How To Keep Racoons Off Of Bird Feeders

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by

Hey there, it’s no secret that raccoons are notorious for raiding bird feeders. As a wildlife control specialist, I’ve seen my fair share of frustrated homeowners who have given up on feeding their feathered friends due to these pesky critters. But fear not! There are several methods you can try to keep raccoons away from your bird feeder.

Firstly, let’s understand why raccoons love bird feeders so much. They’re attracted to the food source and will do whatever it takes to get their paws on it. Raccoons are clever animals with nimble fingers and sharp claws that allow them to climb trees and poles with ease. Once they get to the feeder, they’ll use their dexterous hands to open lids or pull out seeds through small openings in the feeder. With all this in mind, it’s essential to take preventative measures if you want to enjoy watching birds at your feeder without having unwanted furry visitors stealing their food.

Understanding The Behavior Of Raccoons

Did you know that raccoons are known for their opportunistic feeding behavior? They will eat just about anything they can get their paws on, including birdseed from your backyard feeder. Understanding the feeding patterns of these creatures is key to keeping them away from your feathered friends.

Raccoons tend to be active at night and prefer to feed in areas where food is easily accessible. This includes residential neighborhoods with abundant sources of food such as garbage cans, compost piles, and bird feeders. If you have a bird feeder in your yard, chances are raccoons will find it eventually.

In addition to understanding their feeding patterns, it’s important to consider raccoon habitat preferences when trying to keep them away from your bird feeders. Raccoons typically live near water sources and prefer wooded areas or places with dense vegetation. They also like to nest in hollow trees or burrows underground.

To discourage raccoons from raiding your bird feeder, there are several steps you can take. First, make sure your feeder is located in an area that is not easily accessible to raccoons. For example, hang it high off the ground or use a pole-mounted system with a baffle guard. You could also try using a squirrel-proof feeder designed specifically for deterring larger animals like raccoons.

By understanding the behavior of raccoons and taking preventative measures, you can protect your backyard birds from unwanted visitors without harming local wildlife populations.

Choosing The Right Bird Feeder Design

Understanding the behavior of raccoons is essential in keeping them away from bird feeders. However, it’s also important to choose the right bird feeder design and placement. With that said, let’s delve into how you can keep these pesky creatures off your bird feeders.

Bird Feeder Placement

The location of your bird feeder plays a crucial role in deterring raccoons. Ideally, place the feeder at least 10 feet away from any tree or structure they could climb onto. This makes it challenging for them to reach the feeder. Additionally, ensure that the feeder is placed on a sturdy pole or post with no overhanging branches.

Bird Seed Selection

Choosing the right seed type can help deter raccoons as well. Sunflower seeds are known to attract squirrels and larger birds that leave behind more debris, which attracts raccoons. Instead, opt for Nyjer or safflower seeds since they produce less clutter while still attracting smaller birds like finches and chickadees.

In conclusion, preventing raccoon access to your bird feeders boils down to proper placement and seed selection. By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy watching beautiful feathered friends without worrying about unwanted guests raiding your feeder!

Installing A Baffle Or Squirrel Guard

Installing a baffle or squirrel guard is an effective way to keep raccoons off of bird feeders. There are two options available: DIY installation and professional installation. Each has its pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh them before making a decision.

DIY installations can be affordable and convenient, but they may not always be the most effective solution. In some cases, raccoons may still find their way around homemade baffles or guards. Plus, improper installation could lead to damage to both the feeder and surrounding trees.

Professional installations offer higher quality materials and precision placement for maximum effectiveness. However, this option tends to come with a higher cost. It’s important to consider your budget when deciding between DIY and professional installation.

When choosing a baffle material, there are various options available such as metal, plastic, wood, or even stovepipe material. While each material has its own benefits, research has shown that metal baffles tend to have the highest success rate in deterring raccoons from accessing bird feeders.

By installing a properly placed baffle or squirrel guard made out of durable materials on your feeder pole; you’re giving yourself peace of mind knowing that your birds are safe while feeding without interruptions from pesky raccoons. Remember to choose wisely between DIY vs professional installation based on your personal needs and preferences for long-lasting protection against these curious creatures!

Removing Food Sources From Outside

I’d recommend covering bird feeders to keep raccoons away. Disposing of garbage properly is another good way to discourage them. Don’t forget to pick up pet food, too – that’s a surefire way to get raccoons’ attention. I’m sure you don’t want that! Make sure to get rid of any potential food sources that could attract these critters. It’s the best way to keep ’em away. If you follow these steps, you should be able to keep raccoons away from your bird feeders.

Cover Bird Feeders

As a wildlife control specialist, I often receive requests on how to keep raccoons off of bird feeders. One effective method is to cover the bird feeder with a protective barrier that prevents these critters from accessing the food source.

