Last Updated on March 24, 2022 by Cristina
There’s no limit to what raccoons will roam for food, so you might want to look for ways to raccoon proof bird feeder. Waking up to a trashed garbage can is bad, but facing a damaged and empty hummingbird feeder is infuriating. It chases off your hummingbirds and burns a hole in your pocket – if it keeps happening.
Raccoons have a special role in the food system, and hurting this animal is not an option. Luckily there are several ways that you can raccoon proof bird feeder and keep everyone alive and healthy.
Let’s dive into the raccoon trouble!
Raccoons And Hummingbird Feeders
Raccoons are intelligent and nosy animals that easily find their way to your garden, especially at night. They have a powerful sense of smell that helps them find food nearby. And they can smell nectar too, so you need to raccoon proof bird feeder.
Raccoons are nocturnal animals, which means they will go for your hummingbird feeder after dark. They don’t attack or eat hummingbirds, and they rarely meet them. Hummingbirds go to rest as soon as dusk approaches, and raccoons rarely make an appearance during the day.
Raccoons Role In The Food Chain
It’s important to know that raccoons, like all other animals, hold a specific role in the food chain. They usually pick wooded areas with plenty of vegetation. Raccoons might move into abandoned burrows or tree cavities. They feed on snakes, rodents, shallow water fish.
Chasing them away or killing them leads to an overpopulation of certain species, which disturbs the ecosystem. But what do when raccoons really get on your nerve? Here’s how to raccoon proof bird feeder, so they look for food elsewhere.
Can Raccoons Climb Poles
Before looking for a solution, pay attention to where your hummingbird feeder is positioned. Raccoons can easily climb 20 to 30 feet and grasp a 4-inch diameter pole.
Having your feeder hanging from pipes makes it easy to reach. Raccoons are skilled and smart, so you need to consider all their capabilities before installing obstacles. Ready to raccoon proof bird feeder? Let’s jump to our suggestions.
How To Keep Raccoons Away From Bird Feeders
1. Remove Stepping Stones
Do raccoons attack hummingbird feeders at a height over 30 feet? Raccoons are excellent climbers, but they rarely climb over 30 feet. However, they’re more tempted to attack a feeder if there are stepping stones that they can use to jump off. Think of nearby fences, tree branches, or shelves.
Cut any branches that can lead the raccoon to your feeder, or move the feeder to a more inaccessible spot.
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2. Cage Your Feeder
The most logical step to raccoon proof bird feeder is to buy one they can’t use. But raccoons are bigger than hummingbirds and have skilled claws; what type of feeder will stop them? That’s your leading point.
Raccoons are big, so they can’t fit through narrow openings, like cage bars. You can also look into weight-limited feeders. Hummingbirds weigh a few grams and can fit anywhere, while raccoons are heavy and thick.
3. Feed The Raccoons
If you don’t mind letting the raccoons into your garden or can’t be bothered to raccoon proof bird feeder, you can feed them separately.
Place their food on the opposite side of the hummingbird feeders. When the raccoons are fed, they’re less likely to climb to the hummingbird feeders and destroy them. You can give them dog or cat food, nuts, fruits, poultry, and fish.
Read more about What Do You Call A Group Of Hummingbirds?
4. Add Baffles To The Poles
Raccoons are good climbers, but they won’t manage past a baffle. Can raccoons climb PVC pipe? PVC has less traction than wood, but don’t underestimate the might raccoon claws. As long as your pole or pipe is 4 inches or less wide, they will climb it.
Adding metal wire to the pole is one way to stop them. But baffles are even more effective. There’s a wide choice of metal baffles that can easily blend in with your pole or post.
5. Spice Up The Food
Hummingbirds have no sense of smell, but raccoons can smell food from 20 feet and follow the trace. Their strong sense of smell, along with their excellent night vision, helps them navigate in the night.
However, they’re not immune to all smells. This is their weak point which doesn’t affect hummingbirds. You can use garlic and peppermint near the feeder to repel the raccoons.
But the top product to use is spicy hot pepper flakes. Hot peppers have an ingredient called capsicum that affects our taste buds. Raccoons are mammals just like us, so they feel the same effect. But unlike some humans, raccoons don’t like spicy food.
It interferes with their senses and deters them away. The smell of peppermint and garlic disappears easily, so it can be a hassle to add new servings every day. But dried chilly flakes are easy to use to raccoon proof bird feeder. Plus, even if the hummingbirds ingest some, they’ll be fine.
Check Out Why Do Hummingbirds Stop Coming To Feeders?
What Not To Do To Repel Raccoons
- Don’t kill or hurt raccoons in any way. You can set a humane trap and release them further away from your house.
- We don’t suggest feeding the raccoons if you live in a densely populated area. They become acclimated and more prone to accidents. They can even show signs of aggression.
- If you know you have raccoons nearby, raccoon proof bird feeder before they reach it.
- Don’t feed them onions, chocolate, coffee, candy, or cocoa as they are toxic to the raccoons. Macadamia nuts and raisins are also a no-go.
Bottom Line: How To Raccoon Proof Bird Feeder
Raccoons, well known as trash pandas, are not a predator of hummingbirds. But they will inevitably go for the sweet nectar you provide for the hummers. So investing in a nice feeder only to see it broken by a raccoon is not a good situation.
Raccoon proof bird feeder before this happens by adding spice around the feeder, installing baffles, or placing the feeder on a tall, hard-to-reach spot.
Can raccoons climb PVC pipe?
Raccoons have a hard time climbing sleek pipes with no traction. Unlike trees, PVC pipes don't have any grip. However, the raccoon's claws are strong, so they might manage to climb in some cases.
Do raccoons attack hummingbird feeders?
Yes, raccoons will attack hummingbird feeders and eat the nectar. If they're hungry, they will find a way to the feeder.
Meri is a passionate wildlife enthusiast with a special interest in hummingbirds. She loves to observe and learn about the different species of hummingbirds from around the world. After graduating from college with a degree in biology, Meri decided to pursue her dream of writing about hummingbirds and the importance of their conservation. She has since published several articles on the subject in various magazines and online publications. Her articles focus on the importance of habitat preservation, how hummingbirds contribute to ecosystem balance, and the unique behaviors of various species. When she’s not writing, Meri enjoys bird watching and taking pictures of her feathered friends. She also volunteers at her local wildlife center, helping to protect and rehabilitate injured or orphaned hummingbirds. Meri’s passion for hummingbirds drives her to spread awareness and promote their conservation, so that future generations will be able to enjoy their beauty.