What do mice and the birds that homeowners enjoy feeding in their backyard have in common? The answer: a shared interest in an easy meal. That, of course, can present a problem.
Establishing a bird feeder in your backyard is a common pastime for many people. Serious and casual bird watchers alike enjoy seeing various species of birds visit the feeders and linger in their trees or bushes.
One drawback to the enjoyment of this little slice of nature is that birdseed is one of the most sought-after foods of an unwelcome backyard visitor – rodents. And when we say rodents, we include various species of mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, and voles – all of which are rabid feeders of birdseed.
In previous blog posts, the Clark Man has pointed out that available food sources can be less plentiful during the winter months for a variety of reasons, including weather and the rodents’ inability to access structures.
As a result, backyard bird feeders can provide foraging rodents (and other pests) with an easily accessible source of food and that can spell trouble. Rodents – especially mice and rats – can be aggressive foragers, and that curiosity can lead them to attempt to gain entry to your home in search of food and shelter.
To reduce the threat of rodents feasting on your property, aspiring ornithologists should work to keep birdseed in the feeder and off the ground. Using a catch tray beneath the feeder, installing a squirrel guard, cleaning up spilled seed, and storing extra seed in sealed containers will help homeowners prevent a desirable feeding ground for rodents.
Another good practice for homeowners is to follow the Clark Man’s easy-to-do rodent exclusion practices to keep rodents on the outside looking in:
- Store dried bulk foods, pet food, and birdseed in sealed plastic containers, and do not leave pet food bowls unattended or out overnight
- Keep the space immediately next to your home uncluttered by removing wood piles, leaves, and landscape debris, and trim bushes and trees
- Rodent do not like physical barriers, so install door sweeps and block gaps around utility openings with rodent-control fill fabric
- Block and seal any holes in the foundation and around door and window frames
If you are seeing signs of rodent activity around your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.