How to Keep Birds Off Patio Furniture: 10 Humane Ways
Birds can make for a wonderful addition to the yard and many homeowners love inviting them in with bird feeders and birdbaths to preserve their beauty and grace. They remind you of sunshine, warmer weather, and happiness, so they tend to be a welcomed sight for most.
Having birds frequent your yard can certainly have its downfalls though, especially if you have a nice set of patio furniture outdoors. The last thing you want to worry about is having to clean bird poop off your patio furniture.
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to resolve this problem so that you can get on with your entertaining. Below are 10 humane ways to keep birds off your patio furniture, and some other tips to help you out.
The 10 Humane Ways to Keep Birds Off Patio Furniture
1. Use a Predator Decoy
Many people use predator decoys to keep birds away from places they prefer they avoid. Birds are naturally fearful of their predators and will be deterred if they see anything resembling one of their predators nearby. These decoys come in various forms such as hawks, owls, eagles, snakes, or coyotes, and can be placed near your patio furniture to keep the birds at bay.
You will need to get creative and move it around, though. Birds are intelligent creatures and if they realize this “predator” is staying in place, they will conclude that it is not the threat they once perceived. They do have some battery-operated predator decoys that can move around and even make sounds.
2. Don’t Feed Birds on Your Property
A lot of backyard bird species will flock to the areas that provide them with the most food. If you have a bird feeder in your yard, you can expect more and more birds to show up looking for some chow. They will get comfortable coming into your yard for regular feedings and ultimately land on your nearby structures or furniture.
If you have nice patio furniture that needs to be preserved, it’s a good idea to remove any bird feeders from your property so they are not as enticed to come around. If you are a bird watcher that genuinely enjoys observing birds, try moving the bird feeder to the opposite side of the yard from your patio furniture. You may even consider using only hummingbird feeders.
3. Don’t Leave Leftover Food on Your
Like with bird feeders, leftover food will also draw in crowds of birds that are ready to scavenge up anything they can find. If you tend to leave food out after eating out on the patio, you are basically inviting them right over to your patio.
This is a good idea even if birds aren’t a problem. Other animals and insects will be drawn to your patio by leftover food items. Not only will you have to worry about an ant invasion, but you will also be attracting rodents and other larger animals like raccoons or local strays.
4. Prevent Birds from Nesting on Your Property
Before any birds have begun nesting on your property, go through the area and make sure you have no prime nesting habitats set up. Once birds have established your property as a safe and secure nesting site, they will keep coming back.
Clean your yard up from any ideal nesting material and keep it tidied on a regular basis. Never remove a nest that has eggs or little ones inside, you can simply wait until they’ve grown past this life stage and then remove the nest.
If recurrent nesting becomes a problem, you can try placing shiny objects like tin foil, aluminum cans, CDs, or small mirrors in all the nesting areas to deter them from using these areas. If you use nesting boxes, go ahead and get them removed from your yard.
5. Never Leave Standing Water on Your Patio
Birds are always searching for fresh, clean water for bathing and drinking. If you have a birdbath or any other standing water in the yard like kiddie pools, planters, or anything that contains standing water, you may be drawing in the crowd.
Go ahead and either remove the water from these items and only fill as needed or get them far away from your patio furniture altogether.
6. Prune Your Shrubs and Trees
Keeping the shrubs and trees in your yard pruned regularly will provide birds with fewer perching areas in your yard. Not only will this keep them out of your trees and shrubs, but if they don’t have a lot of places to comfortably perch, they are less likely to turn to your yard looking for areas to do so.
7. Put Up Flags
Flags that move easily with the wind tend to deter birds from coming too close. Much like the predator decoys, the waving of flags makes the birds uncomfortable and fearful enough to avoid the areas they see them.
Try placing light but secure flags up on each side of your patio and see how well it works as a deterrent. The wind won’t always be moving steadily enough to keep them flying and there’s a chance some birds may catch on, so make sure you have a backup plan.
8. Use Sound Deterrents
There are sound deterrents on the market geared toward birds that will emit the sounds of either predators or other birds in distress. It was once believed that high-frequency, ultrasonic sounds would act as a deterrent but research suggests that no species of bird has shown a sensitivity to ultrasonic sounds and their hearing is well within the human scope of audible range.
To make the most out of your money, it’s best to avoid any product claiming it uses ultrasonic frequency to deter birds and go straight for the ones that signal a predatory or other kind of distress.
9. Try Windchimes or Other Shiny Objects
Birds do not like shiny, reflective objects and they also don’t like unfamiliar sounds. That’s why hanging up windchimes is a great idea to keep birds far away from your patio and patio furniture.
You can hang them from your porch, trees, or even fencing. The good news is that the sound of windchimes is much more pleasant than those other predator sounds or bird-in-distress calls, so you will be able to enjoy this deterrent for yourself.
10. Wrap the Furniture
You may want to consider wrapping your future up in plastic or covering it with a tarp when not in use. This can be a pain to remember and won’t be aesthetically pleasing but it will ensure that you get the most out of your patio set.
A lot of patio sets have cushions, which can easily fall victim to bird poop or the elements if left uncovered. Something to cover it up will not only make it undesirable for perching, but it will also keep it well protected.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Protect My Patio Furniture?
Other than trying to keep birds off your patio furniture, there are a couple of other tips we’d like to pass along that can help you keep your patio furniture well protected, have a look:
Place Your Furniture Under an Awning or Gazebo
If you are able, try placing your patio set beneath an awning or underneath a gazebo to help keep it safe from weather conditions and bird droppings. This provides a roof barrier that will help prolong the life of your furniture and keep it from wearing down as easily or needing to be cleaned as often.
Purchase Easily Washable Patio Furniture
Regardless of whether you enjoy birds and would like to keep them in your yard or you don’t have the time or resources for the upkeep of cushioned patio furniture, you can always purchase a patio set that is hardy and easy to clean. You can opt for a set made of tempered glass, steel, and plastic. These sets are super easy to clean with a simple wipe-down and will hold up well in different weather conditions.
Get Removable Cushions
It’s a good idea to choose a patio set that has removable cushions so that you can enjoy the comfort of the cushion when needed but can easily take them off and clean them when necessary. You can even just purchase cushions for the set of chairs, which can be stored away when not in use.
As you can see, the way to keep birds off your patio furniture is by making your yard a place where birds don’t want to be. For bird lovers, this can leave you torn down the middle. There are plenty of things you can try so that you can see what works best for you, even if you enjoy having a yard filled with birds.
Featured Image Credit: Nancy Salmon, Shutterstock