How to Keep Chipmunks Out of a Bird Feeder

Quick Answer:

To keep chipmunks out of a bird feeder, it is recommended to use a chipmunk-resistant feeder or elevate the feeder out of the chipmunk’s reach. Additionally, sealing any openings or entrances in the feeder can prevent chipmunks from accessing the food.

Have you ever been frustrated by those pesky chipmunks that come to your bird feeder and eat all the food? It can be disheartening when they take away our birds’ sustenance. I know it’s happened to me! But don’t worry – there are some simple ways we can keep chipmunks out of our bird feeders without hurting them or using harmful chemicals. In this article, I’ll show you how!

First, let’s take a look at why chipmunks might be attracted to your bird feeder in the first place. Chipmunks love nuts and seeds, so if your bird feeder is full of these types of foods, chances are they will find their way inside for an easy snack. To prevent this from happening, make sure to switch up the kind of food you put in your bird feeder every other week or so. This will help keep chipmunks guessing so they won’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

Finally, there are also physical barriers we can use to keep chipmunks away from our bird feeders. Things like mesh cages and tight-fitting lids on hanging feeders can go a long way towards keeping curious critters out while still allowing birds access to their meals. With just a few simple steps, we can ensure that the birds get fed without having any unwanted visitors crashing the party!

Prevention Strategies

I know it can be frustrating when chipmunks are eating all your bird food. I’ve been there and totally understand how annoying it can be! But fear not, you don’t have to put up with them any longer – here are some preventative measures that will help keep those pesky little critters away from your precious bird feeder.

One of the most effective exclusion techniques is to make sure the area around your bird feeder is clear of anything that might attract chipmunks. Avoid using bird food attractants like peanuts, sunflower seeds or suet cakes as they’ll only entice more chipmunks into the vicinity. Instead, opt for smaller types of seed like nyjer or milo which aren’t usually on a chipmunk’s menu. You should also stop access to areas where chipmunks could easily climb onto your feeders by trimming back trees and shrubbery close to the ground. This will create an open space beneath the feeder that won’t be so inviting for these small animals.

These strategies will go a long way in helping keep chipmunks away from your feeders but selecting the right kind of birdfeeder is just as important too. In this next section we’ll look at what types of feeders you should avoid if you want to deter them even further…

Types Of Feeders To Avoid

When it comes to keeping chipmunks away from your bird feeder, the type of feeder you use matters. Open-top feeders with wide openings are easy pickings for these animals and should be avoided when trying to keep them out. Mesh-style and hanging-style feeders can also be problematic as they may not fully protect against prying paws. Ground-style or gravity-style feeders which sit on a flat surface or hang from an elevated platform offer better protection but still require some additional measures in order to deter pesky critters like chipmunks. With that said, simply using a different style of bird feeder may not be enough to keep these persistent creatures away. Moving onto the next step, there are other tactics one can employ such as repellents and deterrents.

Repellents And Deterrents

Ah, the sweet smell of nostalgia; when it comes to keeping chipmunks away from your bird feeders, one of the best methods is using repellents and deterrents. There are many different types of chipmunk repellents and deterrents on the market today, including natural products that can be safely used around birds.

One popular choice for a natural repellent is cayenne pepper. Sprinkling this spice liberally around your bird feeder will provide an unpleasant taste and odor experience for any chipmunks who try to snack there. Other options include applying garlic oil or hot sauce in areas where you don’t want chipmunks to visit.

If you really want to go all-out, you could also make use of commercial bird feeder repellants or deterrents like motion activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices. These items typically detect movement near your bird feeder and emit either a loud sound or water spray which startles animals away from the area. With some patience and persistence, these measures should help keep pesky chipmunks at bay!
Seamlessly transitioning into habitat modification as another way to deter chipmunks, let’s explore how making certain changes to the environment can improve our chances of success in excluding them from our beloved bird feeding stations…

Habitat Modification

Now that we’ve gone over repellents and deterrents, let’s look at another effective way to keep chipmunks away from your bird feeder. Habitat modification can make it difficult for these critters to get close enough to the feeder in order to access its contents. This includes clearing any debris or excessive vegetation around the area, as well as making sure there are no other food sources nearby for the chipmunk. Additionally, consider adding a fence or some kind of protective barrier around the feeder itself so that the chipmunk cannot climb up on top of it.

It is also important to maintain a neat and tidy garden; this means keeping lawn grass trimmed short, removing weeds regularly and disposing of fallen fruit and nuts without delay. All of these steps will help create an environment that is less attractive to chipmunks while still providing a suitable habitat for birds. Finally, be sure to inspect your bird feeders periodically throughout the year and take action when necessary by cleaning out old seed shells or relocating if needed.

Smells Chipmunks Dislike

It is widely thought that unpleasant odors can act as a deterrent for chipmunks. There are many natural and scent-based repellents available, such as ammonia, garlic, cayenne pepper or predator urine. While these may seem like effective animal repellents on the surface, research indicates that chipmunk repellent products have little to no effect in keeping them away from bird feeders. That being said, some people report success with homemade concoctions of various ingredients; however, it’s difficult to guarantee results.

When attempting to repel chipmunks using smell-based methods, bear in mind that they may actually be attracted to certain scents – particularly those associated with food sources. Furthermore, smells dissipate quickly over time so any scented deterrent must be regularly reapplied in order for it to remain effective.

Ultimately, while there are plenty of ways to combat chipmunks around your bird feeder using sights and sounds, relying solely on smell-based solutions isn’t likely to yield desired results. With this in mind, let’s take a look at traps and exclusion devices which could provide more reliable protection from these pesky critters.

Traps And Exclusion Devices

There are a few ways to keep chipmunks out of your bird feeder. Firstly, you can use traps and exclusion devices as deterrents. Here is an outline of the most effective methods:

  • Chipmunk Traps: These are humane animal traps that catch and contain the chipmunk without causing any harm. Once captured, you can either relocate it or release it back into its natural habitat.
  • Live Exclusion Devices: This method involves using one-way doors that allow animals to exit but not reenter the area. It’s important to remember that these should only be used during certain times when there aren’t baby animals present so they don’t get separated from their mothers.
  • Animal Repellents: Spraying repellents around your bird feeders will discourage chipmunks from entering the area since they have an aversion to certain smells like garlic or peppermint oil.
    No matter which method you choose for keeping chipmunks away from your bird feeder, make sure it’s done in a safe and humane way. Remember, prevention is key!


We all want to enjoy our feathered friends, but it can be difficult when pesky chipmunks are around. Thankfully, there are several ways to keep them away from your bird feeders. Prevention strategies like avoiding certain types of feeders and using repellents and deterrents help discourage their presence in the first place. Habitat modification and smells that chipmunks find unpleasant provide additional layers of protection against these critters. And if prevention doesn’t work, exclusion devices or traps offer a more permanent solution.

Chipmunks may seem cute and cuddly but they can wreak havoc on your bird feeding station in no time at all! That’s why it pays to have an effective plan for keeping them out of your yard — not only will you save money by reducing seed waste, but you’ll also get to appreciate nature with fewer interruptions from intruders. As a bonus, one recent study found that using physical barriers such as fences and netting can reduce chipmunk damage by up to 85%, so this is an option worth considering too.

By taking steps now to protect your bird feeder setup, you’ll be able to ensure uninterrupted enjoyment of your backyard birds without worrying about unwanted pests like chipmunks ruining the experience. So don’t wait any longer – start implementing some of these solutions today!