8 Ways to Keep Ducks Away for Good


Mother duck and cute ducklings resting on the shoreline by the green water

There is nothing cuter than a duck and her ducklings. They’re adorable little creatures that can provide some benefits to your outdoor spaces – but, more times than not, ducks are like any other pest and can make a mess out of your gardens and yard. If you have a duck problem and are looking for some ways to get rid of the ducks for good – you have come to the right place. 

Wild ducks can be a problem. Ducks can make a mess out of your gardens, yards and even your pools. If you want to keep ducks away for good you can start by removing all food sources, making barriers and using scare tactics such as installing predator decoys and motion activated sprinklers.

Although cute from afar, when ducks take over, you need to act fast to deter them away for good. Today, we’re going to talk about some ways to keep ducks away – so keep on reading!

What Problems do Ducks Cause?

If you’ve come across this article, there is a good chance that you already are experiencing a duck problem. And well, if you are not experiencing a duck problem, we will be the first one’s to tell you to avoid it, if you can!

Feeding wild ducks is one of the first things to avoid because ducks will become reliant on the food you provide, and that’s the easiest way to get caught up in their mess! 

But you may be wondering – what problems do ducks cause?

Wild ducks are a problem because they can be aggressive, they leave food scraps around your yards, will eat your garden, and can attract other pests along with them. 

And since ducks can cause so many problems, it’s best to get ahead of the game, no pun intended, and to keep ducks away. 

So without further ado – here are 8 ways to keep ducks away for good. 

8 Ways to Keep Ducks Away for Good 

Cute newborn Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) duckling swimming in lake with mother duck and siblings

If you’re looking to keep ducks away for good, or for some general means of duck-prevention, there are some simple ways to do so. By the addition of some things, and by using what you already have, there is hope if you have a duck problem. 

Add Sprinklers to Your Outdoor Spaces

You may be confused a bit by this because – aren’t ducks lovers of water? And the truth is, yes, ducks do love water, but they also love and need a controlled environment to relax and stay put. 

Adding sprinklers to your outdoor spaces, and sometimes even a motion activated sprinkler is a great idea to get rid of ducks and unwanted pests as it will startle them and make the environment uncomfortable. 

Like most living things, animals don’t like to get splashed, so adding something that sprays out water every so often, is a no-no for a duck and can even feel threatening to them. 

Rather than going with your typical timed sprinkler, it’s better to do this in a sporadic way, or have it motion-activated so that if a duck or unwanted pest comes by they may feel startled and will have nothing to do but to leave.

Ducks are smart and can learn the routine of a sprinkler that goes off at the same time everyday –  the key here is to provide an unexpected and spontaneous additive to the environment to get rid of ducks for good. 

If you are looking for a motion activated sprinkler try out this Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler.

Turn on Pool Filters to Repel Ducks

If you are noticing a duck or two taking a dip in your pool, as cute as it may be at first – this can be the start of major problems

Ducks like to float atop calm water, and our clean, well-maintained pools are the perfect place for a duck to sit back and relax. But, when there is one duck and an ample supply of well-maintained and comfortable temperature water – there will be more ducks to follow suit. 

If you are noticing ducks in your pools, turn on your pool filter or get an automated vacuum for your pool. Turning on the filter or the vacuum, will make movement in the water, and will scare the ducks away because they will think there is a predator lurking underneath.

Install Kites or Predator Decoys in Duck-Prone Spaces

Ducks swimming in lake near peaceful autumn forest

One of the easiest ways to deter a duck rapidly is to introduce a predator nearby – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a living predator, so to speak, as you can accomplish this with the use of a scarer kite. 

To scare ducks away for good, try installing a Bird Scarer Flying Kite, which will mimic the presence of a hawk flying in the wind. A duck will not take any chances when it comes to a possible predator threat, and will refrain from going near any hawk-like figures. 

Hawks are predators for a lot of different pests ranging from ducks to rodents, to squirrels to rabbits and small mammals. If you are really having a pest problem of any sort, adding a flying pretend hawk into the mix, may be just the thing your outdoor space needs! 

