How To Keep Raccoons Away From My Bird Feeders

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by

Are you tired of waking up to an empty bird feeder and the sight of raccoons rummaging through your yard? As a wildlife control expert, I have seen this issue time and time again. Raccoons are notorious for raiding bird feeders in search of food, often causing damage to both the feeder and surrounding area. But fear not! There are several effective measures you can take to keep these pesky critters away from your feathered friends’ feeding station.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand why raccoons are attracted to bird feeders in the first place. These opportunistic animals have a keen sense of smell and will go to great lengths to obtain easy sources of food. Birdseed is an irresistible treat that provides them with much-needed sustenance. However, by implementing some simple strategies such as securing your feeder or using certain types of feed, you can discourage raccoons from making unwanted visits while still providing a safe haven for your backyard birds.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

Picture this: it’s the middle of the night, and you awaken to a rustling sound outside your window. Upon investigation, you find that a bandit-like creature has raided your bird feeder yet again – it’s none other than the raccoon. These nocturnal mammals are infamous for their love of scavenging through garbage cans and raiding bird feeders. Understanding their behavior is key in keeping them away from your feathered friends.

Raccoons are expert climbers and can easily scale trees or structures to reach elevated food sources like bird feeders. They also have nimble fingers that make opening lids or unhooking clamps on feeders effortless. Additionally, these critters have adapted well to living near humans, making them more comfortable with approaching homes and gardens.

The best way to keep raccoons at bay is by understanding their foraging patterns. Typically, they will search for food sources close to water bodies as they prefer moist environments. Bird feeders placed closer to such areas become prime targets for these animals; hence, it is essential to identify potential entry points into your garden or backyard.

One effective method of deterring raccoons from bird feeders involves modifying feeding stations physically. For instance, using poles with baffles that prevent climbing helps protect against unwanted visitors while still allowing birds access to the feeder. Another option could be placing birdfeeders on high branches out of reach from ground-based intruders.

By taking time to understand raccoon habits and behaviors, homeowners can safeguard their yard from unwelcome guests without harming wildlife. Remember, prevention is better than cure when dealing with pesky invaders like raccoons!

Securing Your Bird Feeder

Understanding Raccoon Behavior is key to keeping these pesky creatures away from your bird feeders. Once you know their habits, you can take the necessary steps to discourage them from coming back.

Raccoons are primarily nocturnal animals and tend to be most active at night. They are also excellent climbers and can easily scale trees or other structures to get to a bird feeder. Furthermore, raccoons have an incredible sense of smell that enables them to detect food from long distances.

Securing Your Bird Feeder is essential in preventing raccoons from accessing it. Here are some tips on how you can secure your bird feeder:

  • Hang the feeder at least 10 feet off the ground
  • Use a baffle on the pole or hanging apparatus
  • Invest in squirrel-proof feeders

DIY solutions may work for some people, but if you’re dealing with persistent raccoons, hiring experts may be necessary. A wildlife control expert will evaluate your situation and provide tailored advice on how best to keep raccoons away from your property.

Remember that feeding birds comes with its own set of challenges, especially when dealing with wildlife like raccoons. However, by understanding their behavior and implementing effective measures such as securing your bird feeder or seeking professional help, you can enjoy watching birds without worrying about unwanted guests.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to keep those pesky critters away from your bird feeders once and for all!

Using A Baffle Or Barrier

A DIY baffle installation is a cost-effective way to keep raccoons away from your bird feeders. If you’re handy and have some tools, it’s not too difficult to make one yourself. The most important thing to remember when installing a baffle is that it must be placed far enough above the ground so that raccoons can’t reach over or climb around it.

If you don’t want to bother with making your own baffle, there are also many ready-made barriers available for purchase. These come in various shapes and sizes, so you should be able to find one that fits your specific needs. Some popular options include cone-shaped baffles which fit around poles, as well as wider domed ones which sit on top of feeding stations.

When selecting a barrier, it’s important to consider the size of the animals you’re trying to deter. For example, if you know there are large raccoons in your area, then a small cone-shaped baffle may not be sufficient. In this case, a larger dome-shaped barrier would likely be more effective at keeping them away.

Remember that no matter what type of barrier you choose, it will only work if installed correctly. Be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions carefully and check periodically for any signs of damage or wear. With proper maintenance and attention, using a baffle or barrier can help ensure that your bird feeders stay safe and free from unwanted visitors!

