General Question

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Will putting birdseed in my backyard also attract mice?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6737 points ) April 18th, 2009

We live near a corn field, so we have to be very careful not to attract mice (because mice attract snakes)! We have already caught two rattle snakes in our garage searching for mice! I don’t want snakes attracted to our yard because of our dogs. Do mice eat birdseed, and is there a certain kind I need to buy in order to only attract birds?

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Yes, YES and YES. I practically had a car destroyed because a condominium of mice moved in and stuffed the heating and AC ducts with sunflower seeds.

All rodents love sunflower seeds, which is what most birds eat. Woodpeckers love suet, but so do mice and rats. I no longer keep feeders, but do let the wild thistle, milkweed and flowering shrubs that attract birds grow.

rooeytoo's avatar

It sure does for me, also rats and huge cockroaches, they all munch on the bird seed. I think you can avoid a lot of that if you bring the seed in at night. I don’t see any creatures except birds there during the day.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Possibly, yes. Suet hung from a tree is one option. Non-seed options are along gail‘s line of thinking, going botanical. Certain flowers will attract hummingbirds, insects drawn to other flowers will bring insectivorous birds, having a lawn (with worms) will draw robins, etc.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I don’t know if it will help, but I mix chili powder (about a tablespoon per pound of seed) with my bird seed to keep the squirrels from eating it. Might work with mice, too. Squirrels HATE hot spicy stuff; mice probably do too, and the birds don’t care, because they can’t taste it. If you keep your feeders where moisture can’t get to it, like in a covered feeder, then it might be okay.

gailcalled's avatar

@rooeytoo: You don’t have squirrels and chipmunks acting like The Flying Wallendas in order to land on your bird feeders?

After three years, I am still vacuuming sunflower seed husks off the front seat floor of my car. When I run the fan, the debris still blows out.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@gailcalled, could be worse,you could have little mouse mummies flying out of your vents.

gailcalled's avatar

I used to find them either desicated or mushy at the bottom of the galvanized tin where I stored the seed. Unfortunately, I had run over the lid with my car and thus couldn’t get a tight seal.

Once I scooped up some seed from that can, and a chipmunk ran up my arm.

Nevermore.

rooeytoo's avatar

@gailcalled – there are no squirrels or chipmunks where I live. And the sulphur crested cockatoos and red tailed cockatoos, plus the wedgetail and whistling kites all keep the furry critters away during the day. The huge ravens and kookaburras, all are carnivorous so it makes daytime feeding hazardous for the furries.

gailcalled's avatar

@rooeytoo: Are we talking antipodes? The names of those birds are enchanting; are the birds themselves? Any nasty small predators to beware of .or is it paradise?

rooeytoo's avatar

Yes indeed we are and yes the birds are amazing to me who grew up with sparrows and starlings. Where I live the predators are mostly 3–5 meters and live in the water although there are plenty of nasty snakes around, not to mention the dingos, feral water buffalos, occasional rogue roo. I think that just about covers it!!! I just photographed the most magnificent wedgetail eagle feeding on roadkill.

cheebdragon's avatar

Everything attracts mice. Even standing outside smoking a cigarette in the rain can cause a mouse to try to run up your pants. It’s a very traumatic experience.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@cheebdragon but the mouse thinks it is hilarious.

gailcalled's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra: Only if he is part of the subspecies _mus fumarus__.

cheebdragon's avatar

I don’t know, he looked pretty traumatized also

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