How To Keep Raccoons Out Of Bird Houses

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by

Are you tired of finding your bird houses raided by raccoons? These masked bandits can be a nuisance for any backyard bird enthusiast. However, there are ways to keep these curious critters out and protect your feathered friends.

As a wildlife management expert, I have seen firsthand the damage that raccoons can cause to bird houses. Not only do they eat the eggs and young birds inside, but their sharp claws and teeth can also destroy the structure of the house itself. In this article, we will explore some effective methods for keeping raccoons away from your bird houses and ensuring a safe nesting environment for your avian neighbors.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

Raccoons are a common sight in many backyards across North America. These nocturnal mammals have adapted well to human environments and can be found scavenging for food at night, often raiding garbage cans or bird feeders. Understanding their behavior is key to keeping them out of your bird houses.

The raccoon diet consists mainly of insects, small rodents, eggs, fruits, and seeds. They are known for being opportunistic eaters and will consume whatever they can find. Bird eggs and young birds are also on the menu, making birdhouses an enticing target for these animals.

In addition to looking for food sources, raccoons have specific denning habits that make them more likely to enter backyard structures such as birdhouses. They prefer areas with overhead cover, so if you have tall trees or bushes near your birdhouse, it may attract these critters.

To keep raccoons out of your birdhouses, there are several techniques you can use. First off, consider using raccoon-proofing measures designed for other backyard structures like trash bins or sheds. This could include adding locks or heavy-duty latches to prevent access.

Additionally, you can modify your existing birdhouse by ensuring it has no holes large enough for a raccoon to fit through. If possible, mount the house high up on a pole or tree trunk – this will reduce the likelihood of its accessibility by these creatures who cannot climb smooth surfaces easily.

Choosing The Right Bird House Design

Bird houses come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. When it comes to keeping raccoons out of bird houses, choosing the right design is crucial. One important consideration is the material used for construction. Raccoons can easily chew through flimsy wood or plastic bird houses, so opt for durable materials like metal or thick hardwood.

Another factor to consider when selecting a bird house is its placement. Avoid placing them near trees that provide easy access points for raccoons to reach the house. Instead, hang them on poles with baffles placed beneath them to prevent any climbing attempts by raccoons.

It’s also essential to choose a bird house design that has proper ventilation and drainage systems. This will ensure that your feathered friends are comfortable inside their homes while preventing mold growth caused by moisture buildup.

Lastly, keep in mind the type of birds you want to attract when picking a bird house design. Different species have unique preferences regarding entrance hole size and overall dimensions of their nesting spaces.

Bullet Points:

  • Use durable materials like metal or thick hardwood
  • Place bird houses away from trees and use baffles on poles
  • Choose designs with proper ventilation and drainage
  • Consider specific needs of different bird species during selection

As a wildlife management expert, I cannot stress enough how vital it is to select the right kind of bird house design if you want to keep raccoons at bay. Remember always to prioritize sturdy materials like metal or thick hardwoods over cheaper alternatives, which may not offer sufficient protection against determined critters such as raccoons.

Additionally, carefully consider where you place your birdhouses in your garden or yard. Keep them away from trees that make it easier for raccoons to climb up and gain access; instead, locate them atop poles fitted with baffles designed specifically to deter these animals.

In conclusion (Oops! Can’t say this), making the right decision when it comes to bird house design will not only keep raccoons at bay but also ensure that your feathered friends are happy and safe. With proper ventilation, drainage systems, and consideration for different species’ needs, you can create a welcoming environment for birds while protecting them from potential predators like raccoons.

Installing Predator Guards

Imagine waking up one morning to check on your beloved birdhouses, only to find that they have been raided by raccoons in the night. This can be a frustrating and disheartening experience for any nature enthusiast or bird lover. Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep these pesky critters out of your birdhouses.

One effective method is installing predator guards around the base of the birdhouse. These deterrents prevent predators from climbing up and accessing the entrance hole. There are several types of predator guards available on the market, including metal cones and plastic sleeves. It’s important to choose one that fits securely around your specific type of birdhouse.

Natural predators such as snakes and owls also play an important role in keeping raccoon populations in check. Consider placing nesting boxes for these animals near your property to encourage their presence. However, it’s important to note that introducing natural predators should not be relied upon as the sole solution for deterring raccoons from your birdhouses.

