How To Keep Raccoons Off My Bird Feeders

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by

Are you tired of waking up to an empty bird feeder, thanks to pesky raccoons? As a wildlife control expert, I know how frustrating it can be to try and keep these curious critters away from your precious feeders. However, with the right techniques and strategies in place, you can successfully deter raccoons from raiding your birdfeeders.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why raccoons are attracted to bird feeders in the first place. For them, it’s an easy source of food that requires minimal effort on their part. Additionally, many types of bird seed are high in fat and protein – two essential nutrients for raccoon survival. But fear not! There are several steps you can take to make your bird feeders less appealing to these masked bandits. In this article, we’ll explore some tried and true methods for keeping raccoons at bay and ensuring your feathered friends get all the nourishment they need.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

Raccoons are nocturnal animals that have become increasingly common in urban and suburban areas. They are intelligent, resourceful creatures with a keen sense of smell and dexterity, which makes them excellent climbers. Raccoons are known to raid bird feeders for food, causing damage to the feeder itself as well as scaring away birds looking for a meal.

To keep raccoons off your bird feeders, it’s essential to understand their habits. Raccoons are opportunistic creatures that will take advantage of any available food source. Therefore, removing sources of food such as garbage cans or pet foods from your backyard can help discourage these animals from hanging around your property.

Another key aspect of raccoon behavior is their nocturnal patterns. These animals typically come out at night when they feel safer and more protected by darkness. If you’re having trouble with raccoons getting into your bird feeders, try bringing the feeders inside after dark or covering them with mesh wire during the nighttime hours.

In addition to understanding their habits and nocturnal patterns, it’s important to make changes to your environment that will deter raccoons from coming near your bird feeders. For example, adding motion-activated lights or sprinklers can startle these animals and send them running in the opposite direction. You may also want to consider investing in a baffle or other barrier device designed specifically for keeping raccoons out of bird feeders.

Choosing The Right Bird Feeder

Understanding raccoon behavior is key to keeping them off your bird feeders. Raccoons are nocturnal animals and they have a great sense of smell. They can easily detect food sources like birdseed, which makes your bird feeder an easy target for them. It’s important to note that raccoons are excellent climbers, so simply placing the feeder high up won’t deter them.

Choosing the right bird feeder is also crucial in preventing raccoons from accessing it. Opt for feeders with lids or covers that lock securely in place. This will make it difficult for raccoons to open and access the seeds inside. Additionally, you should choose feeders made of sturdy materials that cannot be easily damaged by raccoons’ sharp claws.

Bird feeder placement plays a significant role in deterring raccoons as well. You want to place your feeder somewhere where it isn’t easily accessible by climbing up nearby trees or structures. A good option is to hang the feeder on a pole at least six feet off the ground and ten feet away from any structures such as fences, buildings, or trees.

Squirrel proofing strategies can also work when trying to keep raccoons out of your bird feeders. Squirrels and raccoons share similar behaviors; hence what works against squirrels may work against raccoons too. Examples include using squirrel baffles (a cone-shaped device) placed above or below the feeder, greasing poles with petroleum jelly, or creating feeding stations specifically designed for squirrels/raccoons away from the birds’ feeding areas.

  • Place chicken wire around the base of tree trunks near where you’re hanging your feeders.
  • Take down hummingbird feeders after dark since these attract not only hummingbirds but other wildlife including bears and skunks.
  • Clean fallen seed under your feeders regularly.
  • Use motion-sensor lights near your feeding station.
  • Plant mint: The scent of mint is known to repel raccoons.

In summary, raccoons can be pesky creatures when it comes to bird feeders. Understanding their behavior and choosing the right feeder placement and materials can help keep them out. Additionally, there are several squirrel proofing strategies that may work against raccoons too. By applying these tips alongside some additional creative options like planting mint or using motion-sensor lights, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your feathered friends safe and sound!

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Installing Barriers And Obstacles

As a wildlife control expert, I highly recommend installing barriers and obstacles to keep raccoons off your bird feeders. These can be DIY options or you can hire services that specialize in this. The goal is to make it difficult for raccoons to access the feeder while still allowing birds to enjoy their meals.

One effective DIY option is hanging the bird feeder from a tall pole with a baffle attached near the top. A baffle is a cone-shaped device made of slippery material that prevents animals from climbing up the pole. Another option is placing the feeder on a hanger system suspended between two trees, but away from tree trunks where raccoons could climb.

If you’re not comfortable with DIY solutions, consider hiring professionals who can install barrier systems tailored specifically for your property. Some companies offer electric fences designed to deter raccoons and other critters. Others may use motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sounds when triggered by animal movement.

Ultimately, whether you choose DIY options or hire services, it’s important to regularly monitor your bird feeders for signs of raccoon activity. If these pesky creatures are persistent despite your efforts, it may be necessary to move the feeder location altogether. Remember: persistence pays off when protecting our feathered friends from unwanted guests like raccoons!

Using Repellents And Deterrents

Installing barriers and obstacles may seem like the most practical solution to keeping raccoons away from your bird feeders. However, as a wildlife control expert, I must remind you that these animals are highly skilled at climbing and jumping over obstacles. So before investing in expensive equipment or materials, consider natural alternatives that can be just as effective.

  1. Start by removing any food sources that might attract raccoons in the first place. This means cleaning up spilled seed underneath your bird feeders and storing pet food inside at night.
  2. Try using DIY solutions such as hanging aluminum pie plates or CDs above your bird feeders. The shiny surfaces reflect light and create an annoying noise when they clatter together, effectively scaring off raccoons.
  3. Another option is to sprinkle cayenne pepper around the base of your bird feeder pole or on the ground below it. Raccoons have sensitive noses and will avoid areas with strong odors.
  4. You could also try placing plastic mesh netting around your bird feeder station. It’s lightweight but sturdy enough to deter even determined raccoons from reaching their target.

