How To Get Rid of Birds? (Complete Guide)

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Looking to learn how to/learn about to get rid of birds?

Well then, you're in the right place!

In this guide you'll learn:

  • How to use Owl/Eagle Statues To Get Rid of Birds
  • How To Use Reflective Items To Get Rid of Birds
  • How To Use Ultrasonic Repellers Get Rid of Birds
  • How To Use Bird Spikes Get Rid of Birds
  • How To Use Bird Traps Get Rid of Birds
  • Layering Get Rid of Birds
how to get rid of birds

Birdie, birdie in the sky,

Why'd you do that in my eye?

I'm just glad that cows can't fly!

Sooner or later, every child learns that old nursery rhythm.  It's a humorous reminder of one of the biggest reasons we have for getting rid of birds and keeping them off our property; they poop all over everything.  

There is more to it than just aesthetics though, bird poop is also acidic.  If too much of it gets on your car, fence, picnic tables, chairs, etc., etc., etc., eventually it will start eating through them and causing damage.

Keeping them off your property isn't easy though.  It's going take some real work and effort on your part.  Be prepared to spend some time on it. 

But if you are willing to invest some time and energy, as well as a little bit of money in it, it will pay off for you in the long run.

You'll want to use a layered approach using owl statues, reflectors, ultrasonic noisemakers,  birds spikes, and traps.  

You won't need to use all of them at once, but you should know how to use all of them so you can pick out those that will be most effective in your particular situation.  That's a lot of information to cover, so let's get started.

Want To Hear a  Bird Removal Success Story?

Years ago, a pest control company that bid on and won, a contract at a big paper mill outside of town.  

As part of their operations, they used the bark from trees and excess wood chips to fire several boilers in a 12-story high powerhouse that generated all the electricity for the mill.  

The upper floors of the powerhouse were mostly vacant, just concrete floors that were open to the outside air.  

There were some 8-12 foot diameter steam pipes and ventilation shafts that ran through those floors, plus some smokestack air scrubbers, but that was pretty much it.

Oh yes, there was also about a zillion pigeons flying around up there pooping on everything.

The mill wanted them gone so they added bird elimination to our contract.  It turned into quite the full-time project at first.

The pest control company had to purchase a number of traps (a lot of them actually) and put them all over the place with bird seed and corn in them.  

They also placed bird spikes in strategic areas to keep the birds from landing. Finally, the experts added some dangling reflectors around the outside of each floor. ​

​The pros knew the birds didn't like the sheets of hanging plastic that were fastened in several places around those floors.  The big sheets would flap in the breeze, scaring the birds away.  

Regulations prohibited those sheets of plastic from being hung everywhere around the perimeter of each floor, but hanging reflectors were fine.

It took 5 or 6 months to cut down the bird population.  The pest control company never eliminated them completely (that powerhouse is huge!) but the overall population was reduced by more than 90%.  

Eventually, the numbers dropped sufficiently that taking care of the powerhouse birds became just another part of our pest control duties at the mill.  

The mill executives were happy about it, the union workers were happy they weren't getting pooped on anymore, and we were happy to have the additional revenue stream coming in.  

The only ones who weren't happy were the birds.

Naturally!

​How To Use Owl/Eagle Statues?

There are several types of owl or eagle statues available, such as an owl with a rotating head or a motion activated owl that makes owl sounds. There are two main things to take into consideration when you're using these kinds of statues.

owl vs eagle statue

Stability is Key

Statues like this are generally made of plastic or some other lightweight material.  Since they're life-size, it doesn't take much a breeze to blow them over.  

An owl that's laying on its side isn't going to scare much of anything, let alone a bunch of hungry birds.  

Some of them come with built-in screw holes for mounting them in place, while others are hollow and can be filled with rocks, sand, or some other weighted material.  

Whatever method you use, it needs to be able to hold them upright even in the teeth of a stiff breeze.

You need to move them around

This is just common sense.  If the birds see the owl or eagle statue sitting in the same place every day, it won't take them long to realize it's not alive and therefore isn't a threat.  

You need to move around every single day.  Find a new resting spot them on a continual basis.  Vary the location as much as your circumstances will allow.  If you have two of them, so much the better.  

