Our home’s TV aerial is ideal for birds to perch. We love birds, but when we get too many avian visitors, they poo on our roof and then it gets on the ground below, creating an unwanted mess.
After scrubbing the bird poo off the drive one too many times, I’ve researched how to stop them from sitting there in the first place.
Here are seven ways to stop birds from sitting on your TV aerial:
- Install a scarecrow.
- Use bird spikes.
- The cable tie method.
- Attach reflective scare rods.
- Cover the TV aerial with netting.
- Use wind chimes.
- Apply bird-repellent gel to your aerial.
I’ll discuss these ways of deterring birds in more detail. Hopefully one of these works for you, and helps to keep your TV aerial bird-free and clean.
1. Install a Scarecrow
They’re not just for fields! Scarecrows were first invented hundreds of years ago to deter crows from eating seeds and fruit on farms. The reason they’re still around is because they’re still a highly effective method of preventing birds from coming to the area, and you can install one near your TV aerial.
Below are some examples of scarecrows that you could use:
Large bird kite. Attaching a large bird kite to your roof and close to your TV aerial fools smaller birds into thinking there’s a bird of prey.
The Laptony Bird Scarer Flying Kite from Amazon UK looks incredibly realistic and has reflective eyes, which is scary for birds. You’ve probably seen them work against seagulls in some coastal towns:
Cat statue. Most suburban birds understand the risks of cats, and a cat statue can help deter them. We have three cats, but they don’t go near the roof (that we know of!).
The Garden Mile Black Powder Coated Black Cat from Amazon UK comes in a three-pack and you can attach it to your roof next to the aerial. You’ve probably seen these around – pubs tend to use them a lot.
Fake snake. Birds are also scared of snakes, and you can position a realistic-looking toy snake close to your aerial to deter the birds.
Homemade scarecrow. If you love craft projects, you could create a homemade scarecrow from random fabric scraps, buttons, and other craft materials you have lying around the home.
Fake bird of prey. Owls and hawks hunt smaller birds, and installing an artificial bird of prey near your TV aerial would do an excellent job of keeping them away.
Garden balls. Garden balls are inflatable balls that resemble a predator’s eyes. You can tie them to your TV aerial to scare the birds away. De-Bird Repellent Scary Eye Balloons from Amazon UK are tear-resistant, weatherproof, and come in a three-pack to use in various places.
Installing a scarecrow is a wonderfully simple method of deterring birds. The only drawback is that it may prevent smaller and more desirable birds from coming into your garden (source: RSPB) so it’s a toss-up between wanting songbirds to visit, and preventing bigger birds making a mess.
2. Use Bird Spikes
Bird spikes are also called pigeon spikes or anti-roosting spikes and consist of a series of sharp metal needles that make it impossible for a bird to perch. They don’t actually land on them – they just avoid them.
You can install them on your TV aerial or roof, and they aren’t expensive. The LINZI Stainless Steel Bird Spikes for Pigeons from Amazon UK is an excellent example. It’s easy to install, and it will last for ages due to its stainless steel composition. (source: Pigeon Control Resource Centre)
I’d recommend getting a qualified person to fit them rather than climbing around on the roof yourself, though.
3. The Cable Tie Method
Don’t feel like spending a lot of money on preventing birds from making themselves at home on your TV aerial? If so, you might want to try the cable tie method.
You’ll need a large pack of cable ties and some time – you will have to cover your entire TV aerial with cable ties to make it an uncomfortable place for birds. A bit like decorating a Christmas tree.
You can get a pack of 100 high-quality cable ties online or at a DIY store for less than £10, making it a cost-effective way to keep your TV aerial free of birds.
4. Attach Reflective Scare Rods
Birds are generally afraid of shiny and reflective objects (with perhaps the exception of magpies). Although scientists don’t fully understand this, they believe it’s because birds fear their own reflections, and shiny or reflective things confuse them.
With this in mind, a reflective scare rod can effectively deter birds from perching on your TV aerial. Reflective spiral rods are made from reflective plastic or metal, are spiral-shaped, and twirl around in the wind.
CGSGDK Bird Scare Devices from Amazon UK come in a pack of 40, allowing you to attach one on each of your aerial bars. Costing less than £20, you can use the remaining spiral rods in your garden, patio, or anywhere else you want to keep bird-free.
If you have many old CDs lying around, you could take the opportunity to reuse them. All you’ll need is some string to create a reflective hanging object.
Alternatively, you could attach reflective tape to the TV aerial’s bars. Choose waterproof reflective tape to withstand rain and other weather elements if you go for this option. (source: Pests.org)
5. Cover the TV Aerial With Netting
Covering your TV aerial with netting will prevent birds from perching on it. Although they’ll probably still be able to sit in the netting, they won’t be able to nest and make a mess near your aerial.
Bird netting is inexpensive, and you can buy it in rolls. KINGLAKE Green Garden Netting from Amazon UK comes in a 4m x 10m (13ft x 32.8ft) roll and is UV-resistant.
You can use it to cover your TV aerial by nailing or glueing it down, and you can use the remaining netting to protect your vegetable garden or bedding plants. (source: Oregon State University Extension Service)
6. Use Wind Chimes
Birds are small and sensitive creatures, and they shy away from the sound of wind chimes. Tying some wind chimes to your TV aerial can deter birds, but they may not be effective on a still and windless day.
If you want to use wind chimes, consider using them together with another method, such as reflective tape or a reflective scare rod.
This also depends on how much YOU like wind chimes. They can get loud in a breeze!
7. Apply Bird-Repellent Gel
Bird-repellent gel creates a slippery surface that birds won’t easily perch on or turn into a nesting place.
After applying the gel, it lasts for up to two years, and since it’s transparent, it won’t stain your aerial or roof.
Bird-X 54-1 Proof Bird Repellent Gel from Amazon UK comes in a 10 oz (284g) tube and is non-toxic. You apply it with a caulking gun, and you can easily remove it to apply more, usually after two years.
Overall, these are the best ways to stop birds from sitting on your TV aerial. I hope that you’ll find one or more of them practical for you, regardless of your budget and time availability. In the end, we used the fake cat -just because it was quiet, permanent, and we love cats – but what works for us might not work for you. Good luck!