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How to Make a Raccoon “Resistant” Bird Feeder Stand

Raccoons are smart… But are we smarter?  Only time will tell if our new “Raccoon Resistant” bird feeder stand will actually keep the raccoons out!

How to make a Raccoon "Resistant" Bird Feeder stand.

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How to Make a Raccoon “Resistant” Bird Feeder Stand

I’m willing to bet that almost every homeowner at one point or another has had to deal with raccoons. They can be sneaky little suckers… With those little fingers, they can get into just about anything!

We have all sorts of wildlife around our house: deer, raccoons, foxes and even hogs. Yuck!

In the past, the raccoons hadn’t bothered us too much other than getting into full bags of birdseed or bags of garbage on the occasion we accidentally left the garage door open overnight.  One time, they even tore open a big cardboard box full of individual oatmeal packets from Sam’s. Not flimsy cardboard, but a heavy-duty box! (Check out this baby that got locked INSIDE our garage one night.)

There are so many birds around, we like to keep our bird feeder full of seed.  This summer those rascally raccoons figured out how to get to the seed hanging from the pole!  You have to watch this video I uploaded to youtube, showing how the raccoons were getting the seed.  (It’s not the best quality, I was recording (with my phone) as the video replayed on our wildlife camera, but you can clearly see what they are doing!)

Can you believe that?  The raccoons did this a couple of times.  You can see in the video where we tried to reinforce the bottom of the pole.

We brainstormed and tried a couple of different things.  Finally, my hubby put together this new stand using a few things from the hardware store.  We hoped maybe a taller, wider pole would make it more difficult for the raccoons to climb since they would not be able to wrap their fingers around the pole.

It’s been almost 3 months and so far, so good…  We are keeping our fingers crossed!

Here is how we put the raccoon resistant bird feeder stand together.

Materials used:

  • 3-inch wide piece of electrical PVC conduit (as long as you want your pole to be.)
  • 5 36-inch iron stakes found in the rebar section.
  • Drill
  • Sledgehammer/mallet
  • Manly muscles.
  • Spray paint (if desired)

Instructions:

Cut the PVC pipe to desired height.

Drill 2 holes on each side of the pipe, using a drill bit that is the same size as the stake.  (You might want to use a ruler or level to help get them even,)

Repeat, drilling 2 more holes for the second stake.

how to make a raccoon resistant bird feeder

Use the edge of the PVC pipe to mark on the ground where the pole will be (and the pole circumference.)

Use the mallet/sledgehammer and drive 3 of the stakes halfway into the ground in a triangular pattern just inside the mark you made with the PVC pipe.  (See diagram below)  Do your best to keep the stakes straight.

Slip the PVC pipe over the stakes.

Add the last two stakes to the holes a the top of the PVC pole.  (Shim with a small piece of wood if needed to make them level.  (we used toothpicks.)

Paint if desired.

Add your bird feeders and enjoy.

Now, what about you?  Do you have any wildlife deterrent tips to share?  Leave a comment below!

 

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14 Comments

  1. Bill Fischbach says:

    So… we installed a PVC pipe around the square post, and even put an inverted bowl over the top of the pipe. We thought it was great for almost a year – we watched squirrel after squirrel try and fail to get past the baffle-bowl. Last night, however, we watched as a racoon, as it climbed right up the pole, over the bowl, and used the bowl to sit on as it started to get into the feeder.
    Saw a post about Jergen’s face cream. Going to try that.

  2. If living outside of the PNW I would recommend using a galvanized steel fence post, the larger 2 3/8” for this project if you want it to last indefinitely. For what it is worth to anyone reading this and doesn’t already know that PVC is meant to be underground or protected and won’t last more than a few season exposed to the elements. It easily becomes brittle and breaks under pressure.

    1. We had our pvc feeder for several years. It never broke, but we did have to re paint it.

  3. Mustapha A. Rahim says:

    I had raccoon problem, I brought a trap from the city and they came and remove them. In 10 days I caught 4 raccoons and the problem is gone. Luckily I did not catch anything else because the city told me they will remove whatever I catch.
    I have a lot of squirrels in my yard, but they do not come near my feeders at all.
    I bought 2×2 and built 2 ground feeders boxes sized 2×1. I stapled screen on the bottom to let the water out and they are off the ground on bricks. I had to build 2 boxes in order to keep the squirrels out of the feeders.
    I fill the boxes daily with inexpensive bird food. Squirrels and birds ground feeders are enjoying the food.
    The squirrels do not even climb up to the deck. I have 5 feeders hanging in the rail. Depends on the season, I decide which feeder to put out.

  4. Shelley Bishop says:

    I made and put it up yesterday. My raccoon clumbed it today. I have pictures I wish I could share!

  5. I went with 6″ PVC pipe and put my poles perpendicular so that I could hang up to four feeders (they wouldn’t hang right above each other this way). I used fence posts instead of stakes for inside the PVC pipe and set everything in Quikrete in a 2′ hole (about 5′ of the pole is above ground. I also filled the pipe about 1.5 full of another bag of Quikrete. You ask why this fascination with how I set the pole in so sturdy? Well, my raccoon (he’s a big sucker) likes to actually SHAKE the pole to get the seed to fall down to the ground to eat. Having a sturdier pole and a thicker one to avoid climbing (deters squirrels too) keeps him from shaking it. The first night it was up you could see his prints up the newly-painted pole but having to reach out to the feeders he couldn’t do that and hold on. He didn’t come back last night so we shall see how it goes. The war wages on……

  6. I'm like the rest with squirrel problems. Glad you found something to deal with those racoons. Pesky things. We love partying with you at Show Me Saturday! Hope to see you there this week!

  7. We don't have a racoon problem (yet) but the squirrels are a real nuisance here, too. I think the thicker/wider tube might deter them. I'm going to try this and find someone to drill the holes for me.

    1. Good luck, maybe the guys at the hardware store can do it.

  8. Oh my gosh!! That little bugger left and brought his friends back to the feast!! I tried a finch feeder on a shepherd's hook type plant pole and the squirrels emptied it all the time. I finally quit. I wonder if this large pole would deter squirrels too?

    1. It would definitely be harder for them to climb. Are they jumping to your feeder or were they climbing the pole? I watched a youtube video of a guy who put grease on his bird feeder pole, it was the funniest thing watching the animal try to climb the pole.

  9. Interesting! We don't have to worry about them here even though we are in "the country"….we have pesky squirrel!
    Dh put a cymbal(yes, like from our drum set!) on our feeder to prevent them from jumping from our deck to the bird feeder which he put on a swivel pole(his first attempt to keep them off!) lol

    Excellent….glad it is working!

    1. My mom has trouble with squirrels too- they are quite the jumpers! She just has too many trees.