Some may wonder, can feeding birds really add to pests in your yard or garden? The short and sweet answer is that, indeed, it may. While most people are eager to help wildlife or even feed birds for pure beauty, it may not yield the desired results. While attracting birds to your yard can be beautiful and educational, the vermin you may inadvertently attract can be destructive and pose a threat for carrying diseases.
If your goal is to get rid of rats and other vermin in your yard, it is imperative to stop using bird food, at least for a while. Bait and traps will not work as intended if birds are continually fed in the yard. Rather, rats, mice, squirrels, and other vermin will be more attracted to the birdseed that is laid out than the bait that has been planted. However, certain things can be done to help lessen the desire for these four-legged visitors to come calling.
Scavengers such as mice and rats are what are called opportunistic feeders. In other words, they will seek food wherever it is easily accessible to them. If bird feed is openly displayed in the yard, it is in their nature to dig, climb, search, or otherwise find ways of accessing it.
Another thing to remember is that birds being fed in a yard does not mean that vermin will automatically appear. It may end up not being an issue whatsoever! Many people put bird food out for feathered friends, yet they never see any unwanted visitors.
Bird Food Can Spoil Quickly
One thing to keep in mind is that bird food does go bad if it is not eaten. Therefore, if the birds aren’t eating food because it has been spoiled, mice and rats most likely won’t partake either. Most animals are pretty good at sensing when food has gone bad and will take steps to avoid it.
Specifically, bird food will often go bad after being outdoors for a few weeks. Since bird food is a natural product, the light and naturally occurring elements such as rain or snow can cause the birdseed to spoil more quickly. Paying attention to when food spoils and being mindful to replace it promptly is helpful to both birds and your goal of keeping away pests.
Limiting Rodent Activity in Your Yard
If you have decided to use birdseed in your yard, another way to help reduce mice and rats in your yard is by ensuring that it is difficult for them to reach the bird food. If it is more challenging to get, they will be less likely to go after it.
Although rats are fantastic at climbing, they are most likely to eat food that has fallen on the ground. If you make sure that birdseed that has fallen on the ground has been picked up and no mess remains, rats are less likely to visit.
If you have taken all of these precautions and you notice that rats or mice are still willing to climb the poles to reach tables and feeders, you can attempt to dissuade them using the following tips:
At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too.
If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form.