree-mounted feeders can help create a more secure environment for birds while deterring pesky intruders.

Using Natural Repellents To Deter Possums

Possums can be quite a nuisance when they start raiding bird feeders. They have a knack for scaling fences and climbing trees to get their hands on those tasty seeds. But fear not, there are natural remedies that can help keep them away.

One effective method is using herbal remedies. Plants such as lavender, mint, and eucalyptus have strong scents that possums find unpleasant. Placing these plants around the perimeter of your yard or near your bird feeder can act as a deterrent. Plus, it’ll add some lovely greenery to your space!

Another option is using essential oils. Many essential oils like peppermint, cinnamon, and clove have properties that repel possums. You can mix these oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz it around your bird feeders or even directly onto the feeder itself.

It’s important to note that while natural repellents can be helpful, they may not work 100% of the time. Possums are clever creatures and may eventually become accustomed to certain scents over time. It’s also worth mentioning that if you live in an area with particularly high possum activity, other methods such as physical barriers or calling in professional wildlife management may be necessary.

Incorporating herbal remedies and essential oils into your strategy for keeping possums out of bird feeders is definitely worth considering. By taking proactive steps towards deterring these critters naturally, you’ll create a safer environment for both your feathered friends and garden alike!

Physical Barriers To Keep Possums Out

Fences are a great way to keep possums from getting to bird feeders; they can be used to create a physical barrier that the possums can’t cross. Traps are another effective way to remove possums from the area; I recommend setting up humane possum traps and relocating the possums away from the bird feeders. Netting is also a great solution; it can be used to cover the bird feeders and keep the possums from getting to the food. All of these solutions can work together for the best possum control results. I suggest starting with a fence and then adding traps and netting as needed. With a little effort, you can keep possums away from your bird feeders.


Imagine waking up in the morning to find your beloved bird feeder destroyed and empty. You may not see it, but possums are likely the culprits behind this mess. Possums can be a common problem for backyard bird enthusiasts, as they are attracted to the easy source of food provided by bird feeders. Luckily, there are several physical barriers that can be used to keep them out.

One effective method is installing a DIY fence around the bird feeder. This type of fence should have small gaps between each picket or wire mesh so that birds can still access the feeder while keeping possums out. It is important to ensure that the fence is tall enough since possums are excellent climbers. A height of at least 4 feet should suffice. Building a DIY fence requires some handy skills, but it can save you money compared to hiring contractors.

If building a fence seems too daunting, you can always hire contractors to install one for you. They will have all the necessary tools and expertise needed to build an effective barrier against possums. However, it is essential to choose a reputable contractor who has experience in wildlife management fencing projects because standard fences may not work effectively against these animals.

In conclusion, using physical barriers such as DIY fences or professionally installed ones can keep possums from raiding your bird feeders successfully. These methods do require effort and investment upfront but offer long-term solutions without harming any animals involved. Keep in mind; persistence is key when dealing with wildlife problems like this!


Now that we have discussed the importance of physical barriers in keeping possums out of bird feeders, let us move on to another method: traps. DIY possum traps are available for purchase or can be made at home with materials such as wire mesh and wood. These types of traps work by luring the animal inside with food bait, then trapping them until they can be released elsewhere.

However, before using any trap, ethical considerations must be taken into account. Possums are a vital part of our ecosystem and play an important role in controlling pest populations. Trapping and relocating them could disrupt this delicate balance, leading to unintended consequences for both wildlife and humans alike.

If you decide to use a trap, it is crucial to release the possum far away from your property and in an area where it can continue its normal activities without harm. Additionally, make sure to regularly check the trap so that no animals are left trapped for extended periods.

In conclusion, while DIY possum traps may seem like a quick solution to your backyard wildlife problems, ethical considerations should always come first. It is essential to evaluate whether trapping is necessary and whether other methods such as physical barriers could effectively solve the issue without harming any animals involved. Remember always; prevention is better than cure!


Now that we have discussed the importance of physical barriers and traps in keeping possums out of bird feeders, let us move on to another effective method: netting. DIY netting installation is an excellent way to keep possums from climbing trees or poles and accessing bird feeders. The benefits of using netting over other methods are clear – it is a non-invasive solution that does not harm animals.

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Netting comes in various sizes and materials, including nylon and mesh wire, making it easy to customize depending on your needs. It can be attached directly onto tree trunks or branches or set up as a separate structure around bird feeders. Netting creates an obstacle for possums attempting to climb upwards towards the feeder, preventing them from getting access to food while still allowing birds to fly freely in and out.

One crucial aspect of DIY netting installation is ensuring proper placement and tensioning so that possums cannot slip through gaps between the netting and surrounding structures. Additionally, careful attention should be paid to securing any loose ends or corners where possums may attempt to enter underneath the barrier.