DIY cover options are an affordable and creative solution for homeowners who want to protect their backyard birds from pesky raccoons. A simple wire mesh cage or plastic dome can be crafted using basic materials found at your local hardware store. These covers are easy to install and can effectively deter hungry raccoons from stealing your feathered friends’ meals.

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For those who prefer purchasing covers, there are plenty of options available in stores and online retailers. From metal cages with locking mechanisms to weather-resistant domes made of durable plastics, there’s a variety of choices that cater to different budgets and preferences. Investing in high-quality covers not only keeps raccoons at bay but also protects birds from harsh weather conditions.

In conclusion, covering bird feeders is an essential step towards eliminating food sources for raccoons. Whether you opt for DIY solutions or purchase ready-made covers, it’s important to choose something that fits well around your bird feeder and provides adequate protection against unwanted visitors. By taking proactive measures, you can ensure that your backyard birds stay safe and healthy while enjoying their daily feeding routine.

Dispose Of Garbage

Now that we’ve discussed how to keep raccoons away from bird feeders, it’s important to address another common food source for these critters: garbage. Raccoons are notorious for rummaging through trash cans in search of scraps and leftovers. Waste management is crucial in preventing these animals from becoming a nuisance in your neighborhood.

One effective way to dispose of garbage is by using secure containers with tight-fitting lids. This can prevent raccoons and other wildlife from accessing the contents inside. Additionally, homeowners can benefit from composting tips as an alternative method of disposing organic waste materials. Composting not only reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills but also provides nutrient-rich soil for gardening.

When it comes to managing waste, timing is everything. It’s recommended that homeowners put out their trash on the morning of collection day rather than the night before. This limits opportunities for raccoons and other nocturnal creatures to feast on the contents within.

In conclusion, proper waste management practices play a significant role in removing food sources for raccoons outside homes and neighborhoods. By investing in secure containers with tight-fitting lids and practicing composting techniques, homeowners can effectively reduce the chance of attracting unwanted visitors like raccoons and promote environmentally friendly habits at the same time.

Pick Up Pet Food

Now that we’ve covered the importance of managing waste to keep raccoons away, it’s time to address another common food source for these critters: pet food. Raccoons aren’t picky eaters and will gladly indulge in any type of pet food left outside. This can lead to unwanted visits from these animals and potential damage to your property.

To prevent this, indoor storage is key. Pet owners should store their animal’s food indoors in secure containers with tight-fitting lids. This limits the opportunity for raccoons and other wildlife to access the food supply. Additionally, outdoor cleanup is necessary when feeding pets outdoors. Any leftover or spilled food should be promptly cleaned up to avoid attracting unwanted visitors like raccoons.

Creating a regular schedule for pet feedings can also help reduce opportunities for raccoon encounters. Consistent results are achieved by establishing set times for feeding and removing any uneaten portions before nightfall. By doing so, homeowners decrease the chance of leaving out an open invitation for nocturnal creatures looking for a meal.

In conclusion, proper management of pet food is essential in preventing raccoons from becoming pests on your property. Indoor storage and outdoor clean-up practices combined with consistent feeding schedules minimize the chances of attracting these opportunistic creatures while promoting responsible pet ownership habits at the same time.

Using Spices Or Pepper To Deter Raccoons

Spices or pepper can be a great way to deter raccoons from raiding your bird feeders. There are various spice combinations that have been proven effective in keeping these animals at bay. Some of the most popular spices used for this purpose include cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and chili powder.

To use spices as a deterrent, simply sprinkle them around your bird feeder area or mix them with birdseed before filling up the feeder. This creates an unpleasant taste and smell that will discourage raccoons from coming back for more. However, it’s important to note that some birds may also avoid spicy food, so it’s best to test small amounts first before adding too much.

When evaluating the effectiveness of using spices or pepper as a raccoon deterrent, it’s important to monitor the activity around your bird feeders. If you notice less frequent visits from raccoons after implementing this method, then it is likely working well. However, if there is no change in their behavior, it may be time to try other methods such as physical barriers or relocating the feeder altogether.

Overall, using spices or pepper can be an easy and affordable solution for deterring raccoons from invading your bird feeding station. With proper application and evaluation of its effectiveness, you can enjoy watching birds without worrying about pesky critters stealing their food.

  • Use freshly ground spices for maximum potency.
  • Apply spices regularly to maintain effectiveness.
  • Avoid placing spicy seeds on open ground where pets or children might accidentally ingest them.
  • Store leftover spice mixes in airtight containers away from moisture and sunlight.
  • Consider combining different types of spices for added repellent power.

Setting Up Motion-Activated Sprinklers Or Lights

As the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This holds true when it comes to keeping raccoons away from bird feeders. One effective way to do this is by setting up motion-activated sprinklers or lights.

