Guide to Bird Control

4 Bird-Proofing Methods to Use

Guide to Bird Control

Do you dread the sound of flapping wings outside your window? Are you tired of cleaning bird poop off your car, patio, or garden furniture? Have you reached your limit with birds constantly pecking at your lawn or vegetable garden?

If you answered yes, you’re not alone. From pest pigeons cooing on city rooftops to crows cawing at sunrise, nuisance bird population can quickly go from fascinating to frustrating when they move in uninvited. But never fear. Reclaiming your property from problem birds is totally achievable. With the right knowledge, tactics, and help from professional bird controllers, you can humanely reclaim your space.

Ready to take back your yard, balcony, or business from the birds? Let’s get started!

Step 1: Identify The Intruders

Before taking any action, it’s important to figure out what type of birds you’re dealing with. Is it starlings roosting on your balcony? Seagulls raiding the dumpster? Starlings building their home in the eaves? Knowing what type of birds are involved will determine the best control methods.

Indoor Birds

If you’ve got birds that have found their way inside your home or business, they likely entered through an open window, door, or hole in the exterior. Common indoor birds include sparrows, starlings, and pigeons. They can cause property damage by creating their den in attics or crawl spaces.

Outdoor Birds

Garden pests like crows, grackles, blackbirds, and robins are masters at pillaging plants and crops. Backyard birds like mourning doves may clutter your patio with feathers and droppings.

Identify what birds are causing issues so you can target your control efforts.

Pro Tip

Take photos of the birds and their droppings to help identify them or consult an expert. Correct ID is key for choosing proper removal methods.

Step 2: Inspect Their Entry Points, Food Sources, and Nesting Spots

For pigeons, starlings, and sparrows, check the exterior of your home or office for:

  • Openings in roof vents, chimneys, attic fans, or gaps around AC units or pipes where birds can enter
  • Little piles of sticks and straw indicating nests under eaves or porch overhangs
  • Ledges, signs, or light fixtures where birds congregate and leave droppings

See where tree branches overhang the roof, giving birds easy access. Also look for spilled seed or food scraps near dumpsters or compost piles that can attract birds. Remove any outdoor sources they can feed on.

For geese and gulls, inspect areas near water like:

  • Shorelines, docks, or boat ramps where birds congregate looking for handouts
  • Grass fields or parks where geese graze and leave messy droppings
  • Outdoor venues or patios where their next meal gets left out
  • Storm drains, sewer vents, or gaps in shoreline riprap where gulls can nest

The key is determining how the birds are getting onto your property and what’s attracting them so you can block their access. Once you’ve identified the problem areas, it’s time to start bird-proofing.

Pro Tip

Look for signs like feathers, droppings, straw, or noise that will lead you to where they live. Seek high vantage points like roofs or lifts to inspect for problem areas.

Step 3: Bird-Proof Your Property

Protect Your Property from Pest Birds

Okay, you know where the birds are entering and what they want. Now it’s time to deny them access and make your space less hospitable. Exclusion and habitat modification are the most effective do-it-yourself methods. Here are some tips:

Block outdoor entry points using physical barriers

  • Install bird netting over areas where birds perch and roost
  • Attach anti-perching spike strips to ledges and signage to prevent roosting
  • Block openings wider than 3/4″ with hardware cloth, caulk, foam, or other sealants
  • Add plastic owl decoys, reflective deterrents, or wind-chimes to problematic areas

Remove indoor nests and prevent re-entry

  • Carefully remove old nesting materials and droppings wearing PPE
  • Seal any gaps, holes, or vents with stainless steel mesh, caulk, or other materials
  • Install one-way exclusion devices that allow birds to leave but not re-enter

Modify landscaping to be less bird-friendly

  • Stop feeding birds and clean up spilled seed promptly
  • Let grass grow longer in areas frequented by geese
  • Discourage gulls by removing garbage cans near docks/beaches
  • Trim back tree branches and shrubs near a property to reduce roosting spots

Deter roosting on ledges or signs

  • Install plastic bird spike strips, coils, or netting
  • Apply non-toxic repellent gel or tape to deter birds from landing
  • Place wind-chimes, reflective scare tape, or inflatable tubes near roosts