Other predator decoys to ducks that you can try adding to your outdoor space consist of owls, squirrels, foxes, coyotes, dogs, and basically – anything much bigger than a duck. If you’re looking for a predator decoy definitely check out this Lucky Duck – Coyote Decoy.

Add Inflatable Pool Toys to Your Pool 

It sounds almost too good to be true, but the fact is, a duck is not going to take a dip in any water that has unfamiliar figures floating in it, so, adding some inflatable pool toys into your pool may be one of the easiest ways to deter ducks, and without having to change your outdoor space! 

When your pool is open, adding small inflatable pool toys that float atop your pool water especially with bright colors will deter ducks and may discourage them from stopping by your pool.  

If you’re looking for some fun pool toys to deter ducks you should check out this Animal Head Split Ring Pool Floats Bundle

Build Barriers Around Ponds, Pools, And Gardens 

Another way to keep ducks away is to simply build some barriers around duck-prone spaces. 

If ducks are getting into your garden, putting up a garden fence or making a hidden barrier using scents that ducks hate like cayenne pepper, essential oils and garlic around your garden is a great way to keep them away,

If ducks are getting into your pools or ponds, making a barrier out of chicken wire or netting that lays atop the ponds or pools when they are not in use, can be just the thing. 

Ducks land on water, it’s just the thing they do. If they are flying above and see a pool, there is a chance they will stop for a dip, however, if there is a barrier on top of it, there’s an even better chance that the ducks will fly right on by. 

Remove Food Sources From The Environment 

A pair of ducks, male and female, are standing on the shore of the lake

One of the best ways to keep ducks away is to remove all food sources. If you are currently having a significant duck problem, it may be time to bring your outdoor vegetable garden in for a while, or if that’s not possible, keep your garden as tidy as humanly possible. 

Food scraps from garbage, and especially fresh food scraps from gardens and trees attract ducks and other pests.

Tidying up daily, storing garbage in plastic garbage bags and then placing them in the trash cans, cleaning up any fallen fruits from trees or vegetables from the garden and maintaining a very clean outdoor space, is something you can do right now to eradicate any duck problem. 

Ducks love to eat and ducks love to swim, so with these two ideas in mind, making a space that is uninhabitable for a duck, is where you need to start to get rid of them! 

Place Mirrors Around Your Outdoor Spaces to Deter Ducks

Another way to get rid of ducks is to hide mirrors around your gardens and outdoor spaces. Mirrors reflect light, and the reflected light may disorient a duck and will make them avoid the space at all costs. 

Plus, other ducks can also scare ducks, so coming across their reflection from time to time will frighten them and will confuse them. 

Simply grabbing some smaller mirrors like this Edgewood 4 Piece Mirror Set and placing each individual piece in duck-prone areas, can be an easy method to help resolve your duck problem. 

Add Super Sonic Sounds to Your Outdoor Space 

One other way to deter ducks and even other pests is to use super sonic sound! These sounds are super annoying to humans and pests, but when at the right frequency – will keep ducks away. 

Adding sounds that are irritating to a duck will keep them away because it will make the area feel unsafe. Plus, ducks can get annoyed too, and the sounds can be overwhelming and unrelaxing. 

A great super sonic soundscape to try would be Bird B Gone Bird Chase Super Sonic Bird Deterrent

Food Attracts Ducks to Your Yard 

Food brings all the ducks to the yard, and we are here to tell you that if you have a duck problem, the food source should be removed immediately! 

Ducks are omnivores which means they will eat just about anything.

If you have an abundance of fruit trees in your yards or a thriving vegetable garden in your yard – you may have to remove them, if you are having a duck or any other pest infestation. It may only be for a short period of time until the ducks mosey on away, but, in order to get rid of them fast, it’s by removing the food source. 

Food attracts ducks. Other than wanting to feel safe, wanting to eat is what drives a duck to a specific location. If this seems to be the case, taking your fruit trees and vegetables and bringing them inside can work wonders, plus, will save your fruits and veggies. 

If moving fruit trees and vegetable gardens is not attainable, the best thing to do is to keep the outdoor space extremely tidy, or, if you have the means to do so, create a greenhouse in your outdoor space. 

Making the food unreachable to ducks is the goal here, so however you’re able to do that, is what you need to try!

