If you have watched the movie The Starling (Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd), you don’t have to experience how annoying it is to have a bird hound your garden. If you haven’t watched the movie, well, you should.
Now, you might find it interesting to spot a starling and figure out what it wants from you, apart from those juicy grubs or tomatoes in the garden. But a crow is not as fancy or fascinating. There are no deep meanings when it comes to these visits and not much is exciting about them except the fact that they will literally eat anything.
But that should also mean that getting rid of them is a bit tricky, right? Well, not necessarily. Let’s look at what brings them to you and we can solve the problem with a few very basic solutions.
What Is Bringing Crows to Your Lawn?
This is actually not hard to figure out. The most likely reasons that bring crows to your lawn are related to food or nesting materials. But once they feel like your lawn is a relatively safe place, they might consider building their nests nearby and also raising their little ones near your home.
Now, that’s a bit of a nuisance in general and it is also a problem because they will come for your lawn at all times and dig it up in a rather unruly manner.
So, let’s understand what is drawing them to your lawn so that we can find effective solutions. Here’s the list.
Grubs are essentially insect larva. They are rich in nutrients and easily available as a source of food. Crows are good with just about anything as food but these are a really good choice for them. They can consume about 40,000 grubs in one breeding season.
Grubs are known to eat grass roots which are filled with starch. And since they are present under the ground, crows are likely to dig up your lawn grass looking for food. And if they get what they are looking for, it is going to be a pretty tough job to get rid of them.
But it’s not just any kind of grubs. Even crows have food preferences and they specifically like to find grubs of European chafer beetles. Their larva usually measures 1 to 2 inches with a gray or white body that is fatty and a head that is brown in color.
The chafer beetles live for about a year and they spend most of that time under the ground which is more than a tourist attraction for crows. Then there are the crane fly larvae which are also brown in color and rich in protein. When compared to chafer beetles, these have a much longer body but their life cycle is similar.
So you can see how a grub infestation is bad for your lawn in more ways than one. The first thing about figuring out how to get rid of crows also starts with determining if you have a grub infestation. This means you will have to scavenge the grassroots to make sure the lawn is not infested with larva. You don’t have to dig out the grass because it will look pale and the grass will be withering if that is the case.
If a visual inspection does not satisfy you, you can Pull some grass and check it deeply by counting the grubs in the topsoil. You have a problem if you find more than five grubs in a square foot of land.
2. Plants and Small Animals
Crows being the omnivores that they are, there is no way they have not noticed fruits and vegetables in your garden. They are big fans of berries, dates, grapes and apples. They also like veggies like peppers, corn, tomatoes and lettuce. And if you have weeds, seeds and sprouts that’s just another invitation they are happy to receive.
Apart from plants, these black beings also like to hunt down small animals like frogs, toads, lizards, insects and mice. You should keep your garden and/or lawn free of these little animals for the most part anyway. But if you don’t the crows will take care of some of it for you but also destroy your garden and steal your fruits in the process.
They will be like goons you never hired but have to pay. But remember that after a while, crows get used to hiding their surplus in your lawn if they deem it to be safe. So, they might just be coming to get their food back too.
3. Bird Feeders
It should not come as a surprise to you that all birds, including crows, are attracted to bird feeders. This is free food and they all want a piece of it. Think of them as your local fast food joint because some birds like to hang out near bird feeders. And if your bird feeder is attracting smaller birds, crows might sometimes visit to hunt the little ones.
And finally, any food scraps on the lawn are an obvious mark for these birds. This means leftovers, bird feeder spillage and also any kitchen scraps that escaped the garbage bins.
4. Nesting Materials
Those first three options had to do with food. But there is another reason to visit your lawn. Crows might be visiting to see if they can get some snazzy materials for their nests. Now, crows are very private when it comes to their nests which is why they will only come to lawns that seem safe.
And most lawns already have a lot of materials needed to build a nest, so the crows can afford to be picky. They might also consider raising their young ones in your lawn if you don’t put a dampener on those visits right away.
This one is a behavioral element which means you might feel skepticism but think about it anyway. Crows are well known to be very protective beings. You will notice it if you have ever seen a crow fall to its death in your neighborhood. The other guys just won’t let it go quietly. And that’s literal.
