While birds can be pretty to watch, having too many on your property leaves the potential for their waste products, and even damage to structures depending on where they choose to make their nests. There is also a risk of fire if birds choose to create a nest in your chimney or fireplace and you don’t notice. The best way to avoid all types of bird-related problems is to keep them away from your house in the first place. While your first step should obviously be getting rid of any bird feeders you have, you can do more than just this.
Don’t Trust Repellents
With a quick online search, you may find a long list of potential repellents, both homemade and store bought, that claim to keep birds away. From sprays involving cayenne pepper to mothballs to predator urine, none of these will produce lasting results. Most won’t keep the birds away at all, but if they do, the results are only temporary. You would have to reapply the repellent as the smell dissipates, a minimum of every two or so weeks. It would also need to be reapplied after each rainfall, limiting its practicality even further.
Consider A Scarecrow
Scarecrows were created, and continue to be used for a reason, they sometimes work. A scarecrow will theoretically make the birds think that a human is there and stay away. Keep in mind, however, that this method will not be completely effective. You may scare away the majority of the birds, but some will remain. For the best results, you should also move the scarecrow around every few days to prevent the birds from getting used to it. Not only will this method not work completely, but it works best on larger properties. Most people in the suburbs don’t want a scarecrow on their lawn.
Try Out Decoys
A variation on the scarecrow that is more practical for those in the suburbs or urban areas is using animal decoys. Like scarecrows, it may or may not be effective, but will occasionally work, which is enough for some homeowners. Go to the store or look online for cheap plastic decoys of animals that are natural predators for birds. Good ideas include snakes, swans, and owls; you could even get a coyote decoy. Remember to move the decoys around every couple of days.
Try Other Homemade Deterrents
Some people claim to have success with a range of homemade deterrents that function similarly to store bought animal decoys. You can try hanging balloons with faces or hanging up shiny, reflective materials. Aluminum foil strips and ribbon both work very well for this and are affordable. You can even just buy one of those metallic propellers that spin in the wind and see if it works. In the worst case scenario, you have a fun toy for your child.
An option that should actually be pretty effective is investing in motion-activated sprinklers. If it is feasible for your property and there are no water restrictions in place where you live, it can work very well. Anytime a bird (or other animal) moves on your property, the sprinkler will activate, getting them wet, and sending them away. Just keep in mind that this method will increase your water bill. You will also have the place the sprinkler strategically so it doesn’t get those walking by on the sidewalk wet; you don’t want to turn your neighbors into enemies.
Get A Dog
A highly effective method of keeping birds away is getting a dog. Just remember that dogs are living beings so you should not adopt a pooch if you don’t want to care for it for its entire life. Only use this method if you were already contemplating adopting a dog and can give the animal a good life. All dogs should scare the birds away when they are kept outside and even just walking the pooch through the bird-infested portion of your yard twice a day may be good enough. If you don’t want to adopt a dog, ask a friend if they can bring theirs over for a half hour or so a few days in a row.
The Best Choice: Get Rid Of Food And Shelter
The absolute best way to keep birds away from a house is to remove any sources of food, water, and shelter that the birds have. In addition to getting rid of your birdfeeders, make sure the lids to your trash cans are secured and compost bins are covered. To eliminate potential shelter, take a close look at your property from a bird’s perspective. Cut your lawn short and get rid of debris, including dead trees and any logs. All of these are favorite resting spots for birds and their presence encourages the animals to spend time on your property. If you already have issues with birds, then your best choice is to contact a wildlife removal professional. They can use their expertise to get rid of the pests quickly and humanely.
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