Do bird feeders attract rats?

We have a bird feeder in our front garden to attract bird. We live opposite a golf course & recycling centre and nearby to a nature reserve, an old railway and a beach. Neighbours have voiced concern that bird feeders attract vermin into their gardens, is this true?

Are there any research articles related to this? If so I’d like link please. Thanks

  • I have no research articles to offer you unfortunately, but I guess if seeds drop out the feeder you may get the odd (unwanted) visitor. I have huge problems with my neighbours as I feed the birds and I have to confess I also feed squirrels who I adore but I have been told in no uncertain terms that they are vermin and are causing havoc in my neighbours' gardens. So I guess the fallen seeds could attract squirrels too. I think rats will be drawn to any food source but I guess you have to have rats present in the first place but Im no expert.
    All I know is that the squirrels and birds give me untold pleasure in a world full of horror, anxiety and uncertainty.
    Im not so sure that a bird feeder where the seeds remain inside, will attract rats and suchlike.
    People are so so nervous of rats and suchlike, but they dont understand that in an uncertain world, some of us find nature very very comforting and soothing.
    My neighbours have all ganged up on me and issued me with an ultimatum to stop feeding my beloved squirrels. I have been deeply distressed about this but I do understand their point of view also but I find its akin to a bereavement not being able to feed them.
    Theyve been destroying lawns a bit and digging up bulbs but I think a few holes and a few lost bulbs are nothing really. They complain that their drains have empty shells resting in them so water gathers, well so do I, but I just sweep them away so the water can run freely.
    Weve had a few road fatalities of squirrels which deeply upsets me, Ive had to scoop 3 up from outside my door in the past 9 months.
    So I told my neighbour the population is vastly reduced and will continue to be culled through road traffic accidents. Her answer was, they will come from the park where they are stuffed with nuts from park goers who adore them.
    I dont think theyre going to scamper to my home which is fairly close to the park when they have a wonderful source of nuts in the park.
    Sorry for hijacking your question a bit, but this week has been so distressing for me as I suffer from mental health issues as it is and the squirrels really help alleviate some of those symptoms with their antics but my neighbours sent me a very vitriolic email with undersigned names, photographic evidence and sentences with capital letters and underlining and an order that my feeding of the squirrels must stop.
    I guess next it will be environmental health!!!
    I have toned it down now but will probably have to stop eventually, to the detriment of my mental health.
    I hope you can continue to feed the birds, maybe if you could, put it out of sight in the back garden so the neighbours are unaware of it. but really Ive not noticed rats as a result of bird feeders, I put apples down for the birds etc and that can attract rats.
    I hope all works well for you, Ive read somewhere where someone had neighbours who stopped talking to her, I live for the day that my neighbours stop contacting me!!!
    Good luck!