Will Lights Repel Birds From the Back Yard?

If you've already done some research into what might work to stop birds from roosting, landing in, or defecating on your back yard, you've probably already seen a whole bunch of different suggestions, ranging from common sense to not common sense at all. Repellents are relied upon a lot by homeowners looking for cheap bird control, but the reality of actually using them is usually far removed from the picture the packaging gives you.

"Gets rid of birds in one day!"

(It probably won't get rid of them at all.)

One thing that is commonly put forward, not just for birds, but also for other pest animal species, is the use of lights. Birds don't like bright lights. Not sunlight, of course. They quite like that. What they don't like, on the other hand, is direct or very bright beams of light. It's enough to send them packing ... sometimes.

Solar-powered intruder lights are great for keeping pests out at night, although does appear to have dwindling success in this day and age. But those solar-powered intruder lights won't work against birds, who are hanging out in your backyard during the day. Flashing light-style devices can have some effect, but it's not the kind of thing that you can just plug in and leave, despite what many home and property owners believe. You need to be strategic. Once the birds realize that no harm comes from the flashing lights, they'll simply ignore it. You'll usually need to move the light around quite a lot for it to have any effect, and it still doesn't guarantee that the birds will actually be encouraged to move away from your property. There's a decent chance that they'll just move to another point on your property — a part that the light doesn't hit.

Lights can be used (occasionally) with bird-in-attic scenarios, where the surroundings are dark until the light is turned on. Birds like a dark space to roost at night, and having the lights turned on up there might be enough to discourage them from nesting there. Sadly, we've seen just as many bird flocks ignore attic lights as we have seen repelled by them.

Can you use lights to get rid of birds in the backyard?

No. They're not going to do the job quite as effectively as you might have hoped, although can work (in some cases) with birds in the attic or other dark, closed-in spaces.

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