Say Goodbye to Crows: The Ultimate Guide to DIY Crow Control

diy methods to get rid of crows

Crows are probably the smartest birds in the world. Many of us don’t celebrate their intelligence though, because they are a nuisance for homeowners. In this article, I’ll teach you how to get rid of crows from your yard.

To get rid of crows, remove all exposed food sources and keep trash cans covered. Install spikes, wires or bird gels if required. Trim the tree branches, but avoid hurting the crows. Sound devices, repellent and lasers can temporarily chase away crows. If possible, remove the crow nest legally.

Continue reading to understand more about crows and how to get rid of them.

Things You Need to Know about Crows

Crows are black birds that you can find in almost every part of the world. There are several species of crows in the US, and the common one is the American crow.

Crows are smart creatures. They are so smart that it becomes a challenge for pest management professionals to get rid of them. For instance, if one deliberately placed poison bait in front of the crows, they somehow knew those are baits that they should avoid. They also avoid bird cages and ignore balloons intended to scare birds.

The territorial and aggressive behaviors of crows often cause problems to homeowners. When I was a kid, I was attacked by crows when I walked past a tree. For a few months, I was so traumatized that I dare not walk under trees. 

Crows can also attack dogs and cats if they walk near the crow nest, especially if there are young chicks in the nest.

Aside from their aggressive behaviors, crows can eat the fruits and vegetables in your garden. Some might consider that a small price to pay for getting a free pest control service from the crows, since they also eat bugs.

Crows can be pests, even though they might be protected.

Crows may steal your cloth hangers and undergarments to build their nests. Perhaps that explains why your cloth hangers are getting lesser and lesser.

The most annoying thing about crows is of course their poops, especially if you find them on your head! Bird poops carry pathogens, and can damage paintworks and attract flies, if not dealt with immediately.

Crows have good memories and they can recognize your face. Unless you plan to wage war against them, do not agitate or threaten them.

How to Crow-Proof Your House

Remove Food Sources

Crows are both predators and scavengers. While it is not possible to remove the prey, you can remove their food sources by proper housekeeping and waste management.

Throw garbage in covered trash bin. This will prevent the crows or stray animals from tearing the trash bags and scavenging your garbage. Plan your waste disposal so that all your trash can be accommodated in the trash bin. Never put the trash bags outside the trash bin.

Do not leave food open and unattended on your patio or yard. That includes pet food. If you want to maintain a bird feeder, use a squirrel-proof bird feeder so that the crows cannot perch on it and reach the seeds. Refer to this article if you want to learn more on preventing crows from accessing bird feeders.

Protect your fruit-bearing plants in your garden by covering the fruits with PET bottles or covering the garden with netting. While crows can get rid of insects in your garden, they also eat your fruits.

Trim the Tree Branches

Crows typically nest in tall trees. Avoid planting tall trees in your yard. If you do have trees, trim the tree branches routinely. Hopefully this will make it harder for the crows to find a suitable spot to build their nest. 

Get Rid of Crows on Roof, Fencing, and Ledges

Crows and other birds like to perch on fences, ledges, and roofs. You can get rid of them by putting bird spikes, wires or bird gels at those places.

Install Bird Spikes

Bird spikes are designed to stop crows from loafing at places where they are installed. Due to the protruding spikes pointed towards specifically measured angles, birds simply can’t find a place to land.

Most bird spikes can be glued or bolted onto surfaces. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions because there are specifications such as location and distancing, that you need to follow to ensure the spikes are functioning as intended. For instance, installing the spikes along the edges of an air-cond compressor is more effective than fixing them at the center.

Bird spikes are effective for as long as they last. It is definitely worth investing in. 

Bird Wires

An alternative to bird spikes is the bird wire system. Similar to spikes, bird wires make it difficult for birds to perch. Compared to spikes, wire systems are more discreet, but take slightly more time to install.

Bird wires can be easily attached onto surfaces using strong glue. You will need a crimp tool to install the wire.

Bird Gels

Apply bird gels on beams, top of fence, ledges and where the crows are landing. Bird gels such as 4 the Birds® contain polybutene, a sticky substance which acts as a tactile repellent. When birds land on it, they feel uneasy and will not stay long.

4 the Birds® repellent gel can last for a few months after application. Make sure you clean the surfaces before application.

I have to warn you that it can get messy with dust and insects over time. You may want to lay a plastic sheet over the place where the gel is to be applied. It’s easier to clean up that way.

