What kind of Birdseed Deters Rats and Mice? [2 Easy Strategies]

What birdseed deters Rats and mice?

Feeding birds is a fun and relaxing experience, and that’s why we have all sorts of specialized bird feeders. And there are plenty of different types of bird seed that you can use to feed birds. Birds usually drop these seeds on the ground while eating and it can attract rats and mice.

In fact, it’s one of the biggest problems that many bird feeders face, especially in areas with a lot of rats and mice. If you are one of those people, this is the right place for you. This article discusses what kinds of birdseed deters rats and mice, and which kinds they like.

What Kind of Birdseed or Bird Food Deters Rats and Mice?

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Generally, rats and mice don’t like to eat any type of birdseed that has a sharp or bitter taste. The following are some common seed types that people use to feed birds when facing a rat or mice problem.  

  • Safflower seed
  • Canary seed
  • Canola seed
  • Nyjer seed

Rats and mice are not usually interested in these seeds. It doesn’t mean that they can’t eat them. It only means that they avoid these seeds if other food options are available to them.

Bird Seeds Types that Reduce Waste

You can also use the birdseed types that reduce the waste amount dropped by birds. These options include the following:

  • Hulled millet
  • Shelled peanuts
  • Sunflower hearts
  • Cracked corn
  • Thistle seeds

The reduced amount of waste dropped on the ground also means that the temptation for rodents will also decrease. Keeping your balcony and outdoor area clean also helps deter rodents.

Deter rats and mice with peppers

The best method to keep rats and mice at bay is to mix hot pepper flakes with bird seeds before filling the bird feeder. Rodents don’t appreciate the taste of the capsaicin compound present in peppers.

It’s the same chemical that gives us the burning sensation in our mouths after eating peppers. But birds can’t feel that flavor because they don’t have the right taste buds for that, according to the University of Wisconsin. Not only can you mix hot pepper flakes with bird seeds, but you can also add them to suet cakes to keep rats and mice from entering your property.

What Kind of Birdseed or Bird Food Does Attract Rats and Mice?


Besides the seed types mentioned above, rats and mice love to eat pretty much every kind of seed. These little rodents love everything from sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats, and chia seeds to sesame seeds and quinoa.

They also love nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, and so on. These high-protein nuts provide plenty of nourishments to rats and mice. They’ll go even after products with processed nuts such as peanut butter.

Thankfully, rats and mice don’t usually climb to reach the bird feeders. However, if you have placed your bird feeder on the ground, these rodents will empty them quickly.

If rodents find food near your home, they may take up residence in your yard, or even worse, in your house. Keep them away by using shelled seeds, and mixing in pepper flakes.

Finally, they can carry diseases. That’s why it’s important to use seeds that they usually avoid, especially if your area has a lot of rats and mice.

Learn more: What kind of birdseed deters squirrels?

If worst comes to worst, try to look at the silver lining… maybe a red-tailed hawk will visit your feeder to snack on a mouse or a rat!