Rodent Control Of Rats At Bird Feeders – Go to War

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How To Have Effective Rodent Control Of Rats? Declare war!

(Continue reading or skip down to the best solution.)

Discovering rats at your bird feeders is traumatic!

I know, I looked out one day to enjoy my birds and I could not believe what I was seeing.

We had lived there for many years and never had rats before.

I know how you are feeling.

Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Stressed?

All the help you need is right here!

Do you know what you need, to win rodent control of rats?

War! Go to war! 

Your goal should be nothing less than, flat out, no rats! Wipe them out!

And in order to win the war, you have to have a strategic plan: First, know your enemy!


3 Reasons You Need to Win The Vermin Control War:

And you have to win this battle because…

1. Rats carry disease and you do not want to make your birds sick, or your family and You!

2. They will eat all your birdseed.

3. If they are at your bird feeders, Your home could be next!

So learning how to get rid of rats outside, is very important.

The best way to get rid of rats fast is right here! Keep reading.

A picture of a rat eating bird seed off the ground.
Rodent Control of Rats at Bird Feeders is a Serious Problem

What Do You Need to Know to Get Rid of Rats?

Here is a crash course on what you need to know to conduct effective rodent control of rats.

List of Rat Behavior Traits You Need to Know:

It is important to know a few facts about rat behavior, to have good rodent control of rats. Understanding why they do what they do will assist you in executing an effective remedy, on how to get rid of rats in your garden.

1.    When rats find new food they are not familiar with, they will take a tiny amount to test it out the first time. This way they can avoid items that are indigestible. Knowing this will help you to bait a trap for success.

2.    They mostly hunt for food at night.

3.    There are two common types of rats in North America, Norway rats, also named brown rats and roof rats also named black rats.

4   A pair of Norway rats can rear 2000 young in one year!

5.    A rat can tread water for 3 days, so flushing them down the toilet, will not get rid of them!

6.    Rats can fall 50 feet and not hurt themselves.

7.    Rats are creatures of habit and will follow the same pathways, over and over.

A sketch of a rat swimming in water.
Rats are Very Good Swimmers

What Problems Arise When Rats Visit Bird Feeders?

1. The biggest and worst problem, with rats at bird feeders is their urine and feces. Their excrement is a carrier for a variety of serious diseases. The birdseed will become contaminated as they crawl around on the seed and your feeder. You must be extra careful cleaning your feeders if you have rats eating from them. That’s why rodent control of rats is so important. (More on how to do that properly further down.)

Quick Facts

The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states that the following diseases are directly transmitted by rodents.

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome collapsed
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome collapsed
  • Lassa Fever collapsed
  • Leptospirosis collapsed
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM) collapsed
  • Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever collapsed
  • Plague collapsed
  • Rat-Bite Fever collapsed
  • Salmonellosis collapsed
  • South American Arenaviruses (Argentine hemorrhagic fever, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Sabiá-associated hemorrhagic fever, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever) collapsed

Very good evidence of why getting rid of rats should be taken seriously.

2. They can eat a lot!  Far more than you and I can, when compared to respective body weight. A rat will eat a third of its body weight daily if it can find enough to eat. You will be restocking your bird feeders often and that can be expensive.

3. If they are outside near your house, guess where they will want to be when it gets colder or they decide they need a new home. That’s right, in your house with you!

That’s why its key, to get that rodent control of rats to plan started!


What Is A Rats #1 Motivator In Visiting Your Bird Feeder?


Plain and simple, they need to eat and your bird feeders are satisfying that need.

And, so far it has been easily available and free!

But, you are going to change that!

What Do Rats Like To Eat?

Anything and everything!

They are omnivorous eaters, meaning, they will eat plant matter and food of meat origin. Everything on our menu and far more.

Rats are undiscriminating when it comes to dining.

