How to Get Rid of Birds – Keep them Away

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

While birds, in all their many and beautiful forms, are very welcome in most households, the truth is that this doesn’t apply to all birds in all situations. There are plenty of birds out there which are annoying, destructive, and can be incredibly damaging to your property.

Whether they’re building nests, damaging the structure of your property, eating your plants and messing up your garden, pooing everywhere, or eating your vegetables, there are endless reasons why you’d want to get rid of birds. The real question is; how?

Throughout this guide, I’m going to talk you through every way you can get rid of birds from your house and garden, so you get the problem solved.

Stop Birds from Coming in the First Place

Whether you fear birds coming to your property in the first place, or you’ve rid yourself of birds and you don’t want them coming back, prevention of a problem is always better than curing it. This means deterring birds away from your yard in the first place.

There are multiple ways you can do this, whether you’re using sound deterrents or visual devices (both of which can work well at getting rid of birds once they’ve settled in the first place), and save you having to run outside flapping your arms about, although this works too.

Like all animals, birds tend to settle where there’s safety and a reliable food source, so taking away both or either is a great first step. What food source you’ll need to remove will depend on what birds you’re dealing with but try to remove all food sources you can find in your home and garden.

You may want to check your outdoor bins and compost heap to ensure there’s nothing available for the birds in these areas. If you have a vegetable garden the birds are attacking, cover your veggies and beds with netting that will prevent the birds going near your plants at all.

The final approach you can take is known as ‘taste aversion’. This involves buying some biodegradable gel like this that you can apply to places where birds come and sit. The smell of these gels to birds is foul, and while it’s not going to cause them any harm, it’s certainly going to make them want to go elsewhere.

You can also make your bird cocktail on your own using vinegar and water.

Scaring Away with a Scarecrow

Building and erecting a scarecrow in your garden is the oldest trick in the bird-scaring book, and it’s been around as long as any of us can remember. This can be quite a fun activity if you want to make a scarecrow and dress it up with your kids, or you can buy a ready-made one if you just want the birds gone.

Whichever approach you take, set the finished scarecrow up in your garden and then move it around to different locations every few days. This is so the birds don’t get used to it and come back. Changing the scarecrow’s clothes can also be a great way to keep things fresh and scary.

Install Spikes

If you walk around your local neighborhood, you’re going to see things like walls, fences, and street lighting topped with spikes, and that’s because they’re a great way to keep the birds at bay.

Anti-bird spikes, such as this one from Bird-X, are available in both plastic and metal varieties, the metal being used for larger birds, like pigeons and crows. Spikes are easy to install and can be found online or in your local hardware store and should be suitable for most flat surfaces.

Use a Motion-Sensor Sprinkler

Motion sensor sprinklers are becoming increasingly common in gardens where birds are a big problem because A: they scare the birds away, and B: they help with watering. Talk about two birds with one stone!

All you need to do with a motion-sensor sprinkler is set it where you usually see the birds, turn it on, and leave it to do its thing. They work simply by detecting the movement of birds and then activating, meaning it sprays water into the air in a jet, thus scaring the birds away. Usually, these devices are battery-powered.

There are plenty of different makes and models out there, so it’s really up to you. I’ve used the Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer and recommend it.

This model is really affordable, works through both the day and the night, and is harmless towards the animals themselves.

Get Some Animal Decoys

Birds have lots of natural predators, and even just the sight of them can be enough to scare them away. Looking online or in your local garden hardware store, you should be able to find all kinds of plastic models and decoys you can put in your backyard.

Some predators to think of include:

  • Snakes
  • Owls
  • Coyotes
  • Swans
  • Other birds

I’ve personally used this rotating-head owl and found it quite effective.

If you want to take things one step further, you may even want to get a real pet, such as a cat or a dog, that can scare birds away. I’d probably stick with those two as real-life pets, however, because I doubt you want coyotes roaming around your back yard. Border collies and sheepdogs are great options since they love chasing birds around and are very successful at doing so!

Set Up Shiny Surfaces

Animals, especially birds, hate shiny and reflective objects. The shimmering of the light and movement is enough to startle any birds away, and it’s a really easy deterrent to set up. All you need is some old CDs or DVDs, or just some sheets of aluminum foil.

If you’re using CDs, simply thread some string through their holes, so you have three or four discs together. Then, hang the CDs up near your house so they can spin in the wind, and the birds will leave you alone in no time at all.

If you’re too busy to make your own DIY reflective repellents, you can just buy some readymade ones online.

Bring in the Professionals

There are plenty of professional pest control services out there, so if you’re really struggling with removing and deterring your birds, you may want to get their help. You can call a professional pest control service if the birds are annoying enough, or you can enlist in the help of a bird keeper.

Bird keepers usually charge around the $50-60 per-hour and will bring a raptor, like a falcon into your home. They’ll fly the raptor around for an hour or so to scare all the other birds away and it’ll be a very long time until they come back again.

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