Birds can be beautiful, but their dirty messes and constant noise can make them unwelcome guests on your porch. Although the prospect of driving them away may seem daunting, with a few simple strategies you can send these feathered pests packing for good without resorting to using scare tactics or harming the birds in any way.
20 Tips on How to Keep Birds off Porch
1. Keep food away from the porch
The first step toward getting rid of birds is to remove anything that will attract them to your porch, such as garbage and pet food. Make it a rule to take in any leftover food after 15 or 20 minutes. This way you won’t have to worry about fruit flies if a piece of fruit falls from the countertop onto the floor. Also, if your pet’s bowl is outside, make sure it is emptied before bedtime so there aren’t any leftovers attracting pests at night.
Cover up any other areas where food may be hiding by closing doors or putting away dirty dishes immediately after use. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to keeping birds out.
2. Surround the porch with plants
Just as you would for your garden, surround your porch with plants that are not attractive to birds. This will make it impossible for them to land, while at the same time making your porch more beautiful. Some plants that birds are not usually particularly fond of are, for example, rue, lavender, tansy and lemon verbena.
3. Keep them off with bird netting
If you are unable to keep birds away by simply surrounding your porch with plants, consider putting up bird netting. This will make it impossible for the birds to land on the porch. The noise they make when they fly into the net will also startle them and send them running in search of another place to rest.
4. Don’t allow birds to land
If you have a porch swing or other type of chair that the birds are using as their own personal lounge, you can simply hang a string of bells above it to scare them away. The movement caused by the bells as the swing or chair moves will not only scare birds away, but it will also let you know which areas they are landing in.
Avoid using spiky plants for this purpose since they can harm any bird that lands on them. It is much better to use string with bells attached because if a bird does land on them, the bells will scare it away before it has a chance to get hurt.
5. Use noise to scare birds
If you have a porch that is facing away from your home, consider investing in an ultrasonic device to drive the birds away. These devices use high frequency sounds that humans can’t hear but are deeply disturbing to birds. You can buy them at any nearby gardening store or online.
6. Remove any shelter that is attracting pests
Birds are naturally inquisitive creatures, which means they are likely to investigate any place they can find shelter from storms or predators. Make sure there aren’t any places on your porch where birds can hide, such as empty flower pots or unkempt piles of newspapers. If you do not remove these shelter spots, the birds will stick around and continue to ruin your porch furniture and belongings.
7. Close off all entrances
Birds are most vulnerable to predators when they are young, so female birds will often try to nest in a safe and quiet place outside of your home. If your porch is a frequent nesting area for a bird or colony of birds, close up all entrances with mesh screens or some other type of impenetrable barrier.
This includes any cracks where the birds might otherwise be able to squeeze through. Make sure you don’t leave any open spaces neglected, as this is anything but inviting for the pests trying to make it back into their nests safely.
8. Disorient them by using reflective materials
One simple way to disorient birds without harming them in any way is to use reflective surfaces on the exterior of your home. Birds have poor eyesight and rely primarily on their sense of hearing and direction to navigate around your home. Since they can’t see reflective surfaces, using them as a way to keep birds off the porch will make it difficult for the birds to find their bearings when trying to fly away.
9. Place netting over plants
If there are flowers or vegetables growing in pots that are frequently visited by pests, cover these areas with netting or bird netting to prevent birds from getting into these spaces. If you don’t have any kind of netting, hanging CDs in the area may work just as well. The reflections created by the reflective surfaces will further disorient birds trying to get back onto your porch after feeding on the plants.
10. Lure them away with fake owls
Fake owls are one simple way to keep pests like pigeons and seagulls away without harming them in any way. These fake predators typically emit recorded distress cries when activated, sending an effective message that predators are near their nests. However, owl-shaped motion detectors can be fooled by windy weather; in this case taking down fake owls for a while is advised until they can be reactivated.
11. Install a motion-activated sprinkler
Motion-activated sprinklers are an eco-friendly way to get rid of pests without using scare tactics or harming them in any way. Simply install the motion sensor facing your intended space-in this case, your porch-and turn it on when you’re expecting birds in the area.
If anything like a bird or other pest comes within range, they will receive a harmless but effective burst of water for their efforts before quickly leaving the porch in search of more accommodating areas elsewhere.
12. Install a strobe light
Strobe lights are known to work wonders in keeping pests away. If you already use your porch frequently, it might be a good idea to install this especially if there is an area where the birds like to nest at night. The flashing light synchronized with sound will send an effective and harmless message that predators are around their nests, and the pests will quickly leave your porch alone.
13. Hang wind chimes
Wind chimes are another simple way to disorient birds trying to come onto your porch. When the wind passes through these musical instruments, it creates sounds that sound like predators or other threats in the area-something that birds will stay far away from if they can help it. This is effective for the same reasons as using reflective surfaces, so try hanging these wind chimes in your porch area to keep birds where they belong.
14. Put up bird feeders to attract them elsewhere
If you would still enjoy birds visiting your garden, try putting up bird feeders and hanging them elsewhere in your yard. Birds will flock to these areas and ignore the porch entirely if given the chance, so it only makes sense to take advantage of that!
You can even help out other creatures in your neighborhood by filling your feeders with bee food like sugar water or fruit. This is also especially helpful if you simply do not need the space on your porch occupied by seed eaters like pigeons and finches; when they come back from feeding elsewhere at night they won’t be around any longer.
15. Make sure no one leaves bags of garbage outside
One simple reason birds may be attracted to certain parts of your home is because of nearby garbage. For instance, if garbage is left unattended in front of your home this could draw birds and pests like seagulls to your porch and other parts of the exterior.
Be sure to take this into consideration when thinking about where you park your car or leave your trash bags for pick-up. If possible, try to keep these things close to the door or in a space that can be easily covered at night (like with a trash bag). This practice will cut down on any kind of animal traffic around your porch!
16. Use bright lights
Birds tend to shy away from brightly lit areas because they think it’s where predators might be lurking in wait. As such, make you turn on all bright lights outside whenever you’re expecting birds or pests around, as it will both disorient them and make them less likely to come around in the first place.
17. Use de-icers to prevent icicles
When it snows, birds may be attracted to your porch because they think of the area as a good space for hunting prey like rodents and other small mammals. Make sure these areas aren’t accessible by controlling where snow and ice accumulates with de-icers (or de-icing salt). If this is done properly, there should be no opportunity for these creatures to get on your porch and do any damage!
18. Foil away!
Another way to keep birds and other pests from coming onto your porch is to cover any open spaces with foil, which reflects light and noise and makes the space less desirable. If you’d like to do this but don’t want your door or windows obstructed by aluminum foil, try using a well-placed mirror instead! Mirrors create the same effect as metal foil without blocking important access points for those who live in the home.
19. Use steel wool
If you’re trying to stop pigeons from roosting on your porch (and not seagulls), one of the most effective ways to get rid of them is by installing steel wool in any holes or gaps they may be using to enter and exit your home. This is both effective and relatively cheap, so if you’re having a major problem with pests on your porch this solution can help.
20. Apply non-toxic repellents
Using non-toxic repellents is the final step you can take to keep birds off the porch without harming them. There are plenty of remedies available at local hardware stores, but if you’d prefer a more safe and natural approach try using garlic oil or essential oils like peppermint or lavender to keep birds away.
Birds and other small pests can be a huge problem on your porch, but there are lots of ways to get them to go elsewhere. Be sure to use these tips as soon as possible if you’re seeing signs of bird activity around your home. With a bit of patience and some preventative measures, you’ll soon have the pest-free porch that you’ve been looking for.