Ducks Can Nest in Your Outdoor Spaces 

Another thing that brings ducks to your outdoor space is if it has ideal nesting conditions. 

Ducks nest in tall grass, and usually within 100 yards of water. If you have a lot of land, a lot of grass, and a water supply – your outdoor space is ideal for ducks to nest in. 

Knowing this information, it’s best to keep your grass trimmed short. The length of the grass is one of the easiest things to control in your outdoor space, and if the grass is short, it is unlikely that ducks will nest there. 

Tall grass protects ducks from predators as they seemingly blend in with their surroundings, if you remove this source of safety, it is unlikely that ducks will stay in your outdoor space for a long period of time. 

What Are The 3 Types of Ducks?

There are three common types of ducks that you may see in your outdoor spaces. Knowing which duck is present is also key in finding solutions to keep them away. 

Dabbling Ducks 

The mallard, Anas platyrhynchos.

The most common type of duck that we see is the dabbling duck species which includes: Mallards, Northern pintail, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Blue-Winged Teal, Green-Winged Teal, Gadwall, Black ducks and more. 

Dabbling ducks submerge their head in water, and when they submerge their head, their tails will stand straight into the air

Dabbling ducks go head first into the water to eat insects, plants and larvae. Typically, these ducks are seen in shallow waters – like ponds and pools! 

Diving Ducks

Male Ring-necked ducks
Male Ring-necked ducks

Diving ducks which consist of ducks like Pochards, Redheads, Ring-Necked Ducks, Canvasback Ducks and Scaups are called Diving Ducks because they simply dive to catch their food. 

Diving ducks are what you see in the deep blue seas. They are seen in deeper waters, floating atop roaring waves, and oceans, and will come out of nowhere from above and will dive directly into the water if they see food. 

Diving ducks dive to eat aquatic insects, vegetation, mollusks, and other small sea creatures! 

Perching Ducks

Mandarin duck close up
Mandarin duck.

Perching ducks simply perch in trees rather than water, and have claws that give them grip to stay put on branches! Perching ducks can be compared to birds, more or less, but still love the  water.

Perching Ducks are the ducks that you see near rivers, lakes, and in heavily wooded areas. Perching Ducks consist of Blue Ducks, Comb Duck, Mandarin Duck, Muscovy Duck, White-Winged Duck, American Wood Duck and more. 

Perching Ducks will feed on larvae and pupae, especially caterpillars and worms, and can eat small fish, plants, seeds, and snails. 

All in All

All in all, if you have a duck problem, we have a solution, and we are here to remind you that there is hope in getting rid of them! Although they are cute, and in most cases, harmless, having ducks around just means that your outdoor spaces are going to get dirtier, messier, and more pests will become attracted. 

Ducks aren’t typically clean animals, and they spend their days pool hopping in all types of water, finding spaces to nest, and of course, eating. 

Going from one water source to another can become a problem because ducks can spread a whole bunch of things, and aren’t that clean, and because of that, if you start to see them in your pool – act quickly to get them out, and, maybe shock the water a bit to cleanse it. 

If you have ducks nesting in your yard, it’s best to make the environment unsafe for the duck, by using some human practices such as the addition of sonic sounds, predator decoys, mirrors, cutting the grass and removing all food sources. 

If you can’t seem to get rid of the ducks or are not comfortable using the above techniques on your own, always consult with a professional!

If you seem to have predators near your ducks, check out our guide on keeping raccoons away from your ducks here!

References:

“Dabbling Ducks – Clarence Cannon – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.” U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Clarence_Cannon/wildlife_and_habitat/dabbling_ducks.html

Ducks in Pool – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. https://www.fws.gov/cno/conservation/MigratoryBirds/pdf-files/Ducks-in-pool-4-27-18.pdf.

Johnson, D. H., Sparling, D. W., & Cowardin, L. M. (1987). A model of the productivity of the mallard duck. Ecological Modelling, 38(3-4), 257-275.

“Why You Should Not Feed Ducks: Sugar Land, TX – Official Website.” Why You Should Not Feed Ducks | Sugar Land, TX – Official Website, https://www.sugarlandtx.gov/447/Why-You-Should-Not-Feed-Ducks.

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