How To Keep Raccoons Out Of Bird Feeder

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by

Hey there, folks! It’s not uncommon for bird feeders to attract more than just birds. Raccoons are notorious for raiding these feeding stations in search of a tasty meal. But don’t worry, I’m here to share some effective tips on how to keep raccoons out of your bird feeder.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand why raccoons are attracted to bird feeders in the first place. These clever critters have an excellent sense of smell and can easily detect the scent of birdseed from afar. Moreover, once they’ve discovered a steady source of food at your feeder, they’ll keep coming back for more. So if you want to protect your feathered friends’ meals and prevent any damage or mess caused by these curious mammals, read on!

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

As a wildlife control expert, I understand the nuisance that raccoons can cause when they invade bird feeders. These creatures are known to be curious and cunning, making them quite challenging to keep at bay. However, understanding their behavior is crucial in devising effective strategies for keeping them away.

Raccoons have an omnivorous diet which means they eat both plants and animals. They’re not picky eaters and will devour almost anything available from fruits to insects and small mammals. Birdseed too is one of their favorite meals, which makes bird feeders attractive targets.

Apart from being opportunistic eaters, raccoons also exhibit nocturnal habits. They’re most active during the night where they’ll venture out of their dens or habitats in search of food. It’s therefore essential to implement deterrents that work best during these hours.

Raccoons prefer living near water sources such as rivers, lakes or streams where there’s abundant vegetation cover. This provides shelter for them while offering easy access to food sources including fish and other aquatic life forms. Understanding this habitat preference can help you identify potential areas around your property where raccoon activity may be high.

By understanding raccoon behavior regarding their diet and habitat preferences, we can now devise ways to keep them away from our bird feeders effectively. While it takes some effort on our part, implementing measures like securing lids tightly on trash cans and covering up compost piles goes a long way in reducing attraction points for raccoons.

Choosing The Right Bird Feeder

Understanding raccoon behavior is crucial in keeping them away from bird feeders. Raccoons are known to be nocturnal animals and can climb almost any surface with ease. They also have a keen sense of smell, which makes it easy for them to locate food sources. Knowing this allows us to take the necessary steps to keep these furry critters at bay.

Choosing the right bird feeder is another important factor in preventing raccoons from raiding your avian buffet. There are various types of feeders available on the market, but not all of them will deter raccoons effectively. Look for feeders that have metal poles instead of wooden ones as they make it harder for raccoons to climb up. Also, choose feeders with lids or covers that close tightly to prevent raccoons from accessing the food inside.

Materials used in creating barriers around your bird feeder should be sturdy enough to withstand a determined raccoon’s efforts. Chicken wire or hardware cloth around the pole can be effective at deterring their climbing attempts while still allowing birds access to the feeder. Budget considerations may play a role in deciding what materials you use; however, investing in quality materials will pay off in the long run.

Incorporating motion-activated lights and sprinklers near your bird feeder could also help in deterring pesky raccoons. These devices startle and scare off intruders without causing harm, making them an ideal option for those who want a humane solution to their wildlife problems. Remember that prevention is better than cure when dealing with wild animals such as raccoons – taking proactive measures now can save you time, money, and stress down the road.

  • Bullet point list:
  • Protecting your feathered friends from predators is essential
  • Seeing empty bird feeders after refilling them can be frustrating
  • Keeping unwanted visitors out of your yard promotes healthy ecosystems

As an expert in wildlife control, I highly recommend taking the necessary steps to prevent raccoons from accessing your bird feeders. Choosing the right feeder and using sturdy materials in creating barriers will go a long way in keeping these critters at bay. Incorporating motion-activated devices is also an effective way of deterring them without causing harm. Remember that investing time and effort into protecting your feathered friends now will pay off in the long run – both for you and for your backyard ecosystem.

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Placing The Feeder Strategically

When it comes to keeping raccoons out of your bird feeder, one important strategy is to place the feeder at an appropriate height. This will ensure that raccoons cannot reach it easily and steal the food. Ideally, you should mount the feeder on a pole or hang it from a high branch so that it is at least 5 feet above ground level.

In addition to height placement, distance from trees is also crucial in preventing raccoon access to your bird feeder. Raccoons are skilled climbers and can use nearby trees to climb up and gain access to the feeder. Therefore, make sure there are no overhanging branches that they could use as a launch pad. The ideal distance between the tree trunk and the feeder should be at least 10 feet.

Another useful tip when placing your bird feeder is to avoid positioning it near any other structures such as fences or walls. These provide easy leverage for raccoons to jump onto the feeder and cause damage. Additionally, try not to position feeders too close together as this can create competition among different species of birds which may attract more unwanted visitors like raccoons.

By strategically placing your bird feeder away from trees and other structures while ensuring its height makes it difficult for raccoons to access, you can prevent these pesky animals from stealing all of your feathered friend’s treats! Remember, taking precautionary measures early on will save you time and money in repairs later down the line.

Installing Baffles And Guards

As the old saying goes, "prevention is better than cure." This holds true when it comes to keeping raccoons out of your bird feeder. One effective method that you can use is installing baffles and guards.

Baffles are essentially cone-shaped devices made of metal or plastic that prevent raccoons from climbing up poles or trees where bird feeders are hung. These DIY solutions can be easily installed by homeowners without the need for professional help. Simply attach them below the feeder with a clamp or strap.

Guards, on the other hand, are physical barriers that surround your bird feeder and protect it from any unwanted guests. They come in different shapes and sizes – some even have built-in locks! While they may require professional installation, these guards offer peace of mind knowing that your feathered friends will safely enjoy their meals without interference.