In conclusion, DIY netting installation provides an effective alternative solution to physical barriers and traps when dealing with backyard wildlife problems such as possum intrusion into bird feeders. By preventing access without causing harm, netting strikes a balance between human convenience and animal welfare. With appropriate care taken during setup and regular maintenance checks performed, homeowners can enjoy their bird feeding hobby without worrying about unwanted visitors disrupting their garden’s natural ecosystem.

Repellent Sprays And Electronic Devices

Repellent sprays and electronic devices are two effective ways to keep possums out of bird feeders. There are different types of repellent sprays available in the market that you can use to deter possums from accessing your bird feeder. Some common examples include hot pepper spray, garlic spray, and predator urine spray.

Hot pepper spray works by irritating the possum’s eyes, nose, and mouth when they come into contact with it. Garlic spray has a strong odor that repels not only possums but also other animals such as raccoons and skunks. Predator urine spray mimics the scent of predators like foxes or coyotes, which scares away possums.

Electronic devices are also an option for keeping possums at bay. These devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to the sensitive ears of possums. They work continuously day and night without any maintenance required, making them very convenient for homeowners who want 24/7 protection for their bird feeders.

While both repellent sprays and electronic devices have been proven effective against possums, it is important to note that no single method will work 100% of the time. Possum behavior varies depending on factors such as age, sex, and hunger level. Therefore, it may be necessary to experiment with different methods or combine them until you find what works best for your situation.

By using repellent sprays or electronic devices correctly, you’ll be able to enjoy watching birds at your feeder without having to worry about pesky possum intruders. Remember to follow instructions carefully when applying repellents or setting up electronic devices so that you get maximum effectiveness without harming wildlife or pets around your property.

Regular Cleaning And Maintenance Of Feeders

Just like how a well-maintained house is less prone to pests and other unwanted visitors, bird feeders that are regularly cleaned and maintained will deter possums from causing trouble. It’s not enough to simply install repellent sprays or electronic devices; these measures only provide temporary relief. To truly keep possums out of bird feeders, the importance of sanitation cannot be overstated.

Cleaning frequency is key when it comes to deterring possums from your backyard feeding station. A good rule of thumb is to clean your feeder at least once every two weeks, but if you live in an area with high humidity or frequent rainfalls, more frequent cleaning may be necessary. When left unchecked, leftover seeds and debris can quickly accumulate on the ground beneath your feeder, inviting all sorts of unwelcome critters into your garden.

Not only do uncleaned feeders attract possums, they also pose health hazards to birds who visit them. Dirty feeders can harbor harmful bacteria and fungi that thrive in humid conditions – which could lead to diseases spreading among your feathered friends. By adopting a regular cleaning routine for your bird feeder, you’re protecting both the environment and its inhabitants.

Maintaining a clean eating space for birds isn’t just about keeping things tidy – it’s about caring for our wildlife population as a whole. Possums are natural scavengers that rely on food sources provided by humans when their natural habitats have been disrupted due to urbanization or climate change. Instead of seeing them as nuisances we need to get rid of, let’s find ways to coexist peacefully with these creatures while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our avian neighbors.

Seeking Professional Help For Persistent Possum Problems

If you have tried various methods to keep possums out of your bird feeders but they persistently find a way back, it may be time to seek professional help. A wildlife management expert can provide valuable insight and solutions for dealing with persistent possum problems.

One option that may be recommended is relocation. This involves trapping the possum and releasing them into a new area that is more suitable for their survival. The benefits of relocation include reducing damage to property and allowing the possum to thrive in a more appropriate habitat.

However, before considering relocation, ethical considerations must also be taken into account. Possums are important members of our ecosystem and play crucial roles in seed dispersal and pest control. Therefore, it is important to weigh the potential harm caused by their presence against the benefit they bring to the environment.

In addition to providing solutions for dealing with possums, a wildlife management expert can also offer advice on how to prevent future infestations. They may suggest changes in landscaping or building modifications that will make your property less attractive to these animals.

Ultimately, seeking professional help can save you time, money, and frustration when dealing with persistent possum problems. With careful consideration given to both effective solutions and ethical responsibilities towards local wildlife populations, a wildlife management expert can assist you in finding the best course of action for your specific situation.


In conclusion, keeping possums out of bird feeders may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it is definitely achievable. Understanding their behavior and habits can go a long way in preventing them from accessing your feeders. Choosing the right type of feeder and placing it properly can also make a big difference.

Using natural repellents or physical barriers such as baffles or cages are great options to deter pesky possums. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your feeders will not only keep them clean but will also remove any potential food sources that could attract these critters. Remember, prevention is key when dealing with wildlife management issues. As the saying goes "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." With some effort and patience, you can enjoy watching birds at your feeders without worrying about unwanted visitors.

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