How to Keep Birds Away

How to Keep Birds from Becoming Pests

Car with bird excrement on it

Though birds can bring music and color to your yard, they can also be annoying. Birds eat plants, roost in trees and leave potentially dangerous droppings.

You can help protect your property against such problems, but note that all wild birds (excluding pigeons, house sparrows and starlings) are protected under laws such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Forced removal or harm of any protected bird requires a permit.

Consider these bird deterrent tips to keep birds away:

Control resources: What brings birds to your property? Is it food, water or shelter? The easiest way to remove nuisance birds is to eliminate or block the resources your yard offers.

  • Water: If you have a water feature, birds like geese will likely find it. Drain or cover the feature to keep birds out.
  • Food: Avoid plants that grow berries or cover them with fine metal netting. If a flock of birds is dominating your feeder, ask your local wildlife service what type of seed they won't eat.
  • Roosts: Keep birds away from trees and bushes by pruning them often to remove the cover birds seek.

Use scare tactics: Fright is another bird deterrent, no matter their motivation for making your property home. Lifelike scarecrows or flags that move in the wind are the cheapest, most effective ways to scare birds. Flashing lights, loud noise and dogs are effective but more expensive scare tactics. Bird experts recommend a variety of these techniques, as birds tend to adapt to situations quickly.

Enlist local help: Bird control requires experimentation, patience and, often, spending. If your bird infestation is too great to manage on your own, contact your local animal control or pest control. Some cities even offer specific bird-removal services.