Ever since man became sedentary, rodents have been attracted to the places where grain is stored. Grain is the preferred food of these pests. Mice, rats, raccoons and many others are on the lookout for the slightest amount within their reach. Bird feeders are currently one of the most accessible sources of grain. However, can they cause a rodent infestation?
A bird feeder for birds, period!
Many people are reluctant to install a bird feeder around their homes for fear of attracting rodents in the process. However, a few simple actions can limit this risk.
Feed birds, not rodents
First of all, it is important to avoid seeds scattering around the feeder. For instance, birds and wind can make a hanging feeder rock and spill some of its contents in the surrounding area. Make sure to keep the area around your feeder clean and pick up any grains that may have fallen out. A trick is to sprinkle cayenne pepper, which is harmless to birds, but will deter curious squirrels.
Reserve access to the feeder for birds
Rodents are skilled animals and have no problem climbing the sides of your patio to reach the feeder, as do raccoons, who can even open the cover with their skilled hands. For this reason, it is recommended to place the feeder at the end of a metal wire or on a pole, keeping a distance of 1.5 to 3 metres from the ground to limit access by rodents. Alternatively, you can always call a raccoon extermination service. Dome or cone shaped devices can also be installed to safeguard access to your feeder.
Moreover, rats and mice are often more active at night. You can therefore remove your feeder at night to avoid attracting them.
Exterminate rodents to avoid infestation and health problems
Rodents are not referred to as “pests” by chance: in addition to the damage they can cause, they carry many diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans. This includes salmonellosis, leptospirosis and rabies, the dangers of which are well known to the human body. Quite often, these diseases are transmitted through rodent droppings, which can come into contact with food or soak into an exposed surface, such as a wooden floor, for example. However, given that rodents reproduce very quickly (about 22 offspring per year for rats), the importance of keeping them away is evident.
Install a bird feeder without risking a rodent infestation
You are now ready to install your feeder with an understanding and ability to minimize the risk of rodent infestation! If you are in doubt or have any further questions about the risk of pest infestation, contact Elite Pest Control.