These devices work by detecting movement and then spraying water or turning on bright lights. Raccoons are naturally afraid of both water and light, so they will quickly learn that your yard is not a safe place to be. Additionally, these devices can also startle other animals like squirrels and deer, which may be trying to get at your birdseed as well.

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There are several DIY options for setting up motion-activated sprinklers or lights in your yard. You can purchase ready-made products online or at your local hardware store, but there are also plenty of tutorials available online for building your own. Keep in mind that cost considerations may come into play here – while some professional-grade systems can be quite expensive, simpler models can often be purchased for less than $50.

When deciding whether to invest in one of these solutions, consider how much time and money you’re willing to spend protecting your bird feeders. If you have only one feeder that doesn’t attract many birds, it might not make sense to install an elaborate system. On the other hand, if you have multiple feeders attracting large flocks of birds (or even just really pesky raccoons), investing in a motion-activated deterrent could save you a lot of frustration (and money spent replacing broken feeders).

By using motion-activated sprinklers or lights around your bird feeders, you’ll create an environment that’s uncomfortable for raccoons and other unwanted visitors. With proper installation and upkeep, these types of deterrents can keep critters away without harming them – making them a humane choice for wildlife control enthusiasts everywhere!

Creating A Raccoon-Proof Feeding Station

Creating a Raccoon-Proof Feeding Station is crucial to keep your bird feeders safe from these pesky creatures. As a wildlife control specialist, I have seen numerous cases where raccoons have caused significant damage to bird feeders, and it’s essential to take necessary measures to prevent such incidents.

One of the best ways to deter raccoons is by elevating your feeding station at least 6 feet off the ground. This simple modification can make it difficult for them to climb up and reach the feeder. You can also use baffles or cones designed specifically for this purpose.

Another effective way is to install motion-activated sprinklers around your feeding area. The sudden burst of water will scare away any approaching raccoons without causing them any harm. Installing fences around the feeding area could also help in preventing their entry.

If you are looking for DIY modifications, try using slippery PVC pipes as poles that lead up to your bird feeder. It’ll be hard for raccoons with their sharp claws to grip onto them and climb upwards towards the feeder. Additionally, installing squirrel-proof feeders that close when triggered by heavyweight ensures that only birds can access the food.

While there are several DIY methods available online, hiring experts would be beneficial if you’re facing severe infestation issues and need professional assistance. Wildlife control specialists have experience dealing with various animal species and know how to handle situations effectively while ensuring everyone’s safety involved.

Remember, taking preventive measures is always better than waiting until it’s too late. Being proactive in creating a Raccoon-Proof Feeding Station not only protects your bird feeders but also keeps raccoons out of harm’s way while avoiding potential damages they may cause when trying to get hold of food sources.

Seeking Professional Wildlife Control Assistance

With your raccoon-proof feeding station in place, you may think that the battle against these clever critters is won. However, there are times when more drastic measures may need to be taken. Seeking professional wildlife control assistance can provide long term solutions and peace of mind.

Many people prefer to take a DIY approach to raccoon prevention. While this can be cost effective in the short term, it may not always yield lasting results. Professional wildlife control companies have access to specialized equipment and techniques that allow them to effectively exclude raccoons from your property.

Additionally, experts can offer advice on other ways to keep raccoons away from bird feeders and other areas of your yard. They may suggest planting certain types of vegetation or installing motion-activated lights or sprinklers as additional deterrents.

Of course, hiring professionals comes at a cost. However, weighing the benefits of DIY vs. hiring experts can help you make an informed decision about how best to protect your property from raccoons. In many cases, investing in long term solutions offered by professionals can end up saving money in the long run.

Cost Effective Prevention Methods Long Term Solutions
Covering trash cans with bungee cords or locking lids Installing exclusion barriers around vulnerable areas
Removing fallen fruit from trees and bushes regularly Sealing off potential entry points such as vents and chimneys
Using hardware cloth or chicken wire to cover garden beds Offering alternative food sources for raccoons elsewhere on your property

Don’t let pesky raccoons ruin your enjoyment of the outdoors! Consider seeking professional assistance if DIY methods aren’t cutting it. With expert guidance and proven techniques at their disposal, they may just be able to reclaim your space for you without breaking the bank.


In conclusion, keeping raccoons off of bird feeders can be a challenging task but it is possible with the right strategies in place. Understanding their behavior and choosing the appropriate feeder design are important steps to take. Additionally, installing baffles or squirrel guards, removing food sources from outside, using spices or pepper, setting up motion-activated sprinklers or lights and creating a raccoon-proof feeding station are all effective ways of deterring these pesky critters.

Now you may be thinking, "But what if I have tried all of these methods and nothing seems to work?" Don’t worry, there is still hope! Seeking professional wildlife control assistance can provide you with expert advice and solutions tailored specifically for your situation. Remember that persistence is key when dealing with raccoons. By implementing these techniques consistently and seeking help when needed, you can successfully keep them away from your beloved bird feeders.

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