How to Get Rid of Crows: 12 Steps to Keep Them Away

Methods for getting rid of crows and preventing their return to your yard.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
Reviewed By
Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 19, 2023
MenaceToPests is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Birds are welcome in our yards. Heck, we get bird feeders and install bird baths to attract birds owing to their beauty and beautiful chirping. However, it is widely accepted that crows are the one species of birds not accepted in our yards. They are noisy, irritating, and destructive. But getting these birds to take a powder is no easy task. They are smart and will get trap shy. They will also wait you out until you expend your energy in case you decide to chase them. So how to get rid of crows?

There are various ways you can use to get rid of crows, but their intelligence makes this a challenging task. This article highlights some of the ways to get rid of crows.

How To Get Rid of Crows

Get rid of crows using this detailed guide and prevent them from invading your lawn.

1. All Potentially Crow Food Must Be Removed

How to Get Rid of Crows: 12 Steps to Keep Them Away
While removing all food sources in your compound may be impossible, try as much as you can to remove the grab-and-go meals that can attract crows into your compound.

Crows are omnivores, meaning they feed on anything they come across, including fish food, old moldy pizza, cat or even dog food. Therefore, the first step you have to do is to remove all potential food sources for crows and discourage them from invading your home.

One of the best ways to get rid of crows in your yard is by keeping away the bird feeders. If not possible, keep it covered whenever your domestic birds are not feeding. By doing so, you are eliminating a convenient feeding station for the birds. Also, crow droppings may accidentally contaminate the water or food, affecting the other birds.

Another way to ensure the birds stay away from your compound is by avoiding decorating your home with real produce. Although decorating your home with real pumpkins during Halloween makes it attractive and sets a mood for the festive season, it also attracts crows into your home. Instead, use plastic pumpkins for the decorations. If you must use real pumpkins, use them indoors.

Finally, the other effective method you can use to get rid of crow food sources is proper food leftover management. When disposing of leftovers, use trash cans instead of plastic garbage bags. Crows can tear plastic garbage bags and feed on the waste. If you choose to decompose leftovers and use them as fertilizer in your garden, you need to be cautious since compost food can attract crows into your compound. When composting food leftovers, cover your garden to keep crows away. Alternatively, you can compost yard waste instead of leftover food since it doesn’t attract crows.

2. Maintain a Neat Lawn

Often, crows get attracted to dirty environments. You can make your property less appealing to these birds by ensuring it is always clean.

To make your compound clean, avoid throwing leftover foods in your compound. Instead, get a trash can and ensure everyone in your family uses it. Once it gets full, empty it to prevent the trash from spilling over.

Besides garbage, always clean up any pet food, lying around in your compound. Some pets, like dogs in multi-dog households, may carry their food from the feeding plate to another part of your compound when they want to feed alone. Dogs can also carry their food and hide it somewhere to eat later.

When crows discover this food, they may invade your compound. Therefore, it is important to check your compound regularly for hidden dog food and remove it.

If you live close to other people or a business, make sure that everyone in your neighborhood keeps their yard clean to deter crows.

2. Cover Your Garbage

How to Get Rid of Crows: 12 Steps to Keep Them Away
Crows may knock down the can and spill the dirt in your compound, inviting more crows, and as such, it is best to get a solid trash can.

When using trash cans to dispose of garbage, always keep them covered and secured. Covering ensures crows don’t discover the trash in your compound.

Besides crows, raccoons or stray dogs may also knock on your trash cans and spill the dirt in your compound, especially at night. Crows may spot the trash in the morning and invade your compound. Therefore, it is of high importance to clean up the dirt first thing in the morning to reduce the chances of crows coming into your property.

There are various ways you can secure your trash cans. First, try to get strong chains, bungee cords, rope, or weights to secure lids. You can also consider securing your recycling, trash, and compost bins with locks. Additionally, consider purchasing specialized trash and recycling containers that have lid-securing features like built-in locking clamps. Finally, fasten the can’s side handles to strong metal or wooden posts embedded in the ground to prevent the can from tipping.

3. Getting Rid of Nesting Spots

The next best thing you can do to prevent crows from invading your compound is to destroy their nesting areas. One of the most effective methods of getting rid of the nesting areas is cutting down or thinning the tall trees near food sources or in your garden. When you do so, the crows will relocate to another more friendly place.

Before thinning the tree where crows nest, first, determine the type of trees you are dealing with. If it is a street tree, the best thing you can do is prune the side branches and hope that the birds will go away. However, if the birds are nesting in a forest or groove, thin out a third of the tree.

