How to Keep Birds Away - Humane Methods of Bird Repellent
The majority of us live in cities, where birds have adapted to the new conditions and become urbanized, so we see birds every day – in the garden, on the street, in the park, and of course in the countryside. Although birds can bring color and music to your yard, but they can also cause chaos by eating plants, roosting in trees, and leaving dangerous droppings behind that can pose a health risk for you and your family. In some cases, birds can also be carriers of certain diseases.
In this AnimalWised article, we explain different ways to keep birds away from your home without harming them.
How to scare away birds from your property
When you see birds soaring and hear them singing, it's easy to feel at peace. But it's a whole different story when they have invaded your home or garden.
Most birds are not parasites, but they can become quite a nuisance. Birds can serve many purposes: they eat insects that are predatory, and they eat the seeds of weeds that can grow out of control in your garden. But birds can also be pests, feeding on the fruits and vegetables in your garden, damaging your home and other structures on your property, and leaving droppings that can cause serious health problems for you and your family.
The following article provides a variety of ways to keep birds away from your property. Whatever method you choose, there are a few things you should keep in mind when dealing with birds.
Remove food sources:
To get rid of birds, you need to eliminate what attracts them to your home, which is most likely food. It is helpful to observe the birds and find out where in your home they prefer to be, to find out where the food comes from. If you find that the birds are visiting your berry bushes and fruit trees, you can install nets to prevent access. On the other hand, if the birds are attracted to insects, you can get rid of them with organic insecticides or electric zappers. If your birds chase rats that rummage through your garbage, you should secure the garbage cans.
Block all openings on your property
If you want to get rid of unwanted birds nesting inside your attic, chimney, or shed, you need to find out how they are getting there. Once you find the opening, you can install a one-way bird door that allows trapped birds to leave but prevents them from coming back. You can also leave the door open for a few days to make sure your attic or shed is empty. Once you are certain that they are gone, seal the opening accordingly.
Get to know the birds
The more information you have on the birds, the better. By identifying the bird species, you can tailor the bird control strategy to the specific feeding habits, nesting tendencies and general behavior of each species. Some methods work better for some species than others.
Once the birds have settled in a certain area, it is not so easy to drive them away. Therefore, it is advisable to watch for their presence and, once they are detected, act as soon as possible.
Clean the droppings
If birds have deposited their droppings in areas of our home, it is important to clean the area with chlorine and soap. You should also protect yourself with gloves and masks and avoid any contact with feces, as they could be a source of transmission of certain parasites.
If you want to know how to repel other animals, such as cats, do not miss our article on how to keep cats off your property.
Bird netting, bird roosting, and bird spikes are all humane bird control methods to get rid of harmful birds around your property. To discourage these unwanted visitors from staying around your property, install a physical bird barrier such as a bird slope or bird netting to make it difficult for the birds to land and encourage them to fly away. These are the most popular and effective barriers you can put up:
- Place branches on the planting: When we plant the seeds, and they germinate, they become an attractive food for some birds. You can prevent this by placing branches on the planting so that the birds cannot reach the food and retreat to another place.
- Install a mesh: For small orchards, you can install meshes that cover the plantings to prevent birds from getting to them.
- Bird spikes: Bird spikes are another barrier for birds that can be placed on apartment or curved surfaces. Birds will not want to land on the uneven surface that the blunted spikes create. The polycarbonate bird spikes are virtually invisible and come in many colors to match almost any texture. They are very versatile and come in a variety of widths.
Homemade bird repellents
In addition to the above, we can scare birds away by making our own bird repellent. While there are many commercial bird repellents on the market, many of them contain harsh chemicals that could be harmful to the birds and your family and could further damage your garden, not to mention the cost. If you want to keep the birds from destroying your garden, here are two non-toxic, inexpensive bird repellent recipes to keep birds away.
Homemade bird repellent made from a chili pepper mixture:
- In a blender or food processor, add at least 40 hot peppers or chilies.
- Then pour them into a bottle and add water without filling the bottle completely.
- Close the bottle and shake it vigorously so that the mixture is evenly distributed.
- Later, place the bottle in a sunny place and keep it there for 7 days.
- After this time, add half a cup of white vinegar and shake vigorously again.
- Pour the preparation into a spray container and spread it on the places where the birds usually sit.
Remember that it is a repellent that loses its effectiveness due to environmental factors such as rain, sun, and wind. Therefore, it is advisable to repeat the application once a week and keep the container in a dark place to maintain its effectiveness longer.
Homemade bird repellent made from baking soda:
- Mix baking soda with water. The ratio should be about 5 spoons of baking soda per glass of water.
- Pour the mixture into a bottle with a spray head and shake it vigorously so that the mixture is evenly distributed.
- Spray the mixture on the places where the birds usually sit. Birds do not like the feel of baking soda under their toes and will avoid it at all costs.
If you want to know more about natural methods of repelling other animals, such as dogs, do not miss our article about natural dog repellents.
Visual deterrents for birds
You can also use visual bird deterrents to keep birds off your property. Visual bird deterrents are objects that work by using bright colors, movement, flashing lights, and other signs of danger to scare birds away from a home, garden, business, or other type of property. Sudden flashes of light from reflected sun rays can blind and disorient birds. When used properly, they make birds so agitated that they fly away and do not come back. There are two types of deterrents you can choose from:
- Shiny objects: Problem birds are discouraged from returning to areas with shiny, reflective objects. Old CDs, aluminum cans, tin foil, small mirrors, and metallic wrapping paper can be hung near problem nesting or landing sites.
- Predators silhouettes: Birds have many natural predators, such as cats, owls, and large birds of prey. By placing objects that resemble these predators in areas frequented by nuisance birds, you can discourage them from nesting or landing nearby. You can make these objects out of wood, metal or another material that can withstand the outdoor environment. These silhouettes work better when they are not static and can move with the wind to create a more real effect, such as bird repelling flying kites. If the silhouettes are static, then make sure you move these objects every few days, so the birds do not get used to them and ignore them.
- Laser pointers: Laser pointers are perfect for chasing away birds without hurting them and with minimal noise and disturbance. The beam of the laser pointer is bright and concentrated enough to scare away birds from a long distance.
Sound deterrents for birds
Bird deterrents consist of sounds that mimic distress calls or predator calls and are designed to deter birds from nesting or flying near your property. These pre-recorded bird distress calls appear to people and other animals as normal bird calls. To you, your neighbors and your pets, these recordings sound just like birds. It is important to know that birds can become accustomed to the sounds, even if they initially perceive them as threatening. Therefore, it is best to change the track regularly or adjust the volume to improve its effectiveness.
There are essentially two types of sounds that can be used to scare away these birds:
- Predator sounds: they consist of recordings of carnivorous birds, which include other bird species such as eagles or hawks.
- Warning calls: these are sounds emitted by individuals of the same species that warn of a dangerous situation. Birds such as pigeons, gulls, crows, and geese have special “distress calls.” Birds make these sounds only when they are attacked by a predator or when they feel threatened.
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- Melis, O. (2020). Strategies, technologies and methods to drive away birds from the garden . National Institute of Agricultural Technology, Argentina. Available at: https://inta.gob.ar/noticias/estrategias-tecnologias-y-metodos-para-ahuyentar-aves-de-la-huerta
- Sanchez, J. (2010). Design of an ecological bird repellent system . National University of Calleo, Peru. Available at: https://unac.edu.pe/documentos/organizacion/vri/cdcitra/Informes_Finales_Investigacion/Junio_2011/IF_SANCHEZ_HERNANDEZ_FIEE.PDF