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Memorial Day Sale 5/24-5/29 - Free Gifts/Reduced Prices On the Following Brands: Cal Flame, Duramax, Yardistry, Elementi, Modeno, Outdoor Greatroom, Riverside Shed, Outdoor Living Today, Exaco, Napoleon Grills, Blaze Grills, Paragon Outdoor, Gazebo Penguin.
keep birds from building nests in your gazebo

How to Keep Birds From Building Nests in Your Gazebo

Are you tired of birds turning your backyard gazebo into a messy nesting zone? If yes, you're not alone. Many gazebo owners face issues with sparrows, pigeons, and other feathered squatters moving in. 

But the good news is that you can get rid of those unwanted birds in a safe and humane way. This guide shares smart tips to make your gazebo uninviting to birds looking for a nesting spot. Read to learn how!

Key Takeaways

  • Use humane deterrents like netting, spikes, and repellent gels to make gazebos unappealing for nesting birds.

  • Eliminate food sources and prune vegetation around the gazebo to discourage birds from gathering nest materials.

  • It's illegal to disturb active nests - wait until winter to safely remove old nests.

  • Try scare tactics like decoys, pinwheels, and chimes - but move them regularly so birds don't adjust.

  • For severe issues, professional pest control can assess and implement customized bird exclusion plans.

outdoor living today bayside gazebo with ramp surrounded by flowers

    Why You May Want to Keep Birds Away 

    While you may initially enjoy watching cute birds fluttering around your gazebo, having them nest there can quickly become a nuisance and cause issues like:

    Droppings and Stains

    Bird droppings can ruin your gazebo's looks and cleanliness. The acidic poop eats away at painted and stained wood. Bleach-like guano stains any fabric covers, cushions, and curtains.

    Clogged Gutters

    Nesting materials like straw, grass, leaves, twigs, and feathers can clutter up your gazebo's gutters. This prevents proper drainage and allows standing water to ruin the structure.

    Noise and Disruption

    From their loud dawn chirping to their aggressive defense of nests, breeding birds can create an unpleasant racket. Say goodbye to peaceful mornings on your gazebo deck.

    Health and Safety Issues

    Nests attract mites, ticks, and fleas that can spread diseases. Some people have severe allergic reactions to bird dander and feathers too. Droppings may contain airborne fungal spores that cause respiratory issues.

    Other Pests

    Seeds and debris from nests invite rodents like rats and raccoons. Insects like wasps are also drawn to nesting spots. These pests can further damage your gazebo.

    bird netting installation

    Best Practices to Keep Birds Away From Your Gazebo

    Deterring birds from turning your gazebo into a nesting zone requires using proactive prevention. Here are some of the top techniques and products to discourage nest building in your gazebo humanely:

    Install Bird Netting

    Cover any gaps in your gazebo's roof line or railings with plastic or nylon bird netting. This can prevent birds from entering and gaining a foothold to start building nests. Make sure netting holes are less than 3/4" so smaller birds can't get through. Look for UV-resistant, durable netting.

    Use Bird Spikes

    Deterrent spikes made from stainless steel or rigid plastic can be installed on gazebo railings, roof edges, beams, and support pillars. The spikes prevent birds from comfortably landing and perching in those spots. They won’t harm birds but simply make it impossible for them to nest there.

    Employ Scare Tactics

    Visual deterrents like fake owls, snakes, or falcon silhouettes can scare off nesting birds. Shiny pinwheels and reflective ribbons or tape also ward off feathered intruders. Just make sure to move scare devices regularly so birds don't become accustomed to them.

    Install Wind Chimes

    The noise from wind chimes disturbs birds and makes it hard for them to hear their young chirping. The breezy sound makes them not want to nest there. Look for durable aluminum or wooden chimes for outdoor use.

    Apply Bird Repellent Gels

    Non-toxic gels made with methyl anthranilate or capsaicin can be slathered onto gazebo railings, beams, and ledges. Birds hate the smell and taste which irritates their nostrils and feet. Reapply the gel after rain to keep it effective.

    Use Ultrasonic Repellers

    These devices emit high-frequency sounds only heard by birds to frighten them away. Position them under the roof and the irritating noise will discourage nest building. Just beware they may also bother dogs, cats, and other beneficial backyard wildlife too.

    Prune Nearby Trees and Shrubs

    Trimming back tree branches and shrubs around your gazebo eliminates nesting materials and food sources for birds. If there are no twigs or berries to harvest, birds will look elsewhere to build nests.

