Crows on a residential lawn

How to Get Rid of Crows for Good

Anyone who has tried to get rid of crows knows it’s easier said than done. When crows turn your yard or property into their personal roosting space, they often arrive in large numbers, bringing noise, messes, and destruction along with them. But simply scaring them away doesn’t often work. If you’ve tried and failed to get rid of these pests, know you aren’t alone in this struggle. Luckily, there are a few effective ways to handle this issue. If you’re wondering how to get rid of crows once and for all, read on for some of the most effective tips.

Why Do Crows Cause Such a Problem?

In the United States, the American Crow is instantly recognizable across most of the country. Crows are extremely intelligent and can adapt to new situations quickly. These large birds are known for their black feathers and curiosity. They usually won’t be fooled by simple decoys like scarecrows.

Here are some of the most common problems crows can cause (and why you might be eager to learn how to get rid of crows on your own property):

Food, health, and property concerns

Crows are omnivorous and voracious eaters, which means they will eat nearly anything. This includes everything from the fruit on fruit trees to the garbage in your trash can and the food in your bird feeder. A flock of crows can destroy your vegetable garden and ruin the produce.

After their feast, they create dangerous droppings, which carry disease and can cause respiratory problems. Knowing how to get rid of crows can be essential for the health and safety of your family.

Noise concerns

These black birds are also known for the loud and distinctive cawing sound they make. Get a few crows together, and they can create an annoying ruckus.

Intelligence

Crows are so smart that they can become aware of what day of the week people take the trash out to the curb, resulting in garbage scattered everywhere.

Studies show that crows are by far one of the smartest birds in the world. They may be able to recognize human faces, so they can remember who is a friend and who is an enemy. It’s even thought that they can pass on these messages to other crows. So as soon as a crow recognizes that your yard is a safe place to be, they’ll come back again and again, bringing entire crow populations with them. This means that if you notice one crow, it probably won’t be long before you see more.

How to Get Rid of Crows in Your Yard

Crows predicting when garbage is available before the homeowners learn how to get rid of crows

Keeping these annoying black birds off of your property can be a serious challenge, even for those who are experienced with bird control. Maybe you’ve already tried a scarecrow or another decoy, but that alone rarely works. Understanding how to get rid of crows is all about thinking like a crow and being aware of how they behave. Here are a few of the best things you can do to take care of crows that are invading your yard or property:

1. Eliminate clutter and trash

Clutter and trash can attract grubs, bugs, and other pests, which are a perfect food source for crows. Clutter also makes it harder to spot potential food sources, and cleaning up can help you see if there’s anything on your property that is attracting crows.

2. Clean up food sources

Because crows are omnivores and eat just about anything, it’s important to eliminate anything they may be eating. Food sources include fruit trees, vegetable gardens, carrion (dead animals), birdseed, and trash. If you want to get rid of crows, try these individual steps:

  • Stop filling bird feeders
  • Clean up any fruit that drops from trees
  • Keep trash tightly covered
  • Cover any additional food sources in bird netting

It can also be helpful to take care of any insect problems that you may have in your yard, as insects are a favorite food of crows.

3. Use reflective objects

Contrary to popular belief, crows don’t like reflective or shiny objects. Some experts believe they cause glare, which can confuse crows when they’re trying to fly. Others believe that it may be because reflections look like the eyes of potential predators.

Hanging up old CDs or pie plates in strings will signal that your yard isn’t crow-friendly. They’ll also clang together like noisemakers on windy days, which isn’t a pleasant sound for crows. Reflective tape and reflective Mylar balloons known as scare-eye balloons are actually created to resemble predators’ eyes and can be bought quite cheaply on sites like Amazon. Place reflective tape or objects close to where you notice crows landing.

4. Hang decoys

When people are learning about how to get rid of crows, decoys are one of the first options they turn to.

While certain decoys like scarecrows can work temporarily, crows quickly learn that these are not a threat and will ignore them. But some decoys truly work. For example, you can use dead crow decoys, which represent a clear threat to crows. When they see dead brethren, they immediately identify that area as dangerous and steer clear.

In addition, it’s easy to find decoys of plastic owls, which are one of crows’ biggest predators. Choose decoy predators that actually move (for example, you can find models that move in the wind). If a crow sees a predator that doesn’t move, they’ll quickly realize it isn’t dangerous. But moving predator decoys are more realistic and will trick smarter crows.

5. Bird repellents may be helpful

Bird repellents can be purchased online or at a farm or garden supply store. You can spray or pour these onto a surface that you want to keep crows away from. This is a great non-toxic option, as many of these repellents don’t contain harsh chemicals that could put your pets or landscaping at risk.

6. Try physical deterrents

Bird netting and bird spikes can stop crows from landing, roosting, and nesting on any area within your property. These items are easy to install. They can cover up plants that are food sources or crevices that seem like great places for crows to hide. Place these deterrents anywhere where crows may gather or hang out. In addition, using motion sensor water sprinklers or lights can spook crows into taking off and leaving your yard alone.

7. Use sound

Setting up Bluetooth speakers in your yard is a great solution. You can have these speakers periodically play crow distress calls or predator cries. Crows will stay away from this area as they believe they may be in danger. You can also find fake owl decoys that actually make realistic owl noises.

When you use a decoy that moves and makes noise, the crows will likely be fooled, keeping crows out of your yard. In addition, ultrasonic bird repellers can come in handy. They can even deter other pests like skunks, raccoons, and foxes, making them a great investment for anyone who wants to protect their yard.

8. Get rid of sites where crows roost and nest

Crows tend to build their nests between 15 and 60 feet off the ground in tall deciduous or coniferous trees. In more urban areas, they may build nests on window ledges or on the sides of buildings. Crows will often roost in groups of trees.

If you’ve noticed crows roosting or nesting in certain areas on your property, it may be helpful to eliminate those sites or place crow deterrents nearby. During your outdoor spring cleaning, when crows are looking for prime nesting sites, eliminate tall trees or tree branches where crows can nest and clean up sticks or twigs they may use to build nests.

How to Get Rid of Crows for Good

If you’ve faced a crow problem, you’ve likely tried a few solutions with no luck. Still wondering how to get rid of crows for good? The answer is to keep at it, stay vigilant, and get creative!

Combine a few or all of the deterrents on the list above to make your yard a truly unfriendly place for crows. Because these pest birds are so smart, they’ll quickly learn that your yard is a no-fly zone, and they’ll let their friends know, too. It’s particularly important to keep up with deterrents even after the crows are gone, as it doesn’t take much for these clever birds to realize when the threat is gone.

Visual deterrents, combined with unpleasant sounds and a lack of food, can help to take care of your crow problem for the long term. Knowing exactly how to get rid of crows can save you a lot of stress and cleanup in the future.

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