Do Homemade Bird Repellents Work?

Birds flying during sunset

While birds can be enjoyable to watch or listen to, they can also create problems. Birds leave behind feathers and droppings creating quite a mess that can potentially damage your property. Another big struggle birds create is destroying gardens by feasting on fresh crops. If you’re looking to deter birds, there are ways to create at-home bird repellent. 

Create A Spray

There are various scents that are known to scare off birds. Simply mix the ingredient with some plant and animal-safe soap and water into a spray can and you’re set. Some include:

    • Essential Oils
    • Peppermint
    • Cayenne Pepper
    • Chili Pepper
    • Garlic

These homemade repellents are effective towards birds and also larger rodents including skunks and possums. The aroma reaches the pest before they can reach your plants, keeping them out of your property. However, these sprays wear off and will require frequent tending to the garden. There is also the risk of repelling insects that bring benefits to the garden.

Related: Pros and Cons of Homemade Repellent 

Do-it-yourself (DIY) Netting

Bird netting is a common tactic to keep birds out of a designated area. To make this at home, use chicken wire to line the parameter of your garden to prevent pests from getting in. This is a cheap, effective solution. 

If the wiring isn’t protecting the plants from above, there is a chance birds can swoop in around the wire. To avoid this, try placing the wire above the plants as well or look into using garden fabric to work as a protective row cover. 

Related: Bird Netting Do’s and Don’ts 

Build A Scarecrow

scarecrow during sunset

Scarecrows are a classic trick for farmers. As most people know, scarecrows are placed in the crop field to scare birds off from eating the fresh produce. This can be an at home project that can also repurpose some old clothing. Find some old clothes you’re no longer using and stuff them with straw, newspaper, hay, or anything laying around that makes the body seem realistic. 

The problem with scarecrows is that birds are quick to catch on. This solution requires moving the scarecrow to different locations frequently to keep the birds from realizing it’s a decoy. 

Tip: Birds are frightened of reflective materials, so try placing some reflective tape or old CDs somewhere on your scarecrow as a bonus repellent. 

Related: Do Scarecrows Really Work?

Bird Spikes

Bird spikes are another deterrent you can buy from the store. However, if you have similar items lying around – you can create a similar tactic. Nails are a good example. Take a wooden beam and place some nails, spike up to create a similar deterrent to bird spikes. Spikes aren’t intended to create harm but just prevent the birds from landing on your property. 

With that same idea in mind, you can place other household materials in spaces birds tend to land to avoid them taking over. Use wood to block openings or ball up some hay to make the space appear occupied. 

Pros and Cons of Homemade Repellent

Homemade bird repellent may seem cost-effective if it’s saving a trip to the store. However, constantly replacing these small hacks can add up. It’s important to weigh the overall pros and cons of homemade repellent before ruling out purchasing liquid repellent. 


  • Cost-effective
  • Can be a fun project and creative outlet
  • Allows the chance to repurpose items (old clothes, CDs or other reflective materials)


  • Results are not guaranteed 
  • Risk of human error during installation 
  • Potential eyesore
  • Require frequent work and attention (replacing, updating and rearranging) 
  • Harmful to humans? Depending on the creation, make sure to check if it can cause harm. For example, nails or if creating a spray and testing certain chemicals

Things To Remember

Birds are attached to food and fresh water. If birds are flocking to your property, check if you have easily accessible barn feed or a freshwater fountain. You can avoid these by creating hacks to protect your feed or replacing your fountain with salt water, or turn the water off in general.

After trying these, consider the pros and cons of homemade bird repellent. If you want to proceed with the DIY project, there are a few things to keep in mind. Research the species of bird you’re dealing with as well as the location and climate. 

With that, understand the legal issues when it comes to removal. You want to make sure the birds are safe, you’re safe and your neighbors around you.

Why Make it Yourself When You Can Trust Avian Control?

While birds can be fun to watch, they are no friend to our delicate gardens and manicured yards. While these common homemade methods are effective, they also have their downfalls. Save yourself time and money by investing in Avian Control – an alternative method to homemade bird repellents.

Avian Control is a liquid bird repellent that lasts up to two weeks and will not harm your produce. Call 888.868.1982 to order or contact us for more information today!

Do Homemade Bird Repellents Work?