If you leave something outside for long enough, a bird will poop on it. This is an indisputable fact of nature. And let’s be honest: this seems to be doubly true for patios. However, there are steps you can take to reduce how often this kind of disaster happens.
So gather around folks, and let the Captain tell you about how to keep birds from pooping on your patio. Summer is too short to spend it cleaning avian messes from your outdoor space!
How Do I Keep Birds Away From My Patio?
A while back, we wrote a guide on how to keep foul-smelling mammals off your patio (check it out here if you also have that problem). Luckily, keeping birds off your patio is not as difficult as repelling foul-smelling mammals. My approach has 3 simple but effective steps:
- Remove their reason for being there
- Install deterrents
- Lure them elsewhere
Remove What Attracts Birds
Let’s dive right in and examine why your patio draws birds in to do their business. Often, they’re there because you’ve created a welcoming environment. If you want them to leave, you’re going to have to make it less hospitable. First, let’s state the obvious.
Move or Get Rid Of Your Bird Feeders
When folks ask me how to keep birds away from their patio, I always start with this first. It’s often easy to overlook the solution staring you right in the face. If you don’t want to completely remove the bird feeders, you have two options: move them or remove them.
You could first try to move the feeders to the very back of your yard or to your front yard.
However, this requires you to have a larger yard and won’t be an option for everyone. If you’ve moved the feeders as far back as they’ll go and you’re still dealing with bird excrement, you’ll likely have to remove them completely.
Remove Any Standing Water or Bird Baths
Removing your bird baths is obvious.
But you might have standing water around your patio or lawn. Not only does this attract birds, but it also draws in mosquitoes and other bugs. Solving this issue can actually solve other issues at the same time! Take a walk around your property after a good rain and see what you can find.
Watch Out For What Colors You’re Using Outside
Most folks are unaware that certain colors will attract birds. If you have any visible tapestries, rugs, or outdoor decorations with these particular colors, you may actually be drawing birds directly to your door. This is clearly the opposite of what you want to do to keep birds from pooping on your patio!
Which Colors Attract Birds?
It depends on the bird! When a food source appeals to a species of bird, they are drawn to the color of the food source.
If you’re having trouble with a specific species of bird, look around to see if any of the following colors are on display. Hummingbirds are attracted to the colors red, yellow, orange, and pink. Orioles are attracted to orange.
Goldfinches and warblers are attracted to yellow. Bluebirds and jays are attracted to blue (they must be narcissists!).
Additionally, neutral colors like gray and brown can attract ground feeding birds like doves and other ground feeding birds.
What Will Scare Birds Away?
We just covered what brings your neighborhood birds in for a closer look. We recommend taking care of all of the suggestions above first before tackling what comes next.
But if you’ve given all of that a shot, you can try actively repelling the birds.
Which Colors Keep Birds Away?
In the previous section, we discovered that bright and neutral colors act as a magnet to many types of birds. Since this is true, there must be a color that birds are actively repelled by too.
That color, patio friends, is bright white. White signals danger in many species and they won’t want to hang around an area with a large number of white objects.
If you’re looking for ways to add white to your patio area, here are some ideas:
- Paint your fence, patio furniture, and/or shed white
- Add a white flag or spinning reflective objects like pinwheels
- Add a white wind chime
With enough white or reflective objects, you’re sure to be able to keep birds from pooping on your patio.
What About Wind Chimes?
I wrote an entire article about wind chimes keeping birds away — you can read my in-depth analysis here.
Is There A Smell That Birds Hate?
In addition to colors, you can use another one of the bird’s senses against them. There are quite a few smells that actively repel birds, many of which you can buy in any department store.
Birds are a lot like Captain Patio, in that we both hate the smell of mothballs. It’s unsurprising that this foul smelling invention repels them.
If you try this method, I recommend you place the mothballs on the outer perimeter of your patio. However, placing them closer to where the birds are defecating is perfectly reasonable (if you can get used to the smell).
Birds are unlike Captain Patio in this way. I absolutely love the smell of citronella and don’t mind having that aroma all over my outdoor area.
The major drawback to this approach is that you’d have to keep a citronella candle burning 24/7 for it to be truly effective. However, for a short-term solution you can reach for this approach.
Do Fake Owls Keep Birds Away?
Fake owls can absolutely keep many smaller species of birds away from your patio.
They function as scarecrows, much in the same way as rubber snakes (or actual snakes) and scarecrows. I’ve actually found the less realistic-looking owls (like this one) work better than their ultra-realistic cousins. You can find an example of a realistic-looking owl at this link and decide for yourself.
Be forewarned — fake owls will not phase larger species of birds, as owls are not one of their natural predators. In this case, an actual scarecrow would probably work better.
Lure Them Elsewhere
One last-ditch option you can attempt is luring the birds in question elsewhere. If you live on a large piece of land, you can add bright colors, birdbaths, birdhouses, and bird feeders to a far corner. This will keep the birds on your property but potentially draw them away from the things you find important.
What About You?
How do you keep birds from pooping on your patio? Are there any tips that I omitted? Share your knowledge in the comments below and you just might help another person solve their problem.
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