Dealing with birds is a lot easier than dealing with smaller pests and insects. Most methods of keeping birds off your property involve humane solutions and prevent introducing toxic substances into the environment. That is, of course, if you’re using the best bird deterrents & repellents on the market, instead of just going for the cheapest or most unfriendly solution.
As you’ll see in this article, there are quite a few options when it comes to dealing with an increasing bird population on your property. But, the good news is that it won’t take any special skills to use any of the deterrents, or repellents I’ve reviewed.
Best Bird Deterrents & Repellents - My Picks
- Best Bird Deterrents & Repellents - My Picks
- How to Repel Birds Without Hurting Your Lawn
- Scarecrows vs. Alternatives
- Nighttime Deterrents and Repellents
- Where to Place Bird Deterrents
The Dalen OW6 Gardener is an interesting bird deterrent that you can put in any garden. It’s realistic and hand-painted, which gives it the intended scarecrow effect and keeps birds off the property.
Although it’s not too big, at 16” tall, it’s more than imposing. Birds can see it from far away, and given the level of detail, none will mistake it for an ornamental piece. The OW6 comes with a very stable base. It also features a hole at the bottom, which will allow you to mount it on some poles.
Otherwise, you could just set it down on fences, windowsills, tree branches, and so on. Wind won’t knock it down, and birds won’t land on it and tip it over.
The scarecrow features recycled materials. So, if you’re trying to be environmentally-friendly and avoid synthetic repellents, toxins, and all that, the OW6 could be the right choice for you.
Although bird spikes may sound dangerous and harmful, the Bird-X Bird Spikes don’t intend to do any harm. They’re excellent deterrents, though, as you can install them in places where birds like to nest.
Once birds approach and see them, or touch them, they’ll never return to the same spot until the spikes are gone. Since the spikes are stainless steel, they have excellent weather resistance. So you can leave them even in unprotected areas.
The base design is perhaps the highlight of these spike deterrents. It is flexible and can easily be curved. Thus, you will be able to place it on uneven surfaces, improve the spikes’ stability, and so on.
The plastic base material can also withstand heavy rain and extreme weather conditions, including intense sun exposure. All without melting or losing the shape you give it. It’s also worth noting that one pack of Bird-X spikes can cover up to 10 linear feet.
If you ever need massive coverage from a bird repellent, then probably the Bird-X Bird-Proof Gel can help you take care of the business. This gel boasts a long-lasting formula and is transparent, which means it won’t look out of place wherever you apply it.
The formula is non-toxic and is environmentally-friendly. It won’t harm your pets, kids, plants, and it won’t damage your wall paint, patio deck, and so on. The Bird-Proof Gel comes in packs of three tubes. They work best when used with a plunger, though you won’t get one in the package.
That said, the gel is easy to apply. You also get about ten linear feet coverage from a single tube, which is a lot for the price. And, think of all the fire hazards you can prevent as well as the mess and equipment damage you can avoid by using this formula.
I would like to point out that while the gel is transparent and pretty odorless to humans, it is very sticky. That’s intended as it’s one of the reasons why birds will stay away from it. But, it also means that you have to pick the application spots carefully and not use the gel in high traffic areas or places you might sit on or touch.
The sparkly pinwheels from Bird Blinder may seem a bit much and distracting. However, they’re excellent bird deterrents and offer a humane solution to keep birds off your property. They also won’t poison the environment, which is always a nice perk.
As far as decorative objects go, I wouldn’t say that these pinwheels will work in everyone’s backyard. That said, the sparkly holographic effect is more than enough to turn most birds away.
The pinwheels are easy to stake into the ground. Even a light breeze will be enough to spin them and cause annoying flashes that will deter birds from getting close. Due to the holographic mylar component, the pinwheels should also work relatively well at night too.
Repellents are 19” tall and 7” wide. With that much height available, you should be able to drive them deep enough into the ground and prevent any tipping over during strong winds. It should also make them a bit more pet-proof.
Here’s something you may be interested in if a simple owl deterrent can’t do the trick. This model is solar-powered. Because of this, it’s also capable of displaying movements, thus appearing even more realistic than a static owl scarecrow.
The model is very detailed and life-like, and it’s also big at 18” tall. It has excellent stability no matter where you place it. The battery won’t last through the night, however. That said, that’s not precisely the main drawback.
While this owl will get rid of most birds, it can also attract crows to your property. Yes, unfortunately, it’s so believable that it can also attract mortal enemies of owls. But, adding some crow-specific repellents around the owl may solve this issue.
In terms of movements, the head is the only body part that moves. It does so at somewhat random intervals. The intervals will be longer if the solar panel isn’t getting enough light.
