Even a platform feeder on a stand is vulnerable to rats if it is hung from a bird feeding station. Rats can use a land bridge created by suspending feeders from an item or natural growth to access the food below. Use a squirrel baffle to prevent rats from climbing when it is practical to do so.
When dealing with rats, it might be frustrating to want to feed little common garden birds but instead end up encouraging an infestation.
Rats are drawn to bird feeders because they often contain suet in the form of fat balls or blocks, or maybe the peanuts themselves.
Taking away all sources of wild bird food would deter them from ever making the effort again.
Hanging a peanut, seed, or suet feeder from a bracket attached to a stone wall is one way to continue providing sustenance for backyard birds.
There should be a fast tidy up every once in a while because feeding ground birds is impossible if rats are there, and neither is leaving any food spilled on the ground.
The rats will likely continue to visit the bird feeders until they are able to get to the food inside. Until then, keep an eye on their actions so that you can guess what they’ll do.
It’s not likely that a bird bath will attract rats, but they could use it as a water source, thus it could be best to do away with it if there’s a rat-borne illness in the area.
Rats climb feeding station
Rats may easily scale the pole of a bird feeder and gain access to a cluster of bird dishes in a garden.
Being in an area without a rat problem is preferable, but if you are in an infested region, you should expect rats to visit your feeders.
Where you hang your feeders can have a significant impact.
It’s important to put constraints in place since rats will definitely find a way to get to a tree branch if there are none.
You can’t completely prevent rats from ascending the pole of the bird feeder, but a squirrel baffle will help.
Generally speaking, if you can figure out how to deter squirrels from your feeders, you can also block out rats.
A squirrel’s intelligence and resourcefulness don’t compare to a rat’s, but in principle, rats should be easy to control.
No trouble climbing platform feeders
If you live in an area with a rat issue, a bird feeder mounted on a wooden platform is not the best choice.
Mice and rats would have no issue scampering up the rough trunk of a wooden post.
However, the height of the stand combined with the width of the bird feeding platform might be enough to deter the rodents. Unless, of course, the rats figure out how to crawl upside down to the ledge and then use that to get up and over it.
A hanging platform feeder is preferable to a pole-mounted one, so there’s no need to consider the former.
However, if you utilize a hanging platform feeder, the problem of climbing rats will return since the rats will use whatever the feeder is suspended from as a land bridge.
Protect the top of the platform from rats by installing a squirrel baffle or similar device.
If you can’t take the time to install even the most basic of squirrel safe equipment, it’s best to stick to a platform feeder that sits on a stand or mounts to the wall.
Baffle will stop climbing
Using a squirrel baffle is the next step after heeding my guidance on how to deter squirrels from a bird feeder.
A baffle is a disk or funnel that is attached to the pole of a bird feeder so that squirrels cannot climb up and over the barrier.
However, if you have a square wooden post, you can get a specialized squirrel baffle for it.
Squirrels and rats cannot scale it because it is fastened firmly but fanned outwards in a downward direction, preventing them from using it as a foothold.
The squirrel baffle can be used with most pole-mounted bird feeders, but a platform feeder requires a different product.
In order for squirrel baffles to be effective, they must be placed high up the pole, which should be enough to prevent rats from just hopping over the top of it.
Hang off wrought bracket
To attract birds to your landscape, I suggest installing a hanging bird feeder from a flower pot bracket or a dedicated bird feeder bracket.
If rats or mice can find a way to climb up and over a fence, tree, or any obstacle in the yard, they will find their way to the top of the bird feeder.
Placing wild bird feeders on a wall bracket, as an alternative, will make them more difficult for rats to get.
Rats can climb bare brick walls, but if they get to the wrought bracket that’s mounted on the wall, their adventure might be over.
Wall brackets should be installed as high as possible, but not close to any ledges or other objects that rats could use as a stepping stone.
If you want to provide food for the birds in your backyard without attracting clever rats, you can do so by mounting a feeder on the wall.
Rats are cunning
If a rat sees a bird feeder up high that has suet cakes, it will use every ounce of energy it has to make the ascent.
However, rats are resourceful creatures who might figure out a solution if given enough time.
Once a rat has mastered the challenge of climbing the poles of bird feeding stations, it can easily descend to the top of any bracket and dine on the birds there.
Rats would have little trouble ascending a bird platform feeder made of wood since the timber surface provides superior grip.
Even if some rats do get stuck under the feeding platforms, it’s entertaining to see them transform into spiders with their legs hanging out the bottom.
Rats only want to eat, therefore they will devour any bird food that falls on the yard or patio, though they may still try to eat from your bird feeders.
Rats can easily reach the bird food that is placed on top of a platform feeder or those that are hung from a bird feeding station.
The problem is that the bird feeders are typically dangling precariously from a branch or a neighboring fence, both of which are easily scaled.
Even while a rat baffle might work to prevent rats from reaching the top of a pole-mounted bird feeder, a squirrel baffle might be more effective in preventing squirrels from reaching the food.
When it comes to feeding stations, squirrel baffles are universally adaptable and simple to set up.
Hanging one or many feeders from a bracket that is permanently attached to the wall is the only way, in my opinion, to deter rats from your bird feeder.
Even though rats are excellent climbers, they probably won’t be able to make it over that metal bracket.
Rats can be as crafty as they are intelligent, thus it may be best to get rid of all food sources for the time being rather than continuing to feed the birds.