Choosing The Right Type Of Birdseed

As I mentioned earlier, raccoons are attracted to bird feeders because of the food they contain. One way to deter them is to choose the right type of birdseed. Seed selection plays a crucial role in keeping unwanted visitors at bay.

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Firstly, it’s important to avoid seed mixes that contain corn and sunflower seeds as these are high-energy foods that raccoons love. Instead, opt for safflower or nyjer seeds which have lower nutritional value and are less appealing to pests.

Secondly, consider adding spicy elements such as red pepper flakes or hot sauce to your birdseed mix. Raccoons dislike strong smells and flavors so this may help keep them away from your feeder.

Lastly, be mindful of where you store your birdseed. Keep it in an air-tight container and store it indoors if possible. This will not only prevent raccoons but also other critters like mice and squirrels from accessing your supply.

In summary, choosing the right type of birdseed can go a long way in deterring unwanted animals from raiding your bird feeder. Remember to select low-energy options like safflower or nyjer seeds while avoiding high-nutrient ones like corn and sunflower seeds. Adding spice can also work wonders in repelling pesky raccoons. And don’t forget to properly store your seed supply – an air-tight container stored indoors is best!

Installing Motion-Activated Lights

Let’s talk about installing motion-activated lights to keep raccoons away from your bird feeders. I recommend placing the lights close to the feeder, so they can detect the raccoons as soon as they approach. For power sources, you can use solar-powered batteries, or you can hook up the lights to an external power source. This way, the lights will be triggered as soon as the raccoons come near. Don’t forget to position the lights in such a way that they can easily detect motion. With the right placement, you’ll be able to keep those pesky raccoons away from your bird feeders.

Motion-Activated Lights

When it comes to keeping raccoons away from your bird feeders, motion-activated lights can be a useful tool. These lights work by detecting movement and turning on when an animal approaches the area. As a wildlife control expert, I recommend considering the benefits and drawbacks of installing these lights before making a decision.

One benefit of using motion-activated lights is that they can startle animals and deter them from approaching your bird feeder. This is especially true if you place the light in a location where it will cover a large area around the feeder. However, keep in mind that some animals may become used to the light over time and learn to ignore it.

Placement and coverage are key factors to consider when installing motion-activated lights for raccoon control. It’s important to place the light in an area where it will pick up any movement near the bird feeder. You’ll also want to make sure that the light covers enough space so that any approaching animals are detected before they have a chance to reach the feeder.

While there are certainly benefits to using motion-activated lights, there are also some potential drawbacks. For example, these lights can be triggered by other sources of motion such as cars passing by or even falling leaves. Additionally, some people find that constant activation of the light becomes annoying after awhile.

In conclusion, while motion-activated lights can be effective at deterring raccoons from your bird feeders, it’s important to weigh all of their pros and cons before deciding whether or not they’re right for you. By carefully considering placement and coverage and being aware of their limitations, you’ll be better prepared to use this type of wildlife control tool effectively.

Placement Of Lights

Now that we have discussed the benefits and drawbacks of using motion-activated lights to deter raccoons from bird feeders, let’s talk about placement. Outdoor lighting is an essential factor in nocturnal animal control, so it’s important to choose a location for your light that maximizes its effectiveness.

For best results, place your motion-activated light at a height of six feet or higher. This will help ensure that the sensor picks up movement from all angles around the feeder. Additionally, make sure there are no obstructions blocking the view of the area you want to cover.

When choosing where to install your light, consider which direction nocturnal animals might approach from. If possible, place it so that it illuminates any pathways leading to your bird feeder. It’s also helpful to position the light in such a way that it doesn’t shine directly into nearby homes or windows.

Finally, pay attention to coverage area when installing your outdoor lighting. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 180 degrees of detection and a range of 30 feet or more. Keep in mind that different models may vary in their capabilities, so be sure to research before purchasing.

By carefully considering placement and coverage when installing motion-activated lights for raccoon control, you can increase their effectiveness while minimizing potential drawbacks. Remember: proper installation is key when it comes to successfully deterring unwanted wildlife from your property.

Power Sources

Now that we have discussed the importance of proper placement for motion-activated lights in deterring raccoons from bird feeders, let’s move on to another key factor: power sources. There are different options available when it comes to powering your outdoor lighting, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

One popular choice is solar panels, which harness energy from the sun to power the light. This option is eco-friendly and can save you money on electricity bills in the long run. However, solar-powered lights may not be as reliable during cloudy or rainy weather, since they rely on sunlight to function.

