It can be frustrating to have a bird trapped in your garage – I’ve been there. They clearly don’t want to be inside JUST as much as you don’t want them there. So why do birds fly into places like your garage?
Birds can get into your garage accidentally or because they want a safe spot to nest. You can keep them out by keeping your garage door closed, using reflective tape, installing bird baths and feeders way from the house, adding predator decoys, and fixing any holes that lead into your garage.
If you’re noticing birds getting into your garage (or if you already have birds in your garage), we’ve got answers for you! Keep on reading to find out how to get birds out of your garage, and also, how to keep them out!
Why Are Birds In My Garage?
There are a bunch of reasons why birds are getting into your garage – and most of the time, they’re not in your garage because they want to be. But if they do want to be, there are good reasons why.
Birds Like To Feel Safe
Birds are naturally attracted to safety, and if a bird is in your garage on purpose, it’s because your garage offers what they need to feel safe—an area away from predators, a comfortable temperature, and somewhere without light.
Birds need a safe place to rest, to nest, and also, they can become disoriented by bright lights. With this in mind, your garage almost becomes the perfect space for a bird to reside in.
If you tend to keep food or bird seed or lawn seed in your garage, well, then you’ve quickly become a bird’s ideal habitat.
Birds may also be attracted to your garage because it has a comfortable temperature and if you don’t use the garage often, it’s a space away from predators where they can hide!
During months like the winter and summer months where there can be extreme temperatures, birds find warmth or cooler temperatures to stay put in.
Plus, oftentimes in garages you may keep paper towels, blankets, or other comfortable feeling items that a bird loves to nest in!
Birds Accidentally Fly Into Your Garage
The other reasons why birds are in your garage may have nothing to do with safety, in fact, it most likely can be because they got in there accidentally.
When you leave your garage open there’s always a chance for a bird to fly right on in. The truth of the matter is that they fly in because they don’t realize that there isn’t another way out. They assume they can fly right through.
Another reason why birds can accidentally get into your garage is because they are attracted to light. According to the University of Delaware, birds are attracted to artificial light.
Although light bright light is disorienting to them, they are attracted to other forms of light, which in turn can cause many birds to fly into buildings, windows, and garages.
Since birds have a general understanding that bright light is unsafe, this is the reason why nesting in darker areas feel safer for them.
However, duller, colored lights even, are attractive to them. Having the light on can draw birds inside your garage if the door is left open, so keeping your lights off, especially at night, will keep birds away.
Although there are simple reasons as to why birds may be in your garage – if you’ve got them in there, you’re probably ready to get them out – so, let’s dive right into that!
How To Get Birds Out Of Your Garage
If you already have birds in your garage, there are some easy methods to lure them out. However, if they have already nested and have laid eggs, we recommend contacting a professional immediately to ensure the safety of you, the birds, and the eggs.
Open All The Doors And Windows Of The Garage
If you have birds in your garage, chances are that they flew in when your garage was open. So it only goes without saying that keeping all the garage doors open and windows open will help get them out.
Birds will eventually find their way out of the garage if you keep your windows and garage open—f they haven’t nested yet. At first, being in your garage is unfamiliar and they may be looking for the exit themself, so offering an exit plan is the best thing to do to start if you have birds in your garage.
However, the problem that occurs according to the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, is that bird species are extremely variable in what they choose for a habitat. So, if your birds are not getting out after a few hours of keeping your garage open, it may be time to try an added step before they make themselves at home.
Place Bird Feeders Outside Of Your Garage To Lure Them Out
Another way to get birds out of your garage is to simply give them what they want—food! Birds are always going to be looking for food and according to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Services, the best type of food to lure birds are black-oil sunflower seeds.
By grabbing this Black Oil Sunflower Seed pack, and filling up a bird feeder (or even just by placing it on the ground far enough from your garage) you can lure the birds out.
If you have to you can even make a trail of seed that starts in your garage and goes out of your garage to get the birds out of your garage for good.
Bird seed is definitely the fastest way to lure birds away from your garage, even though according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, depending on the type of bird in your garage, you may have to try sunflower, safflower or millet seeds.