These are some of the cheaper bird spikes that you can find. The spikes are blunt to avoid hurting birds trying to land, and also quite tall.
Stainless steel is a durable material and should hold well even under extreme weather conditions. The base is very flexible, as you would expect, and you can fold it in a perfect circle. That will allow you to use a variety of mounting methods as well as install the spike strips in any location.
You should also know that the package contains glue for quick applications. The base of the spikes comes with pre-drilled holes. You can use the holes to pin down the strips for additional stability. That already ups the value of the Aspectek deterrent package as not all manufacturers include glue.
I also like that there’s less spike separation on these spike strips than in other models. That will make it even harder for persistent pigeons to try and nest in between them.
If you’re worried that spikes may harm birds and that using some visual deterrents may not do the trick, you could give some transparent gel repellent a shot. The Bird B Gone MMTBH comes as a colorless, non-toxic gel, and works wonders against birds of all sizes.
This particular formula is effective at extreme temperatures too, as low as 15 degrees and as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The gel is also affordable and economical since you’ll need a tiny amount to keep birds away.
You’ll need a caulking gun to squeeze the gel out and distribute it evenly. Unfortunately, you’ll have to buy one separately.
I would like to point out that the gel can become quite sticky. So there is some risk of trapping smaller pest birds with it, if you apply too much or if you apply it in easy-to-access landing spots.
How to Repel Birds Without Hurting Your Lawn
Many products can kill or repel birds, insects, and pests. Some are so powerful that not even your plants may be safe if you use them, let alone any aquatic life nearby. It’s my recommendation that when you deal with birds, in particular, you take the humane approach and use something non-toxic.
This type of repellent, or deterrent, can be in the form of spikes, ornamental pieces shaped like predatory birds. You can also opt for gels, granules, and other organic formulations that are repulsive to birds.
I find it best to play on the fear-inducing effect of some visual deterrents. Either that or something that will make it very difficult for birds to nest in their favorite spots. If you make those places off-limits, then chances are they won’t settle for second-best or third-best spots and just be on their way.
Scarecrows vs. Alternatives
As you’ve seen, bird spikes are pretty much all the rage when it comes to bird deterrents. They’re flexible, and unlike barbed wire, they won’t harm or kill the birds. They’ll just make certain favorable nesting areas inaccessible and unappealing to them.
However, I like the owl and other predator scarecrows. The more detailed they are, the better they’ll look on your property. And birds will also quickly understand that your property is not the right nesting place for them.
I also like other visual stimulants such as sparkly deterrents or deterrents that move once a gentle breeze activates them.
I should also point out that certain predator scarecrows may attract other birds. Crows are mortal enemies of owls, so using an owl or two on your property may keep pigeons away, but it might attract crows.
Nighttime Deterrents and Repellents
Not all products will work once the sun goes down. No matter how life-like an ornamental scarecrow might look, if it doesn’t move or if it doesn’t emit some light during the night, birds won’t see it and won’t be bothered by it.
Therefore, you might want to consider the following aspects. Solar-powered deterrents may store enough juice to keep the prop operating during the night. Either by flashing some lights at specific intervals or by showing movement.
Spikes will work regardless of the time of day. So will gels and granules as they rely on messing with the bird’s sense of smell. They don’t act as visual deterrents and repellents.
But you should also consider shiny deterrents. Some props, like the sparkly pinwheels, can also offer 24/7 protection. The brighter and the more reflective the material is, the higher the chances that moonlight will be able to make them shine bright enough to keep birds away.
Where to Place Bird Deterrents
Start by protecting your windowsills. Birds often build nests above ground, so protecting your second or third-floor windows is a good start.
Then, you might want to use something to deter birds from nesting in your trees. Using spikes won’t guarantee success here. That’s because you’ll need too many of them to achieve the desired result.
So, when you want to protect your trees, you’re probably better off with using a predatory bird scarecrow or some repellent gel. If the gel is pungent enough for birds, then you won’t have to spread it on all the branches.
Other areas where you could place deterrents include fence posts, patio decks, flower beds, and even your roof. Just think of every place you’ve seen bird nests in, and it’s probably a place you should cover with some sort of repellent or deterrent.
Don’t Avoid the Issue Because Some Birds Are Beneficial
One could argue that some birds, like blackbirds, are beneficial in some situations as they can feast on small insects and pests. While that may be true, you may not realize that they can also feast on your veggie garden.
Not all birds are good to have on your property, especially not in large populations. And, there’s no reason not to deal with this type of situation quickly, given how cheap, readily available, and easy to use most deterrents and repellents are.