How To Clean Ground Under Bird Feeders

Date Published: August 1, 2021
Author: Kylee Smith

Allowing birdseed to gather and spoil on the ground causes a host of problems. Wasted seed can change the pH levels of your soil, cause mold and mildew to grow, invite unwanted critters, and much more. Bird feeders are designed to make the birds in your yard happy, but you do not want to sacrifice your landscape. Knowing how to clean under that bird feeder and discovering how you can keep it clean indefinitely is the key to happy, healthy birds and a beautiful lawn.

Supplies For Cleaning Under Bird Feeders

Wasted birdseed can cause unwanted weeds to grow, too. Keeping the area under your bird feeders clean does not take a lot of work; however, you must know what to do so you can avoid problems in the future. Cleaning under your bird feeder can be completed in three easy steps, and only requires a few simple tools.

Gardening Gloves

Gardening gloves are necessary for working with and picking up the debris underneath the bird feeders.

Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gardening Gloves for Women and Men - M
  • Breathable Bamboo to Keep Your Hands Cool – Bamboo absorbs perspiration, is naturally very breathable. Keeps your hands cool in summer and warm in winter. Pine Tree Gloves are suitable for any job and guaranteed a pleasure to wear.
  • Fits Like A Second Skin - Do you take off your gloves for every chore that requires finger sensitivity? Pine Tree Gloves have bare hand sensitivity and are Touchscreen friendly! Now you can make those reminders on your smart phone or ipad without taking your gloves off! Fishermen also love the grip on those slippery fish and the protection when changing hooks!
  • Comfortable and Durable Hand Protection - We believe gardening should be safe and fulfilling. Avoid skin wounds and dirty hands and nails when doing yard chores. Why walking around with those thick and clumsy gloves while doing jobs around the house? How much more enjoyable would garden chores be, when you wear protective gloves with a snug fit? See our listed size chart picture on the left to determine your correct size. Our gloves have proven abrasion resistance.
  • Please note: our gloves are famous for their snug fit. Not your preference? Just order one size up!
  • Pure Satisfaction or Money Back – Although our gloves are initially designed for gardening, many enjoy them during construction and restoration work, fishing trips and lobster diving! Are you not entirely satisfied in the end? Our product comes with a full satisfaction promise!


Mulch is used under the bird feeder to help make the cyclical cleaning process much easier, and it also beautifies your landscape.

Preen 95456134 Mulch Plus Weed Barrier, Russet Red, 2 Cu. Ft.
  • Blocks weeds for 6 months
  • Mulch color lasts all year
  • Covers 12 sq or 2 cu-ft
  • Insoluble in water


A rake is used to help turn the mulch and clean up the area under the bird feeders.

ORIENTOOLS Garden Rake, Adjustable Lightweight Steel Poly Shrub Rake, Plastic Head, 22 Tines, 42 to 60 Inches (Silver Handle)
  • Adjustable Handle: The rake can adjust overall length from 43 to 66 inches by twisting the handle clockwise, and you just turn in the opposite direction to fix length.
  • Multifunctional: The rake is easy to go under bushes and between flowers or in a vegetable garden, and you would never have to lean over the yard again.
  • Lightweight and Compact: This leaf rake is very light and maneuverable around your garden and in between your car and curb where leaves tend to collect, and the 26 tines are solid and close enough that leaves don’t get stuck.
  • Long Reach: The long 66’’ handle will save your back when you clean up your yard, and create the healthiest environment for your lawn, your grass and soil need to breathe and receive water.
  • Easy to Storage: When not in use, the handle can be abridged and you can hang it up to save space.

Weed Eater

A string trimmer is necessary for trimming the grass around the mulch. You want this grass to be kept shorter than the rest of your lawn.

BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Sweeper & String Trimmer Combo Kit (LCC340C)
  • LST140 40 volt max string trimmer/edger with power drive high torque transmission for clean, fast cuts
  • Automatic Feed Spool AFS automatically feeds trimmer line as needed
  • LSW40 40 volt max sweeper a wind speed of up to 130 MPH easily clear debris from hard surfaces
  • Low noise design for quiet operation. Up to 130MPH
  • Both units offer a 'state of charge' indicator which shows your battery charge level. Products are compatible with our 36 volt lithium Ion system

Cleaning The Ground Under Your Bird Feeders

Routinely taking the time to rake, trim and clean the area surrounding your bird feeders keeps the work required to a minimum. Follow this quick three-step process to clean up under your bird feeders and make cleaning much easier the next time.

