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Do Groundhogs Eat Bird Seeds? (How To Avoid It!)




groundhog eating bird seeds

Are you wondering if groundhogs eat bird seeds from your bird feeder? They are very hungry creatures. They will eat bird seeds and flower seeds, and also eat any standing plant matter.

Groundhogs do indeed eat bird seeds, especially from bird feeders and chicken feeders. They mostly eat the seeds that fall on the ground, as they are not great climbers. They also eat many seeds other than bird seeds from plants around your yard.

Many farmers and gardeners in North America consider groundhogs a nuisance. While they feed very voraciously during the warm months of the year, they go into hibernation in the winter.

At the end of this post, I will get into how you can keep groundhogs away and avoid groundhogs eating your bird seeds and making a mess at your bird feeder!

Yes! Groundhogs love grains and seeds.

Groundhogs like to snack on fruits, grains, and vegetables, they will even eat tomatoes or tomato plants. Other plant foods they enjoy include alfalfa, lettuce, carrots, and peas. They also like apples and berries.

Groundhogs may also climb trees to reach fruit but they prefer to feed on the ground.

Groundhogs also like to eat leftovers from human meals. They’ll even eat leftover peanut butter or bread. But, they don’t like anything spicy.

They prefer fruits and vegetables that aren’t spicy. In particular, they don’t like asparagus or peppers. But they’ll eat other vegetables.

In addition to grains and seeds, groundhogs also like nuts. They will raid bird feeders and enjoy nuts during the fall.

Groundhogs also eat a wide variety of root vegetables. These include beets, carrots, and potatoes.

Do groundhogs eat from my bird feeder?

If you want to avoid groundhogs from raiding your bird feeder, you should make sure that your birds have plenty of food.

Groundhogs love to eat sunflower seeds, and they will often raid bird feeders. They also like nuts, and they can be found under trees in the fall. But the foods they love the most include vegetables and fruits.

If you want to avoid attracting groundhogs to your yard, use a bird feeder where seeds do not spill easily onto the ground.

groundhog eating at bird feeder
Groundhog eating at bird feeder

While groundhogs mostly eat plants, they do occasionally eat bird seeds. Although they are herbivores, groundhogs also eat grass, fruits, vegetables, and tree bark.

They will also occasionally, but rarely, eat other animals like worms, beetles, small birds and their eggs. Moreover, groundhogs are known to destroy trees and flowers.

The diet of groundhogs differs depending on their location. In the summer, they eat mainly fruits and vegetables. In the spring, they feed on flowers. This continuous feeding helps them keep their incisors in good shape.

Groundhogs need to feed regularly in order to maintain good health, so they will likely eat other food items like fruits but also many vegetables in the vicinity of a bird feeder.

What else eats all my bird seeds at night?

You may be wondering what else eats all your bird feed at night. The best way to determine if an animal is eating your bird seed is to check your yard.

Raccoons, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and bears are among the most common nighttime predators of bird feeders.

Look for damage to your trash bins or your bird feeder. Some animals like raccoons, possums, and bears will raid your trash bins as well as bird feeders at night!

They will also feed off of your garden or fruit tree. You may also notice skunk odors around your bird feeder.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the number of animals that are eating your bird seeds.

If you’re able to identify these creatures, you can take precautions to protect your birds.

How Do I Prevent Groundhogs From Eating Bird Seeds?

There are several things that can be done to prevent groundhogs from digging in your backyard. I will list some of the strategies below.

Also, see my recent post if you want a full list of my favorite methods to keep groundhogs and gophers away!

1. Using ultrasonic sound

Groundhogs, like other bigger mammals that may invade your garden, tend to have very good hearing. This means that loud or consistent noises will scare them away or at least shorten their visits.

One of my favorite technologies to keep pests away from my backyard is these cool solar-powered ultrasonic sound emitters that you can buy right from Amazon! In my experience, they really work, and the solar panels on top save you the time and money of changing batteries all the time.  

My favorite ultrasonic emitters. Click to read more at Amazon.

They will also work against other rodents like gophers, mice, and rats!

2. Sprinkling natural repellents

Groundhogs may be scared off by using natural scents such as coyote urine or predator scents.

They may also cause them to leave if there is a combination of sounds being played from a radio. The sounds include the sound of barking dogs and coyotes.

You can sprinkle dog hair, cayenne pepper or strong etheric oils and other natural repellents around the garden to keep the groundhogs away.

See my complete list of humane ways to keep groundhogs away from your yard for more tips and tricks!

3. Fencing around the garden

You can also fence around your garden to keep groundhogs from entering the garden. It should be at least 3 feet deep and have a double row of fencing.

A good deep (underground) fence will keep groundhogs out!

Groundhogs are good diggers so it has to go underground or they may find a way into the garden even with the fences in place!

4. Using live traps

You can use a live trap to capture groundhogs and move them to another area. Live trapping is currently the most humane way of groundhog control. Once you have removed all groundhogs from an area, it is important to ensure that they do not come back by using fencing or other barriers to block access.

You can also just buy a live trap, as the sturdy metal ones shown here:

A live groundhog trap is a humane way to get permanently rid of groundhogs in your yard.

A version with thick gloves for safe handling.

5. Using pesticides

There are pesticides or rodent toxins that can be used to kill groundhogs on your property. These may also affect other animals in the area so it is important to ensure that they are only sprayed on the targeted plants. I do not recommend these, as I prefer more humane ways as described here.

6. Using Scarecrows

You can use a scarecrow in your garden to keep groundhogs away. Groundhogs are afraid of novelty so time-sensitive or motion-activated scarecrows may also be effective in keeping them out of the garden.

7. Using Lights

Groundhogs are nocturnal animals so they may avoid areas that have bright lights. Motion-activated lights, sounds, and sprinklers may help prevent groundhogs from entering your yard.

8. Motion-activated sprinklers

Like most animals, groundhogs hate surprises, and they will run away if suddenly sprayed with water. I like this solution because it is humane, simple, effective, and does not require much time to set up.

My favorite sprinkler option here is the Havahart 5277.

The Havahart 5277 is a motion-activated sprinkler that is activated by the movement of animals up to 25 feet away and sprays them with a harmless water jet, frightening them off and keeping them at bay.

The included metal stake makes it easy to install in your garden, and the sprinkler can be rotated 180 degrees for maximum coverage.

Check out my recent post on the best humane, but effective, tactics against rodents like groundhogs and gophers in your yard!

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