I really enjoy having a home close to nature. Out of all the animals that we see in our area, the ones that we tend to have to most “problems” with are birds. And that is why I wanted to write a bit about bird repellers. Perhaps you are facing the same problems.
The birds that frequent our yard are colorful, playful, sing beautiful songs and eat lots of insects, but we started noticing one problem. Bird messes. From eaves, ventilation holes, the satellite dish, and at other points, we noticed a growing accumulation of bird droppings. Since we were planning to paint out house soon, it seemed to be a smart thing to figure out how to best preserve the new paint and eliminate the messes on the ground as well.
For our flat-roofed home, we discovered that a multi-faceted approach was needed to cover a number of different issues. These included perching and nesting birds.
The goal in dealing with perching birds is to get them to not perch at that place where their droppings create a mess. Perching occurs where they find a spot that allows them to overlook an area. For example, on our flat roof, we do not get bird droppings because they do not have any reason to land there, however, along the edge, with the rain downspouts and the satellite dish, they do stop and perch for a while because they can look down at the activity on the ground and in the air at the same time. The longer they perch, the more likely they leave their little calling card.
For these types of areas, we found that plastic bird spikes work just great. Even a small strip attached to the satellite dish and no more mess. These spikes (metal ones are also available) are very durable, do not harm the birds, and are easily attached. And they are hardly visible from the ground so it does not detract from the look of your house.
Since birds are curious and opportunistic in searching for food, our patio was also a place of some bird messes but not in any consistent pattern. What works best for an open space like a patio, porch or balcony is an ultrasonic bird repeller. A small unit will easily cover just such a space with motion activated ultrasound that will not disturb you. (There are also audible sonic devices that mimic bird distress and bird predator sounds that repel birds as well.)
Our home is not in an area where there are birds like barn swallows that build nests in rafters and under eaves so we did not take any steps there. But we do have ventilation holes in one area and, sure enough, some very small birds, smaller than sparrows, found them and moved in during nesting season. The inside of the hole was sealed with a metal screen but the hole leading to it was open.
If you have eaves or holes like we do, you can use bird netting to keep birds out of those areas. Bird netting comes in different weights and materials. Follow the recommended applications for each and you’ll find that they are durable and very effective. For residential applications, most are so fine that you’ll have to look closely to see that they are actually there so do not worry about a negative visual impact on your home.
One important note: do not put up netting or start using ultrasonic bird repellers in areas where active nests exist. You do not want to prevent the parents from feeding their youngsters. Bird repellers are about preserving your property safely and humanely, not about eliminating, literally, the birds themselves.
Although we have a garden with tomatoes, spinach, and other vegetables, we have not had any problems with any of our visiting animals but, in the interest of completeness, we will mention a final type of bird repeller, one that you might be the most familiar with – the scarecrow.
Honestly, scarecrows have changed but can still be effective when used in the right situations. Look for “visual bird scares” when you research these. From shiny reflective tape that blows in the wind, to predator shapes and realistic plastic predators (like owls or foxes – some even include sound), scares can help protect your vegetation and structures by keeping feeding or nesting birds away.
The end result: we still enjoy hearing the bird songs and even have a seed feeder at the far end of our yard. But up close, on the patio and along the edge of the roof (and on the windows and walls), we do not notice anything. No mess. No smell. It looks like the perfect time to finally paint the house.
People also read: Decorate For the Birds
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