The Q&A Archives: Raccoons Eating Bird Seed and Destroying Feeders

Question: Raccoons have destroyed three expensive "squirrel-proof" hanging bird feeders by climbing on them at night. Their weight plummets the feeders (and, I assume, the raccoons) to the ground, but they keep returning night after night. I'm at a total loss how to deter their explorations. Meanwhile, the birds have abandoned the feeding stations. Is there any spray or repellent I could use to discourage them? The feeders really do keep out squirrels, but I've never heard of anyone else having my pest problem. If I nail the feeders to the tree, then the squirrels eat all the seed because of easy access. Thanks for any suggestions.

Answer: Raccoons are one of those critters that can be so CUTE and such a pain, too! There are repellents that reportedly work, but much depends on how persistent your pests are. Gardener's Supply Company ( or ph# 800/863-1700) used to sell a product called RoPel that was labelled effective against racoons. I don't see it on their website, though, so give them a call to make sure they have it. You can also find similar products at garden centers and hardware stores.

If you have friends who own dogs, you can sometimes keep raccoons away by having pooches visit and chase them off a few times. Then there's the option of using those birdfeeders that emit a shock to squirrels, but not to birds - they're also expensive. Duncraft ( may carry this model. I hope this helps!

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