Apply chemical bird repellents

Repellents use smells or irritation to deter birds from a specific area. Some options are:

  • Bird gel – Clear or colored gels are sticky. Birds dislike landing on the gooey texture.
  • Liquid repellents – Oils with mint, garlic, or other smells birds dislike. Spray on areas where they roost.
  • Bird powder – Irritating powders containing mint or capsaicin. Sprinkle lightly where birds perch. Use care near crops.
  • Flight control spray – Derived from grape skins, makes surfaces tacky. Spray on trees or edges to deter perching.

Always read and follow product directions carefully. Look for non-toxic options when possible. Repellents work best alongside other bird exclusion products and methods.

Pro Tip

Be vigilant about maintaining exclusions and deterrents year-round. A small gap is all sneaky birds need to regain entry.

The key is making your property less inviting by excluding the birds and removing things they need to thrive and survive. It also helps to scare and harass visiting birds so they move on. Which brings us to our next step…

Step 4: Scare Off Roosting or Nesting Birds

Alright, you’ve modified the habitat and excluded entryways. But some stubborn birds will still try to roost where they can. That’s where active scaring and harassment comes in. Here are some humane ways to scare off problem birds:

Use acoustic bird deterrents

  • Set up ultrasonic devices that irritate birds with high-frequency sounds
  • Install motion-activated sprinklers that abruptly shoot water when birds land nearby
  • Use predator bird sounds (like hawks) played through speakers to scare birds off

Visually scare birds

  • Visual deterrents such as lifelike plastic predator decoys (owls, hawks) that frighten birds
  • Shiny mylar tape that flashes and crinkles in the wind
  • Eye-spot balloons that mimic a predator stare

Physically scare off birds

  • Stand guard problem areas and yell, wave arms, spray water to fend off birds
  • Let dogs chase off pests (under supervision to avoid harming birds)
  • Use pyrotechnic devices like bird bangers and screamers to startle birds (where allowed)

The goal is to use humane scaring tools and techniques to make your property an uncomfortable and intimidating place for problem bird species. Consistency is key. Persistently scare them off using multiple shifting tactics until they abandon the area for good.

Pro Tip

Vary startling tactics like sounds, flashing lights, sprinklers to prevent birds from getting used to any one deterrent. Keep them guessing.

Key Takeaways

Tips for Controlling Birds

Dealing with pest birds takes some patience and persistence, but is totally doable. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Correctly identify the culprit species so you know their habits and the best bird control methods
  • Thoroughly inspect to find entry points, stuff to eat and nesting areas birds are using
  • Bird-proof your property by blocking access, removing things they need, and making the area less hospitable
  • Use humane scaring tools and harassment techniques to consistently fend off stubborn birds
  • Be vigilant and proactive deterring birds before they gain a foothold
  • Seek expert help for major infestations, nest removals, or disinfecting services
  • Exclusion and habitat modification offer the longest-term solutions

Implementing these steps will go a long way toward reclaiming your property and your peace of mind from nuisance birds.

FAQ

What time of year do birds nest?

Peak season is spring to mid-summer but year-round in temperate regions.

How do I remove nests safely?

Avoid disturbing nests with eggs or young birds. Seek professional removal services in these cases.

Is bird netting humane?

Yes, installed correctly to avoid trapping birds. Ensure openings allow birds to leave.

When is the best time to install a netting?

Install it before the season to build their hideaways begins, typically late winter/early spring. This prevents birds from building a home.

Are ultrasonic repellers safe for people and pets?

Yes, ultrasonic devices are harmless for humans/pets since we can’t hear the high frequencies. Always read product instructions.

How often should I apply liquid bird repellents?

Reapply every 1-2 weeks, more frequently in rainy weather as liquids wash away.

Will birds eventually get used to scare devices like decoys?

Yes, birds can habituate. Rotate different deterrents and move devices frequently to maximize effectiveness.

Should I get professional help for serious bird problems?

For major infestations or birds trapped inside, professional bird control companies have specialized tools and training.