The Bird Control Toolbox: Bird Deterrents and Bird Exclusion Devices

by Annie Gavin

If you’re in the business of bird control, you’re likely already familiar with best practices for all the different types of bird problems. For newcomers to the industry, understanding the distinction between Bird Deterrent and Bird Exclusion can make all the difference in the world when learning to plan solutions.

“People don’t always realize there’s a lot of different variables that go into effective bird control,” says Brett Madden, CEO of Aviaway with over 30 years of experience in the Bird Management field. “Species, type of facility, threshold levels, budget, aesthetic, branding impact, functionality—these are all things I take into consideration when preparing solutions.”

Each of the following products has an important place in the Bird Control Toolbox. Here are the differences between Bird Deterrents and Bird Exclusion to help you arrive at the best solution to treat a bird problem.


A Bird Deterrent refers to methods in which a treated area is not physically blocked off from birds, but rather made to be as unwelcoming to them as possible. Making the area feel unsafe or unwelcoming conditions birds to stay away from the treated area and seek other locations for perching and nesting.

What are some examples of Bird Deterrents?

Sonic and Ultrasonic Devices

Sonic and Ultrasonic devices rely on the use of audio to deter pest birds from treated areas. Sonic devices broadcast distress calls of specific species of birds as well as predator calls to repel birds from treated areas. Ultrasonic devices use high frequencies to disorient and irritate birds without being audible to humans.

Madden recalls a story about a gull infestation when he said, “There were more gulls in one place I had ever seen in my life.” After installing a Bird-X Mega Blaster Pro, Madden recalls, “I’m usually a bit of a skeptic, but it worked. Months after installation there are still no gulls at the site.”

Shock Track

Shock Track is a low-profile electrified track that conforms to any surface and delivers a harmless jolt of electricity that conditions birds to stay away from the treated area. The same way electric fences manage cows, pigs, and other livestock, the shock track trains pest birds to stay away from these areas. Shock track is an ideal solution for curved structures or buildings where aesthetics are a concern because it is impossible to see from the ground looking up.

Bird Spikes

When applied to roofs and ledges, bird spikes deter birds from nesting in treated areas. Spikes work best when installed as a preventative measure rather than a “cure” for a bird problem that already exists. Making the area unwelcoming to pests prior to an infestation will deter them to nest elsewhere.

Some species of birds, like pigeons, are selective and repetitive in choosing a nesting location—so don’t use spikes where nests have previously existed. Getting ahead of the game and installing spikes before pigeons nest in the area will produce the best results.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind the species of birds you are trying to deter. Spikes are less effective for smaller birds, like sparrows, whose size enables them to build nests inside the spikes.

Bird Wire

Bird Wire is a tension wire system in which durable stainless-steel posts are threaded with stainless steel, nylon-coated wires. The Bird Wire system creates an uneven landing surface; this deters pest birds by making it difficult (if not impossible) for them to perch on the treated surface. This solution is humane, discreet and highly effective for ledges, beams, signs, and other long surfaces.

Bird Proof Gel

Bird Proof Gel is non-toxic and designed to make roofs, ledges, and other resting surfaces sticky and uncomfortable to unwanted avian guests. Birds that land on treated areas dislike the texture and find another place to roost.


Bird Exclusion refers to making an area inaccessible to birds by creating a physical barrier. Bird removal and exclusion is the best practice recommendation for areas that already have a bird infestation problem. Excluding them from treated areas prevents them from returning to nest.

“A lot of people don’t understand the difference between a deterrent and an exclusion device. Exclusion is the best practice in an area where there are already nests. A deterrent by itself in an area that is already occupied by birds is not guaranteed to be effective.” Says Madden.

Here are a few examples of bird exclusion products with high rates of success:

Bird Netting

Bird netting is highly recommended by pest control professionals and facility managers as the go-to solution. When installed properly, netting is 100% effective to keep birds out. Regarding the use of netting, Madden says, “I like when I can recommend a solution to a client and assure them that this solution will be 100% effective in addressing their bird problem.”


AviAngle is a bird exclusion device that prevents all pest birds and wildlife from ledge-based areas (garages, exposed beams, bridges and more). AviAngle turns a 90-degree ledge area into a 45-degree angle. When a bird tries to land on the treated ledge, it will be unsuccessful and look elsewhere for a suitable landing location. Bird Management Professionals experience high levels of success using AviAngle as a solution.

Solar Mesh Guard Kit

The Solar Mesh Guard Kit is a system that is securely fastened around the perimeter of a solar panel to block pests from nesting underneath the panel. Excluding pests from under the solar panel will preserve the electrical wiring on your panel and reduce the maintenance needed to keep the panel functional.

About Aviaway: Aviaway provides professional bird control services throughout the United States. Aviaway uses the best bird control, deterrent and exclusion products on the market to ensure that the finished bird control system will be long-lasting, maintain complete integrity of intended design, and fit budget.

About Bird-X: For over 50 years, Bird-X continues to be the industry leader for humane and eco-friendly pest control products. Bird-X is dedicated to protecting human health, wildlife and the environment with innovative solutions.