How to Keep Birds Off Your Porch With 15 Tricks
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Local avian inhabitants are wonderful creatures that visit our gardens and amuse us with their quaint pecking order. However, having a flock of birds invade your outdoor living space can be a nuisance when the birds build nests in the eaves and poop on furniture and porch railings. This is how to keep birds off your porch, with many options to choose from.
How to Keep Birds Off Your Porch
Luckily, through trial and error, people learn how to keep birds off their deck by inventing ingenious methods. Here’s how you, too, can prevent a bird invasion. These tips also work for keeping out and getting a bird out of your garage as well.
Fill in Crevices & Destroy New Nests
Birds are creatures of habit and follow a natural rhythm. If your porch looks inviting or you admittedly provide nesting habitats, the onus is on you to make a few adjustments. None of these methods will harm visiting birds; they’ll simply discourage visitors and nesters.
Fill any crevices, eaves, dryer vents, every type of roof vent you have, and downspout holes and insert or cover them with chicken wire to prevent birds from building a nest. Also, if you see a bird family building a nest in your gutters or a nearby bush or tree, remove their efforts before they nest.
Remove or Distance Any Water Sources
Although outdoor types of water fountains make an attractive addition to a porch, they also act as an invitation for birds. Birds will use your fountain as a water source in hot, dry climates. Not only will they drink from it, but they’ll also enjoy a refreshing birdbath at your expense.
Birds will also take advantage of your swimming or splash pool. The best way to prevent birds from pooping on your porch is to place any open water source at a distance. If you plan on adding a pool or water feature, consider its proximity to your porch.
Deploy Bird Decoy Statues
Birds understand their natural enemies and try to avoid contact with them at all costs. Use life-like statues of owls, dogs, foxes, cats, or other predatory birds to ward birds away.
Using these decorative natural enemies is a great way to decorate, but it also helps deter birds. However, birds aren’t dumb. You’ll have to keep repositioning the statues to fool the birds or they’ll figure out the statues are not the real deal.
Hang Shiny Dangling Items That Move
Did you ever wonder what to do with your old CD collection? Well, you can repurpose them and create a mobile decoration. Birds fear shiny objects. If you add movement from a naturally occurring breeze, it will work wonders.
Aside from your old CDs, shiny reflective objects like metallic chimes, mirrors, or glass bits shaped into decorative art are an excellent deterrent. The beauty is that you can be as creative as you want. Also, craft markets are a great resource for bird deterrents.
Change Your Color Palette
Birds are visual creatures. Some species seek out particular colors as a food source. Removing these attractive colors from your porch will help discourage these visitors.
Instead of choosing vibrant porch paint, opt for neutral or white tones. Accessory cushions, lanterns, decorative objects, or even children’s toys can attract avian visitors.
Hummingbirds are notorious for seeking out reds, pinks, oranges, or yellows. Orioles have a fondness for orange, while warblers and goldfinches prefer yellow. Larger birds like blue jays or jays like shades of blue. Ground birds and doves like shades of brown and gray.
Incorporate White Colors on Your Patio
Who knew that birds despise the color white? Birds would much rather spend time in a colorful environment and don’t like white. While for people, white means “pure” and “clean,” for birds, it means “danger,” “beware,” and “aggression.”
Painting your porch all white might sound boring. Since avoiding colorful accent pieces is recommended, you’re wondering how to bring a pop of color to your porch.
Use non-flowering plants and a combination of tips that we suggested here. Also, you can paint just one section in pristine white and add color to the other walls for a better visual effect.
Remove Food Sources From Your Porch
Birds are naturally attracted to water features, food sources, and color. Use this knowledge to your advantage by creating a natural bird habitat in the far corners of your yard. If you enjoy feeding furry critters remove chipmunk and squirrel feeding stations from your porch area and put them in your backyard. If you have chipmunks then you'll want to know how to fill chipmunk holes, too.
Add a feeder or water bath station there too and redirect the birds from your porch to where they have the resources they're looking for. The first method in how to keep birds away from your patio is to stop attracting them in the first place.
Have Fun with Pinwheels and Whirlygigs
Pinwheels and whirlygigs add an element of interest to your porch and are in nearly constant motion from the slightest breeze. Birds fear that continuous motion and this has been a great answer for how to keep birds off your porch for decades now..
