As beautiful as they might be, wild ducks can be quite problematic. They can keep your insect population under control, but they can also make a mess out of your yard and pond.
The good news is that there are many great ways to deter ducks from your yard humanely.
Here are the best tips on how to get rid of ducks starting today.
1. Create a water barriers
Ducks are waterfowl, so you’ll see them come to your property if you have a pond, a pool, a lake, or any other water source available.
If you could remove access to any of these places, you would be able to successfully remove ducks from property spaces.
Naturally, to keep ducks out of the pool, you might not be able to rely on the same methods as that would restrict your access to it, too.
But in a pond, you can install fences or a variety of other physical barriers, including hedgerows.
Ducks are known for loving to land on water, so if you make things difficult for them, they aren’t going to feel comfortable and they will want to leave.
You can cover your pond or pool with chicken wire so that the birds have no means of landing on the water source. Typically, ducks prefer to go rest on land once they’ve spent a little time on the water.
So if you use both tricks, meaning the chicken wire and some sort of high fencing, you will force the birds to leave the place by flying.
This combination is very effective when it comes to controlling the duck movement. Plus, fencing can be used around the pool, too.
2. Install an automatic pool cleaner
The reason an automatic pool cleaner can scare ducks away is that it tends to make at least some amount of noise.
If you haven’t had a lot of success with your dog deterring these birds, using an automatic pool cleaner instead can solve the problem since ducks are easily scared by the noise.
You don’t have to keep it on all the time if you also keep your pool covered during the night.
But in the morning, before you and your family decide to spend a day sunbathing and swimming in the pool, you can turn it on for a couple of hours.
Most models are very efficient and they’ll solve your ducks in pool problem in no time. Plus, they can be customized, so you don’t even have to push a single button to activate this so-called natural duck repellent.
Besides, most of the units in this category come with high-quality filters, so you don’t have to worry about any leaves or other types of debris clogging the mechanism and making the machine unusable.
Some can clean a 50-foot pool in just under two hours, which we’d say is remarkable given the amount of elbow grease you’d have to put in to get the pool floor and walls clean again.
3. Intimidate with a motion-activated sprinkler
Waterbirds aren’t that scared of water in the first place, but they don’t really like it when it splashes on them continuously.
If you’ve been searching for a convenient way to keep ducks out of your yard and you also want to keep your grass patches well-watered, investing in a motion-activated sprinkler should be right up your alley.
Such a sprinkler can make the best duck repellent for yards, gardens, and even orchards if you’ve noticed that your ducks have a penchant for your berries and other types of fruit. You can even use it as a duck deterrent for docks if you install it properly.
The neatest thing about such a device is that it comes with a built-in sensor that detects movement on a specific range around it.
Once it detects any critter, it will automatically spray it with water, making the animal want to leave that area right away.
That is why motion-activated sprinklers are effective against a variety of pests, from raccoons to wild ducks.
For the best possible results and if you have a bigger yard, we recommend using two or more such devices across the surface. In terms of efficiency, some can work for half a year on a nine-volt battery.
4. Scare ducks with a sonic cannon
Using a duck cannon can be another method of keeping ducks off dock places and even one of getting rid of ducks in swimming pool spots.
The way a sonic cannon works is that it releases very loud sonic blasts, which scare off a variety of bird species, not just ducks.
Of course, this technique can have its drawbacks, since if you want to attract songbirds to your garden but ensure that no ducks come around to steal any of their food, you will, unfortunately, deter all birds.
Sonic cannons can be customized so as to release their sonic blasts at specific times during the day or according to a cycle that you have complete control over. Most models come with a timer, but there are also random modes available.
The reason that ducks are so easily scared by powerful sounds like the ones released by a sonic cannon is that they feel like they are being hunted down with a rifle.
You can use this information to your advantage to deter ducks from your water sources.
Unfortunately, the sonic noise cannons make can sometimes be too strong even for people, so you might not be able to use such a machine in your backyard.
5. Install a pool solar cover
Do you want to know what the best duck deterrent that can help you to get rid of ducks in pool places might be?
As basic as it seems, a proper pool cover can do the trick and it will definitely keep ducks away.
When you’re not using the pool, keeping it covered can solve a lot of issues that you’d later have to come up with solutions for.
You probably know that all sorts of things can end up in a pool while you aren’t looking, from leaves and debris to bird droppings. Needless to say, the latter can be health-threatening.
When it comes to getting a duck repellent swimming pool cover, you might also want to know that it will keep the water not just clean but also warmer.
Some solar covers trap solar radiation, so they can increase the water temperature by up to 10 and even 15 degrees.
Depending on their size, the materials they are made of, and their ability to retain heat, pool covers can end up being a little pricey.
