While birds might be beautiful to look at and listen to from a distance, they can become extremely problematic when they decide to make their homes near your porch, deck, or patio.
When this happens, you can be in for a world of noise, cleaning up after the birds, and even having some of the more aggressive birds peck at you. Thankfully, there are several different ways that you can go about deterring birds from your property.
There are essentially three different kinds of deterrents that you can use. Some people even combine different types of deterrents together to try and make it less likely that birds will want to settle down on their porches, decks, or patios.
Keep in mind that you should switch your method of deterring birds every few weeks so that they don’t get used to the surroundings. The main methods of deterring birds are going to be visual, auditory, and tactile.
First things first, you are going to want to make sure that the birds don’t have any reason to come to your property in the first place. This includes getting rid of any bird baths, feeders, and other things that birds might enjoy using.
If you have the space on your property, you should keep these things at least 30 feet away from your porch, although it is best not to have them in the first place.
Using Visual Deterrents
There are two main types of visual deterrents that you can use to keep birds from settling down on your property. There are deterrents that use reflective light to make your property seem unwelcoming and uncomfortable for a bird, and then there are the deterrents that act much the same was as a scarecrow in a farm would.
This is to say that they deter the birds by fooling them into thinking that there is something dangerous on your property.
Light deterrents aren’t going to be the prettiest way to get rid of birds but it is one of the simplest and most effective ways to do so. Essentially, what you are going to want to do is take foil or pie pans, hang them up somewhere on your porch, patio, or deck, and simply let them reflect light on your property. If you don’t want to waste either of these, you can also use small mirrors and unwanted CDs for the same purpose.
If you want to get fancy with this method, you can even consider adding some reflective pinwheels to the contraption so that it moves in the wind. This will reflect light in all different directions, doing a much more thorough job at keeping birds from wanting to land on your property in the first place.
Keep in mind that you are going to want to check against any HOA associations and local regulations to make sure that having reflective things on your porch isn’t against any rules, especially if your house is near a main or major road. Your backyard deck and patio should be a better place for this kind of deterrent.
Another type of deterrent that you can go for is having a fake owl decoration on your property. Birds, much the same as many other prey animals, are not going to go anywhere where they perceive danger.
This means that if they spot something that resembles a predator bird on your property, they are going to stray far away from it. Thankfully, you can usually find fake owls of all different kinds at garden and home décor stores.
While the brightly colored owls might look the best, you will want to go for as lifelike an owl as you can so that you can fool the birds into thinking that you have a predatory bird on your porch.
For the best results, you will want to look for owls that have bobbing heads. This will further trick the bird into thinking that the decoy is alive. You will also want to move the fake owl every few days so that it looks as if the owl has moved around on its own.
Using Auditory Deterrents
Just as the name might suggest, auditory deterrents rely on using sound to keep the birds at bay. The most common type of deterrent that you will be able to find is wind chimes.
Thankfully, those come in a number of different styles, colors, and sounds. This allows you to find a middle ground between something to keep the birds away and something that makes your porch, deck, or patio all the more pleasant to sit on.
You will want to make sure that you are using metal wind chimes as these can serve a dual purpose by also reflecting light in the wind. They won’t be as effective as pie pans but they will certainly get the job done.
As for the placement of the wind chimes, you will want to place them in the corner of the porch or near any patio or deck furniture. If you have a larger porch, patio, or deck that you are trying to keep birds away from, you will want to place multiple wind chimes 10 to 15 feet apart.
Another type of auditory deterrent is called “sonic units.” These units are designed to mimic the distress calls of other birds, which can help to keep birds away. Again, because birds are often prey animals, they are going to stay far away from perceived threats such as another bird’s distress call.
The biggest issue with this type of deterrent is that you need to have an idea of what species of bird you are dealing with so that you can properly purchase something that mimics the correct distress call.
Keep in mind that with auditory deterrents, birds can quickly get used to different kinds of noise over the course of weeks or months. If they realize that there is no danger, they will begin to ignore the noise.
