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How to scare sparrows

Updated July 19, 2017

Found in many parts of the continental United States, Canada and Mexico, sparrows are one of the most common small birds in North America. These birds can be pests when they infest an area or start nesting on the eves of houses or businesses. It is important to address a sparrow infestation promptly before the birds are nesting and are established in the area. Once nested, sparrows can be a nuisance and difficult to remove. There are a number of strategies for removing or scaring sparrows away from an area depending on how settled the birds have become.

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  1. Place sticky repellents under eves and areas where the sparrows perch and gather. A zigzag line of the a sticky substance will deter the birds from landing, and can help drive them away. The gel-like sticky repellents work best when only a few birds are causing the problem.

  2. Install reflective "bird discs" or old CD discs near windows and perches. These are effective when birds are initially entering an area and can prevent departed birds from returning. The special "bird discs" have predatory bird images on them and scare away sparrows. Old CDs can "flash" in light and deter birds from convening in an area.

  3. Setting off noisemakers, such as fireworks, is a very temporary solution for scaring away birds. This may have an immediate reaction from a flock, but since it is a one-time noise, it does not consistently keep the sparrows away.

  4. Tip

    Verify that the species you are attempting to remove is not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty and Endangered Species acts before taking any action to scare birds away. House sparrows are not protected by this, and can be driven away in a number of ways. Deter the birds from returning by removing food sources by placing nets over any trees they may be feeding from, and netting the rafters whey the sparrows are gathering. If there are bird feeders, change the style of the feeder to remove perches, making them less desirable to sparrows.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Nets / Mesh
  • Sticky repellents
  • Noisemakers
  • Reflective "Bird Discs"

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