But if you’d like to avoid that expense, you can at least get an affordable (but thick enough) poly tarp cover and simply make sure that it’s not moved by strong wind or animals during the night. Sometimes, placing rocks on its sides can do the trick.
6. Repel ducks with a scarecrow kite
Ducks are easily scared by their predators, and one of them is the hawk. If you get a kite that resembles a hawk, whether realistic or stylized, they’ll start to avoid your property and look for other places to spend their time in.
If you have been wondering how to keep ducks off my porch, installing one or two of such kites can solve your problem.
Most of the models in this category are outfitted with a sharp stake that enables them to do their job without you putting any effort into the process.
The pole of a scarecrow kite is also made to be adjustable length-wise so that you can scare off different types of birds.
Since ducks do tend to fly pretty high, using the maximum length might be the best idea, especially since birds of prey fly even higher than them.
Depending on the location where you will choose to set up the scarecrow kite, it can also make a rather effective duck repellent for docks.
That would, in fact, be better since winds are likely to be a bit stronger close to water sources, so the kite would move by itself naturally and scare off the birds.
7. Disturb the surface of the water
You might have noticed that ducks don’t like the sea or the ocean, and that’s because these places aren’t their natural habitats.
They do not appreciate water that’s not calm, so the whole point is to disturb the water and keep them away from it. If you have a small pond or fountain on your property, you can safely use a duck repellant in the form of a water pump.
People usually find the visual effects created by such a machine quite pleasing to the eye, but it’s not the same for ducks or other birds, who love to spend time on the water.
The more range the disturbance is capable of covering, the fewer the chances of ducks coming over for a visit.
Ducks love to tread water quietly and then get on the ground, where they eat and raise their young. If the surface of the water is disturbed, they aren’t going to want to come near it.
You can use the same machine to scare ducks away from pool places by installing smaller ones on the sides.
They’d provide kids with quite a lot of enjoyment, but they’d deter duck roosting or any other duck socialization behaviors.
8. Deter ducks with owl or swan decoys
Another way to repel ducks is to use their predators’ to your advantage.
Some of the animals that eat these birds are the following: red foxes, raccoons, coyotes, skunks, minks, corvids, gulls, and birds of prey.
Swans can be particularly aggressive towards other birds as they are territorial, so using a swan decoy can sometimes be very effective in deterring ducks from water sources.
It’s not going to offer the same results if you want to get rid of ducks in your yard, but it will do its job in a pond or lake.
Swan decoys usually come with a sharp anchor stake at the bottom, which you can use for positioning them safely, even in the middle of a lake.
Since birds of prey also attack ducks, using hawk or owl decoys is another good idea. Owl decoys can be fastened onto tree branches, they can be installed on your roof, or they can just be kept on a tall pole for excellent duck control.
Some owl decoys are so good that they even come with a rotating head mechanism for superior realism. Ideally, you should move the decoy from one place to another every couple of days or so, so that the ducks can’t tell it’s fake.
9. Remove all food sources
It’s one thing to keep ducks away from house spots by making sure that the foods they prefer are nowhere available, but it’s almost impossible for you to restrict access to insects and their larvae.
These are always going to be available around ponds and lakes, so you can’t do much about it. However, you can deter ducks by making it hard for them to eat some types of food.
In the wild, ducks have an omnivorous diet. It is composed of a range of waterside plants, but they also love to eat beetle larvae, fish, crawfish, shrimp, and even newts and small frogs.
Their diet is, nevertheless, mostly composed of plant materials, but they also eat berries and nuts when they are in season.
Don’t make the mistake of feeding human food to wild ducks, such as bread, because there is a high chance they’ll return and you won’t be able to get rid of them.
Keep the spaces under your bird feeders clean and tidy and remove any fruits, nuts, or berries that might be in the area where you’ve noticed ducks gathering.
Keep your landscape as trash-free as possible so that they can’t find food anywhere and they’ll go look for it somewhere else.
10. Implement a laser deterrent
An excellent duck repellent is an outdoor laser bird deterrent as it can repel a variety of bird species.
You wouldn’t have to go through a lot of trouble to find out how to keep ducks out of the pool or any other such places if you decide to go down this road.
Laser bird control devices can frighten all birds away, but they offer the best results at night.
Even birds don’t like their sleep disturbed, and if this happens night after night, at one point, they are going to leave and settle somewhere else.
You can use the device anywhere from manufacturing facilities and barns to parking garages, storage sheds, warehouses, and in the great outdoors, too.
Best of all, a laser deterrent typically works at specific times, meaning it is going to go off every 5, 10, or 15 minutes, depending on how you customize it.
Not only does a laser machine deter ducks from making a home on your property, but it also does the same for species such as blackbirds, sparrows, cormorants, seagulls, swallows, pigeons, and grackles.
