Did you know birds can be just as much of a nuisance (and potential health threat) as roaches and rodents? Common nuisance birds include pigeons, woodpeckers, sparrows, starlings, and Canadian geese.
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.
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Some birds are beautiful and fun to watch while others can be downright annoying and destructive. While birds aren’t typically considered a nuisance pest, they can become a problem when their nests obstruct important areas in your house, their droppings carry transmittable diseases, or they get into your attic or chimney.
Understanding what nuisance birds are attracted to is the first step in helping to prevent them. Pest birds such as crows, pigeons, sparrows, robins, and starlings are attracted to food sources they can find around your home (insects, earthworms, corn, seeds, and rotten fruits and vegetables). Woodpeckers are also a common nuisance bird and will drill into your trees in search of carpenter ants, beetles, and other wood-boring insects.
Birds can be attracted to pet food which is often left outside all day for them to feast on. Birds also require water to survive and will use your fountain, water feature, or any other standing water on your property as a birdbath.
While professional bird control is always an option, there are some bird prevention tips you can use at home to help keep birds away. Here are 5 of our favorite DIY bird repellent methods.
1. Modify Their Habitats
If there isn’t anything in your yard to attract birds they will be less likely to hang around. Most birds require freshwater to survive. Substitute saltwater for freshwater in your fountains and water features so birds won’t be able to drink from them. If you feed your pets outdoors, remove or cover their food and water dishes as soon as they’re done with them. Make sure pet food is kept in airtight containers. Birds also like to take cover in grass and other landscaping, especially in windy or stormy conditions. Make sure grass is kept mowed and hedges and trees are kept trimmed to help reduce cover. If you see a bird actively building a nest, use a long stick to dismantle it. Once you do this a few times, the bird will move on to a new nesting site. If the nest is already built or occupied by the bird, don’t attempt bird nest removal yourself. There are laws in each state regulating the removal of bird nests. Contact a professional wildlife exclusion company to help properly remove or relocate the bird nest in question.
2. Aluminum Foil
One of the easiest and cheapest natural bird repellents is aluminum foil. There are several different ways you can use aluminum foil to keep birds away. If birds are disturbing your garden, you can place strips of aluminum foil under the surface of the dirt or around any plants they are bothering. Birds don’t like the feel of the foil under their beaks and will stay away. You can also hang strips of aluminum foil (or shiny party streamers) from the trees or other high points around your home and garden. The sun reflects off the shiny surface and bothers their eyes, deterring them from coming near. If woodpeckers are around, hang an aluminum pie plate to the tree where you see them most often. The reflection off the plate will scare the woodpeckers off.
3. Fishing Wire
If birds are constantly landing in or near your pool, try running fishing wire high over the pool in a criss-cross pattern. You can hang it between 2 trees, between eaves, or from any other high locations you might have near your pool. The birds don’t like the impediment to their flying space and will find somewhere else to land. As a bonus – you won’t be able to see the clear fishing wire from the ground so it doesn’t take away from the aesthetics of your backyard space.
4. Baking Soda
If pigeons and other nuisance birds are invading your patio space or window sills, try sprinkling baking soda anywhere they like to perch. Birds don’t like the feel of the baking soda under their toes and will avoid it at all costs. You can also use double-sided duct tape instead of the baking soda.
5. Predator Decoys
If birds are a problem around your garden, pool, or deck, you can purchase one (or several) predator decoys at your local hardware store to scare them away. As the birds fly overhead, they will see the plastic owl, rubber snake, or whichever other decoy you choose and won’t land near it. Just make sure you move your decoys around often or the birds will get used to them and realize they aren’t real.
The more deterrents you have around your property, the less likely you are to have birds hanging around. If these methods don’t work or you already have an existing bird issue, contact a professional bird control company who can help you safely and effectively remove the nuisance birds and put measures in place to prevent them from coming back in the future.
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