If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably experienced an issue with birds in your garage at least once. Birds look for secure places to create nests and lay their eggs, places with secure food sources sheltered from the elements and harmful predators. As cute as they may seem, birds in your garage can become a nuisance, and you’ll want to get them out as quickly and safely as possible.
To keep birds out of your garage, you’ll need to make it difficult for them to get in and make the space less desirable by removing potential food sources. Some common strategies include sealing holes in your siding, making it difficult for the birds to nest, and keeping doors and windows closed.
The rest of this article outlines what you can do to keep birds away, how to stop them from nesting in your garage and garage door opener, and what to do if you’ve already got a bird taking up shop in your garage. Read on.
What Will Keep Birds Away?
To understand what you can do to keep birds away from your garage, you first need to understand what attracts them in the first place.
Why Do Birds Like Garages?
Like many animals, birds are just looking for a place to create safe, stable nests to raise their young. Their protective instincts draw them to places sheltered from the elements, near stable food sources, and out of harm’s way from predators. To a bird, a garage is like hitting the jackpot – offering a secure roof over their heads with plenty of food nearby, and high enough that most predators won’t come near them.
How Do Birds Get Into Garages?
Birds can enter a garage in several ways. The most obvious way is through the giant, gaping hole created when you open your garage door. Oftentimes, birds may fly into a garage, not realizing they’re in an enclosed space. They may see light from another window inside the space and think they can fly right through it.
Once they are there, it may be difficult for them to navigate their way out again, especially if the door closes before they can do so. If that happens, they’ll look for a place to shelter so they can protect themselves – typically high up near the ceiling or on a flat, sturdy place like a garage door opener.
Birds can also get into your garage through small holes in the roof or siding. Similar to flying in through the garage door, once they are in, they may find it difficult to navigate their way back out.
How to Keep Birds Away
To banish a bird from your garage, you will need to take preventative measures to make it as difficult as possible for them to get in.
Seal off Holes in the Siding or Roof
To be honest, this is something you’ll want to do regardless of any potential bird issue. Holes in your garage can let other pests in like insects or small animals and can lead to water damage.
Remove All Potential Food Sources
Be sure not to store things like birdseed or anything else that a bird may find attractive to eat. The same reasoning applied above is also true here – if there are food sources in your garage, animals will find a way to get to them. Hanging a bird feeder away from your garage will draw the birds (and let’s be honest, the squirrels and chipmunks) to that instead.
Use Intimidation Tactics
Birds will steer clear of a space if they think a predator may be hanging out there. Try hanging a statue of a bird or hawk near the opening of your garage to scare any potential nesters off.
Keep Door and Window Openings to a Minimum
If you have windows in your garage, keep screens on them. Keep your garage door closed when you’re not in there to monitor what comes in and out.
How to Keep Birds From Nesting in Your Garage Door Opener
If a bird does manage to get into your garage and has decided it’s a good place to start a family, the last place you’ll want it to nest is on your garage door opener. Here are a few ways to keep birds from nesting in your garage door opener.
Add a Cover to Your Light Fixture
The materials that birds gather to create their nests are often made up of grass, hair, and anything else they can get their beaks on. These small pieces of debris can get caught inside the light fixture of your garage door opener, causing it to malfunction or become a fire hazard.
To discourage a bird from attempting to build a nest on your opener, try to make it as difficult as possible for them to get in. Covering up the hole of the light cover with a mesh screen is a great option because it doesn’t require an additional cover, but blocks any holes big enough for the birds to enter.
Make It Difficult to Nest On
Garage door openers are ideal places for birds to nest because they are typically flat, and the light cover offers an enclosed area to build a nest. This can become a huge fire hazard very quickly if left unchecked. The lightbulb can ignite the materials put there by the bird, setting fire to it. This can not only render the door opener unusable but can also burn down the entire structure.
In order to prevent birds from nesting on your garage door opener, you’ll want to make it as difficult as possible for them. Adding a circular cover over the flat base of the opener will discourage birds from attempting to settle in there because they won’t be able to build a stable nest.
How to Get Birds Out of Your Garage Once They’re Inside
If you do find yourself in a situation where birds have chosen your garage as their home, there are a few things you can do to get them out.
Lure Them Out With Lights
Birds are attracted to shiny things. Try setting up a trail of shiny objects (like a reflector) starting inside the garage and ending out in your yard that they can follow.
Lure Them Out With Food
Take the same logic applied with the shiny object trail and apply it to a food trail (think Hansel and Gretel).
Make Them Sleepy
Most bird species are not nocturnal, meaning they go to sleep at night, just like the rest of us. Close all doors and put coverings over the windows, making it as dark as possible. After a while, open the garage door as quietly as possible and try to shoo out the sleeping birds.
Create an Alternative Space for Them
Set up a birdhouse and a feeder nearby, so the birds have someplace to go once they’ve been evacuated. Use the food trail method to lead them in the right direction.
Remove the Nest
This should only be done if the Mama Bird is away from the nest, and if there are no eggs inside. Using a pair of gloves, carefully take the nest and place it in a nearby bush or tree. It should need to be close enough to the garage that the adult bird can find it. If there are eggs inside, wait for them to hatch before taking any action.
As you now know, garages can be real safe havens for birds looking for a place to nest. They are drawn to the security of a warm, dry place to build their nests, with stable food sources and protection from harmful predators. However, they can be quite the troublemakers if left alone, not to mention just downright pesky.
To keep birds out of your garage, you’ll need to make sure it’s as hard as possible for them to get in and ensure it’s not a place they can go to for food supply. Patching up holes in your garage, removing food supplies, setting up dummy predators, and keeping your doors and windows closed when not in use are the best ways to keep your garage bird-free.
If one does happen to fly in, try to lure them to another housing source like a birdhouse or feeder.