How To Keep Birds Away From Patios Decks Balconies




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Are birds causing a nuisance on your patio, deck, or balcony? Whether it’s their incessant noise, messy droppings, or destruction of vegetation, dealing with birds can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are numerous methods and deterrents you can use to keep them away. Clearing debris, strategically placing bird feeders, and utilizing motion-activated sprinklers are just a few options. Bird spikes, owl decoys, and reflective surfaces can also be effective. Different bird species require different tactics, so it’s important to know which ones commonly cause problems, such as pigeons, starlings, blackbirds, grackles, and house sparrows. By implementing these deterrents, you can enjoy your outdoor space without the pesky presence of birds.

Methods to Deter Birds

Birds can be a source of annoyance and frustration, especially when they invade our patios, decks, and balconies. They leave behind droppings, create noise, build nests, and consume fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, there are several effective methods to deter birds and minimize these problems.

Clearing debris

One simple but often overlooked method of deterring birds is by clearing debris from outdoor spaces. Fallen leaves, twigs, and other clutter serve as attractive nesting materials for birds. By regularly cleaning up and maintaining a tidy environment, you can discourage birds from making your space their home.

Strategically placing bird feeders

While bird feeders can attract birds, they can also serve as a useful deterrent when placed strategically. By placing feeders away from areas you want to keep bird-free, you can redirect their attention and make your desired areas less inviting to them. Consider locating bird feeders in a different part of your garden or yard to draw the birds away from problem areas.

Using bird spikes

Bird spikes are an effective physical deterrent to prevent birds from perching or landing on specific areas such as ledges, window sills, or rooflines. These spikes make it difficult for birds to find a comfortable spot to settle, forcing them to seek alternative locations. Bird spikes are harmless to birds while providing an effective barrier to discourage them from roosting in unwanted areas.

Employing faux predators like owl decoys

Birds are naturally wary of predators, and using decoys that mimic their natural enemies can dissuade them from visiting your property. Owl decoys, for example, are a popular choice as they resemble a predator that birds instinctively fear. By strategically placing owl decoys in problem areas, you can create an illusion of danger and discourage birds from settling in those spaces.

Using electronic deterrents

Electronic deterrents are another effective method to deter birds from specific areas. These devices emit ultrasonic sounds or flashing lights that birds find uncomfortable or threatening, making them less likely to linger. Electronic deterrents are particularly useful in enclosed spaces like attics or barns, where birds often seek shelter.

Utilizing motion-activated sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers are not only a great way to keep your lawn hydrated but also a useful deterrent against birds. When birds come within range, the sprinklers automatically activate, startling them with a burst of water. This sudden disruption creates an aversion and reinforces the notion that your space is not bird-friendly, encouraging them to seek another location.

Hanging reflective surfaces

Birds are often deterred by moving or reflective objects, as they perceive them as a potential threat. Hanging reflective surfaces, such as aluminum foil strips or old CDs, in problem areas can create a visual disturbance that discourages birds. The sunlight bouncing off these surfaces creates a disorienting effect, making birds think twice before choosing your space as their own.

Specific Birds and Deterrents

Certain bird species are more commonly known for causing problems than others. Understanding their behavior and habits can help in selecting the most appropriate deterrent methods for specific bird types. Some of the birds that frequently cause issues include pigeons, starlings, blackbirds, grackles, and house sparrows.


Pigeons are a common urban nuisance. They are notorious for leaving behind a messy trail of droppings and can roost in large numbers, causing damage to buildings and property. To deter pigeons effectively, several methods can be employed.

Bird spikes

Bird spikes, as mentioned earlier, are an effective solution for deterring pigeons. By installing bird spikes on ledges, windowsills, and other favored perching spots, you can make these areas less attractive to pigeons.

Owl decoys

Pigeons and many other birds have an innate fear of owls. By placing realistic owl decoys in problem areas, you can create the illusion of a predator’s presence, making pigeons think twice about settling in those spaces.

Scare tape

Scare tape, also known as flash tape or bird tape, is a highly reflective material that moves with the slightest breeze. Its reflective properties and constant motion mimic a predator’s watchful eye, scaring pigeons away. By installing scare tape in problem areas, you can deter pigeons effectively.

Removing food sources

Pigeons are opportunistic feeders and are often attracted to easily accessible sources of food. By removing or securing potential food sources like open garbage cans, bird feeders, or unattended outdoor dining areas, you can make your property less appealing to pigeons.

Starlings, Blackbirds, and Grackles

Starlings, blackbirds, and grackles are known for their flocking behavior and their ability to cause extensive damage through their feeding and nesting habits. These birds can outnumber and outmuscle other species at bird feeders, causing frustration for backyard bird enthusiasts. Here are some effective deterrents for these species.

Mesh or tube feeders

Starlings, blackbirds, and grackles have difficulty feeding from mesh or tube feeders with small openings. By using these types of bird feeders, you can limit access to smaller birds that belong to less troublesome species while deterring starlings, blackbirds, and grackles.

Downward-facing suet cages

Suet is a favorite food source for starlings, blackbirds, and grackles. By using suet cages that face downward, you can make it much more challenging for these birds to access the suet. The design of the cage allows smaller birds to cling and feed, while larger birds struggle to maintain their grip.