Occasionally, remove one of them from the yard completely.  When the birds see one owl instead of two, it will keep them guessing, wondering where the other owl is, thinking maybe it's hiding somewhere out of sight in preparation for swooping down on them.​

​How Should You Use Reflective Items?

Ornamental Spiral Deterrents that hand down and twist and turn in the wind are great items.  Hang them from tree branches where they like to rest.  Hang rows of them around the patio and your backyard furniture.

Scare Tape is similar to the spinning spirals except that you can cut the tape to the desired length before hanging it up.  You can also twist long strips of it into a corkscrew and use Scotch Tape to fasten it to ledges and beams you don't want the birds landing on. 

Don't tape it down too tightly though.  You want it to have some play in it so it can vibrate and move a bit in the wind.  It's the movement of the reflective surface that scares birds the most.

Bird Blinder Repellent Pinwheels stand 19-inches high on thin rods that can be stuck in the ground in your flowerbeds to keep birds away.  The sparkly holographic wheels spin in the breeze causing flashes of light that blind birds and scare them to keep them from landing and pecking at your flowers.  

These are most effective around the perimeter of the flowerbeds.  Be sure to vary their height to further confuse the birds.  It doesn't take much to frighten them.  They're called bird-brains for a reason, you know.

Scare-Eye Bird Repellent Predator Eyes Balloons are a fairly new innovation that seems to be building a good reputation, although the name “balloon” may be a bit of a misnomer.  These basketball-sized balls don't float, even when they're filled with helium.  

They're intended to hand down from something and look like the staring eyeball of a predator bird.  Hanging a few strands of scare tape under them helps too.  

Fasten them up high the trees where they can be seen from a distance. The jury is still out on these due to their relative newness on the market, but so far we're impressed with what we've seen.

The Solar Powered Bird Repeller Propeller is an interesting item.  It has two little reflective antennae that are expandable to cover an area 5-feet in diameter.  It spins them at about 25 rpm to keep the birds away.  

The solar panel isn't very good at charging the batteries though, so you should probably get a separate recharger for them.  Other than that, it seems to do a pretty good job.  It's perfect for tables and around the swimming pool when they're not being used.

The video below will show you how a bird repeller basically works.

​How Should You Use Ultrasonic Repellers?

Ultrasonic repellers have gotten a bad rap because people seem to believe in magic these days.  

They apparently think these devices should work the first time, every time, one hundred percent of the time on every bird that enters your yard, and there's simply no such thing.  

When you're dealing with living creatures – which birds are – you'll never achieve 100% perfection, whether you're talking about traps, poison, reflective items, or ultrasonic frequency repellers.

If you'll accept the reality that ultrasonic repellers, like all everything else we're covering today, work on percentages rather than absolutes, and follow our advice about layering several different items together, you'll be a happy camper.  

Otherwise, you should get a shotgun and start working on your marksmanship.

Ultrasonic overview

Ultrasonic repellers work by emitting high-frequency sounds above 20 kHz, the threshold for normal human hearing.  These sounds are alternated back and forth like a European police siren.  

The high pitched, undulating noise then becomes an irritant which drives birds and other small pests away.  There's more to it of course, but that's the basic idea.

​Placement is key

The first factor you want to remember is that birds are aerial.  They fly.  So naturally, you want your repellers up high as well.  

Motion activated repellers are the best since a sudden burst of noise is more startling than a continuous one, no matter how irritating.  

If you can get the birds while they're still in the air, their natural tendency will be to bank and fly away.  Once they're on the ground it's more difficult to drive them off.

Putting the repellers as high off the ground as you can (with some of them lower to the ground) means you'll need to run an extension cord to them or make sure you purchase ones that are solar powered.  

Both types are readily available and which one you get is more a matter of personal taste than anything else.

Stagger them so their coverage areas overlap, but far enough apart that they don't all go off at once.  

A sudden burst of ultrasonic noise from one direction, then a few seconds later a burst of noise from a different direction, will confuse the birds drive more of them away than a single burst of noise from all around.  

The more confused they are, the more likely they'll be to leave.

Backstop

Position the repellers so their backside is flush against a wall, tree, or any other solid object.  This improves the quality of the sound.  