It even scares bats and rodents since they also don’t like it when a strong light flashes into their eyes, especially at night.
11. Scare ducks with reflection
If you have been having duck problems near your house or you want to keep ducks off dock places, you might want to try deterring them with reflection.
There are a variety of reflective repellents nowadays, and they come in a range of designs.
For example, you will be able to get rid of any duck noise anywhere if you decide to use a pack of bird scare rods.
The most significant benefit of this option is that it can be conveniently hung from any wall on the sides of your house or even from any branches on the trees near your pond, lake, or fountain.
Scare rods don’t have any dangerous chemicals in them and they don’t hurt the birds themselves. They merely scare them away thanks to their reflective capabilities, so they’re eco-friendly, too.
Another way to get rid of pest duck populations is to use a wind-activated bird deterrent. This type of design is a bit more advanced than the scare rods, but it’s the best for spots such as the sides and roofs of buildings and boats.
An additional budget-friendly option is to put reflective tape on your roof, on tree branches, or around any poles you have next to your dock.
12. Use an ultrasonic duck repellent
If you have been looking for a good duck deterrent, an ultrasonic repellent might be the device you need.
Ultrasonic duck repellents are usually versatile and they work for a variety of animal species, not just for these birds.
They come with different audio frequencies, which are specifically designed to target the animals that you want to scare off from your property.
Some of these frequencies are audible to humans, so do keep that in mind. If that is the case, it is advised to install these devices near docks and other such gathering places for ducks — not near your home.
For the best duck pest control, you should consider using several of these units across the area you want to be covered.
Needless to say, they all have a limited operating range (the typical one being a radius of around 30-40 feet) and they are also quite affordable, so you wouldn’t have to invest a fortune in them.
Another benefit worth noting is that if you completely get rid of ducks, you could always use the ultrasonic sound repellent for other species of pests, such as rats, raccoons, and even cats, if you have feral ones or others coming over from your neighbors’ places.
13. Make the landscape less attractive to ducks
You will be able to prevent any wild ducks nesting if you make several modifications to your landscape.
Don’t worry, they’re not significant and they aren’t going to change how your property looks in a negative way.
Since ducks are waterfowl, they thrive in open water and large grassy spaces such as lawns, parks, and even golf courses.
They don’t really like to go into the tall grass as there could be predators lurking there, just waiting to attack them.
You can plant shrubs in your garden and around your pond if you want to deter ducks naturally.
A scared duck will not want to spend too much time in an unsafe place.
As disappointing as it might sound, you should refrain from planting fruit trees and berry bushes, simply because ducks will eat them if they can’t find anything else available.
However, if you don’t want to give up growing berries, you can at least cover the bushes with netting so that the birds have no way of eating them.
You should also consider installing a fake coyote decoy next to the water source since ducks don’t really like canines. Planting strong-smelling herbs can also deter ducks from potential food sources.
14. Get a dog
If you have tried your luck with a homemade duck repellent or you’ve noticed that a fake, plastic duck deterrent can’t get the job done, you could try adopting a dog.
In most cases, owning a dog can solve your bird problem, especially since ducks are known to be scared by these animals.
Even though the dog will most likely not actually hunt down the ducks and try to eat them, it will at least run after them and play with them.
While it might be a fun activity for the dog, it’s going to be anything but that for the ducks themselves.
Ducks are easily scared by barking, too, so they’ll leave the premises right away if they hear the sound and, even more, see a dog coming after them.
Not all dogs chase birds naturally. There are some breeds that are more likely to do it, though, and here are several examples:
- Labrador Retriever
- Boykin Spaniel
- American Water Spaniel
- German Shorthaired Pointer
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
In any case, almost any dog will do so long as it is properly trained. Cats, on the other hand, might not make the best choice since they don’t make any noise, but they can kill the ducks if they have to.
15. Call a professional
If you’ve tried anything from a duck repellent spray to reflective tape, ultrasonic repellents, and even a laser deterrent, and nothing seems to have worked, perhaps it’s time to call someone who knows exactly what to do.
A professional will use a combination of all of the duck deterring methods that we have mentioned in this article.
Such services are often authorized to use duck poison, too, but we advise you to first try some humane options before resorting to such a harsh technique.
It’s also worth noting that a professional can tell you what you’re supposed to do to prevent duck problems in the future.
They’ll tell you where ducks tend to lay their eggs, where they tend to roost, and how you can change your landscape so that it becomes less attractive to waterfowl.
Another reason for you to consider resorting to the services of a professional rather than DIY-ing duck repelling solutions is that you aren’t going to have to spend a fortune.
Sure, it might seem expensive at first, but the truth is that, if you were to invest in all of the gadgets and gear that we’ve mentioned in this post, it’s going to set you back a lot more than if you were to simply call a pest control professional.