You can consult a certified arborist to ensure you are following the rules before thinning or removing a tree. The arborist may also help you remove the tree properly since they have the proper knowledge and equipment for the task. Additionally, a professional arborist may assist you in making sure your trees look nice after trimming them, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your home.

Not planting trees near your compound can also help you deal with this issue, especially if your home has a crow problem. If you do, avoid planting them close to each other. Close and dense trees attract crows encouraging them to nest.

The type of trees you plant also matters. For instance, you should avoid planting canopy trees since they are quite preferred by crows.

4. Make High Sounds and Noises

Another way to get rid of crows is by making sounds and noises. Crows dislike loud and unpleasant sounds and noises.

There are various types of noise deterrents that can be helpful when it comes to dispersing crows, as discussed below.

  • An audio recording that sounds like the warning call that crows use to warn other crows in the region of a potential predator.
  • An audio recording of cannons or fireworks going off.

The best place to get these audio recordings is YouTube.

When using this method, you need to be extra careful to ensure it becomes effective. As stated earlier, crows are intelligent birds. Therefore, if they hear the recorded distress or predator calls but see no predator around, or a crow in distress, they can easily figure out that the recording is fake. With time, they will get used to the sound and will not leave your compound.

To outwit these birds, change the location where you emit the audio recordings. If possible, change daily. The time of the day you play these recordings also matters. Often crows get scared when flying compared to when resting in their nest. With this in mind, you should play the audio recordings as soon as the first crow enters the nest, which is normally two hours before dusk.

Additionally, play the recordings continuously until dusk because the same group of crows might circle the nest before settling in. Once it gets dark, stop playing the sounds. If not, the crows will grow accustomed to it and discover it is a fake. You can also play the recordings at daybreak, just before the crows get out of their nest.

Loud sounds and noises can be annoying. Therefore, don’t forget to inform your neighbors what you are doing to avoid trouble. If possible, create a schedule for when you’ll be playing the recordings, so the neighbors are aware.

5. Get a Bird Feeder That Excludes Crows

Bird feeders can be among the major reasons crows keep returning to your compound. One of the best ways to get rid of crows at the feeder is by keeping them away, as discussed earlier.

If this seems like a lot of work, consider getting a bird feeder covered with wire mesh. This material only allows your domestic birds to reach the food, and not the crows since their beaks are large. With time, these birds will get the message and stop coming to your compound. Moreover, you can invest in a bird feeder that can close itself when larger birds sit on it and try to feed.

Nevertheless, crows are intelligent creatures and will continue hanging around, waiting for your birds to drop some crumbs and feed on them. Therefore, looking for a feeder that prevents your birds from spilling food or regularly cleaning up the spilled bird feed is important.

6. Employ Crow Predators

Using predators to get rid of crows is one of the most effective traditional methods. For instance, you can train your cats or dogs to chase crows away and let them loose on your lawn.

When the crows spot the predators, they’ll get scared and stop coming back to your compound. The best time to let the pets loose is at dawn or dusk when the birds enter or leave their nests.

Other than chasing away crows, predators like cats usually feed on crow eggs and young crows in the nest, preventing them from multiplying.

7. Use Motion Sensor Sprinklers

How to Get Rid of Crows: 12 Steps to Keep Them Away
Crows don’t like getting drenched, and they’ll stay away from your compound.

A motion sensor sprinkler is one of the most significant investments in a home. This equipment detects crow motion and immediately releases a jet of water towards them. Crows are usually scared of water jets.

Using this equipment is like killing two birds with one stone. As it scares away the crows, it also waters your lawn, keeping it in good condition at all times. Also, motion sensor sprinklers can help you get rid of other pests in your compound.

For this method to become effective, choose a sprinkler wisely. For instance, it is crucial to choose a sprinkler that can release a water jet over a wide range. The best range of a motion sprinkler should be 70 feet. Another factor that you should consider is the direction of the water jet. It is important to choose a sprinkler that shoots water in all directions, so the birds don’t get a chance to enter your compound. Finally, choose a sprinkler that senses motion even at night.

8. Scare Away Crows

There are various ways you can choose to scare away crows from your compound. You can start by hanging a dead crow on your farm signifying danger. To make the crow scarier, hang it upside down with its wings spread out.

Another good option is using decoy predators like fake snakes or horned owls in your compound to scare away the birds. If you are looking for the best decoy owls consider the Dalen Fake Owl Decoy from Dallen. These decoys are realistic and chemical-free, making them safe. However, the crows may sense that the decoys aren’t real and won’t scare them anymore. Therefore, you should place the decoys in different places of your compound every day.

