Common bird feeder mistake can invite pesky rodents into your garden - but there's an easy fix

A pretty Coal Tit ( Periparus ater) feeding from a peanut feeder.
Bird feeder mistake could attract rats to your garden -Credit:Getty

A lot of nature-lovers end up making a common mistake with their bird feeders that tends to attract rodents and other pesky predators - but there is a simple fix for this.

A bird feeder can invite some feathered friends to brighten up your back garden and also bring some joy with a simple little sing-song from these warblers. However, you also risk attracting some unwelcome guests in the form of rats and squirrels, reports the Mirror.

These rodents can't understand that the bird feeder isn't laid out for them and will steal this food from the little songbirds you were initially trying to attract.

This means you need to be careful about how you will utilise your bird feeder in order to avoid rodents and even predators like foxes and cats. These animals can be attracted to the food in the feeder and could even end up slaughtering the birds that you want to see fluttering around your garden.

Most of the time these pesky rodents and predators are attracted to your bird feeder because you are making one common mistake that is easily fixed.

Bird experts spoke to Ideal Home about how people can purchase the wrong shape of bird feeder that is easily accessible for pests and predators. There are many feeders that are designed to ward off squirrels and other pests which is what you should opt for if you are worried about predators entering your garden.

A fun photograph of a cheeky red squirrel stretched out as it steals seed from a bird feeder.
Squirrels can easily sneak up trees and plants and snack on your bird feeders -Credit:Getty

Expert Thomas Hibbert from the Wildlife Trust explained: "If food is really hard to find in your area, you could offer some seeds or suet in a squirrel-proof feeder."

Experts say that the best feeders to buy are "weight-activated, caged, and domed" which can deter pests or predators from entering your garden. If you don't want to drop a lot of money then there are other options other than these specially-designed feeders.

Sneaking in a couple of unwelcome ingredients or smells into your bird feeder can deter pests like squirrels or rats. Things like sunflower seeds or niger seeds are perfect for birds but squirrels actively dislike them.

Certain smells can also deter rats and squirrels but won't affect the birds from fluttering to your feeder. Garlic, pepper, cayenne pepper, and peppermint are all extremely unappealing to rodents but birds are unable to taste these spices.

The experts said: "While these smells are unappealing to rodents, birds can't actually taste them, so sprinkling a little cayenne pepper into your bird feeders, for example, will act as an additional deterrent."

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