The best way to overcome this problem is to periodically change the volume, frequency, and sound patterns every so often. For wind chimes, you might want to pick up varying sizes of wind chimes so that they make different noises.
Using Tactile Deterrents
There are also two different types of tactile deterrents that you can consider. You can either pour baking soda onto your porch railings or you can consider investing in some bird spikes.
Both of these methods will physically stop birds from landing on top of your porch. You can also put bird spikes in other places around your house, such as the gutters, to keep birds from nesting there.
There are certainly other types of tactile deterrents, such as other substances that you can use in place of baking soda, but baking soda tends to be the most effective of all of them. Depending on the materials that you have at home, it might be easier to use another kind of substance to keep birds off your porch, patio, or deck.
Applying baking soda to your porch, patio, or deck is an incredibly straightforward process. Essentially, all you will really want to do is sprinkle the baking soda in places where the birds tend to perch. This could be the railing of the deck or porch or it could be on top of specific structures you have on your patio.
No matter where it is, you are going to want to make sure that you change out the baking soda after there is rain or snow. You will also need to change it out if there is a considerable amount of wind as baking soda is quite light.
This works because birds don’t really appreciate the way that baking soda feels on their feet. When the places they want to land are covered in baking soda (or another substance that they don’t like), they are not going to want to land there. This is a quick and simple method for keeping birds from landing on places that you don’t want them to land on.
There are other types of deterrents that you can invest in as well if you don’t want to use up your baking soda. For example, there are places that manufacture special repellent gels and liquids that you can use to keep birds from perching on places you don’t want them to be perching on.
There are hot gels, multi-sensory repelling gels, and so on. If you want to get crafty, there are plenty of recipes for bird-deterrent gels that you can make at home.
You might also want to think about the idea of investing in bird spikes. As the name might suggest, these are specialized spikes that are just sharp enough to deter a bird from trying to land wherever you place them. There are a few things to note about choosing the right bird spikes for your porch, deck, or patio.
Simply put, bird spikes are one of the more humane ways of keeping birds off of your property. They do not harm or injure the bird; they only inconvenience it. To some people, making sure that the bird isn’t injured is very important and that is one of the benefits of choosing the right set of bird spikes.
Choosing the Best Bird Spikes for Your Property
As you can probably imagine, bird spikes come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. You will want to do some observing to see what kinds of birds are perching on your property before you purchase the bird spikes, simply so that you can get a good idea of what you are going to need.
Typically, you are going to want to choose the narrowest set of spikes for the majority of birds that land on your property. The narrower the spikes, the less space there is for the birds to perch and nest there.
Before you purchase the spikes, you will want to measure out all the areas where you are going to be putting them. After all, you will want to make sure that you are purchasing the right amount of bird spikes.
You can always break the bottom of the spikes if you don’t have enough room for some of them, although it is going to be best for you to get as close to the amount of space as possible.
Next, you are going to want to search for a glue that will work well for your situation. Generally, you are going to want to aim for clear epoxy glue as this can stand up to a number of weather conditions that your porch endures.
To administer the glue, you are going to want to find a caulk gun as well. Both of these items can be found at just about any hardware store and are pretty universal.
On the other hand, if you don’t want such a permanent method of attaching bird spikes to your property, you can consider screwing the bird spikes to your porch, patio, or deck if you are able to.
As for the type of screw that you will want to search for, you will want to try and find some self-tapping screws. If you are planning to screw the bird spike in, you will want to make sure that you find spikes that have screw holes rather than just a place where you apply the glue.
And finally, while the spikes themselves aren’t necessarily sharp, you will want to exercise some caution where you put them and who has access to them. Curious stray animals, pets, and children can inadvertently harm themselves when they investigate the spikes.
In the end, using a combination of all of these methods and switching them out every two to three weeks is going to go a long way in keeping your birds from nesting on your property. No matter if you are trying to keep them off of your porch, patio, or your deck, you can rest assured knowing that you won’t have to be cleaning up after birds again for a long, long time.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.