Another option is battery backup, which ensures that your lights stay powered even during a power outage. This is especially useful if you live in an area prone to storms or other natural disasters. However, batteries need regular maintenance and replacement over time.

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Ultimately, the best power source for your motion-activated lights will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors like climate, location, and budget when making your decision.

It’s also important to note that regardless of what type of power source you choose, make sure your motion-activated lights are properly installed and maintained for optimal effectiveness. With the right combination of placement and power source, you can successfully keep raccoons at bay while enjoying the beauty of backyard birds without interference from unwanted wildlife.

Using Natural Deterrents

As we discussed in the previous section, installing motion-activated lights can be an effective way to keep raccoons away from your bird feeders. However, there are also natural deterrents that you may want to consider.

One option is planting herbs around your bird feeders. Certain herbs such as mint and lavender have strong scents that raccoons find unpleasant. These plants not only serve as a natural barrier but also add beauty to your garden.

Another method is installing sprinklers near your bird feeders. Raccoons do not like water and will avoid places where they might get wet. By setting up sprinklers on a timer or with motion sensors, you can create an automated defense system against these critters.

In addition to these strategies, it’s important to ensure that any food sources for raccoons are removed from your yard. This means securing trash cans, cleaning up fallen fruit and nuts, and removing pet food dishes at night.

By incorporating both natural deterrents and reducing potential food sources for raccoons, you can effectively keep these animals away from your bird feeders without causing harm. Remember to always respect wildlife and handle them humanely if encountered.

Considering Electronic Repellents

Electronic repellents have become a popular choice among homeowners who want to keep raccoons away from their bird feeders. However, there is an ongoing effectiveness debate about these devices. Some users claim that they work wonders in keeping raccoons at bay, while others argue that they are nothing more than expensive gadgets.

Before investing in electronic repellents, it’s important to consider the cost comparison between them and other traditional methods such as fences or motion-activated sprinklers. While electronic repellents may seem costly upfront, they can be a worthwhile investment if they prove effective in deterring raccoons over time.

When choosing an electronic repellent device, look for those with adjustable frequencies and settings. This will allow you to customize the device according to your specific needs and help maximize its effectiveness in repelling raccoons. Additionally, some devices offer additional features such as solar power options or waterproofing capabilities which can make them even more convenient and efficient.

Ultimately, whether or not electronic repellents are worth trying out depends on personal preference and budget constraints. While some individuals swear by them, others find more success with simpler methods like double-sided tape or netting around their bird feeders. It’s best to do your research and carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision on how to protect your backyard wildlife from pesky raccoons.

Seeking Professional Help

While electronic repellents may seem like a viable option for keeping raccoons away from bird feeders, it is important to consider their limitations. According to a survey conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, only 55% of respondents reported success in using electronic devices for wildlife control. This means that there is still a significant chance that these repellents will not work, leaving your bird feeders vulnerable to raccoon intrusion.

If you have tried various methods and are still struggling to keep raccoons away from your bird feeders, it may be time to seek professional help. There are many benefits to consulting with a wildlife control expert, including access to specialized knowledge and equipment. These professionals can also assess your specific situation and provide personalized recommendations for preventing future intrusions.

However, it is important to note that hiring a wildlife control expert does come at a cost. The exact price will depend on factors such as the severity of the infestation and the location of your property. Nonetheless, investing in professional assistance can save you money and frustration in the long run by effectively solving the issue at its root.

In summary, while electronic repellents may offer some potential benefits for deterring raccoons from bird feeders, they should not be relied upon exclusively. If other methods have failed or if you want more comprehensive protection for your property, seeking professional help is likely worth considering despite the associated costs. By taking action now, you can ensure that both your birds and any nearby human residents stay safe from unwanted animal visitors.


In conclusion, keeping raccoons away from your bird feeders requires a combination of strategies that target their behavior and natural instincts. As an expert in wildlife control, I strongly recommend securing your feeder with baffles or barriers to prevent easy access for these nocturnal creatures. Choosing the right type of birdseed can also make a significant difference as some varieties are less attractive to raccoons.

Additionally, installing motion-activated lights and using natural deterrents such as predator urine or chili powder can further discourage raccoons from approaching your feeder. For those who want a more high-tech approach, electronic repellents may be worth considering. In any case, if you’re struggling to keep raccoons away from your bird feeders despite trying these methods, it’s best to seek professional help rather than resorting to harmful solutions that could harm both the animals and environment. Remember: prevention is key when it comes to protecting our feathered friends!

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