Birdseed of all variety, suet, peanuts-in-the-shell, insects, bird’s eggs (Many songbird’s eggs are small enough for a rat to easily bite through.) If you know you have rats in your yard, then you will want to keep an eye on your birdhouses too. If it is nesting season, make sure they cannot gain access to your bird’s homes.

Rats are hoarders. They will eat whatever they find and take what they can back to their home and hide the leftovers for a later time.

They even eat their feces often, for added nutrition. (Disgusting right!)

Bet You Didn’t Know This Rat Fact

In the mid 19th century, there was a need for rodent control of rats. 

To take care of this problem rat-catchers were employed!

Jack Black was such a person.

He not only caught rats, but he bred them to develop interesting color variations.

Then he sold them, to the upper-class ladies of the time, as pets.

Queen Victoria and Beatrice Potter are said to have been two of his customers!

Some believe that Beatrix Potter’s book The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or the Roly Poly Pudding was inspired by her pet rat.

What Essential Steps To Take For Successful Rodent Control Of Rats?

9 Step Solution Plan, But Omit #8!

Your Goal – Flat Out, No Rats!

1. Prevent birdseed from landing under the bird feeder.

2. Use only shelled seed to prevent the hulls from falling to the ground.

3. Sweep or rake the litter up under the feeders often.

4. Store bird food properly.

5. Locate your feeders away from your house.

6. Rat-proof your feeders.

7. Rat-proof your house.

8. Should poison be used to get rid of rats?

9. Trapping for rodent control of rats.

Let’s Look More Closely at Each of the 9 Fixes:

1. Stop Seed Falling On Ground

To prevent the seed from landing on the ground under the bird feeder, hang a seed catcher from the bird feeder. It will also provide a place for ground-feeding birds to eat.

2. Fill Feeder With No Waste Bird Seed

Filling feeders with clean, hulled seed will reduce the amount of food that falls to the ground under the bird feeder.

Once you have achieved good rodent control of rats, then using this seed will prevent another occurrence.

3. Take Care Of The Ground Under Bird Feeders

Sweeping or raking the surface under the feeder to keep it free of fallen seed will help.

If there is no food available to the rodents on the ground, then they will have no reason to be there.

4. How Bird Seed Is Stored Is Important

Where, and how you store your birdseed will make a difference if that is the attraction, not your feeders. Your supply of bird food must be kept impenetrable. Always store seed in a metal container, preferably
outside, that has a secured lid to keep the “night bandits”, raccoons, out.

Rats, like mice, are quite capable of gnawing through plastic, and thickness, only means it may take a little longer, but it will absolutely not keep them out!

My Experience With Seed Containers

I have had the experience of finding this out first hand. I purchased a large, very thick, close to ¾ of an inch (1.9 cm) thick, plastic garbage container.

I placed it just outside my backdoor on the deck. I had lots of bird feeders around the deck and thought this would be a convenient place to store seed, close to the feeders, and the backdoor.

But after some time, I noticed seed was collecting around the bottom of the container.

At first, I did not think much of it, but after a few days I noticed more, and it was spreading out over the deck a little.

I knew I was not responsible for this mess. So, I tipped my new seed holder to one side a little, to have a look underneath.

I was shocked! There was a 2-inch hole with slightly ragged edges!

Obviously, that some little critter had made its determined way through my new, thick, seed cache holder.

So down to the basement it went, to be the holder of something else and a metal replacement was soon standing in its place.

Metal is the only way to go!

5. Moving Bird Feeders

Relocating your feeders farther away from your home will decrease the opportunity for the rats to discover your home.

6. Rat Proof Bird Feeders

Rat-proofing feeders work. Keep rats from reaching your bird feeders by installing baffles as a good measure to employ for rodent control of rats.

When we had our problem with rats I did not see rats in the feeders. But, they can climb poles of any kind, metal, wood, or plastic, just like the squirrels!

Install a baffle on the pole under the bird feeder. The baffle will block the rats way up the pole to your feeder. A squirrel baffle will be sufficient to prevent rats from getting to the top.

