DIY Bird-Scare Tactics

Written by casey kennedy
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DIY Bird-Scare Tactics
Birds can cause problems and destroy gardens, but there are ways to deter them. (Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Although birds are often welcome in backyards and even enticed to visit with bird feeders, when they congregate in the wrong place or destroy a garden, they can become a nuisance. The problem may become so great that you are tempted to set traps or kill them, but keep in mind that the Migratory Bird Treaty and Endangered Species act has strict regulations in place that prohibit the trapping and killing of most birds. Fortunately, there are some ways you can scare the birds without actually harming them and hopefully send them elsewhere.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Terror Eyes balloon
  • Pie tins
  • Fishing line
  • Motion-control-sprinkler
  • Plastic snake
  • Radio

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  1. 1

    Purchase a "Terror Eyes" balloon. Large yellow or orange balloons with the eyes and features of a falcon, NASA has used these balloons to scare off pigeons and other birds from the space shuttle launch pad.

  2. 2

    Use pie tins to scare away annoying birds. Punch holes through five or six pie tins and hang them in a row on fishing line or string. The glare from the pans and their movement will help keep birds away.

  3. 3

    Install a sprinkler with a motion sensor. Often used for deer control, sprinklers will also help deter large flocks of birds before they can steal food from your garden.

  4. 4

    Set out a plastic snake. Snakes are natural predators of birds and they will often steer clear of the perceived threat. Most birds will eventually figure out that the snake is not real if it remains in the same place, so move it everyday to keep any unknowing birds away.

  5. 5

    Place a portable radio near where birds like to congregate. Set the channel on a talk radio station instead of a music station; birds are more likely to stay away if they believe humans are close by.

Tips and warnings

  • Although many companies sell ultrasonic repelling devices for scaring birds, university studies have shown that they are not effective. This is primarily due to the fact that while these devices produce ultrasound, they do not provide enough energy to actually bother the birds.

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