It’s hard to imagine that our feathered little friends can be so problematic. While you may enjoy watching them as you’re lounging on the front porch, the droppings they leave behind might not be as pleasant. Not only are bird droppings unsightly, but they can also be hard to wipe off of decks, railings, and other surfaces. This may nevertheless be a minor inconvenience for those who take delight in the company of birds. For the sake of your porch, however, it’s probably a good idea to keep the birds away from it as much as possible. Bear in mind that how your front porch looks is crucial for first impressions. With a few simple tricks such as using decoy owls and ultrasonic repellents, you can discourage the winged critters from turning your porch into their own personal toilet.
One way to keep birds away from your porch is by diverting their attention elsewhere. To do this, simply place a couple of bird feeders in your backyard a good distance away from the front porch. While you may still come across a few bird droppings in the garden, you wouldn’t need to worry as long as your porch is in mint condition. A birdbath placed near the feeders can serve as an additional diversion to the flying fauna, essentially isolating them to that area. Add a DIY birdhouse and they wouldn’t need to look elsewhere. This way, you’ll still get to do some bird watching — but from a poopless porch. Make sure, however, to remove any sources of food from your porch as they may still attract birds regardless of the feeders placed afar.
Remove Nesting Materials
A reason why your porch may be so attractive to birds is because of all the nesting material scattered across the surface. Get rid of anything that the birds would use to build a nest. Such items typically include twigs, loose feathers, and dry leaves. Since birds naturally poop on the go, they will usually leave droppings while gathering nest material from your porch. Consider sweeping the front of your house every now to see if it makes any difference.
Besides getting rid of dried leaves and other debris from your porch, you may also want to check if any tree branches in your yard are extending towards your house. If they are, it probably explains why birds are frequenting your porch and leaving tiny gifts behind. Trimming these branches will not only keep the birds away from the area but also allow direct sunlight to shine into the front of your house. This direct sunlight may in turn help to eliminate the smell of droppings left behind. Should you notice a nest on your porch or on the nearby branches, consider contacting a wildlife expert to safely relocate it.
Use a Repellent
If you prefer a more commercial approach to deterring birds from loitering around your porch area, consider going for a repellent device. Usually available at department stores, these gadgets are designed to emit high-frequency sounds that are known to irritate the birds. Once you activate the repellent, the winged guests who’ve overstayed their welcome will take the cue and fly away. Certain units not only work on birds but also other critters that may be causing issues in your yard.
One drawback of repellents is that they can also annoy any other pet you may have. The sonic waves emitted by the device, however, are rather short and can’t pass through most walls; so there’s nothing to worry about if your doggo is inside most of the time.
Hang Wind Chimes
Another effective trick to keep birds away from the front porch is by hanging a series of wind chimes above the railings. As the name suggests, these gadgets produce sounds that are known to deter flying feces machines. Consider going for ones with shiny chimes that reflect light to make it more irritating. The chimes’ sound, the reflection, as well as the fact that it’s a physical obstruction will keep birds from making themselves comfortable on your porch. This method is most effective on pigeons, brown grass birds, and other smaller species. Although wind chimes are available to purchase both online and in department stores, you can make a DIY version with shiny objects such as old CDs and little brass bells.
Place Reflective Objects
Since reflective objects are known to irritate birds, you can take this approach to make your porch a poop-free area. Adding shiny items on your doorway as well as the porch itself can effectively deter the creatures from stopping by. When hit with sunlight, the gadgets produce reflections that disorient birds flying towards it. Consider shopping online for such products that are specifically designed for this purpose. Many varieties additionally serve as decorative items, so you don’t have to worry about them ruining the aesthetic of your front porch.
A similar method that essentially has the same effect involves placing multiple small mirrors around the porch. As the mirrors are met with sunlight, they produce reflections that birds find annoying. Consider pairing this approach with other methods such as wind chimes for a better anti-dropping defense system.
Get a Cat
While mirrors, repellents, and wind chimes are great for keeping birds away, nothing wards them off more than a cat (or a dog) roaming around the yard. This foolproof method is guaranteed to keep your porch free of bird droppings. Consider building a small house in your outdoor space for your furry guardians to snuggle up in when they’re “off-duty”.
Even if your pets don’t exhibit predatory behavior, the birds may still regard them as a threat and will steer clear of your porch. The real issue, however, is when the birds get used to the presence of the pets and decide that it’s safe to return. This is why it’s a good idea to use several bird-deterring methods at the same time.
Spray Citrusy Fragrances
Birds normally hate the scent of citrus, and spraying it on surfaces around your porch is an easy way to irritate them. It’s also a 'two birds, one stone' kind of deal — so to speak — because the citrusy fragrance gives your doorway a pleasant aroma. Formulas specially made to repel birds are available for purchase at supermarkets. An alternative solution involves mixing the juice from a lemon with a little bit of water and spraying it around your front door area like an air freshener. Since most birds such as woodpeckers are protected by law, it’s better to go with the latter option as it is non-toxic. Bear in mind that you may be fined for an unjustified death of a protected bird on your property — whether it’s due to a toxic substance or another unfortunate incident.
Additionally, placing slices of lemon around your porch can make the scent even more intense. This harmless yet effective method can also fight off the smell of bird poop left after cleaning.
Unleash the Decoy Owl
Larger species of birds such as crows and feral pigeons are usually unfazed by certain tactics that are used to deter them. In that case, a decoy owl with haunting eyes can be another trick up your sleeve. This is basically the same concept as placing a scarecrow in a field. You may, however, want to change the location of the owl on a daily basis to give the illusion that the “predator” is active. For instance, you can move it from the railing to a nearby flower bed, then to a garden pedestal, and so on. Certain birds like crows are quite intelligent and can eventually sense a decoy if it’s always in the same spot. The birds will continue making themselves comfortable on your porch once the cover is blown. So if you choose the decoy owl technique, it’s best to commit to the charade.
Stop Feeding the Birds
Of course, there’s nothing nicer than sitting on your front porch and feeding seeds to the birds as they rally around you. However, that is an obvious reason why the area may be covered in bird poop. Once you stop feeding your feathered friends, they may eventually lose interest in your porch. If you insist on providing them with food, consider opting for the distant bird feeder approach mentioned earlier. That way, you’ll have a win-win situation — the birds will be happy and you won’t have to clean their droppings every day.