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How to Effectively Clean Bird Poop Off of Your Deck

How to Effectively Clean Bird Poop Off of Your Deck
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As I mentioned in a previous article about keeping birds out of your garage, we have a lot of birds in our area. They’re in our yard, on the fence, on the mailbox, on the kids’ play equipment, sometimes in our garage, and can be found just about anywhere else they can get to.

While we like having all these birds around, it does come with a drawback. That drawback is of course all the bird poop. The last thing we want to do is step out on the back deck and have to avoid bird droppings.

Even worse, our kids aren’t old enough to realize that they should stay away from them.

If you’re in the same situation as us, you’re probably wondering how to clean bird poop off your deck. In this article, I’ll cover exactly that, as well as some tips to keep the birds off of it in the first place.

How to Clean Bird Poop Off of Your Deck

Robin and Bird Poop on Deck Railing

While it’d be ideal to keep birds from pooping on your deck in the first place (more on that in the next section), it’s not always preventable. If you find yourself needing to clean bird poop off of your wooden deck, you’ll want to take care of it sooner than later, before it settles and becomes more difficult to clean.

If your deck is made of wood and has been recently sealed, it will be much easier to clean the bird poop. Often times, it can be as easy as using a hose or wiping it off with a wet paper towel. However, if your deck is unsealed or the sealant has worn down, it can be a bit trickier.

When cleaning bird poop from your deck, is important to take certain precautions. Make sure to wear gloves, and ideally, wear a mask as well. It’s also a good idea to have your arms and legs covered with clothing (that should be washed right away).

Keep your children and pets inside or away from the area while cleaning as well, since bird poop can carry diseases.

If the bird droppings are dry, the first thing you’ll want to do is remove the bulk of them with a putty knife or something similar. When done, you should be left with mostly surface stains and maybe a bit of residue.

Next, spray your deck with a hose with decent water pressure. This should clear up most of the surface stains. For the tougher stains, you can use soap, diluted bleach, or commercial deck cleaner.

This will also help to make sure your deck is sanitized, in case you or your children like to go out on it barefoot.

Power Washing Deck

If a hose doesn’t provide enough pressure, your next step it to use a power washer. When using a power washer, be sure to start on a lighter setting so you don’t strip the wood on your deck (unless you’re okay with this). Increase the water pressure as needed, and use a chemical cleaner, if desired.

For those really tough stains, you’re going to need to put in a little elbow grease. You can start with something as soft as a toothbrush, but likely will need something more like a bristle brush to work through the really stubborn stains.

If you still have some bird poop stains that you can’t seem to get out of your wooden deck, the last thing to try is to sand the wood down slightly. This of course is assuming that your deck is not sealed and has not been recently stained.

Sanding the wood will remove any surface applications, which is typically not desired.

How to Deter Birds from Pooping on Your Deck

The best way to keep birds from pooping on your deck is to keep them from landing on it (or anything attached to your deck, like a gazebo) in the first place. While none of these ideas will work 100% of the time, they should at least cut down on the amount of bird droppings on your deck.

1 – Use Reflective Tape

One method to keep birds away from your deck is to attach some reflective tape to either the railings or items sitting on top of your deck. The key is to let it dangle and blow in the wind, reflecting light at various angles.

We used this method on our swing set this past summer, and the amount of bird poop I had to clean up went down from a lot to almost nothing. You can find reflective tape online (at Amazon).

2 – Use an Owl Decoy

Close-up of Owl Decoy

Owl or hawk decoys are a simple set-it-and-forget-it way to deter birds from landing on your deck. However, you’ll want to opt for one that either moves, emits a tone, or both. Birds quickly get used to stationary decoys, so it’s better to get one that has additional features for deterring them.

3 – Keep Your Deck Clean

Broom for Sweeping Deck

If you don’t want birds on your deck, don’t give them a reason to land on it. By this I mean to not leave food on your deck. At our house, we regularly eat dinner on the back deck, and our kids make a mess.

If you leave these crumbs on your deck, you can expect to see some birds (or worse) go after them as soon as you go inside.

These are just a few of the ways you can deter birds from landing and pooping on your deck. While there are other options, simply following the methods outlined above should significantly cut down on the bird traffic on your deck.

Final Thoughts

It’s never ideal to step out onto your back deck to see a bunch of bird droppings, but sometimes, it’s simply unavoidable. If you find yourself in need of removing bird poop from your deck, simply try one or more of the methods listed above.

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Nolena Petersen

Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Thank you. We have a serious problem since our neighbor who lives 30 feet to the side of us, puts out a very large amount of dry cat food on her patio slab 24/7 for the stray cats and birds in the neighborhood which draws opossums and raccoons as well. Our large wooden deck is almost directly across from that. We have a serious issue with bird poop and stray animals on our deck and even our table. She refuses to change her habits.

Jeff

Monday 8th of June 2020

Hi Nolena,

Wow, that sounds like a difficult solution. I hope some of these ideas at least help to cut down on the amount of droppings you have to deal with. Good luck!