How do I stop Raccoons?

Have you ever stepped outside in the morning and found your bird feeder laying on the ground, perhaps with a squirrel sitting there eating the spilled seed? Or maybe the feeder is still hanging, but the lid is broken or the perches are missing? Well, rarely is that squirrel to blame for this sort of mischief. Squirrels may chew on feeders (characterized by the dual lines left behind from the two front teeth gnawing), but rarely do they have the strength or dexterity required to actually lift large feeders or to pull them apart. Rather, this is more likely the work of the overnight shift, the Raccoons (Procyon lotor).

You have to admire the abilities of Raccoons sometimes. They have adapted incredibly well to our lifestyles, will eat just about anything that is edible and have incredible adaptations. Raccoons are incredibly intelligent, are adapted for the day or night (but are primarily nocturnal), can climb exceptionally well and have incredibly dexterous and sensitive hands and fingers. They are designed to be a problem for just about any bird feeder out there.

Many people don’t think or realize Raccoons are in their yards until the feeders end up damaged and on the ground. Damage can occur any time of year, but peaks in late spring as this is the time of year when raccoon assaults on feeders become more frequent and severe. This is largely due to the fact that most female raccoons will have babies who are getting bigger by the day and require more milk from mama. She must eat a lot more to keep up and your feeder is a pretty nice buffet for her. Most raccoons have a sweet tooth, so even fruit, jelly, or nectar feeders are at risk. Soon enough those babies will leave the den and will follow their moms to the feeders.

Please note that all of information provided on our website about our products is meant to be informative only. For more information regarding prices and shipping (within Canada only) please visit our store in Barrie (515 Bryne Drive, Barrie, ON), phone us (705) 726-7600 or send us an email [email protected].

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

To Save your Feeders and Economize your Birdseed Budget, you Have Only 1 Option:

Use properly sized, metal Raccoon Baffles on tall poles: Raccoons cannot jump onto a pole rather they can stretch out and grab onto a pole if it’s close enough to a tree, fence, deck etc. So placing a pole 4’ from anything sturdy enough to support a Raccoon is fine. If you want to prevent Raccoons and squirrels the top of a pole baffle should be 5' above the ground to prevent jump-overs by squirrels, and the pole itself must be 11' from anything sturdy enough (tree, fence, house, etc.) from which a squirrel could leap and gain access. The pole must also be tall enough so that all feeders stay above the top of the baffle. Most standard shepherd's crooks are not tall enough to achieve both of these rules. WBU's Advanced Pole System is and is an effective way to keep them away from feeders. Only Raccoon baffles will prevent Raccoons from climbing up a pole or 4 x 4 posts. You will find baffles quickly pay for themselves in seed saved.

Our patented Advanced Pole System® (APS) is a revolutionary concept and the foundation for successfully attracting birds to your backyard. Comprised of interchangeable hardware pieces, the APS lets you select the setup that best suits the habitat in your own backyard and the birds you want to attract. To learn more about this product please visit the below links:

While a pole and Raccoon baffle is the most effective way from keeping Raccoons out of feeders you can also try:

1. Bring Feeders in Each Night: Since raccoons are primarily nocturnal, locking feeders in a secure garage or shed before it gets dark each night will deny them access. Of course, this is a bit tedious or may not fit your schedule, so may not work for everyone.

2. Locking 'em Down and Ration Food: WBU stocks several devices to help keep feeders from being knocked to the ground. Solution Clips fit over the end of shepherds hooks to stop raccoons from lifting feeders off the hook. Utility Chains easy-to-use devices to keep feeders hanging from tree limbs. We also have many feeders (suet, corn, fruit, etc.) which can be securely screwed to a tree or fence.

Once your feeders are secure, pay close attention to how much seed or suet your birds actually eat each day, then begin rationing out just enough food each morning so the feeders will all be empty before dark. If there is no food to be had at dusk, the raccoons usually lose interest.

NOTE: In the Province of Ontario, Raccoons can be trapped and relocated 1 kilometer from where you trapped them. They can easily travel that 1 kilometer distance back to your house. Moving your Raccoons also make room for more Racoons to enter the habitat, with one gone its neighbour will move in. So the most effective way to deal with Raccoons is to accept that they are a part of your yard and invest in a good pole system and baffle.

Hot Pepper Options

In certain circumstances, where other methods aren't effective, WBU Hot Pepper Products may be the best option for deterring squirrels and other mammals. When feeders and food are placed in certain trees, on decks, or near windowsills, it may be difficult to keep away mammals including squirrels, raccoons, deer and rodents. In these situations, seed, suets, No-Melt Dough, Bark Butter, cylinders or Stackables™ with hot pepper may be a good solution. Only use products where the hot pepper is bound tightly in the product, such as our WBU Hot Pepper Products.