How to Repel Crows

You can repel crows using the methods listed below. Do note that crows are smart. They may overcome those repellents, or they could be immune to those products as they have experienced them in the past. 

Repellents work only if the crows are not motivated. For instance, repellent can’t chase away crows from their nests if there are young chicks in the nest. They are motivated to protect their children.


Lasers are my favorite tool to chase crow away. It is effective and easy to use. Simply point the laser onto crows, and they will fly away. In fact, lasers are used in many airports to clear birds from the runways.

Professional pest controllers usually use green lasers, such as the Bird Barrier Fly Away Laser. It emits a larger beam, unlike presentation-use laser pointers. The effective range of Bird Away Laser is up to a mile.

Never shine the laser onto anyone, and keep it away from kids. It can burn people’s eyes.

Methyl Anthranilate

Methyl anthranilate (MA) is a food grade compound that gives out fruity grape flavor. It is the best bird sensory repellent discovered at the moment. You can spray MA on turf or surfaces where the crows are active or loafing. 

If you spray MA around your exposed food, chances are the crows will ignore the MA, and grab the food if they are starved. The food gives them motivation to overcome the repellent. 

In my opinion, MA is the least efficient option in crow management, because the smell wears off quickly and reapplication is required frequently.

Sound Devices

Crows can be scared away with sonic and ultrasonic devices. Those devices either mimic the sound of their predators or irritate the crows. 

A good sound device is expensive. It changes the sound so that the crows do not get used to it that fast. Make sure you get those tested for crows. 

Before you invest any money on sound devices, I want to remind you that this doesn’t work on motivated crows. 

Things that Don’t Work on Crows

There are a few methods that can scare away birds in general, but don’t work on crows.

Hanging CD

CDs are reflective, which scares away birds. Homeowners and food retailers often hang CDs to deter birds. However, smarter birds like crows quickly get used to it.  

Fake Predators

Fake owls or eagles can scare away birds, especially if they can move and make noises. 

But crows are smart. They will soon figure out those fakes. Even if those are real, crows are known to mob eagles and owls in groups. Crows will try to chase away, or even kill their predators before the predators can kill them.

Dead Crow Decoy

The idea of dead crow decoy is simple. The crows see a dead crow, and think there must be predators nearby. They will leave this place because it is deemed dangerous.

This is partly true. Crows will be more cautious and avoid visiting places where there are dead crows. However, they become more aggressive! 

If the crows somehow associate the crow decoy with you, your kids or pets, get ready to be mobbed when you get close to the crows.

Removing Crow Nest

Remove the crow nest, if possible. That's the fastest way to get rid of crows.
A crow nest. I hope I have a better camera.

The best way to get rid of the crows is by removing their nest. However, this may not be legal, depending on where you are. 

In places where crows are native, such as the US, they are usually protected by laws. In other regions, it may be legal to remove crow nests.

Can I Remove Crow Nest in the US?

Under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, it is illegal to remove crow nests if the nests are active, unless you have a permit. Consult your local authority or pest control service providers if you want to legally remove active crow nests. 

A nest is considered inactive if there are no eggs or broods in the nest. Most of the time, you are allowed to remove inactive nests.

How does Crow Nest Look Like?

Crow nests are made of anything that the crows can find. The outer layer of a crow nest is usually made of straw, sticks, or even cloth hangers. 

You should see some grass sticking out from the nest. Together with muds, they form the second layer of the nest. 

The inner layer of the nest is made of soft materials such as mulch, furs, feathers, twines, and papers. 

Final Words

It is not easy to fight crows, especially if there are nests nearby. If you can’t handle the infestation, make sure you get help from a pest control service provider. You can get a non-obligatory quote from your local service providers on Networx.

Finally, I hope you find this guide helpful and thank you for reading. Do share my blog if you find it helpful.

Additional Information

Do Crows Collect Shiny Objects?

No. Crows may collect small objects for their chicks to learn how to manipulate tools. But they don’t have a special preference towards shiny objects.

Why do the Crows Attack My Dog?

Crows are territorial birds. They tend to mob (attack in groups) any potential threats that go too near to their nest, especially if they have young chicks in their nests.

Why are the Crows Loafing on My Roof?

Likely the crows are doing nothing other than hanging out. You can stop crows from landing on your roof by installing spikes or wires.


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