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Even though birds are beautiful to see and listen to around your home, you’ll want to keep them away from your porch. If they deem your porch a worthy location, they can make the area incredibly messy, noisy, and potentially dangerous.
Failing to keep birds off your porch will result in bird droppings and nesting materials laying everywhere. You will also have to deal with noisy birds singing, calling, fighting, and ramming against your home. Most worrisome, you might even put yourself at risk of a bird attack if aggressive birds decide to nest there.
Luckily, there are things you can do to keep birds off your porch. Using visual, auditory, tactile, and fragrant repellents are all proven ways to keep birds away from your porch, patio, and other areas around your home.
Before we dive into four different ways to keep birds off your porch, make sure that your home is uninviting to birds. Making sure your patio area is clean and free from bird feeders, birdbaths, and other bird-attracting objects is the first step in the process.
If you have these sorts of items on or around your porch, you should expect birds because you are welcoming them. Removing these items will take away the bird’s reason for being there in the first place. If you have enough space, keep these items about 30 feet away from your home.
There are many ways that you can keep birds off your porch, but the most effective methods fall into one of four categories: visual repellents, auditory repellents, tactile repellents, and fragrant repellents. Let’s take a closer look at each one of these methods so you can determine which one is right for you.
Visual deterrents are some of the easiest ways that you can keep birds off your porch. Visual deterrents are designed to scare birds away with physical items that they can see. The most classic example of a visual deterrent is a scarecrow, but you probably don’t want to put a scarecrow on your porch!
There are two main types of visual deterrents that are simple, subtle, and effective for keeping birds away from your porch. The first is a mirror. Use hanging mirrors to scare birds away from the light. Not only will the reflections scare away the birds, but this method is pretty attractive. You can use mirrors, old CDs, and aluminum foil to get the job done.
You could also get a visual deterrent in the form of a fake owl. Most small birds will stay away from your porch if they see a statue of one of their natural predators. This sort of visual deterrent will need to be moved occasionally if you have crows and other intelligent species on your property.
Try to find as lifelike of an owl as possible for the best results. If you can find one with motion-activated movement or sounds, even better.
Auditory deterrents are also effective because birds are sensitive to sound. If there is some sort of sound coming from your porch, birds are less likely to come into the area. You will be happy to know that there are a lot of auditory deterrents that are pleasant to humans but scary to birds.
Wind chimes, for example, are a great way to deter birds. The noise from the wind chimes will scare away most birds. If you select a metal wind chime, the wind chimes will both create sound and reflect light, doubly scaring away the bird.
You could also get a sonic unit—a type of auditory deterrent specifically designed for birds. Most often, these units create a distress sound, which will keep birds away. The problem with these sonic units is you have to know what sort of bird you are dealing with.
Most birds will learn that certain sounds are not scary and start coming on your porch after some time. To prevent this from occurring, change out the wind chimes or sound so that the birds never learn to adjust to the noise.
Tactile deterrents prevent birds from perching on your porch. There are two main types of tactile deterrents: baking soda and bird spikes.
Baking soda is the most cost-efficient. Place baking soda around your porch in the areas where birds perch. Birds do not like the feel of baking soda on their feet, and they will avoid these areas as a result. You will have to sprinkle more baking soda every time it rains, snows, or is incredibly windy.
Bird spikes are a bit more effective because they are permanent. Bird spikes don’t injure the bird, either—it just makes it inconvenient for them to perch. Bird spikes are especially a great option if you have problems with birds nesting in the gutter. The only downside is that bird spikes can be a bit unsightly.
The last way to keep birds away from your porch is to use fragrant repellents. Birds typically hate citrusy, spicy, and strong fragrances, such as tea tree oil, garlic, lemon, and other similar scents. Sprinkling these fragrances around your porch will keep birds away, especially if you use the fragrant deterrents with other deterrent methods.
Fragrant repellents can be very cost-efficient. You can make your own mixture by using essential oils, spices, and ingredients that you have around your house. You can also purchase pre-made bird fragrance repellent.
When it comes down to it, you have to decide which method is right for you and your home.
Most importantly, always make sure to check with HOA regulations. Some regulations will outright ban certain visual, auditory, and tactile deterrents. Checking your local regulations might automatically discount certain options.
From there, think about which methods are the most pleasing for you. For example, wind chimes might be a good option if you’ve always loved the look and appearance of the object. However, you should avoid wind chimes if that sort of noise is annoying.
Think about the appearance of the deterrent as well. If you want your home to look as natural and beautiful as possible, certain tactile deterrents or physical objects might be a bit obtrusive.
Lastly, consider your budget. Certain repellents are more affordable than others. Select one that is in your ideal budget. Keep in mind you might have to purchase these items repeatedly, so, take that into account whenever you are considering the price.
If you are finding it next to impossible to keep birds away from your porch, it might be time to call a professional. Likewise, it’s best to call a professional if there is already a nest in place.
In most locations in the United States, it is actually illegal to destroy or remove a bird nest if hatchlings are still present or it is nesting season. If you notice that there are nests on your property, always call a professional so that you can learn if it is legal and safe for you to remove them.
As a rule of thumb, never mess with a nest during nesting season. However, nests can be removed after the mother and all of the hatchlings have left the nest.
If you use a variety of the methods above, you should be able to keep birds away from your porch. However, some birds are more intelligent and persistent than others. If you can’t keep birds away, contact a professional. They may be able to give you tips or figure out why birds keep coming back.
If you are having trouble with birds nesting and messing with your porch, try visual, auditory, tactile, and fragrant deterrents. These different methods are proven to effectively keep birds away without harming them or breaking any laws. Select which method is best for you based on local regulations, personal preferences, and budget.
You might also be interested in: 3 Proven Steps to Get a Bird Out of Your House
Featured Image Credit: Waylin, Pixabay
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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