how to stop rats from climbing bird tables

How to Stop Rats from Climbing Bird Tables: A Guide

Last Updated on February 1, 2023

Do you have a bird table in your garden? It’s an enjoyable way to attract feathered friends and watch their antics. But what if rats start making use of the feast on offer too? You don’t want that. That’s why it is important to know how to stop rats from climbing bird tables so you can keep them away for good. In this blog post, we’ll discuss ways of keeping those pesky critters at bay while still enjoying all the fun birds bring us. So read on – let’s get started with stopping rats from climbing bird tables.

Table of Contents:

How to Keep Rats Away From Bird Tables

Rats can be a nuisance in the garden, especially when they start to climb bird tables. Rats are attracted to bird food and will quickly make themselves at home if given the chance. Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep rats away from your bird table and ensure that your feathered friends get their meals without any unwanted visitors.

Secure Your Bird Table

The first step is to secure your bird table so it cannot be easily accessed by rats or other animals. Make sure the legs of the table are firmly planted into the ground and not loose enough for a rat to push them over or pull them up. If possible, use metal brackets or screws to attach it securely onto a wall or fence post, as this will make it harder for rodents to access it. You should also check regularly for signs of damage, such as gnaw marks which could indicate an attempted break-in.

Keep the Area Clean

It’s important to keep the area around your bird table clean and free from debris which may attract rats looking for food scraps or nesting materials. Sweep up any spilled seed regularly and dispose of leftovers properly in sealed containers rather than leaving them out in open bins where they could become easy pickings for hungry rodents.

Use Rat Repellents

Using natural rat repellents such as peppermint oil, cayenne pepper flakes, garlic cloves, mothballs, or even human hair clippings can help deter rats from coming near your feeders. Sprinkle these items around areas where you suspect rodent activity might occur – remember not to place anything too close to birds’ nests. Additionally, ultrasonic devices designed specifically for keeping pests away have been known to work well too, but always check with local wildlife authorities before using one of these products in case they interfere with nearby species’ habitats negatively.

Monitor Regularly

Finally, monitor your bird feeder regularly so that you can spot any potential problems early on before they become more serious issues like infestations. Look out for telltale signs like droppings (which look similar in size and shape) near feeding areas; burrows dug into the soil; chewed through wires/fences etc., all of which could indicate an unwelcome visitor has taken up residence nearby.

Bird Table Maintenance

a bird table with a lot of spilled seed

Bird tables are a great way to attract birds into your garden and can provide hours of entertainment for you and your family. But, like any outdoor structure, bird tables require regular maintenance in order to keep them functioning properly and free from pests such as rats. Here’s how you can ensure that your bird table remains in top condition:


It is important to clean the bird table regularly with warm soapy water or an anti-bacterial spray. This will help prevent the spread of disease between different species of birds that may visit the feeder. Additionally, it is also important to remove any old food left on the feeder, which could attract rodents or other unwanted visitors.

Repairing Damage

If there is any damage done to the bird table, it should be repaired immediately using wood glue or nails if necessary. This will help prevent further damage caused by weather conditions such as rain or wind, which could weaken the structure over time. It is also important to check for cracks in the base of the feeder where rodents may be able to enter and make their home inside.

Replacing Food Regularly

Old food can quickly become stale when left out in wet weather conditions, so it’s best practice to replace food regularly with fresh seed mixes or mealworms, depending on what type of birds you wish to attract into your garden. Doing this will not only keep them happy but also discourage rats from visiting due to its lack of appeal compared with fresh seed mixes.

Keeping Bird Tables Away From Trees & Bushes

Rats often use trees and bushes as pathways into gardens, so keeping your bird table away from these areas will help reduce their access points significantly. Additionally, try positioning your feeders at least two metres away from walls, too – this helps stop rats climbing up onto them via drainpipes etc

Using Rat Traps Around the Garden Perimeter

Finally, setting rat traps around the perimeter fences near where you have placed your bird table can help catch any unwelcome visitors before they get close enough to cause harm. Just remember, though – always dispose of trapped animals humanely once caught. Otherwise, they might end up back at square one again soon after being released elsewhere nearby.

Preventative Measures

an orange bird table in the garden

There are a few simple preventative measures that can be taken to keep rats away from bird tables. Firstly, it is important to ensure that the bird table is kept clean and free of food debris. This will help discourage rats from coming near as they won’t have any food sources available. Secondly, make sure there are no holes or cracks in the surface of the bird table where rats could enter. If necessary, use caulk or wood putty to fill any gaps around the edges of the table and check regularly for signs of damage or wear-and-tear, which could provide an entry point for rodents.

Thirdly, you should also consider using some form of deterrent, such as mothballs placed underneath your bird table – this will give off an unpleasant smell which may deter rats from approaching too closely. Alternatively, rat traps baited with peanut butter can be used if you already have a rodent problem in your garden; however, these should only be used under strict safety guidelines and must always be checked daily when set up outdoors.

Finally, try not to leave out large amounts of seed at once on your bird table. Instead, offer smaller quantities over time so that birds don’t waste their food but also so that there aren’t enough leftovers lying around for rodents to scavenge upon later on in the day. By following these steps, you can help protect both birds and other wildlife by keeping pesky pests away.

FAQs in Relation to How to Stop Rats From Climbing Bird Tables

What kind of bird food does not attract rats?

When it comes to bird food, the best way to avoid attracting rats is to opt for seed mixes that are high in oil content. Sunflower seeds, safflower seeds and nyjer (thistle) seeds are all great options as they contain higher levels of fat than other types of birdseed. Additionally, these types of seed have a hard outer shell which makes them difficult for rodents to crack open and eat. Avoid buying any type of loose grain or cracked corn, as these can easily be eaten by rats. Finally, make sure you keep your feeders clean and free from spilled seed on the ground below – this will help discourage rodents from coming around in search of an easy meal.

Is there a rat-proof bird feeder?

Yes, there are rat-proof bird feeders available. They typically have a weight-activated mechanism that closes the lid when something heavier than a bird lands on it. This prevents rats from accessing the food inside and keeps birds safe. Additionally, some feeders come with special guards or baffles to make them even more secure against rodents. It’s important to choose one that is well-made and designed for your specific needs in order to ensure its effectiveness against rats.

Why are rats attracted to bird feeders?

Rats are attracted to bird feeders because they provide a reliable source of food. The seeds, nuts and other treats that birds enjoy can also appeal to rats. Additionally, the presence of birds at the feeder may attract rodents as they seek out potential prey or scavenge for leftovers. Bird feeders can also offer shelter from predators and protection from the elements, making them an attractive option for rats looking for a safe place to nest. Finally, bird feeders often lack proper maintenance, which allows rat populations to grow unchecked in these areas.

Can rats climb bird feeder poles?

Yes, rats can climb bird feeder poles. They are agile climbers and have the ability to scale most surfaces with ease. Rats are also able to jump quite high, so they may be able to reach a bird feeder pole if it is not too tall or has any obstructions in their way. It’s important to ensure that your bird feeders are placed away from trees or other structures that could provide an easy route for rodents to access them. Additionally, using metal poles instead of wooden ones can help deter rats from climbing up the pole and reaching the food source.


In conclusion, keeping rats away from bird tables is an important part of maintaining a healthy and safe environment for birds. With the right preventative measures and regular maintenance, you can easily stop rats from climbing bird tables and keep your feathered friends happy. So don’t be discouraged by these pesky rodents – take control of the situation with our tips today.

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