House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Keep Birds From Pooping on Your Car: 10 Humane Ways

close up eastern bluebird perched on birdhouse

Some people will tell you that washing your car is an invitation—or dare—for birds. Some will swear that the avian population has it out for them with a description of their ride and their license plates on a bulletin board somewhere for them to read. There’s no verifiable proof that birds target specific vehicles or colors. It’s just a chance if your car happens to be the one.

However, you can do a few things to reduce the risk of it happening, even for repeat offenders. Don’t even think of harming them. The federal government protects most species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 with hefty fines if you violate the law. Let’s explore some humane ways to handle the issue.

car and road divider

The 10 Humane Ways to Stop Birds From Pooping on Your Car

1. Parking Away From Trees

blue honda car parked outside
Photo Credit By: iniesta44, Pixabay

We must begin with the obvious. If you don’t want your car to get hit, then don’t park where our avian friends are likely to roost and nest. The birds will undoubtedly spend more time in these places, with the parents making multiple trips back and forth. Then, there are the fledglings. Do yourself a favor and don’t make your ride a target.

2. Not Parking Under Overhead Wires

The same advice applies to overhead wires where birds like to roost. These places often give them an excellent view of the surrounding area for predators and prey. Fortunately, the bird probably won’t hang out too long on the wires. They’ll move on shortly to other activities and places. We suggest looking upward before parking your vehicle.

Sometimes, birds will huddle close together, staying bunched up on the lines to stay warm. Other times, they’re spaced farther apart, presumably to avoid ruffling some tail feathers when breathing down each other’s necks.

3. Hanging Reflective Tape

De-Bird Scare Tape - Reflective Tape Outdoor to Keep Away Woodpecker

Hanging reflective tape is an effective way to prevent birds from crashing into your windows and also to keep them away from your car. It works because it’s constantly moving in the breeze. Birds are wary of new things in their world. They’ll likely stay away from your vehicle since they won’t know what the tape is from a distance.

You can secure it on your side mirror or antenna if you have one. Tying it with string or bundling it with a rubber band will make it easy to remove when you’re ready to hit the road.

4. Installing Bird Spikes

We wish this product had a different name that didn’t make it sound inhumane. Nevertheless, bird spikes are an excellent way to keep your avian visitors at bay if they’re perching on a nearby fence and fouling the ground underneath them. Luckily, they also are effective at deterring squirrels and other nuisance wildlife. You’ll protect your car and yard with one solution.

The spikes won’t hurt wildlife, but they won’t feel good if the animals tread on them. They are weather-resistant so that you always have a discouragement in place.

5. Getting a Bird Deterrent

old discs bird repellent
Photo Credit By: FotoHelin, Shutterstock

Birds have many ways to protect themselves from predators. Most have alarm calls that other species recognize. Even squirrels can figure out if the coast is clear by listening to the avian chatter. Many birds can instinctively recognize danger right out of the egg. Scientists Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen demonstrated this so-called hawk-goose effect. Birds know the silhouette of a predator flying overhead.

You can use this information to deter birds from getting close to your car by making a hawk silhouette that you can place on your vehicle’s roof. However, there’s one caveat. You must move it so that the avian offenders don’t get habituated to it and figure out that your ruse isn’t a threat to them. The same caution applies to plastic owls or fake coyotes.

6. Maintaining a Clean Driveway

Wildlife needs three things to survive: food, water, and shelter. If your drive is covered in acorns or other seeds from the overhead trees, you’re inviting the birds to move into your yard. Remember that many species are opportunistic feeders. They’ll take food from wherever they can find it, whether it’s in a bird feeder or driveway.

Of course, it’s mainly an issue in late summer or early fall when many plants and trees are dropping their seeds and nuts. Running the hose or occasionally using a leaf blower on the blacktop will make your yard less enticing. Besides, your property will look a lot better, too.

7. Hanging Something Shiny From Your Rearview Mirror

Hanging something shiny from your rearview mirror plays on the idea of the reflective tape with a more permanent solution. Its position is ideal for steering them off course going over your car. However, we suggest not going nuts over this tip. Some municipalities may frown on large objects dangling from the mirror. A small prism will get the job done without drawing any other unwanted attraction.

8. Covering It

If any of the previous solutions don’t work, it’s time to pull out the big guns. Covering your car is a sure-fire tip for keeping your vehicle clean. Yes, it is more work to take it on and off every time. And, yes, you’ll have to hose it off once in a while, but think of the alternative. Bird droppings are acidic and can do a number on your car’s finish if not removed promptly.

9. Parking Your Car in the Garage

two men washing a car
Photo Credit: NeONBRAND, Unsplash

If you ever needed an excuse to clean out the garage, this is it. Your car may fit inside for once. You may not have many alternatives if your lot is wooded, either. You’ll thank us for encouraging you to do this honey-do task when the first snowfall rolls around your neck of the woods. Say goodbye to scraping the snow and ice off of your windshield!

10. Setting Up a Carport

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a garage. However, a carport can do the trick. They’re not very expensive or difficult to set up. We recommend getting one with removable walls to prevent critters from living in it. Just make sure it’s sturdy if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow. It’s worth the investment in time and money since it’ll cut down on UV damage to your ride.

divider 4

Cleaning Your Car

If the unfortunate happens, it’s best to act promptly before the droppings dry. Use a damp microfiber cloth to remove the mess. Don’t be tempted to use paper towels, which can scratch the finish. Alternatively, you can use a car detailer spray with a vehicle-safe disposable wipe. You may have to rinse and repeat if you waited too long.

car and road divider


Keeping your car clean is more than the aesthetics. It’s also about protecting it from potentially expensive damage caused by bird droppings. Our guide offers several tips to prevent it from occurring. Hopefully, one or more will take care of the issue. Just remember to look up before you park your vehicle.

Featured Image Credit: Naturelady, Pixabay


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools