Birds can cause a whole host of problems around your home and property. They can fly into your home and windows. They can build nests on or near your home, causing damage to your house or just being a noisy pest. Nests can clog gutters, downspouts, drains, vents, and chimneys. Bird droppings contain uric acid and can eat away at paint and building materials on cars and homes.
Birds and their droppings are known to carry over 60 diseases including E. coli, salmonellosis, and cryptococcosis.
Anytime you’re dealing with birds it’s important to remember that many species are protected by federal and/or state regulations, as is bird nest removal.
Here are 9 of our favorite DIY bird deterrents:
Visual bird deterrents are products designed to scare off birds or prevent them from landing or roosting where you don’t want them to. Their efficacy depends on the type of bird you are dealing with and the type of deterrent you are using. There is a wide range of choices when it comes to these deterrents. Many include gel because its reflective surface looks like fire to birds. It also feels sticky if birds land on it. Some of these deterrents are also scented, many with peppermint oil, to also help deter birds from getting near them.
Predator decoys can be effective for a short period of time but aren’t usually good for long-term use. It is important to choose a realistic predator for the bird species you are dealing with. If owls aren’t a natural predator of the bird you are dealing with, a decoy owl won’t work very well. It is also important to rotate or move the decoy frequently so birds don’t realize it isn’t real.
There is a wide range of products you can use as a reflective deterrent, from prefabricated spirals to DIY aluminum foil strips. The most important thing to remember is to use something highly reflective that also moves with the wind. It also helps to move it around frequently or even take it down for a while to trick the birds into thinking it’s real.
These are narrow spikes that attach to window sills, roofs, eaves, or any other large areas you want to keep birds off of. They can attach to concrete, wood, or other surfaces with screws or glue. The spikes can be metal or plastic. These deterrents are most effective against pigeons, crows, and gulls and are less effective against smaller types of birds.
Bird coils are similar to spikes. They are extendable stainless steel coils that stretch along ledges to deter birds from landing on them. If they do, the coils move and make the bird feel unstable, making them less likely to perch and roost.
Bird wire is a tension wire system that creates an unstable landing area to deter birds from landing. Bird wire is more low profile compared to spikes or coils and can be used on exposed ledges, beams, and pipes. The negative to bird wire is that it can be time consuming and difficult to install.
Bird netting is commonly used in gardens or on fruit trees but can also be used under roofs and around eaves. Bird netting is less expensive than other deterrent methods. It is important to remember when installing bird netting that you don’t cut out sections of the net to fit around obstructions; instead, cut a slit in the netting, slide the obstruction through it, and then reseal it when it’s above the object. One negative to netting is that birds can get stuck in the net.
Eliminating Food and Water Sources
Birds usually come to your home or yard in search of a nesting site, food, or water. Eliminating these things will make your property less appealing to them. Install bird netting over gardens to keep them from getting to your fruit. Keep trash cans covered. Clean your gutters to prevent standing water or install gutter guards. Don’t use birdfeeders in the warmer months. If you do use birdfeeders, don’t use suet or corn in them. Instead, replace with whole peanuts, safflower seeds, or sunflower seeds in the shell.
The best way to keep birds out of your home is to make sure they don’t have a way in. Carefully inspect the exterior of your home or other outbuildings and seal any openings you find, especially those that lead to the attic. Block any openings to eaves or vents with 1/4″ wire mesh or netting.
Bird and bird nest removal can be a difficult (and sometimes illegal) job. If you have a problem with birds this season, contact your local pest control company who can properly identify the types of birds you are dealing with, along with the most appropriate elimination and prevention methods for you.