How to Get Rid of Birds Humanely

Some land owners enjoy seeing and hearing birds on their property, providing bird feeders and bird houses to encourage their presence. However, others find birds a nuisance, as they can cause serious damage to crops. Below, Havahart® teaches you how to get rid of bothersome birds so you can eliminate their damage and keep your landscape intact.

Other Photos:
Singing Yellow Warbler
Birds feeding in winter
Bird perched on twig
Bird feeding her young
Birds in birdbath
How to Get Rid Of
How to Repel

1Eliminate Attractants

Birds are attracted to areas with abundant food and water. Reduce the attractiveness of your property by eliminating as many sources of nourishment as possible.

Refrain from feeding birds and remove bird feeders

Empty bird baths and other sources of water

Do not leave pet/livestock food out after feeding times

Store livestock food in bird-proof facilities and use bird-proof feeders

Harvest crops as soon as possible

Clean up all fallen berries, fruits and seeds


2Identify Damage

There are a wide variety of birds that may cause a wide variety of problems on your property, and each should be managed in its own way. Before approaching bird control, first identify the destructive behavior, the location of the damage and the types of birds causing the damage.

Common bird activities include:

  • damaging fruit crops
  • damaging corn, sunflowers and grain crops
  • stealing grain from livestock feeders
  • nesting in gutters, drainage systems, and ventilations systems
  • stealing fish from your pond
  • harming poultry, eggs or livestock
  • defecating on structures, trees lawns or cars
  • congregating on lawns or in ponds

To learn more about nuisance birds and their damage, read Bird Facts »


3Choose the Best Control Method

After assessing your bird problem, you can select the best control method. Use the information below to select the best control method(s) for you and your property. Consider layering multiple solutions for a more thorough defense against birds.

Bird Repellents

Spray a commercial bird repellent to target bird's sensitive tastebuts, deterring them from valued landscape surfaces such as:

  • lawns
  • seedlings
  • gardens
  • shrubs
  • flowers and bulbs
  • grass

For further instruction and additional tips, read How to Repel Birds »

Electronic Repellents

Install an electronic bird repellent to scare away medium to large-sized birds, preventing them from feeding, roosting or congregating in almost any area. Electronic repellents are versatile and safe, using only water, sound and movement to repel birds. Use them to protect edible crops and other areas like:

  • lawns
  • flowerbeds
  • ponds
  • parks
  • crop fields
  • shrubs
  • pools
  • barns
  • vegetable gardens
  • plants
  • streams
  • poultry houses

For more information, read Why Electronics »

Bird Spikes

Install plastic or metal bird spikes to prevent birds from landing or roosting on particular surfaces like:

  • roofs
  • rafters
  • ledges
  • cornices
  • window sills
  • awnings
  • entryways
  • road signs

Bird control spikes create an intimidating, uncomfortable surface for birds on which they will not want to land.

Bird Netting

Use nylon or plastic netting to exclude birds from entering particular areas as well as to protect edible fruit crops.

Recommended uses for bird netting include:

  • wrapping small trees to prevent nesting
  • covering fruit trees to protect cherries, apples and other valuable crops
  • protecting wine grapes
  • excluding birds from building rafters

Be sure that there are no birds present inside the trees or areas you are covering so you don’t trap birds inside.


Expert Tips

Before attempting to manage destructive birds in your area, consult with your local authorities to determine the conservation/prortection status of the particular bird(s) in question.

Bird feces can contaminate plants, crops and water, and the uric acid found in bird droppings may corrode some metals and other buildling materials. It’s important to clean up any fecal droppings left by birds to protect your family and pets from transmissible diseases.

Electronic repellents rely on motion-activated sensors to detect animal heat and movement. In order to effectively repel a bird, the animal must be large enough to first detect. This is why electronic bird repellents are recommended for medium and large-sized birds

Different birds will have different reactions to specific control methods, which is why employing multiple bird management solutions will provide the best chances at long-term success.


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