We got in some beautiful Dragon Wing begonia hanging baskets and I bought one and hung it by the front door last week. Two days later, as I was walking in the door from work. I saw a few bits of debris on the ground. I sighed, knowing what I was going to find—the beginnings of a bird’s nest.
I’ve been through this before—many times before. From personal experience, I’ll tell you to never make the mistake of thinking it’ll be cute to watch the baby birds grow. Yeah, it’s really cute to clean bird poop from the side of the house/front door/sidewalk. And it is even cuter to try to water a hanging basket with baby birds in it.
You can buy professional bird repellents online—I saw one for $96.00 for a ½ gallon—and that didn’t count the hose adapter you had to buy. Yeah, right.
However, from years of experience, I’ve found some FAR less expensive ways to deal with it:
- Clean out nesting materials as soon as you find them. Sometimes the birds realize this might not be a good place to nest and move on. Sometimes….
- Stick toothpicks or plastic forks in the soil—this makes it hard for a bird to find a place to situate a nest.
- Provide birdhouses in appropriate locations—for more information check out the National Wildlife Federation at https://www.nwf.org/Magazines/National-Wildlife/2010/Best-Bird-Houses
- Saturate a few cotton balls with peppermint oil and place in the pot. Birds tend to avoid really strong scents.
- Use a fake predator. You can find statues of owls, for example. We have some here, as a matter of fact, with heads that move.
Me, well, I go for the rubber snake I got at a dollar store. When using a fake snake, move it a little every couple of days so birds don’t get “used” to it.
And the next time the family practical jokester comes to visit, ask them to check the plant for water….