Bird feeders can be an immense source of joy. They attract birds into your garden and you can derive huge amounts of pleasure from watching these birds. Unfortunately, your bird feeder may also attract other animals which are looking for food. This can include pests like rats. These bird feeder rats breed quickly and soon you may end up with a rodent infestation in your home.
What can you do about bird feeder rats?
The reason why rats are attracted to bird feeders is because they provide as easy source of food. In most cases rats have to search far and wide for food. This is not the case with a bird feeder. The food is simply there, waiting for them to feast. Most people are diligent about filling up their bird feeder. But if you have bird feeder rats, all you’re doing is providing them with a stable source of food. Rats love this because it means they have a place where food is guaranteed to be found. This is preferable to scavenging.
To many people this may be counterintuitive. In a lot of cases the bird feeder may seem totally inaccessible to rats. It could be high off the ground or even hanging from a tree. But what you need to realize is that birds knock food out of the feeder and onto the ground. This means that rats are still able to get at it. What’s more, rats are some of nature’s most agile climbers. No matter how high the feeder, they may still be able to reach it. Even if your feeder is hanging from a tree, rats can slide down the rope and steal food.
Another reason why bird feeder rats are attracted to your garden is because they are creatures of habit. Once they learn your bird feeder is an easy source of food, they will habitually return to it. They will also build their nests nearby, most likely in your garden. Once they establish nests and have food, these rats begin to multiply at a furious rate.
Very few people understand just how quickly rats can breed. Female rats give birth about six times a year. Each of these litters will be made up of about 10-12 babies. What makes the problem even worse is that these rats can begin breeding after only nine weeks. According to experts, two rats can turn into more than a 1000 in less than 12 twelve months. This is just one of the reasons why rodents are such a massive pest control problem.
But it gets worse. These bird feeder rats may quickly discover there is even more food waiting inside your house. They may come inside and repeat the process of building nests and breeding. All of which means you may quickly have an infestation on your hands.
So, what can you do about bird feeder rats? To start with you should decide if you really want or need a bird feeder. If rats have become a problem, you may want to consider getting rid of it. You can also try placing the bird feeder elsewhere in your garden. This may confuse and dissuade the rats. There are also types of feeders which are designed to avoid a rat problem, such as those with built-in trays to stop the food from falling to the ground.
If you are currently experiencing an infestation, the best thing to do is call in an exterminator. We can easily help you with this and quickly remove bird feeder rats (and also make sure they never return).