Crows are believed to hold funerals (in their own way) when a comrade falls and they are likely to bully predators during that time. If they suspect that you might have had something to do with it, they are said to perceive you as the enemy and might come for you. This is applicable even if you were just near the dead crow’s body.
Crows are also said to have the ability to remember faces and apparently they tell other crows what they’ve seen which seems like it would make it worse. But apart from discouraging them, there isn’t much you can do.
It’s not like you demonstrate snitches get stitches to a crow, right?
What Can You Do to Stop Them?
But it’s not a hopeless situation. There are plenty of humane ways to get rid of crows that are attacking you or your lawns. By the way, if it is resentment that is bringing them to your lawn, you might want to get your pets out of the way because severely vengeful crows are said to poke you or your pet if they are out for blood, so to speak.
1. Bird Netting
The first suggestion when it comes to getting rid of crows is always bird netting. This is not an elegant solution visually but it is very effective which is why it comes highly recommended. Bird netting is a great option for the house, lawn and garden. They are a threat to crows just like other birds because they are afraid of getting stuck in a predator’s trap.
The logic is quite simple and basic. That’s why using bird netting is the best way to get rid of crows. If you want it to be very effective, you must pick a four-inch or less netting. Make sure the mesh is flexible so that the crows don’t come near it and try to figure out a way around it.
Larger netting also means that the crows will be able to move through it which neither scares them nor keeps them physically away.
2. Cover the Garbage Cans
Maintaining your lawn is a good way of keeping all kinds of birds away. But part of that maintenance must include keeping your garbage cans covered. This is because they are the Eiffel tower of a garden for birds and small animals. Keeping the lid means more than just placing a lid on the can. You need to keep it tight so that the birds can’t open it up with their beaks and go about it like business as usual.
You might also want to see if there is a better place for the garbage cans so that the crows can’t reach them as easily. In fact, the other danger with not putting the lid tight is that smaller animals like raccoons or dogs will open it up and rummage through it. They make a mess of the entire area surrounding the garbage can and the crows will take advantage of it.
Either way, you lose.
3. Motion-Sensor Sprinklers
This is a very humane yet effective way of keeping any kind of bird away but especially stubborn crows. Using sprinklers that have motion sensors is very effective in keeping other pests, animals and insects away from your lawn. It is basically designed to sprinkle water on whatever is moving using the sensors. And the good ones work differently during the day and night. For instance, some sprinklers shoot water to scare away intruders and it’s a harmless way of doing it.
And if it is nighttime, they have a larger range to make sure that the bird or animal stays at a distance. That’s because, during the day, you might spot the crow and take action but you can’t do that at night so the sprinkler takes the burden of keeping the bird as far as possible.
4. Decoys or Real Predators
This is another simple solution that is highly effective. If you want to get rid of birds like crows or even the smaller ones, your best bet is to place a decoy predator in your lawn. These decoys of other predator birds are easily available in the market and they are very good at scaring crows too. Owls are a very popular choice for this activity and usually, they are hung in the garden. But crows are intelligent beings that catch on pretty quickly.
So, time and again, you might want to change the position of the owl to make sure they don’t figure out that it’s a fake. You can also use that logic with a fake dead crow and leave it hanging upside down. The suggestion is to leave it in a windy place so that it seems real. This makes it look like their lives will be in danger and they might not visit.
But there is the risk of them resenting and cawing near your house incessantly. Some people have also had success by letting out their dogs or cats in the backyard.
5. Ultrasonic Pest or Bird Repellent
Another way to get rid of crows using technology is to get yourself a good ultrasonic bird repellent. There are plenty of these in the market to target pests and you can do the same with the crows in your lawn. Many of the newer models have features that detect birds that are about 80 feet away. They have a good range in terms of coverage and come with a range of intensities too which can be adjusted depending on the severity of your problem. Many of these repellents have lights and sounds that are designed to drive the birds away.
And they are also water resistant which means if you have sprinklers for your lawn but not for the purpose of driving away birds, you can keep your watering schedule intact without worrying about the bird repellent.
Sometimes you get rid of the crows and a few weeks or months later, they are back. Another reason for this could be that the trees in the neighborhood have grown and the crows are using them for their nests. This means they are back on a hunt for food and nesting materials and that might be why your lawn is a target again. Trim the trees and make sure you employ one of the suggested solutions and you’ll be just fine.