Why You Should Put Garlic Around Your Bird Feeders

Bird feeders might bring charming feathered friends to your yard, but they can also attract rodents and pests thanks to their seeds. But rather than taking them down in defeat, you can surround them with garlic to deter these unwelcome critters. Mice and rats especially come sniffing around bird feeders because it's an easy food source. Birds are relatively messy eaters, and the seed and grain from the feeder fall from their beaks and into the surrounding grass below. This encourages scavengers to set up shop in your yard, which could eventually encourage them to come into your house — especially when temperatures dip. To avoid that, use the power of garlic to keep them away.

This is a great pest-prevention hack to try because most people have a few cloves sitting in their pantry, negating the need to run to the store and buy a specialty product. And if you do have to run to the grocery store, it'll only cost you a few dollars rather than upwards of $20 for a rodent repellant. Plus, using garlic as pest control is all-natural and humane, allowing you to respect the ecosystem and surrounding wildlife in your yard.

How to add garlic to bird feeders to deter rodents

There are several ways you can use garlic to repel rodents from your charming bird feeders. First, the easiest way to do so is to add bulbs around the food. If it's a hanging feeder, consider stringing up bulbs around it, and if it's on a table or stand, put the bulbs around the vicinity. Mice and rats have a sharp sense of smell, and since garlic is extremely pungent, they'll run in the opposite direction rather than forage through the stink.

However, if you would rather not mar the aesthetic of your yard with hanging garlic cloves, you can also make a garlic spray to keep the rodents at bay. Chop up the cloves, pop them into boiling water, and allow their essence to infuse the liquid. Pour the water into a spray bottle, and then liberally spray the bird feeder support and surrounding area with the scent. Just keep in mind you'll have to do this a few times a week in order for the scent to stay potent.

You can even add a thin layer of minced garlic in the grass underneath the feeder to deter rodents from sniffing around for fallen seeds. However, this might not be the best hack to use if you allow your pets into the backyard, since garlic can be toxic to cats and dogs if digested, per the ASPCA.