It also reduces echo and feedback.  A solid backing also helps the sound penetrate surrounding foliage.

​How Should You Use Bird Spikes?

As the name might suggest, bird spikes are rows of sharp spikes that poke birds when they try to land on them.  These are best deployed on fences, gutters, patio beams, and tree limbs where birds like to perch.  

These are physical deterrents that have a high rate of success.  These are best used in areas where they can be permanently attached.

You can get some Silicone Adhesive that is designed to be used with the bird spikes to hold them in place.  It comes in tubes designed to be used with a caulk gun.  Each 10-ounce tube will cover 25 linear feet.

hummingbird facts

​How Should You Use Bird Traps?

Bird traps come in a bewildering array of shapes and sizes.  Some of them are designed to trap and hold smaller birds such as sparrows, while others are intended for pigeons and larger birds.

Some will only trap one bird at a time while others will hold up to twelve live birds simultaneously.

Baiting

You need to bait your trap with bird seed that can be purchased online or whatever fruits or nuts are growing in your yard that the birds are drawn to eat.  The first one is easy, just spend some money and the seed is delivered.  

Bait your trap with and you're done.  The second requires you to get out into your yard and rake up all the fallen fruits and nuts, then use a few of them to bait your trap.  The first method will work, the second one will work better.

Placement

Put your traps in the area where birds have been feeding already.  It may take a few days for the birds to become accustomed to them enough to venture inside, but be patient and eventually, you'll start catching birds.  

If you've got a large bird problem (20 or more birds an hours) you'll probably need to put out 2 or 3 traps at a time.

Disposal

If you want to release the birds back into the wild you'll have to take as much as 500 or 600 miles away from your home before you do. Pigeons, especially, are excellent at returning “home” from distances of over 400 miles.  

Other birds may not have quite the range that pigeons do, but they can certainly find their way back to your house from 30-40 miles away.  If you have the time for that, go for it.

If you don't have the time for all that driving, get a small wading pool. Fill it with water and drop the cage full of birds into the water and let them drown. Once they're dead, empty the cage, clean it, re-bait, and put it back in place again.

​Have you ever tried using a DIY bird trap? Check out the video below!

How About Layering Bird Removal Methods?

Layering is a simple concept that involves creating concentric rings of protection around your house.  Earlier, in the section on ultrasonic repellers, we mentioned that they operate on percentages.  

All of the methods outlined above do the same thing – they'll stop, catch, or deter a certain percentage of the total birds in your yard.  None of them alone will get all of them.  So you create a layered defense.

The outer layer should be the ultrasonic repellers.  Turn the highest ones in the trees so they're facing away from your house.  As birds approach they'll trigger the first layer of defense.  Some will turn and leave.  

As the rest of them keep coming, your second, lower layer of repellers, facing in multiple different directions and staggered around the yard will buffet them from every side.

The next layer, the reflective devices, hangers, eye balloons, etc., should be positioned in the lower branches of the trees, on top of poles, hanging from beams, and so forth.  

These will deter and turn away another percentage of birds.  The remaining few can be trapped or repelled by spikes (your final layers of defense).

Final Thoughts On Getting Rid of Brids

We can guarantee that none of the methods we've talked about today is sufficient to stop all the birds by itself.  If you're relying on only one method – trapping, ultrasonic, spikes, whatever – you're going to be sorely disappointed.  

That's a money-back guarantee.  One method alone won't cut the mustard.

Been there, done that!

So, use the layered approach.  It's not going to be as cheap as you thought it would, but we never promised cheap. 

Instead, we've presented you with a long-term strategy of bird elimination and removal that will deliver a better rate of success than anything else on Earth.  Play the percentages and you'll win.

Michael V. Wilson

Michael V. Wilson

Michael has 14+ years doing termite jobs on slab and pier-and-beam houses past counting, roach clean-outs, bed bug jobs, flea jobs (inside and outside), ants, fireants, and many more!

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Michael V. Wilson

Michael V. Wilson

Michael has 14+ years doing termite jobs on slab and pier-and-beam houses past counting, roach clean-outs, bed bug jobs, flea jobs (inside and outside), ants, fireants, and many more!

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