Whether you choose baffles or guards, remember to keep your bird feeder at least five feet off the ground and away from overhanging branches or structures. Additionally, make sure to clean up any spilled seed regularly as this can attract raccoons and other wildlife.

By taking preventive measures such as installing baffles and guards, you’ll not only keep pesky raccoons at bay but also ensure that birds continue to visit your backyard haven.

Using Spices And Repellents

Natural deterrents are a great way to keep raccoons out of your bird feeder. One popular option is using spices such as cayenne pepper, chili powder or paprika. Simply sprinkle these spices around the base of the bird feeder or mix them in with the birdseed. The strong scent will deter raccoons from coming near.

Another natural repellent that can be used is vinegar. Mix one part white vinegar to four parts water and spray it on and around the bird feeder. This creates an unpleasant smell for raccoons and they will avoid the area altogether.

If you’re looking for a DIY repellent, consider mixing together equal parts garlic juice and water, then spraying it onto the surrounding trees or bushes where raccoons may climb up to get to your bird feeder. Raccoons dislike the pungent odor of garlic and this should keep them at bay.

Lastly, if all else fails, invest in a squirrel-proof bird feeder. These feeders have mechanisms that prevent squirrels – and other wildlife like raccoons – from accessing the seed inside. A quality squirrel-proof feeder could save you time, money, and frustration in the long run by keeping unwanted visitors away from your birds’ food source without harming any animals in the process.

Cleaning Up Spills And Debris

Cleaning up spills and debris around your bird feeder is an important step in deterring raccoons from entering the area. As a wildlife control expert, I recommend using DIY cleaning techniques to remove any leftover seeds or hulls that may have spilled onto the ground. This will not only keep your yard looking tidy but also eliminate food sources for raccoons.

Leaving spilled seed on the ground can attract more than just raccoons; it can also draw other unwanted animals such as rodents and insects. These pests can cause damage to both your property and garden, so it’s essential to clean up any messes promptly. In addition, removing debris helps prevent mold growth, which poses a health risk to both birds and humans alike.

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When cleaning up after your bird feeder, consider the environmental impact of the products you use. Avoid harsh chemicals that could harm wildlife or contaminate nearby water sources. Instead, opt for natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda mixed with water. Not only are these options eco-friendly, but they’re also effective at breaking down stubborn stains.

By taking the time to regularly clean up spills and debris around your bird feeder, you’ll create an unwelcoming environment for raccoons while maintaining a healthy backyard ecosystem. Remember to be mindful of the products you use during cleanup and always prioritize safety for both yourself and local wildlife.

Removing Other Food Sources

As a wildlife control expert, I highly recommend removing other food sources to keep raccoons out of your bird feeder. Raccoons are nocturnal creatures that love nothing more than scavenging for food at night. In addition to bird feeders, they will also raid trash cans and gardens in search of sustenance.

To prevent raccoons from targeting your bird feeder, ensure that all other potential food sources are eliminated. This includes securing your garbage cans with heavy-duty lids or storing them inside until pick-up day. Additionally, consider planting natural deterrents such as thorny bushes around the perimeter of your property to discourage raccoons from entering.

Creating barriers is another effective way to keep raccoons away from your bird feeder. Install motion-activated sprinklers or lights around the area to startle and deter these pesky critters when they come near. You can also try installing baffles on poles supporting the bird feeder so that raccoons cannot climb up and access it.

Incorporating these strategies into your backyard routine should help you keep raccoons out of your bird feeder once and for all. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to deterring unwanted animals from invading your space. By eliminating other food sources, creating barriers, and using natural deterrents, you can enjoy watching birds at your feeder without worrying about pesky visitors spoiling the fun.

Seeking Professional Help If Necessary

Now, let’s be honest. Sometimes DIY solutions just won’t cut it when it comes to raccoons raiding your bird feeder. In such cases, you may need to seek professional help.

One option is hiring exterminators who specialize in wildlife control. These professionals have the necessary equipment and expertise to safely and humanely remove any pesky raccoons from your property. They can also provide long-term solutions, such as installing barriers or modifying the environment to make it less appealing for raccoons.

Another avenue worth exploring is consulting with wildlife experts. These individuals are well-versed in the behavior of various animals, including raccoons. They can offer advice on how to prevent future infestations and suggest alternative feeding options that may be less attractive to these critters.

It’s important to note that while seeking professional help may come at a cost, it can ultimately save you time, money, and hassle in the long run. Not only will you avoid potential damage caused by persistent raccoon activity, but you’ll also gain peace of mind knowing that your feathered friends are safe and sound.

Remember: prevention is always better than cure. If you’re experiencing recurring issues with raccoons invading your bird feeder despite trying multiple DIY methods, don’t hesitate to reach out for expert assistance before the problem escalates further.


In conclusion, keeping raccoons away from your bird feeder is a task that requires effort and patience. Understanding the behavior of these animals is crucial to finding effective solutions. By choosing the right type of bird feeder and strategically placing it in an area that’s difficult for raccoons to reach, you can already make it harder for them to get to your feathered visitors.

Installing baffles or guards around the feeder, using spices or repellents, cleaning up spills and debris regularly, and removing other food sources are all additional measures you can take to keep raccoons at bay. However, if none of these methods seem to work, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from wildlife control experts who have experience dealing with this issue.

Remember: keeping raccoons out of your bird feeder not only ensures the safety of your avian friends but also helps preserve the balance of our ecosystem. So ask yourself – what steps will you take today to protect both nature and your backyard birds?

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