An inflatable bird scare ball with 3D eyes can also scare birds. Before using the ball, fill it with air and hang it on a pole with or a tree branch with a string. When inflated, the balls are about 24 inches wide, and birds can spot them from a long distance. Their weight also allows wind to blow them from side to side, making them look more realistic.

You can also consider using a scarecrow. When the crows spot them, they will think they are real humans and stay away.

If you can’t make one, consider buying from the nearest store or order online. For better results, get a scarecrow with a motion sensor or one that spins when a crow goes near. Also, combine this method with other techniques.

9. Sonic and Ultrasonic Bird Repellers

Sonic and ultrasonic bird repellers can easily help you get rid of crows. This device produces high frequencies which are inaudible to the human ear to scare away birds and other pests. When birds hear the sound, they become confused and irritated. After some time, they will start avoiding your compound.

The effectiveness of sonic and ultrasonic bird repellers depends on where you place them. Ultrasonic equipment functions best in confined or partially enclosed spaces where sound waves can reverberate off the walls or ceilings. This way, you can easily get rid of any crows on your roof.

If you plan to use ultrasonic devices outdoors, choose one with weatherproof control panels and speakers.

When buying ultrasonic bird repellers, choose carefully. One thing you need to look at is the range the equipment can cover. A good crow repellent should cover up to 7000 square feet. Also, consider the number of adjustable modes the device has. Some ultrasonic bird repellers have always-on, detection, and always-off modes.

One of the best ultrasonic bird repellers is the Bird Barrier Gard Pro. People like this product because it can help you get rid of various destructive and annoying birds such as pigeons. It is also ideal if you are wondering how to get rid of starlings. Moreover, this product is safe to use around people.

10. Reflectives May Come in Handy

Crows dislike shiny objects, unlike other birds like the Magpie and Jackdaw, and as such are an ideal way to keep them away.

One of the things that you can hang in your compound is shiny aluminum plates. Alternatively, you can use a reflective tape made of commercial-grade Mylar, commonly known as a holographic flash tape. Cut the tape into sizable strips and stick it on the tree branches in your compound or other tall structures. These tapes create a visual deterrent that scares crows away. Moreover, when the wind blows, the tapes produce a crinkling sound that scares the birds.

If you can’t find shiny aluminum plates or holographic flash tapes, consider using old CDs. Tie the CDs with a string and hang them on the branch of a tall tree. To make the method more effective, place the CDs close to one another so they can produce sounds.

11. Install Bird Netting

Crows can destroy the fruits and vegetables in your garden. The best way to prevent these birds from destroying your plants is by using flexible bird netting. This method is also effective when it comes to getting rid of pigeons.

Installing bird netting is quite easy. Start by installing a cable support system around your garden and fasten the net to the cable system.

When buying bird netting, check whether it is flexible. Consider buying a flexible net since it prevents the birds from getting into your farm without hurting them. Also, look at the netting’s size. It is important to get a four-inch netting size since it can prevent crows from getting into your garden while allowing other smaller birds to pass through.

You can get bird netting from the nearest hardware or local garden store.

12. Apply Transparent Bird Gel

Transparent bird gel is increasingly becoming a popular method for keeping crows away from your compound. Most people like this method since it can also help you get rid of other birds like starlings, pigeons, and ravens.

After buying the gel, apply it to the tree branches in your home. You can also apply it on the flat surfaces in your compound. The bird gel will repel crows when they try to land on these surfaces. This is because the gel is sticky and irritates the birds. The gel also produces a smell that is intolerable for crows.

Why Getting Rid of Crows Is Important

There are various reasons why most people want to get rid of crows from their compounds:

  • Crows can knock down your trash cans and spill garbage into your compound, making it untidy. The spilled garbage can also attract more crows into your compound.
  • These birds can attack the vegetable and fruits in your garden leading to massive losses.
  • Crows are noisy birds, and they usually caw continuously. These sounds can be irritating, especially if you just want to sit quietly and rest after a long day.
  • Often, crows move in large numbers. The presence of many crows in your compound may scare away other small beneficial birds, disrupting the ecosystem.

Final Thoughts

There are various methods you can use to get rid of crows in your home. Some of these methods are effective when used alone, while others require you to use them together for effective results. Nevertheless, not all methods are suitable. Therefore, picking one that suits your needs and preferences is important.

Despite trying your best, these methods may not work, and the birds may continue coming back to your compound. In such a scenario, it is important to contact a professional. These experts have the necessary knowledge and experience that can help them and they for sure know how to get rid of crows for good. They also have the right tools that can help them handle the task effectively.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *