How to Racoon Proof a Bird Feeder

Raccoons can be troublesome visitors at bird feeders, especially if you’re not prepared with an effective deterrent. If raccoons can access your bird feeder, they will eat all of the food, causing birds to go hungry and depriving them of vital energy sources. Additionally, when raccoons climb onto the feeder, they can damage it, creating a safety hazard for birds.

How to Racoon Proof a Bird Feeder

One of the main advantages of learning to raccoon-proof a bird feeder is that it can help protect the birds from potential predators. Raccoons tend to be very aggressive in their attempts to access food sources, and they are capable of causing major damage to both feeders and the birds themselves. By using certain techniques, including investing in special raccoon-proof bird feeders, you can help keep your feathered friends safe. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to racoon proof a bird feeder in this blog article.

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Racoon Proof a Bird Feeder

Step 1: Inspect Your Bird Feeder

Before you start to raccoon-proof your bird feeder, take a moment to look at it closely. Determine the material’s strength or durability and the shape of the feeder. This will give you an idea of what type of protection measures you’ll need for effective raccoon-proofing.

Step 2: Secure Your Bird Feeder

One of the best ways to keep raccoons away from your bird feeder is to secure them firmly. If possible, place your feeder in an area that is difficult for raccoons to access, like a tree with thick branches or higher up on a pole. You can also use heavy-duty screws or brackets to secure the feeder to a nearby surface.

Screws Are Tightened Securel

Step 3: Choose Racoon-Resistant Bird Seed

Another effective way to keep raccoons from getting access to your bird feed is by selecting bird seed that is designed specifically for raccoon resistance. These types of seeds are usually made with ingredients that discourage raccoons from trying to access them.

Step 4: Utilize Feeder Covers

Feeder covers are a great tool for protecting your bird feeders from raccoons and other animals. It’s important to find the right size cover for your specific feeder in order to ensure an effective barrier against unwanted visitors. A motion-activated sprinkler is a great way to deter raccoons from approaching your bird feeder. The sprinklers are designed to sense when an animal approaches and then spray them with water, which will discourage them from returning.

Step 5: Put Up a Fence

Adding fencing around your bird feeder is an effective way to keep raccoons away. Choose a fence that is made with materials that are strong enough to withstand raccoon claws and make sure it’s tall enough so they can’t easily climb over it. Raccoons are attracted to food sources, so it’s important to remove other sources of food in your yard that may be luring them in. This includes pet food dishes, overflowing compost bins, and fallen fruit from trees.

Adding Fencing Around to Bird Feeder

Step 6: Try a Natural Repellent

If you want to try a more natural approach to repelling raccoons, you can use certain essential oils or solutions that are designed to be unpleasant for the animals. These solutions should be applied around the perimeter of your bird feeder and around your yard. Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, so setting up motion-activated lights around your yard can help to deter them from approaching.

Step 7: Contact an Animal Control Specialist

If all else fails and you’re still having issues with raccoons, it may be time to contact a professional animal control specialist. They are trained in the best methods for dealing with pests and can help you to get rid of raccoons from your property effectively. Following these tips will help protect your bird feeder from pesky raccoons and other animals.

Safety Tips for How to Racoon Proof a Bird Feeder

  1. Avoid using a platform or tray-style bird feeder, which is more likely to attract raccoons than other styles of bird feeders.
  2. Utilize an enclosed style feeder that is designed specifically for birds and not accessible to animals such as raccoons.
  3. Place the bird feeder at least 6 feet off the ground and away from trees or other objects that raccoons can climb.
  4. Install baffles to block access and prevent raccoons from reaching the feeder.
  5. Use a hot pepper powder mixture on the bird seeds, as spicy flavors deter raccoons.
  6. Place a motion-activated sprinkler near the feeder to scare away raccoons.
  7. Ensure your bird feeder is in an open area, free of branches and other objects that raccoons can use to climb and reach the feeder.
Use a Hot Pepper Powder

By following these safety tips, you can ensure that your bird feeder is raccoon-proof and that your feathered friends can enjoy a safe, healthy, and steady source of food.

How Can You Prevent Raccoons From Reaching the Bird Feeder?

The best way to keep raccoons from raiding a bird feeder is to make it inaccessible. The following tips can help you raccoon-proof your bird feeder:

  • Mount the Feeder High: Raccoons generally cannot reach feeders mounted more than five feet off the ground, so try mounting yours on a pole or a tree branch. You can also buy baffles to attach to your feeder, which makes it harder for raccoons to climb up and reach the food.
  • Place the Feeder Away From Potential Hiding Places: Raccoons are smart animals who often look for hiding places to jump out and grab food quickly. Make sure to place your feeder away from any potential hiding spots, such as nearby trees or bushes.
  • Secure the Feeder: If you have a platform bird feeder, make sure it’s securely attached to a pole or other structure with screws or bolts so that raccoons can’t easily knock it down.
  • Use a Special Raccoon Proof Bird Feeder: You can also purchase a special raccoon-proof bird feeder, which is designed to be difficult for raccoons to access. These feeders usually have mechanisms that only allow birds to get the food while keeping out larger animals like raccoons.

By following these tips, you can help keep raccoons away from your bird feeder and create a safe feeding environment for birds.

Are There Any Special Considerations for Bird Feeders Located Near Trees or Shrubs? 

Bird Feeder Located Near Trees

If you have a bird feeder located near trees or shrubs, it is especially important to raccoon-proof your bird feeder. Raccoons are excellent climbers and can easily access a feeder from the branches of nearby trees and shrubs. To protect your bird feeder from these furry raiders, consider using baffles. A baffle is a cone-shaped device that can be installed on a pole or tree branch near the feeder. It prevents animals from climbing the pole and reaching the bird seed.

In addition to installing a baffle, you can also ensure that any trees or shrubs near your bird feeder are regularly pruned. This will reduce the number of branches that raccoons could potentially use to access your feeder. Finally, if you have a lot of trees or shrubs in your yard, consider only filling your bird feeder with enough seed for one day at a time. This way, any seed left over from the previous day will not attract raccoons to your bird feeder.

How Often Should You Clean and Replace the Bird Feeder to Keep It Raccoon-proof? 

Regular maintenance of the bird feeder is paramount to keeping it raccoon-proof. The frequency of cleaning and replacing the bird feeder will depend on its type, size, location, and how often birds visit it. As a general rule of thumb, it’s important to ensure the bird feeder is emptied and cleaned every two weeks if it’s a single-level feeder. If the bird feeder is a double or triple level, then it should be emptied and cleaned at least once every three to four weeks.

To properly clean the feeder, use soap and water to remove dirt, debris, old seed, and raccoon droppings. Using a sanitizer or disinfectant when cleaning the feeder and its surrounding area is also recommended to keep it germ-free. When it comes to replacing your bird feeder, it depends on the material used in its construction. Metal is known as the most durable and long-lasting material, while wood is prone to rotting and damage from the elements.

Use Soap and Water to Remove Dirt

How Should You Dispose of Food That is Left Over After Feeding Birds to Prevent Attracting Raccoons? 

It is important to dispose of any food that is left over after feeding birds and which could potentially attract raccoons. The best method for disposing of leftover bird food is to pick up all spilled seed and place it in a sealed container or bag before throwing them away. This will prevent the smell from seeping out and attracting raccoons.

You should also avoid leaving food out overnight as this could attract raccoons to your bird feeder. It’s best to clean the feeders and remove any leftover seeds each evening before going to bed. If you have a squirrel guard on your bird feeder, it may be necessary to adjust the baffles so that they are closer to the seed, as squirrels may be able to access the seed if there is too much space between them.

Finally, you may want to consider using a raccoon-proof bird feeder which has been designed and tested to keep raccoons away from your bird feeders. These types of feeders will often have features such as heavy-duty locks, strong steel cages, and more.


One of the main disadvantages of trying to raccoon-proof a bird feeder is that it can be quite costly. Many types of raccoon-proofing methods require special materials or tools, which can be expensive. Additionally, some methods aren’t always 100% effective, so there may be times when raccoons are still able to get into the bird feeder.

Furthermore, raccoons are highly intelligent and adaptive animals, so they may eventually find a way to bypass whatever type of proofing method that you have chosen.

In conclusion, raccoons are clever, persistent creatures who can easily find their way into a bird feeder quickly.

Fortunately, by following the steps outlined above, you can effectively raccoon-proof your bird feeder and keep these pesky animals away from your feathered friends. From using baffles to ensuring the feeder is securely fastened to the pole, the main goal is to make it hard for raccoons to access your bird feeder.

I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to racoon proof a bird feeder. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically. 

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