Feeding birds is a great way to attract different birds into your garden.
However, you must also take care not to invite unwanted wildlife at the same time. Pests, such as rats, can take advantage of leftovers, or food that drops onto the ground. These pests can then enter your home through small gaps to nest and reproduce.
Rats and other rodents can cause structural damage to your home by chewing through wires or insulations. But even more concerning is the health hazards they bring. Rats are a known cause of salmonella poisoning, and taking steps to avoid attracting them should be taken seriously.
So, what are the ways you can enjoy feeding birds but ward off rats?
1. Purchase rodent-proof bird feeders
You can buy these from your local shops, and you should place them high enough from the ground so rats can’t reach them so easily. You should also ensure the feeder is strong enough to hold the weight of the birds.
2. Store bird seeds properly
Always store seeds in a tightly sealed metal container within your home – not outside. Rats and mice have a great sense of smell and will find the bird seeds if not stored properly. Remember, rats can chew tough materials, such as wood, plastic, or rubber; therefore, a metal container is ideal to store bird food.
3. Remove water sources
Not only will rats find bird food attractive, but water sources give them an extra incentive to use your property or garden as their home. Mice can live without water, but rats can’t; therefore, ponds, pools, and other stagnant water can attract rats. Where possible, always eliminate any stagnant water, such as leaking pipes.
4. Keep feeding areas clean
Birds are messy eaters, as scatter seeds all over the place. Always clear away any fallen grain, nuts, or seeds, from the ground once per day, to avoid giving rats the chance to find food in your garden.
It’s important to note, that DIY approaches to removing rats aren’t nearly as effective as calling upon an expert. Avoid using rat poison, or glue traps, as they won’t necessarily stop rats from going in search of food, and won’t eliminate the problem.
A pest control expert can use more effective control methods without harming them, and provide you with specific instructions so you can avoid a rat infestation in the future.