What Can You Do About Bird Droppings In Your Yard?

Though bird watching is a fun activity for many, having too many birds around may pose a health risk, especially if they're pooping all over your yard. Not only are bird droppings annoying to clean, but wild birds sometimes carry disease. Even if the birds frequenting your yard are healthy, their dried feces can grow the histoplasma fungus. If inhaled, the spores may cause an infection in the lungs called histoplasmosis. While it's not always serious, some people experience flu-like symptoms and it can be dangerous for those with compromised immune systems. 

Histoplasmosis also affects cats and dogs, so if you have a curious pet, it's a good idea to rid your yard of bird droppings. If dogs ingest bird feces, they could pick up some harmful bacteria. Luckily, there are several ways to discourage birds from overstaying their welcome in your outdoor space. Besides cleaning up after them, you can use audio and visual deterrents to prevent birds from leaving their droppings in your yard.

How to use visual deterrents against birds

If you're hoping to discourage bird visitors from frequenting your yard and leaving their bird droppings, you could try making your outdoor space less hospitable. Birds are easily startled and using statues of fake owls or other predatory birds can help to scare them away. These decoys can be found on Amazon, as well as stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, Tractor Supply Company, Walmart, and Target.

While stationary deterrents are effective for a time, they may not work well if the birds figure out they're fake. Flying bird decoys, like this one from Target, make movements that are more likely to scare birds away. If a decoy owl isn't in your budget, try tying balloons around your yard. The motion of the balloons bouncing in the breeze can prove an effective bird deterrent as well.

These animals are also wary of shiny and reflective objects, such as CDs, mirrors, and steel garden balls. Placing mirrors by your deck or hanging discs from a tree in your backyard is a good way to ward off unwanted birds. Removing birdbaths and feeders from the area is also helpful.

Using audio deterrents to keep birds away

Sound is another good defense against avian visitors and the droppings they leave behind. Sonic bird deterrents emit natural sounds that birds (and other animals) tend to find frightening. From distress calls from fellow birds to the sounds of a predator, the sounds programmed in these devices are designed to scare birds away from an area. If you (or your neighbors) have pets, however, this is a consideration, as the same sounds could cause anxiety for them. These sound machines can be found on Amazon, but if you want something less expensive and better looking, try wind chimes.

While birds might not respond to the repetitive sounds of a machine after a while, wind chimes make different noises depending on the breeze. The unpredictability of their music could be more alarming to birds. Wind chimes are also often made of metal, so they could act as a visual deterrent as well. These decorative chimes will not only keep birds away, but they'll look beautiful hanging from your deck or a tree in your yard.