    Clean Up Debris

    Keep your gazebo and gutters clear of leaves, grass clippings, spider webs, and anything else birds may incorporate into a nest. Monitor for early nest-building attempts and remove them quickly.

    Block Food Sources

    Birds are attracted by easy food sources like backyard feeders, fallen fruit from trees, and pet food dishes. Eliminate any feeding stations near your gazebo and clean up ripened fruit that falls from nearby trees.

    Here's a quick overview of basic bird deterrents for gazebos:

    Deterrent Type Examples
    Physical Barriers Netting, spikes, slope panels
    Scare Tactics Fake predators, pinwheels, reflective objects
    Chemical Repellents Gels, sprays with methyl anthranilate
    Sound Devices Wind chimes, ultrasonic emitters

    If purchasing a new gazebo, consult a gazebo buyer's guide to select one made with tightly sealed construction using less natural wood that is less enticing to nesting birds.

    empty bird nest on a gutter

    When Is It Safe to Remove Existing Nests?

    If birds have already built nests in your gazebo, it's important not to disturb active nests. Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to remove nests with eggs or baby birds still using them without a permit. Here are some tips on when and how to safely remove old nests:

    Wait Until Winter

    Most birds only actively use their nest during the breeding season in spring and summer. It's best to remove old nests in fall or winter when they are unoccupied.

    Look for Signs of Use

    Before removing a nest, inspect it for any indications it may be hosting eggs or chicks. Look for feathers, droppings, or sounds. Remove only clearly empty and abandoned nests.

    Need Professional Bird Control Help?

    If you are struggling to control nesting birds in your gazebo even after trying numerous DIY deterrents, it may be time to call in a professional. Reputable pest control companies offer bird deterrent services to tackle difficult infestations. They have access to advanced techniques and commercial-grade products not readily available to consumers.

    Professionals can assess your unique situation and create a customized bird exclusion plan specific to your gazebo setup and the types of birds involved. While professional help does cost more than DIY options, it may provide the level of effective relief needed to permanently solve your gazebo bird problem.

    Final Words

    The most successful and sustainable way to keep birds from nesting in your gazebo is using humane prevention. Remember that birds are an important part of the ecosystem. Use gentle deterrents like netting, gels, and chimes that make the area less appealing for nesting.

    With patience and combining multiple exclusion methods, you can humanely convince them to nest elsewhere. Stay diligent, and soon your gazebo vinyl enclosure will be a peaceful spot just for you to relax in again.

    a bird on its nest on a corner of a gazebo with string lights


    Why Do Birds Tend to Build Nests on Gazebos?

    Birds are attracted to gazebos because they provide sheltered, elevated spots that mimic ideal natural nesting conditions with minimal disturbance. The seclusion and materials that gazebos offer make them prime targets for nest building.

    What are some signs that birds are trying to build a nest in my gazebo?

    Look for early nest-building materials like straw, twigs, and grass clippings. Also, watch for birds repeatedly landing on the same spots or attempting to wedge materials into crevices. Chirping and territorial behavior are other clues.

    Will putting up a fake owl scare away all bird types from my gazebo?

    Fake predator owls are very effective against smaller bird species. But larger, more aggressive birds like pigeons may not be deterred. Use owl decoys in combination with other deterrents.

    How can I attract birds away from my gazebo?

    If you want to attract birds away from your wood top gazebo, it's important to provide them with an alternative location that is more appealing. Set up bird feeders or birdhouses in a different area of your yard to entice the birds away from nesting in your gazebo.

    Are bird spikes harmful to birds that land on them?

    Quality bird spikes are blunt and won't puncture birds that perch on them. The spikes are merely uncomfortable, encouraging birds to avoid landing there. So they act as a gentle deterrent.

    How often do I need to reapply bird-repellent gels on my gazebo?

    Durability varies by brand, but expect to reapply bird-repellent gels every 2-4 weeks. Rain and sun exposure wear the gels off over time. Frequently reapplying ensures effectiveness.

    Previous article How to Keep Water from Pooling on Your Gazebo Canopy
    Next article How Long Does It Take to Assemble a Gazebo: A Detailed Look at Gazebo Assembly

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    About The Author

    Andy Wu - Resident Expert

    Andy Wu - Resident Expert

    Andy Wu is the resident backyard products expert and hails from Atlanta, Georgia. His passion for crafting outdoor retreats began in 2003.

    As a fellow homeowner, he founded Backyard Oasis to provide top-quality furnishings and equipment, collaborating with leading manufacturers.

    His main focus is on sheds and generators!

    In his spare time he like to hike the tallest mountains in the world and travel with his family.

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