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Keep the Rodents Away: Ditch the Bird Feeders
Published on March 13, 2012
If you live in an area that has a high risk of a rodent infestation, or if you’ve noticed signs of mice or rats, one of the simplest ways to practice rodent pest control is get rid of the bird feeder in your yard. This is not because rats and mice are particularly attracted to the seeds in your bird feeder (although they can scale vertical walls and jump up to 12 inches.) Rather, what they’re attracted to is bird droppings, fallen seeds and shells on the ground.
If your favorite hobby is backyard bird watching, you don’t have to give it up entirely for your rodent pest control efforts. Instead, take a short break from your hobby while finding a new way to feed your feathered friends.
To begin the mouse control process, take away the bird feeder and keep the seeds in a lidded glass or plastic container for a few weeks. Eliminating this food source will encourage rodents to go elsewhere for a meal.
During your bird-watching break, find a bird feeder that has a catch tray large enough to catch dropped shells, seeds and droppings. With the right tools and materials, you can also make your own catch tray to hang under the feeder. After you reintroduce the feeder into your yard, line the catch tray with newspaper that you change out nightly. Cleaning the tray will help with mouse and rat control as well as limit the spread of disease among the visiting birds.
Additional rodent pest control methods include:
- Using lids on all of your outside trash cans, compost bins and any other outdoor food containers.
- Having a nicely manicured landscape that is free of weeds, overgrown grass and thick brush.
- Trimming tree branches that overhang your home.
- Sealing all cracks on the outside walls of your home that are larger than 1/4 inch.
- Never leaving over-ripe or rotten fruits, berries or vegetables in your garden.