Lori J
Lori J
  • Hometalker
  • Broken Bow, NE
Asked on Jun 2, 2013

Bird Feeder Issues

AbcggLori JChristine P


Does anybody have any tips for keeping the area under the feeder clean? I have all but stopped feeding the little buggers, as the mess of seed that is scattered beneath the feeders just gets gross. And it sprouts, comes up in thick matts and takes my mulch right along with it. And then there are the squirrels...but cayenne pepper seems to solve that problem.
8 answers
  • Alannah Sinclaire
    on Jun 2, 2013

    I have a repurposed 3 seater swing that I hang feeders on. They sure do get messy, especially if you use a multi feed bird seed. The bratty Sparrows are also very lazy and eat only the easily available seeds, spitting everything else ou. Then you get every Sparrow and Squirrel in town in for a buffet. It really does make a mess I stopped feeding the Sparrows and focused on the smaller bird feeders. It has certainly taken the activity away and the mess has lessened. Now I wait for the June birds to arrive.

  • Vetsy
    on Jun 2, 2013

    Lori J...... I certainly can relate to you concerning this issue...Like you I have thought about giving up!.... I Yapped about it in my post below. http://vetsysview.blogspot.com/2013/05/one-of-my-favorite-pastimes.html What we need, is to make or purchase a device like a bird seed catcher. Just type birdseed catcher in your search box.... Here's one I found explaining how to make one but it doesn't have any photo instructions.. ..http://www.ehow.com/way_5588622_homemade-bird-seed-catcher.html I hope this helps some.

    q bird feeder issues, cleaning tips, outdoor living
  • Lou
    on Jun 4, 2013

    The most effective way to rid yourself of sprouting bird food is to use a high quality grand such as Scotts or others. Yes, these brands are more expenise but they do not contain the cheaper seeds and fillers that proprogate. Another option is to use "no waste" types of bird food. This type does contain growable seed. It too is nore expensive. Basically, low cost bird seed contains many ingredients that lower the cost yet also leave a big mess. If neither of my suggestions are practical for you and if you bird feeder is on a pole buy a rubber tree ring mat. This mat prevent the growth of grass and such around small oremental trees. You can also place an attractive flat stone in front/below your feeder. Most dropped seeds or wastes will land on the stone. One last comment. If you need a sqirrel proof bird feeder I recommend on like ours. If a squirrel tries to get at the food the squirrels weight makes the perch bar to close over the open slots. Best of luck to you. http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/RTProduct.asp?SKU=HF-7511

  • Lori J
    on Jun 4, 2013

    Lou, thank you so much. This is very good advice.

  • Mary Thorne
    on Jun 4, 2013

    You can cook seed in the microwave a pound at a time on a microwave-safe plate. Put the plate in the microwave oven on high heat for 2 minutes. Let cool and serve... You can also bake it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes on a baking sheet. Let cool and serve. These methods sterilize the seed so they don't germinate and doesn't change the nutritional content.

  • Christine P
    on Jun 4, 2013

    There is a Tractor Supply store where I live that carries Sunflower Seeds that have already been shelled. That is what I started to buy because I had the exact same problem. I also got a feeder with a cage around it to let the small birds eat without the big birds getting to it. It also helps to contain the dropped seed. My honey made a baffle out of a sheet of aluminum and put it on the pole. No squirrels have been able to get past it. Make sure the pole is at least 6-7 feet away from any tree, bush or structure that they can launch themselves from.

  • Lori J
    on Jun 4, 2013

    We have lots of trees and a fence--squirrels leap, rather than climb. They have outsmarted or destroyed all efforts to keep them away. However, since I stopped feeding (outside of suet), no squirrels.

  • Abcgg
    on Jun 5, 2013

    You could use pavers to build a 4-5 foot circular or square hard surface and the seeds can't get to the ground to germinate. Be sure to treat the soil with a weed killer or plastic underlayement, so you won't have growth coming up between the pavers. We have the same problem with squirrels and pesky sparrows and black birds. (sigh)

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