How To Safely Keep Birds From Building Nests Around Your Home

Ridley's Wreckage

I know what you all are thinking: birds are so beneficial. They help to keep your insect population in check, are fantastic at weed control by ingesting weed seeds as part of their diet, and are great at pollination (thank you, hummingbirds!). Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate all the benefits that birds provide for us and our ecosystem. In fact, I‘m a wildlife enthusiast, so there is no shade being thrown at the birds. What I don’t love is when they decide to build their home or nest on the eaves of our home, garage, barn, shed, or above my entry door in the light housing. Not only does it become a safety concern, but lordy the mess!
How To Safely Keep Birds From Building Nests Around Your Home.Photo byR.Gerner/Canva

I have found the easiest and most amazing trick for keeping bird nests at bay, and it’s totally safe for you and our feathery friends.

Have you ever gone out and bought a decoration or two for your patio or barn to spruce things up? Add some overhangs or corbels to your home to add that extra wow factor. We all want our property to look inviting and homey, and we pay good money to have these things. Unfortunately, you know who else enjoys these little "extras": the birds. The birds appreciate all those "extras" as perfect beginnings to their new love shacks.
How To Safely Keep Birds From Building Nests Around Your Home.Photo byR.Gerner/Canva

When we moved into our homestead, it was early in the fall. I could tell the previous owner loved birds because there were numerous bird houses and feeders, but I wasn't really ready for what would happen in the spring. Boy was I surprised come April/May when I noticed the plethora of birds out and about building nests. I mean, there were the beginning stages of nests everywhere. It seemed every time I turned around, a robin would fly by with debris in the beak, getting construction supplies for new digs! I realized then that there wasn’t much I could do, as it was already too late. The nest construction was already well under way, with some even "occupied" with eggs. It’s our belief to do no harm, so if we find a nest with eggs, we leave it. The objective going forward was to halt them from building right from the get-go!

I knew that our first year was going to be a wash, but I realized that come the following spring I was going to have to find a way to protect our structures and be a bit more diligent. I needed to do this in a way that would not harm any of our feathered friends. So obviously, no bird spikes or any type of poison would be used. I actually love seeing them fly around the homestead and know the benefits they bring to our garden and farm, so harming any bird or bird species was completely out of the question.

Fast forward one year...

This year I decided to implement a few techniques that I had read about in hopes of deterring the messy, dirty building of nests on our porches, eaves, and barns. The amount of stool and urates created was quite a shock last year, and the clean-up was not a task I wanted to repeat this year.

This is what I tried, and the results...

All attempts were made at places where the previous year's nests were made.

1. I placed water bottles (full) in a few places. This was a total fail; for the most part, the birds would knock the bottles onto the ground and proceed with the construction, and one pair actually built a nest, integrating the bottle into it…. Rude…

2. I sprayed a few areas with hot pepper spray, powder, and some organic anti-bird repellant. I'm not going to lie; I think the sprays encouraged them, and the birds thought it was the green light to proceed with laying the foundation for this year's nest. Disappointing, to say the least.

3. Wrapping the area in chicken wire. Okay, so this worked pretty well; it discouraged nesting and pushed the birds to find other accommodations. However, two things stood out: it was time-consuming and looked awful. I mean awful, what an eye sore!

4. Then I hit the jackpot, all thanks to my neighbor, Burt. While delivering hay to us, he saw me out adding chicken wire to the goat's barn door (which is apparently a fun place to nest!). He looked at me like I was nuts, so I had to explain my dilemma to him. He laughed at me and let me in on his tried-and-true technique for keeping birds from nesting. Are you ready for this?

He said you just need to put up little plastic people or figurines wherever the birds enjoy nesting. He said around 3" inches tall or so should do the trick, and they would move elsewhere. So I laughed because I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t. So I figured, what did I have to lose? At this point, I’m getting a bit desperate. I mean, it seemed easier than encapsulating my farm in chicken wire (and less expensive!).

I just so happened to have an old tote full of some of our children’s toys. I found some Polly Pockets, Little People, and Sesame Street characters. I immediately went to work adding these "people" around the homestead, and as wild and far-out as it seems, it freakin' worked! Hallelujah!!! I mean, they stopped building and immediately vacated the area. bye bye… OMGEEEEEEE
How To Safely Keep Birds From Building Nests Around The Home.Photo byR.Gerner/Canva

Now that being said, if you don’t secure your "character" or "person" well and they fall down, it's an invitation back, and it won’t take long for the birds to begin setting up shop (yes, this happened to me). I ended up using some stick-and-peel velcro tape. So far, it’s actually working really well and has held up to the wind and outdoor elements. I’m beyond pleased.

I know this sounds so far out of left field, but after what we’ve experienced with the figurines, we’re believers and will continue to use them as safe, cheap alternatives. Plus, they are conversation pieces; I mean, who doesn’t love a little Cookie Monster or Oscar The Grouch peeking out at you?
How To Safely Keep Birds From Building Nest Around Your Home.Photo byPinterest

Many thanks to helpful neighbors, and big cheers for safely and responsibly keeping birds from building nests. Happy gardening, friends!

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 64

Published by

Hello! Freelance blogger and videographer here! I love to refurbish furniture, show my creative side with cooking and crafts, and love to talk about my homestead and hobby farm. Follow me for flipping furniture inspiration and techniques, DIY craft projects, homestyle cooking with easy to follow recipes and some great gardening and animal husbandry tips!

Red Creek, NY

More from Ridley's Wreckage

Comments / 0