Some other favorites are peanuts, oranges, berries, and nectar! Adding any of these sources of food will attract them and get the birds out of your garage.
Use A Rake To Move Birds To Outside Your Garage
When birds feel threatened or uncomfortable, according to a journal article in the National Library of Medicine, birds fly vertically in the air, and then will land again. Have you ever noticed how a bird always flies up when they get stuck in an enclosed space? Well, this is why!
Now, how does a rake come into play? Well, we’re not saying to use a rake to shoo a bird out of the garage, rather, if you have birds perched up high in your garage, if you hold a rake upright and move slowly to them, there’s a chance the bird will jump on the rake, and then, you can carefully remove it from the garage.
Using a rake in this way can be an effective method in stopping any problems from occurring.
It’s in a bird’s natural instinct to have more area above them to fly. Flying and perching up high keeps them away from predators. If you have a bird in your garage perched high, it’s best to get them out of there as soon as possible, because they are creating a safe space that is away from predators, and a space to possibly nest.
Adding A Predator Inside Of Your Garage
A quick and effective way to get a bird out of your garage is to let a predator inside! Now, it doesn’t have to be a real predator, as there are many decoys that you can add to keep them away. However, the quickest method to get them out of your yard is to let a real predator in, and guess who that is? Your friendly dog or cat!
Letting your dog or cat (attached to you on a leash so they don’t run out of the garage themselves) to sniff around and make noise will likely make the birds fly away immediately.
The birds may get scared and may fly into the top of the garage a few times before finding their exit. But if you add food as a trail and direct them out of the garage, your bird perching problem will be long gone.
According to a study done by Linfield University, owl decoys were used to see if birds would reject a food source with the presence of an owl nearby, and it was concluded that an owl decoy significantly deterred birds from feeding.
This means that birds are unlikely to stay anywhere a predator is near. The study also found that “birds are able to detect and react to the presence of a predator”, which is why decoys often work wonderfully in deterring birds.
9 Ways To Keep Birds Of Your Garage For Good!
Now that we got the birds out of your garage – it’s time to start preventing them and keeping them out for good! So, with further ado, here are 9 ways to keep birds out of your garage!
Keep Your Garage Door Closed
A fool-proof way of keeping birds out of your garage is to keep your garage door closed when not in use.
The reality is, if there is no opening for a bird to get into, they’re not going to! Of course, we understand you need to use your garage from time to time, and we don’t mean to keep it closed always.
But, when you’re not near the garage, birds will be more tempted to go in—so that’s when it should be kept closed!
Add Reflective Tape To The Door Of Your Garage
Another great way to keep birds away from your garage, even when it’s closed, is to add reflective tape to the surroundings or to the garage door itself.
As we spoke about earlier, birds have a love-hate relationship when it comes to lights, but reflection is another story. Birds know means danger, and adding reflective tape to your garage door will alert them to thinking that that space is dangerous.
Reflective items scare birds, and things like CDs, mirrors, and even disco balls can be used alongside reflective tape like Premium Quality Bird Deterrent Reflective Scare Tape, to effectively and reflectively keep birds away from your garage for good!
Install Feeders Away From Your Garage To Keep Birds Out
A tried-and-true way to keep birds away from well, ANYTHING, is to redirect them and attract them to a new area.
By adding bird feeders away from your garage, you can offer a source of food for a bird, which is where they will likely stay close to.
If you have a nearby tree that’s far enough away from your garage, or a lot of brush in the near distance, hanging up a bird feeder and filling it with either nectar, safflower and black oil sunflower seeds, fruit, or peanuts, will keep birds attracted to the trees, and not your garage!
Add Bird Baths Away From Your Garage To Keep Birds Out
If you add bird feeders to your nearby surroundings, then you should also add a source of water—like a bird bath—so that birds will stay put in the place you intend.
Adding bird baths next to feeders will give a bird all it needs: a tree for shelter, a bird feeder on the branch of the tree, and then a place to take a bath.
We all know how cute it is to see a bird flap its little wings in a puddle. Just imagine how wonderful it would be for them to have a bird bath!
