ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Protect Bird Feeders from Pesky Racoons

Updated on October 7, 2012

Thwarting Pesky Pests

For years we've fed the birds . . . or tried to. Most of the time we've had some success, except for a squadron of squirrels (but that's another article). And then there are the racoons. They don't show up often, and not through all seasons - but when they come, it's WAR!

Several summers ago we got up one morning to find that our suet and bird feeder that had been hanging from a large branch by heavy wires were missing. At least we thought they were missing, until we found them above that tree branch. Their thick supporting wires had been twisted around two branches and actually tied in knots! Of course all the feed was gone.

The culprits? Racoons, obviously. No squirrel could manage such a feat! So what to do? We tried poison and that got rid of a pair of racoons, but the next year they were back - in force.

So we followed someone's suggestion and put plastic tubes (the kind sold to keep golf clubs separate in a bag) over the wires, preventing animals from wrapping the wires around the branches. But the racoons just climbed the tree, shinnied down the tubes and shook food out onto the ground - tearing the tubes apart in the process.

We put the feeders back up, using new wire and the shredded hulks of plastic tubing, got up another morning and found our feeders were on the ground this time (actually, the suet feeder was nowhere to be seen!) Racoons had torn the wires loose from the tree branch, eaten all the bird seed and literally run off with the suet, cage and all!

That did it! The next step was to get a gun and stay up all night, unless . . . unless we could come up with something more fool-proof. And my wife did, at least we think it's fool-proof so far. "Why not use PVC pipe?" she asked. "That's solid, hard, slippery and won't bend much."

So now our new suet cage and our old bird feeder are hanging on 100# stainless steel picture wire, wrapped and tied endlessly around that same branch, with both wires protected by 1/2 inch PVC pipe (see photo below).

It's worked so well so far that even the squirrels haven't bothered the feed. Maybe they're in awe of the new look, I don't know. But for a week now, racoons haven't messed with our latest contraption.

Stay tuned! I'll update the progress (or lack of it, if the racoons figure out another way to sabotage this newest scheme.)

In the meantime our white pipes actually look pretty, we think.

P.S. Since I wrote this article, I've now used a plastic-covered wire fastened to a steel stake in the ground to give our suet feeder 100% protection from the problem this article describes.

PVC covers for bird feeders


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 

      7 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      This does look like it will work. We have problems with chipmunks, it should work for them, too. Thanks for the tip.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for this hub. While raccoons are not a problem for us, I am sure they may be at some point. But this idea seems versatile for squirrels and other pesky non-birds at the feeder.

    • GetSmart profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great idea! I will be checking back to see how it's going. i have the same problem and would love a solution. Thanks!!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)