Approximately 90% of Eastern Gray Squirrels and Red Squirrels do not eat WBU Hot Pepper Products. There is also evidence to suggest that WBU Hot Pepper Products are effective at deterring a variety of mammals including but not limited to: Fox Squirrels, Eastern Gray Squirrels, Red Squirrels, rabbits, rats, mice, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, raccoons, opossums and skunks. There is also strong evidence to suggest they are also effective against bears, however if you live in bear country please read our section on Problem Solving Bears. WBU Hot Pepper Products may not be as effective when it comes to Eastern Chipmunks as they have fur-lined cheek pouches and this fur seems to act as a barrier to the effectiveness of the products.

Helpful Tips for Feeding WBU Hot Pepper Products

For all the information on Feeding WBU Hot Pepper Products please visit our Problem Solving with Hot Pepper page. Our Problem Solving with Hot Pepper page details everything you need to know about WBU Hot Pepper Products, including frequently asked questions (FAQ) such as, does it work to discourage squirrels, is it safe for birds to eat hot pepper, and is it safe for hobbyists to offer hot pepper foods. Here are a few helpful tips:

How to Feed WBU Hot Pepper Products?

When offering WBU Hot Pepper Products they must be the only thing in a feeder. In other words, you can’t mix WBU Hot Pepper Products with other non-hot pepper options. For example, you wouldn’t want to mix regular Bark Butter with Hot Pepper Bark Butter as animals will just eat around the spicy option. WBU Hot Pepper Products must be fed on their own to be effective.

Hot Pepper Safety

As pointed out by Jim Carpenter in The Joy of Bird Feeding, capsaicin coated seeds can bother people when it comes into contact with our eyes, nose, mouth and lips. It’s important to take care when using our WBU Hot Pepper Products. Rubber dish gloves would be a good accessory to have on hand when using these foods or washing feeders.  

Can’t I just Make My Own Hot Pepper Products?

Items with hot pepper (capsaicin) cause a reaction in humans. If eyes, noses or lips are rubbed, then a reaction to hot pepper could range from mild to severe. Choosing products where the hot pepper is bound to the products (such as our WBU Hot Pepper Products), and taking caution when filling or washing feeders, is an important part of using these products safely. Do not attempt to make hot pepper products at home. Our WBU Hot Pepper Products have been specially formulated and tested to ensure they are safe for the birds. They are made in a facility where staff wear the proper safety equipment to ensure they don’t experience a reaction to the capsaicin. If you try making hot pepper deterrents at home it may not be safe for the birds or you!

 

SunFire ChipsSunFire™ Chips: Our SunFire™ Chips allow you to feed your birds while discouraging squirrels and other critters! These hulled sunflower chips are treated with hot-pepper. Birds will flock to it and leave no messy shell waste behind. The bag features a special pour spout for easy feeder filling without having to scoop or touch this hot pepper food.

Ingredients: Sunflower chips and pepper (red).

Bag Size: 8 lbs. (3.63 kg)

 

 

 

Fiery FeastFiery Feast: Feed your birds while discouraging squirrels and other critters! Fiery Feast is a hot-pepper treated version of our best-selling No-Mess blend and contains a mix of sunflower chips, chopped tree nuts, and shelled peanuts to attract a variety of birds, and is 100% edible. Birds flock to it and leave no messy shell waste behind. The bag features a special pour spout for easy feeder filling without having to scoop or touch this hot pepper food.

Ingredients: Sunflower chips, peanuts and pepper (red).

Bag Size: 8 lbs. (3.63 kg)

 

 

Jim's Birdacious® Hot Pepper 
Bark Butter®

Hot Pepper Bark Butter®: A formula representing years of research and development, we’ve finally done it, introducing Hot Pepper Bark Butter®. Our ever-popular Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® now truly can be used anywhere to attract the widest variety of birds without worrying about squirrels and other critters cleaning it out. With 146 (and counting!) bird species reported eating Bark Butter, it’s a great way to attract a variety of birds to your yard. With Hot Pepper Bark Butter® everything from branches to tree trunks becomes a bird feeder.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, pepper (red), calcium

Tub Size: 1.31 lbs.  (595 g)

 

 

Bark Butter 
Bits - Hot PepperHot Pepper Bark Butter® Bits: Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® Bits are now available in a Hot Pepper version! These bite-sized nuggets are made of rendered beef suet, peanut oil, roasted peanuts, corn, oats and calcium carbonate and are loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike allowing you to easily offer Bark Butter to attract a variety of birds, including many that do not normally visit feeders. They are particularly popular among birds during the nesting season when a Bark Butter® Bit can be carried by parent birds to feed to their young. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients:  Rendered beef suet, soy oil, roasted peanuts, corn, oats and calcium carbonate

Bag Size: 3.5 lbs. (1.58 kg) 

 

SuperSuet Hot 
Pepper CakeHot Pepper SuperSuet: Take your suet feeding to the next level! We’ve reached our highest level of fats and protein by blending rendered beef fat, mealworms, roasted peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts and calcium. Added hot pepper deters critters from stealing from your birds. Birds can’t get enough of this ultimate suet blend.