Step One: Rake Up All Debris Under Bird Feeder

Before adding mulch, you first need to rake up the debris under your bird feeder. With gardening gloves on, pick up the debris and place it in a trash bag.

  • Pro Tip: Baffles help ensure squirrels do not jump onto your bird feeders. Not only do they keep the squirrels from feeding and spilling food, but they also protect against harsh weather.
PREDATORGUARD Squirrel Guard Baffle - Protects Hanging Bird Feeders & Poles - Raccoon & Squirrel Proof Your Bird Feeders & Bird Houses - Anti-Rust Galvanized Steel - 17 Inch
  • SQUIRREL PROOF YOUR BIRD FEEDER - The Squirrel Guard wrap around squirrel baffle secures bird feeders and bird houses from raiding squirrel and raccoon - protects both pole mounted and hanging bird feeders (all mounting hardware is included with your purchase)
  • WILL NOT RUST - This squirrel baffle is made with the toughest galvanized steel and will not rust - other baffles on the market go rusty after a couple of months and look terrible in your garden
  • SLIPPERY SURFACE - black powder coated steel with slippery no-grip surface defeats the most persistent squirrel and raccoon trying to get to your bird feeders
  • WIDE 17 INCH DIAMETER - Wrap around squirrel baffle quickly attaches to existing bird feeder poles or shepherd hooks (1/2 to 1 inch diameter). Also protects hanging bird feeders - all accessories and easy to follow instructions included.
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - We are a family-owned company and stand behind our customers and our products. We guarantee Squirrel Guard will work for you just like it does for thousands of our customers. Try it 100% Risk-Free. If you are not absolutely DELIGHTED with the result we will refund 100% of your purchase. No questions asked.

Step Two: Spread Mulch Under Feeders

The layer of mulch underneath your bird feeders should be three to four inches thick. Use the rake to spread the mulch evenly.

  • Pro Tip: When you repeat this cleaning process the next time, turning the mulch is Step One. Additionally, keep an eye out during future cleanings for when you need to add more mulch.

Step Three: Weed Eat Grass Around Mulch

The grass around the mulched area needs to be kept shorter than the rest of your lawn. Trimming this grass shorter makes cleanup easier.

  • Pro Tip: It is also advised to mow with a collector bag regularly around the mulch.

Final Thoughts

Routinely cleaning under your bird feeders makes this more of a maintenance task than a cleaning task in the future. A quick three-step process is all that is required to keep the birds happy, the varmints away, and your landscape looking gorgeous.

FAQ: Cleaning Under Bird Feeders

Just like with the baffles, there are other tips and tricks for maintaining the area underneath your bird feeders. Staying on top of this area makes clean-up time easier and keeps the birds coming back unaffected by varmints and bully birds.

Is there a product that helps speed up the decomposition of wasted seed?

Yes, a natural enzyme spray can help to speed up the decomposition of wasted birdseed. While both using and turning the mulch regularly buries the seed to allow for decomposition, the natural enzyme spray is still a good idea. Remember to read labels regarding children and pets.

What else can you do besides use baffles to keep the rodents away?

Use no-waste bird food, as this helps to minimize wasted seed. Therefore, the temptation for rodents is significantly reduced. Purchased hulled seeds, such as shelled peanuts and sunflower hearts.

Is there anything you can do to encourage ground feeding of spilled seed?

Leave the bird feeders empty for a couple of days. This encourages the birds to clean up the ground. Using no-waste bird food double-teams this objective.

Should you move bird feeders around occasionally to help with natural cleanup and decomposition of the wasted seed?

Yes, rotating bird feeders allows for a more natural cleanup process. While this makes your job easier, mulch, baffles, and everything else mentioned are still necessary.

Can you add cayenne pepper to birdseed to keep rodents away?

Not only is cayenne pepper a deterrent, but so are peppermint oil and chili flakes. These are natural deterrents, and rodents find their smells offensive.

Clean It Advisor is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved!