Bird tables offer significantly more versatility compared to bird seed feeders and allow leftover food from your home and a range of other feed options to attract birds. However, due to the openness of bird tables, they are often more exposed to unwelcome guests like rats. In our guide, we explore several measures you can implement to stop rats getting on bird table and prevent their presence in your garden entirely.
How to stop rats getting on bird table
Follow the steps below to stop rats getting on bird table:
1. Be strategic with placing the table
It matters how you position your bird table in the first place. Of course, you want to place it in a spot that prevents rats from climbing and jumping over to reach the food. The bird table should be located at a minimum distance of 3m from any area accessible to rats, such as sizable branches, fences, and sheds.
2. The surrounding bird table area must stay clean
Seed and debris that drop to the ground can attract nearby rats, as they tend to seek out and return to easily accessible food sources until they are depleted. Thus, you want to maintain a clean environment around your bird table. Regularly removing any scattered food is part of the checklist to keep rats from your bird table.
Also, situate the bird table on cleanable slabs or patio space to simplify the cleaning task, and encourage more frequent cleaning.
3. Introduce a baffle to your bird table
If you notice rats or other rodents scaling your bird table to reach the food, install a baffle. A baffle is a cone-shaped item made from plastic or metal, designed to prevent rats from getting on the stand. Not only do baffles physically obstruct the rodent path, but their slippery surfaces also deter them from climbing over them to reach the bird table.
4. Use bird seed catcher
You can address the issue of fallen debris that entices rats in your garden, however, it can be challenging to thoroughly clean up when your bird table is positioned on grass. One solution is to place a birdseed catcher or tray underneath the bird table. The seed catcher will help capture any dropped bird food before it reaches the grass.
5. Rat-proof your garden
You don’t want to keep stuff that will encourage unwanted friendships with rats in the first place. Rats prefer to take shelter in the secluded corners of gardens, often using holes and crevices in fences as passages between different gardens. They also find the areas under the sheds ideal for breeding and daytime refuge.
Therefore, caulking up these cracks and openings and ensuring a clean garden will decrease the chances of rats infiltrating your garden, establishing residences, and potentially getting on the bird table.
Your first step should be to try figuring out how rats are accessing your garden before you can properly block their routes. Plug any holes in your fences and beneath your shed to aid in this endeavor.
6. Eliminate rat food sources temporarily
While it may be difficult for bird enthusiasts to stop feeding their avian companions, it can be effective to disrupt the pattern of rat infestations in your garden.
If your garden is plagued by a significant rat problem, consider removing all food sources for a couple of weeks to discourage rats from getting on the bird table in the first place. This preventive method can also expel existing rats from entering your garden.
However, rats may reappear once you resume feeding the birds. You can prevent their return by gradually reintroducing bird feeding once your garden is free of rats.
7. Feed the birds with food rats won’t find appealing
Initially, it was reported that birds do not have taste buds but later about 70 taste buds were found in the oral cavity. However, this number is low compared to mammals such as rats (∼1000 taste buds). Therefore, birds lack the taste receptors found in rats and other rodents, which means that hot chili powder is harmless to them.
Consequently, birds will not be deterred from feeding on a bird table or bird feeder even if hot chili powder is present. On the other hand, rats will find the taste of hot chili powder unappealing, thereby stopping them from getting on bird table with food meant for the birds.
Read also: what I did to stop rats eating car wires
The aforementioned methods will help you stop rats getting on bird table. The moment you stop taking these preventive measures, rats will return; you don’t want this happening, so become a regular rodent police in your garden. Ultimately, if you suspect an infestation, consider professional services to eliminate rats permanently. Otherwise, their next target will be breaking into your home.
Read also: block rats from your lemons in a few steps