RATS!!! on birdfeeders
I thought that squirrels would be my only potential problem when wanting to attract birds with seed/feeders. My first seed purchase was safflower (sp) seeds because I had been told that birds would love it and squirrels (which I have and love having) would not like it. No one at any time warned me about rats and that is what I drew instead of birds.They ate through the plastic seed container and climbed the shepard's pole 3 at a time to eat the seeds. Help!
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Rats are not something we hear a lot about as birdfeeding pests. Squirrels and starlings, yes. (I am overrun with chipmunks this year, getting in my feeders.)

Have you tried putting up squirrel baffles to keep them from climbing the poles? That worked a charm for keeping the chipmunks out of my feeders. I'd also recommend getting cage-type feeders that are all metal. I have one that is a ball shape that's good for keeping out squirrels. They can't even reach in through the wire openings to drag out seeds.
Another thing you might try is taking the feeders in for a while and seeing if the rats lose interest and move on elsewhere in search of food.

Answered by BHGgardenEditors
Community Answers (2)

we had rats pouring out of our feeders when we turned on the porch light. Disgusting. All I found that worked was no longer feeding the birds, which was sad to me. Then we put a feeder from the gutter on the second floor level, which worked, but the rats were still around to clean up on the ground. Then I switched to suet with seeds in it which has no mess, and I only feed in the winter now when the rats are apparantly in hibernation.I refuse to feed rats or raccoons, which are amazingly smart. They haven't figured out how to get to these feeders yet, and it's the second year I've been doing it this way. Good luck!
Submitted by islebee54