This makes moving objects as decor items perfect to jazz up your porch. You can mount them to the railing as permanent features or peg them into planters or flower beds. If you keep an eye on where your visiting birds go to poop, you’ll get a better idea of where to mount these deterrents.
Create a Safe Barrier With Fishing Line
Birds like to perch, and a porch railing is a great way for these avians to rest, poop, and observe their habitat. An obvious answer to how to keep birds off your deck is to make it so they have no where to land.
Porch railings create an unintentional landing spot for birds to conduct their business. You’ll deter birds from finding a resting spot by running a fishing line above the railing.
Simply string the line from post to post (not ideal for all porches) a few inches above the railing. Birds can’t perch on fishing lines. Another upside is that the fishing line won’t obstruct the view. The downside is that you will not see it and might get caught, spill a drink glass, etc.
Mix a Scented Repellent
The good news about repellents is that you don’t need to resort to store-bought chemical concoctions. This is a good way to keep birds away from your patio, rather than even having them get close.
By making a mixture of chili peppers, water, and apple cider vinegar, you won’t have to live with a pungent scent, either. Make the mixture and allow sunlight to create the perfect blend. Spray your porch and watch as the birds stop coming to use your porch as an outhouse.
Other scents that repel birds are peppermint oil and citronella. Some people find Irish Spring soap shavings work as a repellent for birds and pests. Store-bought solutions exist aplenty. The key is to respray throughout the season.
Use Mothballs Strategically
Desperate people might resort to mothballs and have some success in repelling birds from flocking and pooping on their porches. While they might ward off bird visitors, mothballs stink and deter you from enjoying your porch. We don't even like to use one mothball in a room for this reason.
Mothballs are inexpensive but can also be very toxic in large quantities for adults, children, and pets alike. Use with caution in the suggested amounts and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Place Spikes & Rods on Bird Prone Spots
Depending on the types of birds you’re battling, spikes and rods work well. Although they sound dangerous, spikes and rods are harmless if used correctly.
Attach the spikes under the rafters or eaves that create a natural bird nesting habitat. Spikes are made of plastic or metal and work well to deter pigeons, sparrows, starlings, swallows, and others by preventing them from landing.
Rods are similar and they are often made from shiny or reflective material. They also discourage birds from landing on your porch.
Hang Netting Where Needed
In extreme bird invasion cases, netting is a semi-permanent solution with good outcomes. There are hundreds of reasons to prevent birds from visiting your porch. However, although netting might work well, it can harm birds and other wildlife.
Birds become trapped in the netting, which can potentially seriously injure or kill birds. Netting is also unattractive and will obstruct your view.
Use Noise or Ultrasonic Sound Devices
Birds don’t like loud music, but neither do your neighbors. Instead of blaring loud, uncomfortable music all day, opt for an ultrasonic sound machine. This high-pitched sound makes birds, bats, and rodents uncomfortable. Bats especially don't like lights or these sounds that disrupt their echolocation abilities. Don’t use these devices if you have pets, though.
Another downside to ultrasonic sounds is that the effect is not immediate. It might take days or weeks for the birds to move on. The sound machines are also relatively expensive compared to other methods on this list.
Some people will use flashing or strobe lights, which disorient birds and keeps them away. Others will use random colored lights, being convinced this works, unaware of the various colored porch light meanings. All of these methods are going to be as intolerable to humans as birds and should be avoided.
Know Your Birds
Knowing the birds' habits is the best way to deter them from visiting your porch. Some birds have a large presence all over the world, and others are migratory. Knowing the exact bird species you're dealing with will help you research exactly what they dislike.
If you’re fortunate enough to have rare birds visit your garden and porch, devise safe and natural ways to deter them from visiting using one or many of the methods from this list. But you should also enjoy your scenario of having rare birds enjoying your yard. So don’t run them off entirely.
That's How to Keep Birds Off Your Porch for Good
Having to cope with bird poop on our patio is not pleasant. Bird poop contains nasty bacteria like E. Coli and other strains that can cause salmonella, candida, and other bird-related diseases.
Having said that, bird-watching is also a joyous hobby that thousands of people enjoy. How to keep birds off your porch is a challenge that should never come at the expense of the visiting birds.