Birding Hub is reader-supported. When you purchase through one of our links we may earn an affiliate commission (at no cost to you).

How to Prevent Birds From Nesting

Written by Garrett Hayes

Last updated on Apr 8th, 2024

Attracting certain nesting birds can be a great achievement for most birders; unfortunately, not every bird species is ideal for our yards. Some wild birds are quite destructive and not welcomed in our homes. They will damage your backyard, leaving you with some bird droppings all over.

Some of us don’t want birds building nests in our homes, and if you have dealt with them before, you understand how annoying they can be. Therefore, before the next breeding season, you should learn how to prevent birds from nesting and pick a strategy that works for you.

7 Tips on How to Prevent Birds From Nesting

It's important to note that interfering with birds nesting is generally discouraged and may be regulated or prohibited in many regions by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Birds are protected by laws in many countries, and interfering with their nests or eggs can result in penalties.

Birds play a vital role in ecosystems by pollinating plants, controlling pests, and contributing to biodiversity. Instead of preventing birds from building nests, it is often recommended to find ways to coexist with them.

However, if you're facing specific issues, such as birds nesting in undesirable locations around your property, you can try the following tips.

nest with blue eggs on a tree

Remove or Block Access to Nesting Sites

Birds often look for sheltered areas to build nests. Therefore, identify the specific areas where birds are nesting, such as roof eaves, vents, or corners of buildings. Make sure to carefully observe and confirm that there are no active bird nests or eggs before taking any action.

Remember, disrupting a bird's nest is illegal in some nations.

Therefore, you should try the following safe methods for physically blocking these wild birds out of your house:

  • Netting: After removing all the old nests in your home, you can block all the places they can build their nests. Install bird netting over areas where birds commonly nest. Ensure the netting is properly secured and doesn't entangle the birds. This means observing the netting a few days after installing it and freeing any trapped bird.
  • Wire deterrents: Installing bird spikes, wires, or sloping covers on ledges or surfaces to make them less suitable for nesting. Bird spikes are typically used on ledges, beams, or other flat surfaces where birds tend to perch or roost. The spikes make it uncomfortable for birds to land, discouraging them from nesting.
  • Seal openings: Ensure all openings, gaps, or holes where birds may enter, or nest are properly sealed or blocked off. Use materials like caulk, wire mesh, or expanding foam.

Use Some Scare Tactics

Birds can be deterred by various visual or auditory deterrents. Some options include:

  • Reflective objects: Hang shiny objects like aluminum foil strips, reflective tape, or old CDs near the nesting areas. The reflected light may confuse or deter the birds. They will make it uncomfortable for the birds to perch or even build a nest.
  • Predatory decoys: Place decoys of natural bird predators like owls or hawks near the nesting sites. Make sure to periodically move the decoys to prevent birds from realizing they are not real.
  • Noisemakers: Use devices that emit loud noises periodically or at specific times to startle and discourage birds from nesting. These can include wind chimes, motion-activated alarms, or ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sounds.
trimming tree branches

Proper Vegetation Management

Generally, most bird species prefer nesting in dense vegetation. Therefore, you should trim trees, bushes, and shrubs near buildings regularly to reduce nesting opportunities. For better results, you can consult with a local expert to ensure any pruning is done.

The expert will ensure that the pruning is done in accordance with local regulations and doesn't harm the birds or their habitats.

Maintain Cleanliness

Regularly clean up any food sources or debris that may attract birds. This includes removing fallen fruits, feeders, or open garbage cans that can provide nesting materials or food sources.

Modify the Environment

Make the area less attractive to birds by eliminating factors that appeal to them.

For example, trim trees and shrubs to reduce potential nesting sites, remove bird baths or standing water sources, or use bird feeders that are less likely to attract nesting birds.

Seek Professional Assistance

If you're dealing with a persistent bird nesting problem or protected bird species, it's advisable to consult with a local wildlife professional or bird control expert. They can provide specific advice tailored to stop birds from nesting in your yard while complying with local regulations.

Install Some Motion-Activated Sprinklers and Lights

Generally, a motion-activated sprinkler can stop birds from building nests at night, while the lights can deter birds that are active at night.

After all, the element of surprise can repel birds and make it hard for them to nest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there sprays to prevent a bird from nesting?

Yes, there are sprays available that are designed to deter birds from nesting in specific areas. A great example is peppermint oil spray. These sprays typically work by emitting a scent or taste that is unpleasant to birds, causing them to avoid the treated area.

Can vinegar keep birds from building a nest in your yard?

Vinegar is often suggested as a natural remedy to deter birds from building nests in specific areas. The strong odor of vinegar is believed to be unpleasant to birds and may discourage them from nesting in treated locations.

Can garlic keep birds out of your yard?

Placing garlic all over your garden can help repel birds from your bird. Garlic can be an effective homemade solution that produces a strong odor that is disliked by lots of birds. Using garlic is the most cost-effective and non-toxic method for dealing with birds in your yard.


Wild birds are beautiful and can improve the quality of your home. Unfortunately, some species can be quite destructive and noisy. Luckily, there are lots of non-toxic methods that you can use to keep them from building a bird nest in your yard. A simple thing like keeping your yard clean with no dense shrubs can come in handy.

About The Author

Scroll to Top