How to Keep Birds off the Porch (10 Tips)

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Last updated: May 6, 2024

Ten practical and friendly tips to keep birds, such as pigeons, crows, and sparrows, from settling and even nesting on your porch.

While having birds around in the front or backyard can be a wonderful thing, you would want them to stay away from the porch, for various reasons.

Perhaps the biggest reason is bird droppings, which can, in the long term, cause significant damage to your porch and surrounding area. Plus, bird droppings also don’t look and smell very good, and can carry diseases.

Additionally, bird nests on or close to your porch can increase the risk of fire and can block ventilation systems. In other words, birds nesting on the porch is something you want to avoid at all costs because a porch should be a clean, pleasant, and safe environment.

In this article, I will share ten practical tips to keep birds from settling or nesting on your porch. All of the below measures are designed to make the porch perceived as a less attractive, or less safe, space for birds to nest.

1. Wind Chimes

Using wind chimes is a great and effective way to keep birds off your porch, and may even be considered a nice outdoor decoration piece.

The sound that wind chimes produce is what birds don’t like or are afraid of, even though those sounds aren’t aggressive or loud by any means.

Some wind chimes are designed to also create light reflections during the day when the sun is out, which is another way to keep birds away.

2. Decoy Predator

A classic scarecrow may be a bit excessive, but a fake lifelike predator can do the same job just as well while not negatively affecting the aesthetic appeal of your porch.

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A plastic owl or hawk decoy is perfectly suitable as a fake predator figure, as most birds will try and stay far away from owls and hawks.

Decoys are a low-cost, easy-to-install, and simple-to-use solution for pest bird problems around the porch.

3. Strategic Bird Feeder

If your outdoor space, your backyard, is large enough, you can use a traditional bird feeder and place it as far away from your porch as possible.

This is a good solution for those who do enjoy having birds around, but just not on the porch or anywhere near the actual house.

You may need to use one of the other measures on this list to further minimize the chances of birds choosing your porch as a nesting place, if you do decide to place a bird feeder in your yard.

Have a look at our list of bird feeder types to see all the different designs you can choose from.

4. Remove Nest Building Materials

This one might sound super obvious, but you might be surprised how good birds are at collecting materials to build their nests.

Even if you think your porch area, garden, and backyard are clean and tidy, birds will always find twigs, leaves, and other things to help create their nesting spot.

Bird nest on porch

So, have a good look around in your outdoor space and pick up anything that may be used by birds.

Make sure to do this clean-up process regularly because twigs and leaves reappear much quicker than you might anticipate.

5. Citrus Repellent

Birds don’t like certain smells, and citrus is one of them. A citrus-based repellent will work wonders in keeping birds away from the porch area.

Other smells birds don’t really appreciate at all are essential oils, cayenne pepper, garlic, and vinegar.

Of these smells, citrus and vinegar might be the best solution because humans typically don’t have any issues with them.

6. Reflective Tape

Wrapping reflective tape around sections of your porch, railings, or fences, is a simple yet very effective way to keep birds away from those areas.

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Reflective tape typically has a bright diamond pattern reflecting the sunlight, often making a faint sound in the wind. This type of repellent is completely harmless to birds and typically keeps them away.

Reflective tape is not the only option, though. Any other reflective products, such as mirrors, CDs, and pinwheels, will help keep birds off your porch.

7. Bird Spikes

Birds typically do some “research” in an area before deciding to nest in a specific spot. They will try and perch to test out a nesting spot candidate.

Bird spikes are highly effective in keeping those birds away in that testing phase, so you won’t have a problem with birds trying to build nests.

Spikes come in various shapes and sizes. Some can simply be glued, while others will need to be drilled and mounted with screws.

8. Ultrasonic Device

Another idea is to use a device that emits ultrasonic sounds when birds, or other wildlife, come close to this device.

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I personally have never tried this method, but many people have claimed that it actually works really well.

Just be mindful that these devices not only “target” birds, but also other animals and pets such as dogs and cats.

9. Bird Netting

Use purpose-designed bird netting to close off open areas above or under the porch with the help of a staple gun.

This will prevent birds from choosing those secluded and hidden spaces to build their nests.

Copper mesh also works really well as a type of netting and is specifically useful to cover small areas such as narrow openings and holes.

10. Pets

Okay, this one is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek measure. But in all seriousness, if you have a cat at home, let it roam around the porch, and I can guarantee you that the area will remain bird free.

Once birds can see that there is a real predator lurking in the porch area, they’re going to stay away.

A dog can, of course, be helpful in this regard too, but a dog will have a more playful attitude towards birds, whereas a cat will instinctively try and prey on birds.


How to keep birds off the porch (10 practical tips)

Thomas Dunnett

The backyard is the perfect place to bond with family and friends or to simply relax with a bit of sunshine and some fresh air. I've been passionate about the backyard lifestyle ever since my childhood, and with this website, I hope to share that passion with you.

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