But if you also have raccoons visiting your feeders, then I would suggest a raccoon baffle, which is longer and wider than a squirrel baffle. Then you have something that will block raccoons, squirrels and rats!

If the rats are dropping down to your feeder from above, you will need to hang a dome or umbrella style baffle above the feeder. The baffle will need to be large enough that, as the rodent slides down the baffle, it is not able to grab the feeder on its fall, past it.

7. Seal Up Your Home

Rodent control of rats means rat-proofing your home. It will be more difficult than dealing with your feeders, because a rat, can fit through a hole slightly smaller than a quarter. But very necessary if you are going to have a rat-free house.

Getting rid of the rats you see now, will not keep your home rodent-free. New rats will replace the ones
you remove. So the only solution for your home is to seal it uptight.

  • Seal up all your buildings using metal material.
  • Remove hiding places. Outside and in, be tidy, no piles.
  • Eliminate food and water sources for rodents.

Take Extra Caution When Cleaning Up

> Ensure the area where you will be cleaning up, is well ventilated.

> Always, wear rubber gloves.

> Spray the feces and urinated area with bleach and water. Pick up with a paper towel. Never sweep them up.

> Thoroughly, disinfect all surfaces and wash clothes, bedding and upholstery.

For detailed instructions on how to clean up after a rat infestation and have achieved rodent control of rats, follow the guidelines from the CDC.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


8. Poisoning For Rodent Control Of Rats

Poisoning for rodent control will not be the solution you think it is when you consider the following:

  • Overuse has created the situation that some rats have become immune to poison. 
  • Rats, as mentioned earlier, are cautious about what they eat. There is no guarantee that your rats, will eat it, or enough of it to kill them.
  • Where there are one or two rats, there are many more. So, if you are successful at killing a few, more will take their place. (Remember, a pair of brown rats can produce 2000 offspring in one year.)
  • When a wild animal is sick, they usually go and hide. Your house will be that hiding place if you are lucky enough to poison them inside your home or near it. The result will be a rotting carcass in your home.
  • If the poisoned rat is outside, it may become prey to a hawk, neighborhood cat, or another prey animal, which in turn will become sick or die. It is against American and Canadian law to harm wildlife if you are not legally hunting.
  • It is inhumane! I will say it again. It is inhumane! Death by poisoning is slow and painful. You do not have to like an animal to understand that. Death by poisoning is torture. There are
    other humane methods for rodent control.

But, in saying all this about poison, if you have an infestation this may be the only solution. You should get professional help for this situation.

I am not against killing rats.

It just needs to be done humanely.

Number 9 below, is the best recommendation for getting rid of rats.

Once you have followed the steps above, 1 through 7, to prevent the further attraction, then number 9 is the best method for rodent control of rats.

We trapped the rats that were coming to our feeders years ago, with a  rented wire cage, specifically designed to catch rats.

We checked our cage every hour, to release the little birds that would occasionally find their way in.

Then we drowned the rats we caught.

Because we lived in the country at the time, we placed the carcasses in the field beside our home.

Within hours the body would be gone.

We had not used poison so the rats were served up as a safe food source.

9. Trapping Rats

Trapping rats in a Victor Electronic Rat Trap, for “winning” results of rodent control of rats.

This is definitely my first method of choice if we ever have rats again.

1. Quick and humane. This trap is a technically advanced method. It produces enough shock
from 4 C batteries to deliver a speedy death. It is cost-effective to use too, as 4 batteries kill 50 rats.

2. No handling of a live or dead rodent is necessary. You don’t even have to see it.

3. Easy to use. Simply tip the trap contents into a double plastic bag. Throw it in the trash or if you live in a rural area, do like we did, give the wildlife around you a helping hand with a safe, non-poisoned meal.

4. Another bonus is, it traps bodily fluids and parasites, which traditional snap traps do not. Seeing and having to handle them is a huge drawback to traditional snap traps.

5. The price is reasonable too when one considers how pricey it can be to keep purchasing birdseed that the rats are eating voraciously or make repairs to your home from the chewing damage they cause!

