While birds aren’t typically thought of as being pests, they can cause serious damage to your home and your health. Bird droppings are quite acidic and are known to carry at least 60 transmittable diseases. While birds may be beautiful and fun to watch around your property, they can cause problems in large numbers or when their nests are built in not-so-convenient places. Here are a few DIY tips for keeping birds away.

  1. Get rid of what attracts them. Birds come to your place because something attracted them there in the first place. Getting rid of these attractants will give them less of a reason to hang out. 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. 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. 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. Hang aluminum foil. 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. Use 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. Sprinkle 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. Use decoys. You can purchase one (or several) predator decoys at your local hardware store to use as a bird repellent. 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.

As always, if you have a bird problem on your property, contact a professional bird control company who can help safely and legally remove the nuisance bird or bird’s nest and help you set up a prevention plan to keep them away going forward.