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How to Stop Birds from Damaging Your Lawn

How to Stop Birds from Damaging Your Lawn

  • 16 - 05 - 2022
  • Grass Tips
By Anco Turf

Birds are notorious for pulling up your lawn and are a common problem that many homeowners face.

Birds from Damaging Your Lawn

Birds are not easily deterred by people shooing them away and tend to return each day. We are constantly asked why birds do this and if there is a way to stop them destroying their lawn?

The birds that mostly attack your beautiful lawn are Galahs, Cockatoos, and Parrots. As these birds are granivorous, they thrive on seeds and vegetation. In Australia, they seem to have taken a liking for instant turf lawns, especially Kikuyu. And there is a reason for it!

These birds are not after the grass blades but the rhizomes lying beneath the surface. They tear up the lawn, scratch and dig into the surface to retrieve the rhizomes. Kikuyu rhizomes, in particular, are thick, white runners with small nodes every 2-3 cm. The birds bite into the runners to release a sweet, sugary starch that lies within them. In other words, they are devouring your lawn and thoroughly enjoying it, which keeps them coming back day after day for more.

The rising bird population, specifically of these noted breeds, and limited food options have led to increasing instances of birds attacking private property. Many people have tried enforcing deterrents on their lawns, and some have even started placing a bowl of seeds, but these birds continue to be persistent.

Bearing all of this in mind, we have compiled a list of successful deterrents you can implement to try and rid birds from your lawn.

Use fake owls or hawks, fake snakes and Scarecrows

Available in online stores and usually at a cost-effective price point, people place fake owls or hawks in their yards to deter smaller birds from visiting and wreaking havoc. However, we recommend placing them strategically for better results as we all know birds are intelligent creatures.

To aid in the deception, you should move your owl or hawk every few days and ensure it is placed in a covert or relatively concealed position, as owls are nocturnal and don’t appear in the open during the day. Many people opt for fake owls, which are battery operated and have eyes that flash and elicit a hooting sound when the motion sensor is detected.

Fake rubber snakes have been used by golf greenkeepers with reports ranging from them being very effective to “of little use”. The key for this deterrent seems to be frequent changing of the fake snake location. In the garden the use of a small whirligig near the fake snake has reportedly enhanced the effectiveness of the snake as the noise appears to confuse the birds.

The good old fashioned scarecrow has proven to be a good deterrent in the garden. Vegetable and grain farmers have been using them effectively for centuries with varying results.


Bird netting placed over the area of lawn favoured by birds, will provide a temporary deterrent and spread the damage. The lawn will recover faster once the birds move on if the damage is slight.

Implement motion sensor irrigation

Motion-sprinkler systems detect movement on your lawn and shoot a jet of water in the direction of birds. The sound of the sprinkler when it turns itself on and the stream of water tends to startle birds and frighten them off. The water or sound of the sprinkler does not harm birds, and there is no wastage as the system can be used to water lawns or during lawn establishment, making it a viable option for many lawn owners.

Invest in bird repellent spray

You can also try spraying your lawn with a product that the birds won’t enjoy the taste of. Birds detest and are deterred from feasting on anything saturated with aluminium ammonium sulphate, the active ingredient in numerous repellent sprays. Don’t worry; the product is entirely non-hazardous to birds.

If you want to try making up your own bird repellent spray, source some alum and add one teaspoon per litre of water.

It’s important to note that birds are intelligent, persistent creatures, and no one method has proven to be 100% entirely effective. By experimenting with the options we’ve listed here, you might find one or a combination of approaches that work best for you.

If you’ve experienced birds ripping up your lawn and have tried and tested methods for getting rid of birds from your property, drop them in the comments below so other people can become informed of alternate ways to disperse this issue.

For a more comprehensive discussion about the instant lawn or instant turf, hybrid turfs such as Kikuyu grass Melbourne, Kikuyu turf, Sir Walter turf, Sir Walter Buffalo grass, TifTuf turf, as well as the best place to buy turf, and lawn care products such as the best lawn fertilizer, give Anco Turf a call today.

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