Deterring Birds

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    The grackles just love my barn. They get in through cracks between the eaves and walls.

    I'm hoping I can think of something cheap and easy to stuff into the cracks to deter them from entering. Steel wool sounds like it would work, but it would take a bunch of it and probably wouldn't be cheap.

    Any ideas?

  2. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

    Jun 16, 2002
    South Central Kansas
    Start feeding them and continue for several days. Suddenly take away all of their feed and replace it with buckwheat. They don't like buckwheat and will move on and away from your area.

    Some people also have the theory that if you kill one bird and let it lay there, the others will stop coming around. I saw this work to keep birds out of a shop building last year. The dead bird was removed after about 5 days and no more attempted to nest inside.

    Of course I am assuming that you don't wish this particular species of bird to be around at all. Most of us don't anyway.

  3. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    My first thought was tacking some type of wire mesh over the problem areas. Another thought is "Great Stuff"...assuming you don't have a massive amount of area to enclose. Heard of it? About $6 or so at Lowes/Home Depot. It's an expandable foam, used for sealing gaps around household pipes etc. Dries firm, lightweight, waterproof, non-toxic (I do believe). A little goes a long way..the foam really expands!! Comes in a spray can..color is typically yellow, but excess can be easily cut away with a knife, sanded and painted. Can get in black color at pond stores online (at twice the price!). Used this (black pond kind, but same stuff) to put between and under spillway rocks in waterfall when constructing my garden pond to keep water flowing over rocks rather than behind them..worked like a charm and still going strong. If I remember correctly, it dries in a few hours and needs 24 or 48 hours to cure. Foam expanded about 3x the size that I sprayed out! If you try it, be sure to use rubber gloves (not latex) and don't get on takes DAYS to get off! Anyway, just a thought if you have small areas to fill in.

  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    I'd try putting some hardware cloth in the cracks. Cut strips just a little wider than the crack and push them in the crack. Some half inch staples should keep the pieces in place. If it's possible to put them in from inside the building, it would be easier to staple them.
  5. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 9, 2003
    Fixing the barn gap is the best strategy with the longest term results. Any of the methods above, except the buckwheat or the dead bird, should solve the problem forever.

    There is only one poison labeled for use on birds. It is called a dispersant because while the birds are feeding, the first few to get a poison kernel will start going into cardiac arrest. In dying they flop about and give off distress signals. The first bird alarms the others, the second and third scare them because they don't know why their relatives died. They crowd around the suffering birds and after a few die they get spooked and leave forever. There are a few problems with this approach. First the product is restricted use and you can't get it. Second, other birds can move in soon after the first group leaves. Third, its hard to control which or what kind of birds get the poison. I don't like killing birds (except maybe pigeons), so I rarely use this stuff.

    You can by a 1/2 inch mesh bird netting at home deport. It would be cheaper than hardware cloth, steel wool, or canned foam. Another advantage to the netting is the ease of use. The method of attaching anything will be determined by your barn. Since I haven't seen your barn, I can't give real specific advise. Drywall screws work well and you can use scissors to cut up anything plastic to make washers, like a gallon jug or a 2 liter soda bottle, or a plastic bucket. You can start the screws in the plastic washers before you get on the ladder. The foam would degrade quickly unless painted, plus you would have to ladder a lot more. Not only does every hole have to be filled, the stuff is messy (NOT non-toxic), it can burn your skin and ruin anything it gets on. I think the netting at the bigbox stores is 4x50 (I buy mine in 14foot widths and length to order) so you could cut 8 inch x 50 ft strips and get 300 linear feet from one roll. You might be able to attach it every 6 - 10 feet.

    You didn't say whether the birds could get in through the barn door. Still, if you close the gap all at once, they may leave immediately instead of looking for new entries.