Providing an environment away from your garage that is ideal for a bird, will definitely keep birds away from your garage! Keep in mind, this has the potential to attract other wildlife along with installing a feeder so just keep it farther away from your house!
Maintain The Area Around Your Garage So Birds Are Not Attracted To The Area
One of the most important steps in keeping birds out of your garage is by maintaining the area around your garage so that birds are not attracted to the area.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, eliminating any cover and shelter such as overgrown brush, large shrubbery, tall grasses, log piles, and vegetation, will help keep birds away.
If you have a lot of vegetation around your garage, maintaining and keeping up with the surrounding will naturally deter birds from it, since they love the messiness overgrown landscaping offers.
Add Predator Decoys Around Your Garage To Scare Birds Away
A really easy and effective way to scare birds away from your garage is by adding predator decoys near the entrance of your garage and near any windows in your garage.
Birds have a lot of predators and according to the United States Department of Agriculture birds fall prey to coyotes, raccoons, weasels, cats, hawks, and owls. Knowing this, using some decoy predators to deter birds can be an easy way to keep them out of your garage.
By installing this Mojo Outdoor Hawk Decoy, you can easily scare birds away from getting anywhere near your garage! The only issue with this method is that it’s really effective for first interactions, but then once the birds learn that the decoy is harmless, they won’t be deterred by it.
You can pair another stimulus, such as a motion sensor light, radio, reflective tape, or another one of these methods to increase the long term success.
Use The Color White To Keep Birds Out Of Your Garage
Another way to deter birds from your garage is to add the color white to it!
Painting the door of your garage the color white may be an amazing alternative to keep birds away, because when birds are flying high in the sky, white colors often reflect bright light, which will disorient them and keep them away!
Think about it: your large white garage door will definitely be bright during the day and will confuse a bird. A bird will avoid anything that’s disorienting, and it will keep them away from the garage.
You can also add the color white with a lot of white flowers, a white fence, a white door, or white home decor.
Remove All Of The Lawn Seed And Bird Seed In Your Garage
Another fool-proof way of keeping birds out of your garage, is to keep your garage tidy of any food scraps especially lawn seed and bird seed.
Birds will eat your lawn seed. In fact, they’ll eat most seeds. So if you’re having a bird problem within your garage, removing their favorite food source is a must to keep them out of the garage.
We often store lawn tools and seeds in our garage, and if you’re having a bird problem all you will be doing is attracting them more. Next time you use seed, make sure to put it in an airtight container or to close it up securely before putting it away.
Fix Any Holes That Go Into Your Garage
Lastly, if you’re seeing birds in your garage, and you have no idea why, check the outside perimeter of your yard to see if there are any holes in the foundation, door, or walls!
Birds are tiny, so they can fit very easily into small holes! Making sure to fix any holes that you see in your garage exterior, can help keep the birds out of your garage.
That’s A Wrap!
All in all, if birds are getting into your garage, you need a plan to get them out.
However, always use caution when dealing with wildlife, and if the birds have already nested in your garage, you will need to contact professionals to ensure the safety of all those involved.
Now, for a quick recap.
If you want to keep birds out of our garage you can do a few things:
- Keep the garage door closed when not being used
- Add reflective tape to the garage door
- Place bird feeders to attract birds elsewhere
- Add bird baths to create a new attractive habitat for a bird
- Maintain the surroundings of your garage and landscape
- Use the color white to scare birds away
- Use predator decoys to keep birds away
- Remove all food sources from your garage that attract birds
- Fix and repair any holes in your garage exterior
Happy bird repelling!
Affairs, Office of Regulatory. “CPG Sec 525.825 Vinegar, Definitions – Adulteration with Vinegar Eels.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA.
Peng, Shawn, and Donald M Broom. “The Sustainability of Keeping Birds as Pets: Should Any Be Kept?” Animals : an Open Access Journal from MDPI, MDPI.
“Tips to Eliminate Wildlife Conflicts.” Tips to Eliminate Wildlife Conflicts – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation,.
“Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series.” USDA APHIS | Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series,.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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