6. Environmentally friendly, no chemicals or poisons necessary.

Selective Elimination is the Goal,
Not Random Killing


To selectively catch the animal you wish and not inadvertently zap a bird, squirrel, or chipmunk, first use a live animal trap. You can release any animals you catch, that you do not want to kill, but when you have a rat…

Then place it with the door open at the entrance to the electronic rat trap, where more bait will attract it into its demise.

1.  Catch & Release Other Animals and Send Rats to the Zapper

Havahart 1077 Small Professional Style One-Door Animal Trap for Squirrel, Rabbit, Skunk, and Mink
  • Best used for rabbits, squirrels, and weasels
  • Simple-to-use design makes trapping easy for trappers of all levels of experience
  • Spring-loaded door delivers quick and secure captures

Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 2.   Place Live Animal Trap with Caught Rat With Open Doors Together to Send Rat to Zapper! 

PestZilla Electronic Rodent Zapper Trap, Mouse and Rat Trap Killer Poison Free - Trap That Works for Rats, Squirrels, Mice, and Big Rodents
  • Simply plug in the device with the provided adapter or insert batteries, apply a small amount of bait, such as peanut butter,...
  • ADVANCED SMART DETECTION TECHNOLOGY – PestZilla Electronic Rat Trap is equipped with advanced rodent detection technology, which...
  • HUMANE - PestZilla Electronic Rat Trap kills the rodents as quickly and humanely as possible. It works by emitting a 7000V...

Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

(Always wear heavy gloves when handling traps.)

Comparing Methods for Rodent Control of Rats

Electronic Rat Trap

1. Quick and humane.

2. No seeing or handling of rodents.

3. Easy to use.

4. Bodily fluids and parasites contained.

5. One time purchase, reasonably priced.

6. Environmentally friendly.

My experience

1. Drowning is not quick, but much faster than poisoning which can take hours or days.

2. Rat clearly visible before and after death. Handling was at a distance.

3. Not a slick process.

4. Not contained, but better than handling a snap trap.

5. The rental of the trap was a repeating cost.

6. Environmentally friendly.

Be released from worry!

Hopefully, the instructions on this page have armed you with the right plan to implement rodent control of rats at your bird feeders and home!

Are Mice Your Problem?

They won’t be for long if you use Victor Electronic, no see or no-touch mice eliminators.

Victor M250S Indoor Electronic Humane Mouse Trap - No Touch, No See Electric Mouse Trap
  • 100% Kill Rate - Beveled columns also help to keep the mouse in place over the trigger plate to prevent escapes
  • Humane, High-Voltage Shock - Once inside, the circuit triggers a high-voltage shock, humanely killing the mouse in seconds
  • Built-in Safety Features - A safety switch automatically deactivates the trap when opened, helping to protect children and pets

Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Victor M241 Indoor Electronic Humane Rat and Mouse Trap - No Touch, No See Electric Rat and Mouse Trap
  • Humane, High-Voltage Shock - Once inside, the circuit triggers a high-voltage shock, humanely killing the rat
  • No Touch Disposal - The removable lid allows you to easily discard dead rodents without ever having to touch them
  • LED Alerts – A green LED light notifies you of a catch, so you know when it’s time to empty the trap without having to check...

Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Fix Other Backyard Bird Feeding Problems Below & In Right Column:

  • Pests at Bird Feeders Understanding all the pests that come to bird feeders and bird houses is essential before success at controlling them is possible.
  • Baffle the Squirrels! This is often the bird feeding problem people deal with the most often. Most backyard bird watchers will have to go to war with these four-legged ones at some point. There are many solutions. Discover them here.
  • Bird Feeder Mess! The mess under the bird feeder from the fallen birdseed kills the grass or plants depending on where I put the bird feeder.
  • Bird Feeding Problems As you probably know if you feed wild birds then you will have to solve some issues. There is lots of help here!

Sources Used for this Article:

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