9 Tips On How To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Bird Feeder!

how to keep chipmunks out of your bird feeder

Let’s face it, you fill your bird feeder every few days to attract the local bird life into your yard, not to feed the chipmunks, right? So how do you keep those pesky chipmunks out of your bird feeder?

Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to keep the chipmunks away so that the birds can come and happily feed on the tempting seed you’ve put out for them.

We’ll discuss these in more detail so that you can take action to keep those cheeky little pests away.

How To Keep Chipmunks Away From Your Bird Feeder

Now that know that chipmunks prefer to stay low to the ground and are incessant chewers, there are a number of things you can do to keep them our of your feeders.

Let’s look at these in more detail.

1. Use a Metal Pole to Mount your Feeder

If you use a thin metal pole it will be extremely hard for a chipmunk to climb up it and get into the bird seed. The smooth surface of the pole doesn’t allow any grip for the chipmunks. Plus, their teeth won’t be able to chew through the metal either.

Also, make sure that the feeder is about 7 foot away from any tree or structure to avoid chipmunks jumping onto your feeder.

Pro Tip:

Another clever idea we came across involves putting a Frisbee about half way up the thin metal pole which supports your feeder. All you have to do is drill a hole in the center of the Frisbee, insert the pole and then use some duct tape to hold it in place.

chipmunks metal poles

2. Use Tight-Fitting Baffles on your Feeder

You can install a specially made baffle both above and below your bird feeder. But make sure that it’s tight-fitting and there are no small gaps. Chipmunks can squeeze through surprisingly small openings due to their small size. Most chipmunks only grow to around 8-9 inches long.

3. Install an Impenetrable Guard around the Base of your Feeder

You can create a ‘cage’ around the base of your feeder that chipmunks won’t be able to climb over or up. Be vigilant though, because they might just burrow under it.

You can use thin metal mesh for this or any other smooth metal material. Be sure to anchor it well into the ground so it can’t be easily dislodged.

4. Install a Net, Tray or Platform under your Feeder to Catch Spilled Seed

If you install a seed tray or platform high up and just under your feeder, it can catch any seed that the birds may push out of the feeder.

This means that the seed won’t end up on the ground where it will attract chipmunks to your feeder.

5. Make Sure You Trim the Shrubbery around your Feeder

As we mentioned previously, chipmunks like to build their burrows in the ground and in fallen logs and shrubbery. Therefore, if you keep any growth around your feeder well trimmed, especially at ground level, it will expose any burrows that might be hidden there.

Chipmunks don’t like their burrows being exposed so they will move away to find a more secluded place to build their home.

6. Feed the Birds Seed that Chipmunks don’t Like

There are certain seeds that chipmunks tend to stay away from because they don’t like the taste. Consider safflower seeds which have a bitter taste that chipmunks really don’t like.

You can even purchase seed mixes that have hot pepper added. These are perfectly safe for birds but  chipmunks won’t go near them. Just remember though, to wear gloves when you handle these seed mixes because they may cause irritation if you touch your eyes or nose.

7. Remember to Keep your Stored Seed Safe

Make sure that the seed you’re storing is kept in a tamper proof container that is placed on a bench or table in your shed or garage. You could use a metal trash can for this or any other rodent-proof container you have on hand.

8. Set up a Feeding Station just for the Chipmunks away from your Bird Feeders

If you’re still having trouble keeping the chipmunks out of your bird feeders, why not set up a feeding station just for them. Make sure that it’s far away from your bird feeders and stock it with foods that chipmunks love to eat.

This is a solution that will keep both the chipmunks and the birds happy. And, you might even enjoy watching their cheeky little antics as much as you love watching the birds in your feeder.

9. Call a Wildlife Removal Expert

If you really can’t handle chipmunks in your garden, you can always call a wildlife removal expert to come and remove the offenders and relocate them to a more suitable habitat.

Did You Know!?

That Chipmunks Prefer To Stay Low To The Ground?

Unlike their cousins, the squirrels, chipmunks prefer to stay low to the ground. They build their burrows underground and in stumps and fallen logs.

When they’re able to raid your bird feeders, they’ll fill their cheeks with all the seed they can hold and then take this back to the burrow to consume later.

Chipmunks Can Cause A Lot Of Damage To Your Feeder

Because they constantly need to chew to keep their teeth in check, chipmunks will gnaw, nibble and chew on your feeder. In fact, they can easily chew through light plastic and wood feeders. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What smells do chipmunks hate?

Chipmunks have a very strong sense of smell and they don’t like garlic, citrus, eucalyptus, cinnamon and peppermint.

Do bird feeders attract chipmunks?

Yes, they do. As noted above, chipmunks have a very keen sense of smell and will soon make their way to your bird feeder if you don’t take action to keep them away. In fact, it’s really important to use something to catch the spilled seed before it hits the ground because this can attract other rodents like mice and rats too.

Will coffee grounds keep chipmunks away?

Actually, chipmunks don’t really like the smell of coffee grounds. Therefore, you could try placing some used grounds around the base of your bird feeder to see if this will deter them.

Final Thoughts

Now you know what to do to keep the chipmunks out of your bird feeder. Use some or all of the suggestions above and your birds can enjoy their seed without having to compete with the chipmunks for a feed.

Do you have any other tips on keeping chipmunks away that we haven’t mentioned? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

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