Does bird feeding attract unwanted visitors?

I’ve been bird feeding for several years now, our walled garden is very small but we attract blue and great tits, the blue variety nested successfully last year with 6 fledged babies and there were no babies left in the nest.  We also feed wagtails, a very friendly Robin, blackbirds, have been trying to attract goldfinches too - the sparrows can be a bit bombastic as can the starlings but it’s a lovely lively morning - however!  I have been advised to stop as it seems we have a field rat living in one of our raised borders and it’s burrowing in there and causing possible destruction to plantsFearful we have dogs and don’t want to risk their health so is it true?  Can I no longer feed the birds if I don’t want to attract rats? Fearful

  • If you feed the birds, there will be spillage and that will attract rodents into the open. You can attempt to avoid spillage and waste by using seed catching trays, not over feeding and bringing in feeders at the end of the day along with regular raking and sweeping up.
  • Sadly, I had to stop feeding birds in my garden to to a "deer mouse" invading their feeders (they're expert tree climbers!).. and they carry a deadly virus to other wildlife. However 4 months on, I've put my feeders out again and hopefully whatever the tiny birds drop, the magpies and crows "hoover up" afterwards...

    p.s. Rats tend to appear when other houses are having a massive refurb/ garden landscaped/overhauled, or leave their sheds in such a mess..
  • Thanks! We seem to have a very vibrant rat population here from the fields, farms and allotments so I don’t think it will be a case of waiting and it’s fine for us which is such a shame!
    There is one house in the close that is not very savoury shall we say and a good environment for them too despite some reasoning from their neighbours. We had a pest guy around for some advice and as our garden is small he advised to stop as once rats start to mate they do for some unknown reason try to get into house cavities and we don’t want that!