Using repellents and deterrents is another effective way to keep raccoons away from your bird feeders without resorting to extreme measures.

Remember, there are always humane ways to deal with wildlife problems, so don’t hesitate to explore natural alternatives or consult with a professional if needed. With a little creativity and persistence, you can enjoy watching birds at your feeders without worrying about unwanted visitors disrupting the peace!

Removing Food Sources

To effectively keep raccoons off your bird feeders, you need to eliminate food sources that attract them. This means removing any spilled or excess birdseed from the ground and surrounding areas. Bird seed alternatives such as suet cakes, nectar, and mealworms can also be used as they are less likely to attract raccoons.

Proper disposal techniques for uneaten bird seed should also be followed. Avoid leaving it out overnight or in open containers where it can easily be accessed by raccoons. Instead, dispose of leftover seeds in a sealed container and place it inside a secure garbage bin with a tight-fitting lid.

Another effective way to remove food sources is by using squirrel-proof bird feeders that have baffles installed on poles and hangers. These will prevent both squirrels and raccoons from climbing up to reach the feeder. Additionally, consider placing your feeders at least 8 feet above the ground so that raccoons cannot jump onto them.

By following these steps and taking precautions against attracting wildlife, you can successfully keep raccoons away from your bird feeders without causing harm to either species. Remember to always use humane methods when dealing with problem animals!

Creating A Safe Feeding Environment

To keep raccoons off your bird feeders, it is essential to create a safe feeding environment. One way to do this is by investing in a DIY bird feeder that has protective features such as a baffle or cage. These types of feeders are more challenging for raccoons to access and can deter them from attempting to climb up the pole.

Another critical factor in keeping raccoons at bay is proper bird feeder placement. Avoid placing the feeder near bushes, trees, or any other structures that could serve as a launching pad for raccoons. Instead, hang the feeder on an open area with no close objects around it where they can jump from.

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If you have already tried these measures without success, try using repellents specifically designed for raccoon control. Chemical sprays containing capsaicin or ammonia are effective deterrents when sprayed around the base of the feeder. However, make sure not to spray directly onto the birds’ food source as this may be harmful to their health.

In summary, creating a safe feeding environment involves investing in protective DIY feeders, carefully positioning them away from possible launchpads for raccoons and using appropriate repellents if necessary. By taking these steps, you will discourage raccoons from accessing your bird feeders while ensuring that your feathered friends continue enjoying their meals uninterrupted.

Seeking Professional Help

Now that you have created a safe feeding environment for your birds, the next step is to seek professional help if raccoons still manage to access your bird feeders. Raccoons are known to be clever and persistent creatures, which makes it challenging to keep them away from your property. In such cases, hiring experts in pest control services can provide an effective solution.

When seeking professional help, look for licensed wildlife control professionals who specialize in dealing with raccoon infestations. These professionals will assess your property and identify potential entry points used by raccoons to access your bird feeders. They may also recommend installing barriers or employing other deterrent methods based on their assessment of the situation.

Before hiring any pest control service provider, ensure they use humane methods when removing raccoons from your property. It’s essential not only for ethical reasons but also because some states prohibit using cruel measures against wildlife animals. A reputable company should explain their approach before starting any work.

Overall, hiring experts in pest control services provides a long-term solution to keeping raccoons off your bird feeders. By working with knowledgeable professionals who specialize in this area, you can rest assured that your efforts won’t go in vain. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance in managing these pesky critters around your home.

Here are three additional tips to consider when looking for pest control services:

  1. Look for a company with experience dealing specifically with raccoons.
  2. Ask about their pricing structure upfront and compare it with other providers’ rates.
  3. Check online reviews or ask friends and family members for recommendations before making a final decision on whom to hire.

Maintaining Your Bird Feeders For Long-Term Success

Now that you have successfully kept raccoons off your bird feeders, it’s important to establish a cleaning schedule. Regularly cleaning your feeders is crucial in preventing the spread of diseases among birds. Depending on how often you fill up your feeder, aim to clean it at least once every two weeks. Use hot soapy water and a scrub brush to remove any moldy or wet seeds stuck inside.

Another factor that contributes to long-term success with bird feeding is placement. It’s best to hang the feeder from a pole or tree branch, rather than placing it directly on the ground where critters can easily access it. A height of at least six feet above the ground will keep squirrels and other animals away from the seed supply.

Additionally, consider using baffles as an added deterrent against unwanted visitors. Baffles are cone-shaped devices made of metal or plastic that prevent animals like raccoons from climbing up poles or trees to reach the feeder.

By following these tips for maintaining your bird feeders, you’ll ensure a healthy environment for our feathered friends while simultaneously keeping pesky critters away. Remember, consistent cleaning and strategic placement are key components in achieving long-term success with backyard bird watching.


In conclusion, keeping raccoons off your bird feeders may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and tools, it can be achieved. Remember to choose a bird feeder that is difficult for raccoons to climb or open. Installing barriers such as baffles or obstacles like motion-activated sprinklers can also deter them from getting too close.

Furthermore, creating a safe feeding environment by removing any potential food sources and regularly maintaining your bird feeders will help prevent unwanted visitors. If these methods do not work, seeking professional help from a wildlife control expert who understands raccoon behavior can provide additional solutions. So go ahead and enjoy watching birds at your feeders without worrying about pesky raccoons ruining the show!

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