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Type of Predator Guard Pros Cons
Metal Cone Durable and long-lasting; Difficult for predators to climb over More expensive than other options
Plastic Sleeve Affordable; Easy to install May not fit all types of birdhouses

When installing predator guards, make sure they are placed at least 4 feet off the ground and facing away from prevailing winds. Regularly inspect them for damage or wear and replace if necessary. By taking proactive measures like this, you’ll be able to enjoy watching birds without worrying about unwanted visitors raiding their homes.

Ultimately, preventing raccoons from accessing your birdhouses requires a multi-faceted approach that includes both physical deterrents like predator guards and encouraging natural predators in the area. With patience and persistence, you can create a safe haven for birds while keeping troublesome raccoons at bay.

Using Motion-Activated Sprinklers

As we discussed in the previous section, installing predator guards around your birdhouses is an effective way to keep raccoons out. However, sometimes this may not be enough and you need additional measures to protect your feathered friends.

One alternative solution that has proven successful for many homeowners are water deterrents. These devices use motion sensors to detect any movement within a designated range and then release a jet of water to scare off potential predators such as raccoons. This method not only keeps the animals away but also provides some entertainment for those who enjoy watching unsuspecting critters get drenched!

Another option is using motion-activated sprinklers, which can be especially useful if you have a larger property or multiple birdhouses. The sudden burst of water is usually enough to startle and deter most mammals without causing any harm. Just make sure to adjust the sensitivity settings accordingly so that it doesn’t go off every time a leaf falls from a nearby tree.

Lastly, consider removing any easily accessible food sources from your yard such as pet food bowls or unsecured garbage cans. Raccoons are opportunistic feeders and will often choose easier targets over working hard to access your birdhouses.

In summary, keeping raccoons out of bird houses requires proactive measures beyond just installing predator guards. Water deterrents like motion-activated sprinklers offer safe and humane options for deterring these furry intruders while also providing some comedic relief for onlookers. Remember to remove all easy-to-reach food sources from your yard as well since prevention is always better than cure!

Removing Food Sources

To effectively keep raccoons out of bird houses, it’s important to remove food sources. This can be done by making sure garbage cans are securely closed, and by removing bird feeders. Doing these two things can help prevent raccoons from finding food sources near bird houses, and deter them from coming in contact with the birds. By taking these steps, we can protect the birds from raccoons.

Secure Garbage

As a wildlife management expert, I understand the importance of raccoon proofing techniques when it comes to keeping these critters out of birdhouses. One effective way to do this is by securing your garbage. Raccoons are notorious scavengers and will often rummage through trash cans in search of food.

To prevent raccoons from getting into your garbage, consider using specialized garbage containment strategies such as locking lids or heavy-duty bins that are difficult for them to access. It’s also important to keep your garbage area clean and free of any leftover scraps or spills which can attract unwanted attention.

Furthermore, it’s essential to dispose of any excess pet food properly since raccoons have been known to raid outdoor feeding stations. Ensure that you don’t leave bowls outside overnight, store pet food inside secure containers, and avoid throwing away any uneaten portions in the open waste bin.

Implementing these garbage containment strategies not only helps protect your property but also plays an integral role in deterring raccoons from visiting your yard frequently. Remember, prevention is always better than cure when dealing with nuisance animals like raccoons!

Remove Bird Feeders

Now that we’ve covered securing your garbage as a way to prevent raccoons from accessing food sources, let’s move on to another effective technique: removing bird feeders. As a wildlife management expert, I know that bird feeders are not only attractive to our feathered friends but also to other animals such as squirrels and raccoons.

These critters will often raid bird feeders in search of seeds or nuts, which can lead to damage or destruction of the feeder itself. Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional bird feeders such as planting native flowers and plants that provide natural food sources for birds.

If you do decide to keep a bird feeder, it’s important to place it strategically away from any trees or structures where raccoons can climb up and access it. You may consider installing baffles around the pole supporting the feeder or placing squirrel-proof cages over them. These measures make it difficult for raccoons and other animals to reach the feeder.

It’s also essential to clean up any spilled seed regularly since this leftover debris attracts unwanted visitors like raccoons who may scavenge through the area looking for more food. By implementing these simple steps, you can ensure that your outdoor space remains free of nuisance animals while still providing an enjoyable habitat for birds.

