While it’s nice to wake up to birdsong or attract uncommon species to your garden with a bird feeder, birds have a habit of getting into places you’d rather they weren’t like attics or houses. Once they’re inside it can be hard to get rid of birds, and they often leave droppings or spoil food as well as generally being a nuisance. This post should help you prevent birds from getting into your house in the first place.
First, make sure you know what kind of birds you’re dealing with. It is often illegal to interfere with birds of prey and other rare species when they’ve nested, and you may need to call a specialist or bird sanctuary. Nests are also often protected as well, so make sure you don’t disturb them unless you’re sure it isn’t illegal. Different methods also work with different species, so knowing what you’re up against is important.
To prevent birds from entering your house, consider using decoys or sound defences. If the noise is no object, consider installing speakers and playing distress calls to warn birds off. Placing decoy model predators like owls and cats is also good, although birds often become used to them in time and you may have to move them around on a weekly or monthly basis to keep them ‘fresh.’ Ultrasonic sounds have also been known to work although they can be uncomfortable for people and animals nearby and should be used with caution.
Hanging aluminium foil strips or visual bird scarers in prominent places can also be effective for driving birds away, particularly moving objects or bright colours that will stand out and catch the light.
Physical methods of repelling birds include blocking off perches and holes that can be used for nesting with netting, anti-roosting strips or spikes on perches and use of repellent sprays. Purpose-made non-toxic bird repellent is available from various sources but many home-made recipes are available, including mixtures of pepper and water to keep out sparrows and sprays of strong spices like cloves, cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar, mixed with water.