Silicon Valley City Experimenting with Lasers to Deter Crow Infestation

crow eating bread

It feels like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” but it’s actually a city located in Silicon Valley. Recently, Sunnyvale, Calif. has been dealing with a moderate crow problem that is affecting its downtown. Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of crows have been congregating in heavily trafficked areas of the city and defecating on sidewalks, streets, dining and shopping areas, and on the people. One resident told ABC 7 News that they use an umbrella to avoid getting hit with bird droppings. Aside from the unsightly mess, residents have also been complaining of the noise that comes along with a crow infestation.

Sunnyvale’s Mayor Larry Klein had mentioned to ABC7 news that the city has tried multiple methods to deter the crows, including falcons, with no success. For three weeks, the city will be experimenting with giving handheld lasers to city employees and local restaurants to point at the crows in an effort to deter them from the area. City staffers will also use a boombox to play sounds of crows in distress as an additional deterrent, The New York Times reported.

The city seems to have exhausted its efforts trying to deter the massive crow population that have made themselves at home. So, what can they do to ensure the population is humanely deterred?

First and foremost, we always advocate for hiring a professional bird control service provider for a large-scale job like this. A professional who has years of experience managing pest bird populations will be your biggest asset for an infestation of this size. Bird control professionals are highly knowledgeable about the species they’re managing including nesting habits, social behaviors, migratory patterns and most effective (and ineffective) ways to deter the population for good.

Recommendations for Crow Control

Although we strongly recommend hiring a bird control service provider for a job like this, we also recommend the following solutions for a smaller scale crow problem.

  • Remove all access to food, water and shelter. This includes keeping garbage and dumpsters covered and cleaning up food scraps and sitting water. If crows are finding their way inside structures, they can be blocked from entering using Bird Netting.
  • Use a stationary outdoor laser pointed directly to the problem area. Multiple devices may be needed for larger areas.
  • Use the BirdXPeller PRO or Super BirdXPeller PRO sonic deterrent to broadcast natural crow alarm and distress cries along with menacing predator calls. Watch our video that details the specifications of the device and how to set it up for maximum effectiveness. Each unit of the BirdXPeller PRO covers up to one (1) acre while the Super BirdXPeller PRO covers up to six (6) acres. Multiple devices may be needed for larger areas.
  • Use the UltrasonX to broadcast ultrasonic frequencies that irritate crows. The ultrasonic sounds are above the range of human hearing, but highly irritating to birds. Ultrason X is great for small residential spaces like balconies or patios and large commercial spaces like parking lots. Each unit of the Ultrason X covers up to 3,600 sq. ft. Multiple devices may be required for larger areas.
  • If crows are a problem on buildings, keep them off by installing stainless steel spikes or Aviangle on ledge-based areas. Bird wire may be necessary for some applications. We recommend contacting a bird control service provider to install these.
  • 4 The Birds is a tactile bird repellent liquid that can be sprayed on trees, shrubs, beams and most other outdoor surfaces. This product makes surfaces tacky and uncomfortable to birds and they will avoid treated surfaces. For The Birds is non-toxic, non-lethal and will not harm birds when used as directed.


Written by Annie Gavin, Marketing Manager for Bird-X

Need help with a crow problem? Contact us.

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