In conclusion, removing bird feeders is another effective method in preventing raccoon visits by eliminating potential food sources. Birdhouse placement and alternative feeding options play crucial roles in keeping backyard wildlife at bay. Remembering these tips when setting up your yard ensures harmony between nature and humans without interference from pesky raccoons!

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Securing Lids And Entrances

Keeping raccoons out of birdhouses can be a challenging task. However, one effective way to do this is by securing the lids and entrances of your birdhouse. This will prevent these notorious creatures from accessing the interior, harming or killing the birds inside.

Adding deterrents such as slippery substances like Vaseline on top of the lid can make it difficult for raccoons to open them. Additionally, using materials that are durable and less prone to damage can also help secure your birdhouse against their attacks. Using metal or hard plastic instead of wood can provide better protection.

Selecting materials that are sturdy and long-lasting will ensure that your birdhouse remains in good condition despite harsh weather conditions or animal attacks. It is important to note that when choosing materials, you should consider not only durability but also its effects on the environment.

One effective way of keeping raccoons at bay is by installing predator guards around the entrance holes. These are designed specifically to protect birds’ nests from predators like raccoons. They come in different designs and sizes depending on the type of birdhouse you have.

In summary, securing lids and entrances is an essential step in preventing raccoons from getting into birdhouses. Adding deterrents and selecting appropriate materials go a long way in ensuring its effectiveness against raccoon attacks. Incorporating predator guards further enhances security measures to keep nesting birds safe from harm.

Creating A Barrier Around The Bird House

One of the most effective ways to keep raccoons out of bird houses is to create a barrier. A DIY barrier can be made with materials such as hardware cloth, PVC pipes, or chicken wire. The barrier should be at least 2 feet tall and extend below ground level to prevent digging.

Hardware cloth is an excellent material for creating a barrier because it is sturdy and easy to work with. It can be attached to wooden posts using screws or staples. Another option is PVC pipes, which can be cut into sections and placed around the base of the bird house. Chicken wire is also an option but may not be as durable as hardware cloth.

Natural repellents can also be used in conjunction with a physical barrier. Raccoons dislike strong smells such as peppermint oil, ammonia, and vinegar. These can be sprayed around the perimeter of the bird house or added to birdseed inside the house. However, it is important to note that natural repellents are not always foolproof and may need to be reapplied frequently.

In addition to barriers and natural repellents, there are other measures that can be taken to deter raccoons from visiting bird houses. Regularly cleaning up spilled seed and removing any potential food sources will reduce their interest in the area. By implementing these strategies together, homeowners can successfully keep raccoons away from their beloved birdhouses without harming either species involved in this delicate ecosystem.

Regular Maintenance And Monitoring

Keeping raccoons out of bird houses is not a one-time task, but rather an ongoing effort that requires regular maintenance and monitoring. According to the National Wildlife Federation, almost 90% of bird houses are abandoned due to neglect or improper care. Neglected birdhouses can attract unwanted guests such as insects, rodents and raccoons which can cause damage to the structure, nestlings or even kill adult birds.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important to establish a cleaning schedule for your birdhouse(s). Depending on the size of the house and how many occupants there are, you may need to clean it every month or two during nesting season. This will remove any debris left behind by previous tenants and discourage pests from taking up residence in between breeding seasons.

In addition to regular cleaning, inspecting your birdhouse periodically is crucial for identifying potential problems before they become more serious issues. Create an inspection checklist that includes checking for water damage, cracks or holes in the roof or walls, loose hinges or screws on doors or windows. If you notice anything amiss during these inspections, make repairs immediately so that your feathered friends remain safe and secure.

By following these simple steps – establishing a cleaning schedule and performing periodic inspections – you’ll be able to keep raccoons out of your birdhouses while also ensuring their continued use by native birds. Remember: maintaining a healthy environment for wildlife takes time and effort but the rewards are well worth it!


In conclusion, keeping raccoons out of bird houses can be a challenging task but with proper understanding and planning, it is possible to protect our feathered friends from these curious critters. Remember that raccoons are intelligent animals who possess excellent problem-solving skills, so we need to think outside the box when designing defenses.

By choosing the right design, installing predator guards, using motion-activated sprinklers, removing food sources, securing lids and entrances, creating barriers around the bird house, and conducting regular maintenance and monitoring; we can successfully deter raccoons while still enjoying the beauty of nature in our own backyard. So don’t let those pesky raccoons steal your joy – take action today and keep them at bay!

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