We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.
Vintage Oaks at Novato,
104 Vintage Way, Suite A-7
Novato, CA 94945
Phone: (415) 893-0500
Fax: (415) 893-0511
Email: Send Message
Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Located between Macy's Furniture/BevMo and Pier 1.
Done correctly, bird feeding will not attract rats. In almost all cases, rodents seen feeding on birdfood are already present in the area: hanging up a feeder will not make rats suddenly materialize, but it can make the local residents more visible. Woodpiles, dense ivy patches, and openings in buildings can provide attractive shelter and habitat, while accessible garbage, pet food, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens are common food sources. You will probably need to address some of these issues to permanently reduce your rodent population. But from the birdfeeding side of the issue, there are two things that need to be done:
Keep rodents off your feeder.
Keep food off the ground.
We can help you achieve both of these goals and are always happy to discuss your birdfeeding with you. If you know others who are having a negative experience with birdfeeding due to rodents, please recommend them to read these tips, give them a copy of our Rodent Remedies flyer, or send them to us for advice. We've helped thousands of people feed birds without problems and know what works. Now read on to start exploring solutions—and don’t give up!
Offer foods they generally don’t eat:
For seeds and nuts, use feeders they can’t access:
We invite you to visit your local Wild Birds Unlimited to get expert advice on choosing the rodent-proof products that work best for your yard. If you don't have a nearby store, you can also find most of these items on our online shop.
Simple no-mess foods:
Choose good seed:
Poor quality mixes with filler seeds that birds won’t eat are the leading cause of rat-attracting messes. Many of these blends are available at grocery, hardware, or pet stores under the generic name of "wild bird seed". Talk with us to identify bad seeds, but generally look for blends with lots of sunflower while avoiding fillers such as milo, wheat, canary seed, and mystery “grain products.” White millet is not a pure filler, as it will be eaten by ground feeding birds, but it should not be the main ingredient in a general purpose blend. All Wild Birds Unlimited seed blends contain only seeds favored by our local birds, but even if you are getting your seed elsewhere, you can show it to us and we will give you an honest evaluation of its ingredients.
Blends such as our No-Mess Blend use seeds that have no shells, such as hulled sunflower chips, to ensure that no waste is left behind (shells may contain some amount of rodent-edible material). Other no-mess ingredients include chopped nuts and reasonable amounts of hulled millet (it should usually not be the first ingredient).
The cleanest seed option is to offer hulled sunflower chips only. Offering a single ingredient means that birds will not pick and choose their favorite ingredient, while sunflower chips are the single most widely popular ingredient among our songbirds. (A shelled peanut feeder attracts a slightly different group of birds, but is another excellent no-mess choice.)
Use low-mess feeders: