Essential Oils to Keep Birds From Building Nests


Feathered friends are not always welcome garden guests and if your property becomes popular with local birds you may find generations of them nesting there year after year.

As pleasant as birds can be the balance of resident birds and very easily tip into becoming a nuisance or frank infestation.

If you are looking for a way to keep rowdy nesting birds away, this short article will explain how you can use essential oils to keep birds from building nests on your property. 

Take Action Against Nesting Nuisance Birds

Take action against nesting nuisance birds
Get rid of birds humanly

Birds that start to nest and multiply on your property can become a real problem.

Houseproud homeowners and green-fingered gardeners may soon find themselves with a real pest control issue on their hands.

Wild birds including pigeons and seagulls can cause a variety of problems on your property including:

  • Noisy and messy activity from the birds
  • Damaged pecked plants and crops
  • Fouling with droppings
  • Strewn feathers and nesting materials
  • Damage to vehicles and garden furniture
  • Property damage including blocked guttering and dislodged roof tiles. 
  • Encouragement of vermin including mites, fleas, and beetles
  • Spread of nasty diseases including E. Coli, salmonella, and ornithosis

Worse still, birds can return to settle and nest on your property year after year as they remember the location.

How to Discourage Nesting Birds from Your Garden

The best strategy to avoid unwanted nesting is to deter pest bird species from your garden. 

If you consistently make your property a place that repels them, they will eventually get the message and stop coming back.

Obviously, harming them is not an option, but you can make your property and garden inhospitable to them in a variety of ways. 

Did You Know Essential Oils Can Be Used as an Effective Bird Deterrent?

Essential oils can be used as an effective bird deterrent
Non-toxic bird deterrent

It may sound totally strange, but using essential oils to repel nuisance birds is actually an effective strategy that is even used by pest control professionals. 

When looking for a humane, non-toxic strategy for stopping birds from nesting, the experts rely on using a bird’s five senses against itself and essential oils exploit the sensitivity of bird species to specific smells to drive them away. 

Birds Have a Keen Sense of Smell Which Helps Them Assess Their Environment

Pest control professionals know that birds are not just ‘sight animals’.

As well as vision, birds have excellent hearing and a keen sense of smell, and a well-developed olfactory apparatus. 

A broad range of bird species use their sense of smell to find food and assess their environment. Smells that are interpreted as strange or noxious will disorientate and drive all sorts of birds away.

This sensory deterrent is potent enough to cause birds to abandon habitats that they have frequented for years.

Good News: You can create this strong repulsive effect with the right selection of essential oils. 

Better Still Essential Oils That Smell Great to Us Will Reek to a Bird!

Humans and birds do not process smells in the same way meaning some of the most pleasant essential oils can be extremely offensive to a bird.  

Using essential oils as a bird pest control treatment has other great benefits.

You can use essential oils with confidence as they are cost-effective, non-toxic (great if you have kids about), and depending on the selection should not affect an organic garden.

With essential oils, a little goes a long way and you can re-apply them liberally without damaging your property.

The essential oils can also be used in awkward or hard-to-reach areas where physical deterrents cannot be used.

Take a Look at Some Great Essential Oils to Keep Birds from Building Nests

Peppermint oil is great bird deterrent
Bird deterrent – Peppermint oil

When it comes to essential oils, you have a variety of options for kicking up a big stink for unwanted local birds.

Here are some of the best essential oils for repelling birds:

  • Peppermint oil – this is by far one of the most well-known essential oils for use as a bird deterrent. 
  • Citronella
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Oregano
  • Pine 
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Basil

In addition, these other food smells will stop birds from returning to your property to nest:

  • Vinegar
  • Chilli
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic

How to Apply Essential Oils as a Bird Deterrent

In an open space like a garden, a targeted approach will produce the best effects.

Once you identify the areas where you have unwanted bird activity you can topically apply your essential oil of choice one of these following ways:

  1. Cotton wool balls or rags soaked with a few drops of the essential oil
  2. Spraying down the area with a solution of the essential oil diluted in white vinegar or vodka.

Feel free to experiment with the concentration of essential oil that you use. 

Also, treat multiple areas of your property so the offending birds get a clear message that your home is not going to be theirs.

Places you can apply your essential oil-based bird deterrent include:

  • Beams
  • Trees 
  • Greenhouses and polytunnels
  • Chimneys
  • Ledges
  • Roofs
  • Small Openings
  • Window Sill

Keep up the good work by topping up your treated areas.

Be Persistent: Some birds, like gulls, are adaptive and will attempt to tolerate the environment if you are not unrelenting with the repellent. 

Commercial Brands Also Use Essential Oils for Bird Pest Control Products You Can Buy

Some great store-bought multi-sensory deterrents use potent essential oils to rid premises of nesting birds.

These products are gels and sprays that can be applied to your target area.

Some of these products have optical effects that deter birds as well as a strong odour.

Alternative Strategies for Ridding Your Home and Garden of Nesting Birds

Keep Birds From Building Nests alternatives
Bird repellent alternatives

Along with essential oils, you can try out some other strategies for driving birds away from your home.

Spikes, netting and decoys are common physical deterrents. Sound deterrents are usually not possible in residential areas but may work in a rural setting.

Basic things like keeping foods sources hidden and secured and keeping bin bags in a bin will also make your garden a hostile environment for local birds.

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