Last week we responded to customer concerns regarding the measures that can be taken to keep rodents and raccoons out of rain gutters. Anyone following those tips will be well on the way to a furry four-legged critter-free gutter system. However the wildlife threat doesn’t end there. Birds, from crows and pigeons to robins and seagulls (for us coastal communities) these disproportionately strong and resourceful flyers can have their way with your gutters if proactive steps aren’t put in place. Let’s take a look to see what you can do to make your eaves a no-fly zone.
6 Ways to Keep Birds Away from Your Rain Gutters
1. Post a Decoy Predator on Your Roof
One traditional way to keep most birds from landing on your roof is to keep a sentry at the gate. Fastening a decoy predator on the front and back of the roof on your home, along the eaves, is a major deterrent. While there are decoy hawks, eagles, and other similar birds of prey owls are the go-to decoy for residential communities. All of the birds that you will find in the Lower Mainland of BC are generally frightened by the presence of owls, seagulls in particular, which are even afraid of an owl face on a balloon. Aesthetically, these proudly perched decoys look pretty darn cool keeping watch over the exterior of your household. The only caveat is that overtime you may begin to notice that the crows, among the smartest of birds, have figured out your decoy ploy. Duck.
2. Bird Repelling Ribbons
Tie a holographic ribbon around your ole oak tree, or on the corner of your eaves. One of the most popular and humane ways to send birds a “no trespassing” message is to use high-sheen ribbons that bounce 3D colors and images off of them as natural light hits. This visual display freaks flyers out. These ribbons also emit noise that bothers their sensitive ears (not yours) when the lightest of wind blows through your yard. Holographic ribbons are effective against pigeons, crows, gulls, woodpeckers and everything feathered in between. No need to steal the ribbons off of your seven year old’s bike handlebar grips, you can buy official bird repellent ribbons at HomeDepot or any other local home & garden store.
3. Bird Repelling Scents & Sounds
The verdict is still out on whether or not there is a specific scent that will confidently keep birds from landing on your property. There are gel-like substances that can be purchased from your local hardware store but these tend to include harmful chemicals in the ingredients. Not great if you’re looking for a humane way to repel birds with scent. There are natural remedies for using scent to keep birds away from your gutters, which include the application of garlic oil and mixing ground chili-peppers into water and spraying branches closest to your gutters. Be warned, while this may keep birds away you may notice an increase in your appetite! In regards to sound repellent, small speaker systems can be discretely installed near your gutters and emit sound waves picked up only by birds (and other pests) to keep them away. These sound systems are also readily available at your nearest home & garden store.
4. An Army of Attack Spiders
You are reading this correctly. And it’s almost as awesome as it sounds, almost. Bird spiders, in actuality, are mechanical installations that detect the presence of birds (and other creatures) in proximity and immediately eject spider-like legs from the system, frightening birds (and anyone who happens to be passing by for that matter) away. Some bird spiders are more comical in appearance (looking like actual spiders – can be repurposed for Halloween) while others are purely mechanical (less fun but are more effective). One word of caution – don’t literally ask your home & garden shopkeep for an army of attack spiders.
5. Install Bird Slopes
Bird slopes (or slides depending upon the brand you can find at a store near you) are slippery PVC panels (sometimes aluminum) that can be installed at an angle at all 90-degree corners where birds love to set-up shop (nests). They prevent birds from comfortably landing on the nooks and crannies surrounding your gutters. These panels will match the aesthetic of most gutter systems, blending right into the exterior architecture of your home.
6. Install Gutter Guards
Lastly, the most effective way to keep birds from literally building a nest inside of your gutters is to install screens/guards (mesh or solid), serving as a cap that prevents their entry in the first place. There are gutter guards available for practically every make and model of gutter system.
It’s worth noting that before you institute any of the above that you clean and repair your gutters where necessary to ensure that your system is not inviting to feathered pests and the additional debris that they bring. Local residents in the Greater Vancouver area are encouraged to contact AquaSeal for a consultation and comprehensive health check for your home’s gutters.