Ingredients: Rendered beef suet, roasted peanuts, mealworms, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepper (red), calcium carbonate.

Suet Cake Size: 11 Oz. (311 g)

 

 

 

SuperSuet 
Hot Pepper No-Melt Cake

Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ (No-Melt): Take your suet feeding to the next level! We’ve reached our highest level of fats and protein by blending rendered beef fat, mealworms, roasted peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts and calcium. Added hot pepper deters critters from stealing from your birds, and this suet won’t melt in high outdoor temperatures. Birds can’t get enough of this ultimate suet blend.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, mealworms, almonds, pecans, walnuts, oats, calcium carbonate, pepper (red).

Suet Cake Size: 11.75 Oz. (333 g)

 

 

SuperSuet Hot Pepper 
No-Melt CylinderWBU Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder: Our WBU Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder is the hot pepper version of our WBU SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder. Suet Dough Cylinders are a great way to attract a wide variety of perching birds, including woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this no-melt dough cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the WBU Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder in the WBU Suet Cylinder FeederWBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, mealworms, almonds, pecans, walnuts, calcium carbonate, pepper (red).

Cylinder Size: 2 lbs. (907 g)

 

Cylinder - Hot 
Pepper - Stackable DoughWBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable: Our WBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable™ is the hot pepper version of our WBU Naturally Nuts™ No-Melt Suet Dough in stackable form. Suet Dough Stackables™ are a great way to attract a wide variety of perching birds, including woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this no-melt dough cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the WBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable™ in the WBU Suet Cylinder FeederWBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Corn, roasted peanuts, rendered beef suet, oats, pepper (red), soy oil. 

Stackable ™ Size: 14.5 Oz. (411 g) 

 

Cylinder - Hot 
PepperWBU Hot Pepper Seed Cylinder:  Made of tree nuts, black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, peanuts and hot pepper. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the Hot Pepper No-Melt Seed Cylinder in the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.  

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, black oil sunflower, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepper (red and gelatin).

Cylinder Size: 2 lbs. (907g) and 4.5 lbs (2.04 kg)

 

 

Cylinder - Hot 
Pepper - Stackable WBU Hot Pepper Seed Stackable: Our WBU Hot Pepper Seed Stackable™ is the stackable version of our WBU Hot Pepper Seed Cylinder and features tree nuts, black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, peanuts and hot pepper. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, black oil sunflower, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepper (red) and gelatin.

Cylinder Size: 8.6 Oz. (243 g) 

 

 

Cylinder - Hot Pepper 
Cranberry - BothHot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder: Our WBU Hot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder is the spicy  version of our top selling WBU Cranberry Seed Cylinder. Our WBU Hot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder is packed with pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black oil sunflower and cranberries – everything you need to get lots of birds to visit your backyard, but with hot pepper to discourage squirrels. Our seed cylinders include a hole down the center of the food that slides onto our seed cylinder feeders. Simply slide the WBU Hot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder onto the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted. Seed cylinders are the easiest, longest-lasting way to feed your birds.

Ingredients: Pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black sunflower, cranberries, pepper (red), gelatin. 

Cylinder Sizes: 1.75 lbs. and 4.5 lbs.

 

Cylinder - Hot Pepper Cranberry CylinderHot Pepper Cranberry Stackable: Our Hot Pepper Cranberry Stackable™ is the spicy  version of our top selling WBU Cranberry Seed Cylinder and Stackable™. Our Hot Pepper Cranberry Stackable™ is packed with pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black oil sunflower and cranberries – everything you need to get lots of birds to visit your backyard, but with hot pepper to discourage squirrels. Our seed Stackables™ include a hole down the center of the food that slides onto our seed cylinder feeders. Simply slide the Hot Pepper Cranberry Stackable™ onto the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted. Seed cylinders and Stackables™ are the easiest, longest-lasting way to feed your birds.

Ingredients: Pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black oil sunflower, cranberries, pepper (red), gelatin

Size: 0.69 lbs. 

 

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