Do Plastic Owls Scare Pigeons?

The plastic owl is found in hardware stores and home improvement warehouses in just about anywhere in the United States. Consumers purchase these with high hopes that birds scared by live owls will fall for the clever trick and find themselves a new home.

plastic owl
scary plastic owl that doesn't work

What Did We Say About Repellents?

In this business, consumer solutions for wildlife removal usually do one thing, increase the profits of the businesses that sell them. That's not to say that folks out there haven't had success with products like wildlife repellent granules and sprays, but there is not a single repellent that has been certified by the FDA or any other goverment agency to have successfuly done so.

Making a Case for Plastic Owls

Individual consumers report success at scaring away nuisance birds with fake owl statues from time to time online and in blogs. More likely, the birds have moved on and found a new home. However, if these decoys are indeed working, what would you have to do to keep them working? Wouldn't the birds realize they're being played eventually?

I think they would. If it were me and I saw the same perceived threat in the same place every day for even three days I'd be skeptical. Some homeowners take to placing their decoys in different spots in the yard, and using alternate decoys to mix it up. To be perfectly honest, that sounds like a sizeable time investment as well as however much the decoys are costing (the more convincing, the more expensive).

bird repellent spray
hokey bird repellent sprays don't work

Avoid Home Improvement Store Solutions Altogether

You can bypass the checkout counter at the home supply store, the excessive amount of googling, weeding through questionable product reviews, and simply call a wildlife management professional. Most will do a free inspection and offer an estimate for the work. Even if you don't take them up on their offer, they'll probably give you a couple free tips, like the ones on this Web site. Give any solutions you find interesting a shot, and if they don't work, or the products let you down, know that we're just a call away.

Further Reading