Sonic noise machines

Sonic noise machines emit sounds that mimic distress calls or predator noises, causing starlings, blackbirds, and grackles to feel threatened. These devices help deter these birds by creating an environment they perceive as unsafe or inhospitable.

Owl decoys

Similar to pigeons, starlings, blackbirds, and grackles also have a fear of owls. Placing owl decoys in the problem areas can deter these birds, as the presence of what they perceive as a predator disrupts their comfort and encourages them to seek alternative locations.

House Sparrows

House sparrows are small, aggressive birds that have adapted well to urban environments. They are known for their chirping and can cause damage to buildings, gardens, and agricultural crops. Here are some effective deterrents for house sparrows.

Installing dryer vent covers

House sparrows often seek shelter or build nests in dryer vents, causing blockages and posing potential fire hazards. By installing dryer vent covers, you can prevent sparrows from entering these openings, ensuring the safety and efficiency of your dryer while deterring the birds.

Ensuring screens on windows

House sparrows are known to nest in openings, such as gaps in window screens. By maintaining and repairing window screens, you can block their access and discourage them from nesting in these spaces.

Covering trash bins

Open trash bins provide an easy food source for house sparrows and attract them to your property. By covering your trash bins securely, you can make them less enticing and reduce the likelihood of attracting these birds.

Blocking off crevices with copper mesh netting

House sparrows are resourceful and can exploit small openings or crevices to gain access to buildings or create nesting sites. Using copper mesh netting to block off these areas is an effective deterrent, as house sparrows find it difficult to chew or remove.

Hanging predator eyes

House sparrows are wary of predators, and the presence of hanging predator eyes can help discourage them from settling in your desired spaces. These eyes are often reflective and catch the light, creating movement and the illusion of an active predator.

Problem Areas for Bird Nesting

Birds often seek out certain areas for nesting, causing potential issues and damage. Some popular problem areas for bird nesting include front porches and gazebos.

Front porches

The sheltered, elevated space provided by front porches makes them attractive nesting spots for birds. Unfortunately, bird nests can lead to unsightly droppings, debris, and noise, among other problems. To prevent bird nesting on your front porch, several effective deterrent methods can be employed.

Bird spikes

Bird spikes, as mentioned earlier, can be installed along ledges or edges of the front porch to discourage birds from perching or nesting in these areas. The spikes make it uncomfortable for birds to land, deterring them from using your porch as a nesting spot.

Hanging predator eyes

By hanging predator eyes in strategic locations on your front porch, you can create a threatening environment that deters birds. These eyes replicate the presence of predators, and their reflective properties add extra deterrence.

Scare tape and other reflectors

Scare tape, mentioned earlier, is an effective visual deterrent that can be hung around the edges of your front porch. Its reflective properties catch the sunlight and create an optical disturbance that deters birds. Other reflectors, such as old CDs or shiny wind chimes, can also be used for this purpose.

Copper mesh netting

If birds have already found a way to nest on your front porch, using copper mesh netting can be an effective solution. Block off any openings or crevices with the mesh netting, preventing birds from accessing their desired nesting spots.

Owl decoys

Owl decoys also work well as a porch deterrent. By placing owl decoys in problem areas on your front porch, you can create the illusion of a predator’s presence, discouraging birds from nesting in those spaces.


Gazebos, with their open design and elevated platforms, are popular nesting spots for birds. While the presence of birds may be enjoyable, their nesting habits can quickly become problematic. Here are some effective deterrent methods to keep birds from nesting in a gazebo.

Bird spikes

Installing bird spikes on the edges and rafters of your gazebo can effectively deter birds from landing or perching in these areas. The spikes make it uncomfortable for them to find a suitable spot to nest, encouraging them to seek alternative locations.

Hanging predator eyes

Hanging predator eyes from the roof or support beams of your gazebo can create a deterrent effect. These reflective eyes give the impression of predators watching over the area, making birds wary and less likely to nest in your gazebo.

Scare tape and other reflectors

Similar to the front porch, scare tape or other reflectors can be hung around the edges or beams of your gazebo to create a visual disturbance. The flashes of light and movement caused by these reflective materials discourage birds from nesting in your gazebo.

Copper mesh netting

If birds have already built nests in your gazebo, copper mesh netting can be used to block off any openings or crevices. Preventing birds from accessing their chosen nesting spots will encourage them to find alternative locations.

Owl decoys

As with other bird deterrent situations, owl decoys can be useful in discouraging birds from nesting in your gazebo. By placing owl decoys strategically in problem areas, you can mimic the presence of a predator and deter birds from nesting in those spaces.

Sound machines

Sound machines that emit distress calls or predator noises can also discourage birds from nesting in your gazebo. These sounds create an environment that birds perceive as threatening, making them less likely to nest in your desired space.

In conclusion, dealing with birds can sometimes be challenging, but with the right deterrent strategies, you can minimize the problems they cause. By employing methods such as clearing debris, using bird spikes, strategically placing feeders, and utilizing faux predators, you can create an environment less attractive to birds. When it comes to specific bird species, understanding their behavior and habits allows you to target the most effective deterrent methods. Whether deterring pigeons, starlings, blackbirds, grackles, or house sparrows, there are a variety of techniques available. By implementing these deterrents, you can enjoy your outdoor spaces free from the frustrations and inconveniences caused by birds.

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