If you’re wondering whether bird feeders attract mice, then you’ve found the right article. In this article, not only will you find out the likelihood of birdfeeders attracting mice to your garden and home, but you’ll also learn the signs to look for, and how to prevent mice from coming back.
Do Bird Feeders Attract Mice?
Bird feeders are going to be a huge attractant to mice. Mice absolutely love seeds, thanks to the number of calories they have, and how they smell. On top of this, birdfeeders are a low-risk spot for mice, as there are no natural predators around them that will prevent them from getting to the seeds.
How To Know If Mice Are Eating From Your Bird Feeder?
If you think that mice are eating from your bird feeder, there are a number of signs you can look out for to be sure. So keep an eye out for the following:
The Seed Is Scattered Everywhere
One sign to look for is seed that has been scattered everywhere. Mice aren’t particularly tidy. So when they’re eating you may begin to notice that the bird seed is all over your garden.
You should also look for gnaw marks on your birdfeeder too. These are a clear indicator of mice (and sometimes even rats). As well as gnaw marks, you may notice scratching on and around the feeder as well.
The Bird Seed Bag Has Holes In It
As well as the bird seed in your bird feeder, mice will also get to the bird seed that’s still in storage when possible. So as well as checking for mice on the bird feeder itself, make sure you’re also checking the birds feed bag too.
Lastly, you should also look for mouse droppings around and on the bird feeder as well. Mouse droppings are shaped like rice, however, they’re black in color and slightly smaller. And if you do notice droppings, it’s a clear sign you’re dealing with an infestation.
The Birds Are Acting Strange
If there are mice on the bird feeder, then it could be causing the birds to act strangely too. They may just stop using the feeder altogether, or fly away suddenly at the sign of a mouse that would startle them.
Your Pets Are Acting Strange
As well as birds acting strange, you may also notice pets acting strange as well. If you have a cat, you may see them hunting, and if you have dogs, you may notice them trying to sniff something out in your garden.
How To Keep Mice Away From Bird Feeders
Now you know if you’re dealing with mice on your bird feeders or not, the next step is to make sure you can get rid of them. Here are some of the best things you can do to stop mice from overtaking your bird feeder, as well as deterring them from coming back in the future.
Keep The Feeder High Off The Ground
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to make sure you’re keeping the bird feeder high enough off the ground that mice can’t get to it. As a rule of thumb, if five to six feet is good enough for feeders that are already well protected, but for bird feeders with less defense, you’ll need to make sure they’re at least 10 feet from the ground.
Second of all, you should also make sure that you’re making your bird feeder difficult to climb as well. One great way to do this is by greasing the pole. As well as this, you can also use a squirrel baffle to stop them from climbing the pole as well!
Trim Trees Around Your Bird Feeder
Sometimes mice are able to get to your bird feeder from the trees and shrubs around it. So to make sure they’re not using these to climb the feeder, move them away. In cases, where they’re already too high, or you want to leave them, consider moving your bird feeder somewhere else.
Move The Bird Feeder Away From Your Home
It’s also a good idea to be moving the bird feeder away from your home as well. If the bird feeder is to close to your home, then mice may end up moving from the feeder to your home, and then you’ll be dealing with a whole different problem.
Mix Cayenne Pepper Into The Mix
Did you know that birds are unaffected by spice, unlike mammals who can’t stand it. If you want an easy way to make your bird feed unappealing to mice then you should add cayenne pepper to the feed.
Don’t Let Seed Spill On The Floor
Making sure that seeds doesn’t spill on the floor is also paramount in stopping mice from being attracted to the bird feeder. The easiest way to do this is by putting a bird tray under the feeder to stop excess seeds falling off.
And the best part is, not only will this stop mice from being able to eat the bird feed, but it will also make a nice landing platform for the birds as well.
Make Sure They Can’t Get Access To Stord Bird Feed
As well as making sure that mice can’t access the seeds in the bird feeder itself, you should also make sure that you’re storing the rest of the bird seed properly as well. If mice can smell the bird seed, then they’ll do everything they can to get to it.
Stop Ground Feeding
If you’ve been ground feeding birds, then you should stop immediately and opt for a hanging bird feeder instead. Because not only are birds going to have access to ground feeder, but all manner of mice and other pests will as well!
Use Mice Resistant Feeders
You should also try using mice resistant feeders as well. As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t find any mice resistant feeders, squirrel resistant ones will work just as well. When you’re looking for these feeders look for ones that are thick with rounded edges, and ideally made from metal.
Keep Your Grass Well Trimmed
If you keep your grass well trimmed, mice are going to feel a lot more exposed. So keeping it trimmed, especially around your bird feeder is a great way to deter mice from trying to get to the bird feed.
Use No Waste Feed
If you’re not using no waste feed, then there will be a lot of junk in the feed that birds won’t be able to eat. And the stuff they can’t eat tends to get pulled out and thrown around. This in turn is going to attract mice again.
So by usig a no waste feed, like sunflower hearts or shelled peanuts, you’re going to reduce the amount of waste laying around the bird feeder.
Try Attracting Predators
If you’re dealing with a serious mice problem, you can also try to attract natural predators to your garden. One great natural predator is the owl, and if you want to attract to them, you can start by putting an owl box up in your garden.
Clean The Feeder Regularly
And lastly, you should also try cleaning the feeder regularly to remove any odors that attract mice to them. Fortunately, cleaning them is easy, you just need to use a weak bleach solution and scrub up and down it.
Here are soem frequently asked questions people often have about mice and their bird feeder.
Can Mice Kill Birds?
While it’s unlikely that mice will kill an adult bird, it’s entirely possible that they’ll end up killing chicks if they’re an easy enough meal.
Do Mice Eat Safflower Seeds?
Mice will eat safflower seeds if getting the chance. In fact, if you notice safflower seeds being eaten by a pest, it’s more likely to be mice who like them, over squirrels, who don’t.
Does Bird Seed Attract Mice?
Absolutely bird seed is going to attract mice. In fact, a lot of the bird seed that is unedible to birds is going to make a great meal for mice!
What Bird Seed Doesn’t Attract Mice?
If you’re looking for bird seed that doesn’t attract mice then you should look for hulled seeds. Shelled peanuts, hulled millet, sunflower hearts, and cracked corn are all great choices.
As you can see mice are going to love your bird feeder, fortunately, there are so many things you can do from deterring them from eating the seed, that if you follow the steps above, you’ll get rid of the mice in no time!
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