Outdoor PestsBirds

How To Keep Birds Out of the Boathouse

Birds On Boathouse

A boathouse is a shed for storing boats when not in use. It is typically built over water to shelter boats.

However, most times, this does not stop birds from coming around boats looking for scraps and leaving their droppings behind as calling cards.

Having to clean bird droppings on your boat over and again is no joke. So, the best thing to do is keep your boathouse bird-free.

Below we will walk you through five practical strategies you can employ.


Driving birds away from your boathouse is a priority for anyone that does not want to deal with their mess if you have noticed bird activities on your boathouse.

Below are some strategies you can deploy:

  • Place a plastic owl or fake decoy around your boathouse.
  • String fishing line around the rafters.
  • Hang reflective items like CDs across your boathouse.

These are some of the methods you can add to your bird-deterring arsenal. We discussed these and other practical ways exhaustively in the guide.

In the rest of the article, you will learn five proven ways to deter birds from your boathouse.

Also, you will find answers to several common questions about dealing with bird infestation on boathouses. Happy reading!

5 Ways To Keep Birds Out of the Boathouse

If you have a bird problem around your boat, scaring these animals off your boathouse is the only way to preserve your equipment. However, there are well-researched and effective bird-deterring strategies you can deploy to end your bird problem permanently.

Below, we outline five of these strategies that work.

1. String Fishing Line Around the Rafters

Fishing Rods

Most waterfront businesses and marinas depend on fishlines to discourage birds from coming around their premises.

You can do the same with your boathouse. The best part of this approach is that it is cost-saving.

This may not be a good idea for regular boat users like sailors. It may be too stressful to take down rolls of fishing lines every time you want to use your boat.

But since boats are ducked in a boathouse, you will not likely use them for a while.

So, this option works just fine. With your fishing line ready, follow the following instructions carefully.

Simply string fishing lines a few inches above your boat’s spreaders, mast, and boathouse rafters.

Birds will not want to land on the line because it is unstable, and they will lose their balance. This will then drive them to find somewhere else to perch.

Suppose the fishing line is unavailable. Keep reading to learn other alternative methods.

2. Place Plastic Owl or Fake Decoy Around Your Boathouse

Plastic Owl

In the bird community, owls are considered birds of prey and will frighten most birds on sight. So, using a plastic owl as a fake decoy on your boathouse can discourage birds from perching.

However, this is a temporary strategy, as birds are intelligent animals and will quickly figure out the decoy.

Upon noticing that the plastic owl does not move and has no scent, they will guess it is fake and come around to perch.

Ordinarily, a real owl marks its territory with scent. However, once the pest birds recognize it, they will stay off.

On the other hand, fake decoys may work only for a few days. After that, the birds will find a new spot away from the bait to perch on the boathouse.

3. Try Reflective Items

Hanging Cds

Birds are visual animals, and any visual disturbance will scare them off. However, since you don’t want them around your boathouse, you can take advantage of this feature of theirs to keep them at bay.

All you need for the job are reflective items like CDs. You can string CDs across your boathouse to keep these feathery pests away.

The flashing lights from the CDs hitting the sunlight confuses birds, making them unable to land. Other reflective items you can try include scare tape, aluminium, and tin foil.

You can even make DIY reflective bird repellents from beer cans. Simply get some empty beer cans, cut them open, and fold them, so the reflective sides display.

Now, pound or flatten the cut beer cans, string them on twine and hang them to flutter in the wind.

If you have rolls of scare tapes, put some around your boat and the rafters of your boathouse.

These will flap in the wind and reflect any light that hits them. As birds have sharp vision, they react terribly to this sight and stay off your space.

But if you do not want strips of scare tape hanging around, you can get some reflective mirrors or spiral rods instead.

These work like scare tape – they reflect light but this time, without the aid of wind movements.

4. Magnetic Bird Netting

Magnetic Net

Magnets interfere with a bird’s sense of direction and confuse them. For this reason, most birds tend to stay away from magnetic fields.

Creating a magnetic field in your boathouse with bird netting can prevent birds from perching.

The best part is that, unlike a decoy, birds do not adjust to magnetic fields. Instead, they will avoid it entirely.

So if you’ve had it up to the neck with birds coming around your boathouse, this is a long-term solution you can employ.

Magnetic bird netting is a common tool for protecting enclosed and semi-enclosed spaces like boathouses and loading docks. It comes in different shapes and sizes, but choosing one that matches your boathouse is best.

This way, it remains invincible to birds. The right size to use depends on the size of the birds you want to deter from your boathouse.

A two or three-inch bird netting will do for small birds like pigeons and sparrows. But for more giant birds like seagulls, you need a four-inch mesh.

As an exclusion barrier, bird netting is typically made from stainless steel and polyethylene twine. The unique combination of these two materials makes the final piece almost invincible.

Also, bird netting has ultraviolet (UV) light resistance and does not rot or absorb water. So, it is a durable bird-deterring solution.

5. Use Inflatable Scarecrows

Inflatable Scarecrows

An inflatable scarecrow combines bright anti-bird colours, sudden movements, and loud noises to make a powerful bird deterrent.

It creates an element of surprise with the inflatable scarecrow balloon’s erratic movements that scare birds away.

Most bird-repellant devices are static. However, inflatable scarecrows have a different technique. They are often set to inflate and deflate randomly so birds cannot anticipate them.

Some have sensors that pick up movements and even allow you to adjust the inflation and deflation frequency.

You can purchase these inflatable scarecrows from local hardware stores or online and place them in front of your boathouse.

Birds will see the erratic movement and be too scared to perch.


Driving birds away from your boathouse is a priority for anyone that does not want to deal with their mess.

The article has many do-it-yourself methods and anti-bird repellent tools and services.

These include stringing fishlines across your boat, displaying reflective items, using a fake decoy, and leaving inflatable scarecrows on your boathouse.

Some of these solutions are easy home remedies, while others require proper installations.

Before jumping into the DIY spirit, carefully reread the options to know which best suits your situation.

When you finally pick one, ensure you follow our instructions painstakingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Scents Drive Birds Away?

Birds find strong smells irritating. Some scents that can drive them away are peppermint oil, garlic, and vinegar. Others are cayenne pepper, chilli, citronella, and lemon.

You can apply these scents to areas where you want birds to keep off.

Can Wind Chimes Scare Birds Away?

Birds dislike loud noises and sudden movements, so a wind chime can temporarily scare them off. However, this is not a long-lasting remedy, as the noise will only be unpleasant for a while.

Once birds get used to the noise from a wind chime, it loses its efficacy. At that point, you can expect the birds to return to roost.

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