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15 Tips on How to Get Rid of Sparrows Fast [Humanely]

sparrow portrait

Getting rid of sparrows from your property can be a challenging task, and it usually calls for a variety of methods. Sparrows can be aggressive and they will often compete for food with other birds. Here are the best tips on how to get rid of sparrows around your home.

1. Use sparrow proof bird feeders

The type of bird feeder that you use can make a lot of difference when it comes to attracting sparrows or not. 

There are a variety of models currently available that will make it nearly impossible for sparrows to feed while also providing other bird species with the sustenance they need. 

Since house sparrows feed on the ground or on sizable platform feeders, one sparrow proof bird feeder that you could use is the clinging mesh feeder

Socks and tube feeders with short perches also offer good results in this sense. A clinging mesh feeder will keep sparrows away from bird feeders thanks to its unique design.

sparrow on a bird feeder

It doesn’t allow sparrows to sit comfortably anywhere, but it will allow the other small birds to reach out and grab the seed. 

The majority of such units can fit up to two pounds of Nyjer mix or Nyjer seed, so they will ensure that the finches in your garden or yard will still have some food available. 

However, you do have the responsibility of making sure that you clean up the seed that might have spilled out during the day. 

Otherwise, the sparrows are going to eat the food that has ended up on the ground anyway, making your efforts futile. 

2. Build a decoy sparrow feeder

If you have a house sparrows invasive population that you want to deter from your bird feeders, the best idea would be to feed them something different so that they leave the bird feeders alone. 

As you probably know by now, songbird food can be a little expensive, and if the invasive sparrows do manage to start eating it, you’ll effectively waste your hard-earned cash. Instead, feed them cracked corn and your bread scraps, but do so by placing them on the ground. 

Putting food at a distance from the bird feeder can satisfy the sparrows, and if their bellies are full, they aren’t going to show a lot of interest in stealing the other birds’ food. 

bird feed

We advise you to place the cracked corn at least 15 feet away from the bird feeders. Any ground feeder is good for this purpose. 

Fortunately, cracked corn is extremely cheap, so much so that you can purchase a bag of 50 pounds for less than 15 dollars. 

If you have nothing against having sparrows in your yard, garden, or orchard, you can use this tip to your advantage. 

Plus, once they aren’t attracted to the bird feeders you’ll have in place, they aren’t going to stress out the small songbirds, either, so everyone will be happy, including yourself. 

3. Install a natural predator decoy kite

One creative way to scare away sparrows would be to use a predator decoy kite. 

Some models take the cake when it comes to deterring all of the annoying sparrows on your property, and they also present the advantage of being durable so that they can stand the elements. 

You can practice good house sparrow control in your garden or yard by installing such a kite. 

If you get a model that comes with a sharp stake that enables you to push it into the ground, you aren’t going to have any hard time with the installation process, either. 

flying kite with bird design

Some kites resemble the natural predators of the house sparrow bird, such as the owl or the hawk. 

Others are stylized and boast flashy colors and a somewhat scary design, which becomes even more threatening as the wind moves the kite and tells the little birds that there’s something dangerous waiting for them. 

Since it is perfectly safe to use, non-toxic, and it doesn’t even hurt the birds, we’d say that using a predator decoy kite is the best sparrow deterrent for everyone. 

Installing several kites across a larger surface is even more efficient. You’ll see no sparrows again in no time!

4. Use electronic sparrow distress sounds

Electronic bird repellers can deter sparrows from nesting or spending too much time on your property, for that matter, and they can do so in two ways. 

Some ensure sparrow removal by emitting actual sparrow distress sounds, meaning those that the little birds would make when they’re in danger. Others emit the sounds of their predators, which can also act as a good sparrow repellent.

There is another type of device that you can use, and it’s an ultrasonic animal repellent. In case you didn’t know, various animals (and birds) have different hearing frequencies, and you can use this information to your advantage.

two speakers

If you set the right frequency on the device, the sparrows are going to be unnerved and will avoid your area at all cost. 

Instead of using a house sparrow trap, you could use such a device. Just make sure that you check the operating range before purchasing it since that of some is somewhat limited, whereas that of others can be quite generous. 

For the best results, you could set up several electronic bird repellers across your property and use another sparrow-deterring method, too, such as bird shock tapes or spikes. Two or three sparrow repelling techniques work better than one. 

5. Install a motion-activated sprinkler

Another way of getting rid of house sparrows would be for you to scare them away with water

While not all birds are easily scared by water, the truth is that most are, and we’d like to note from the beginning that this method works on songbirds, too, not just sparrows. 

So, if you have bird feeders installed in your garden and you only want to scare sparrows away, this might not be the best solution to your problem, at least if you want to keep the other bird species. 

water sprinkler

The way a motion-activated sprinkler works to get rid of sparrow birds is that it is outfitted with a sensor that detects movement whenever a critter comes near it. 

So, if you install several such devices in your garden, you’ll not only water your plants and veggie patches, but you’ll also deter sparrows and a variety of critters, from raccoons to rats. 

Like other devices that can help you in your quest for how to get rid of house sparrows, a motion-activated sprinkler has an operating range. 

So, if you want to protect the ground from these little birds, you might want to set up several sprinklers instead of just one.  

6. Install bird spikes on roosting areas

As basic as this sparrow repellant might seem, the truth is that using spikes against birds of all kinds is a good way to get rid of house sparrows. 

Moreover, it even works for other species, such as pigeons and doves, which you might want to deter from your property due to the amount of droppings they leave behind. 

The only issue with this method is that you will have to apply the needle spikes on most surfaces where you’ve noticed sparrows gathering. 

Like other birds, sparrows can perch or nest anywhere, which means that you’ll have to put the spikes on tree branches, on the sides of your roof, your garage, or even your patio. 

If you install them on and under the edges of your roof, you will even keep sparrows from nesting on your house. 

You aren’t going to see any sparrows fighting or even hear a sparrow chirp in your yard if you decide to use this method. 

One note that we must make with regard to bird spikes is that you should always buy some that are made of stainless steel. 

Otherwise, they might rust and leave nasty traces on your house walls or wherever you set them up.

7. Intimidate with natural predator decoy

Since hawks and owls are natural predators that get rid of sparrows by hunting them down, one of the sparrow solutions that you could use for your problem would be to utilize a decoy. 

It would have to look like one of these two bird species. 

Ideally, if it were to also make sounds and move in some way or another, it would be even better as it would give the sparrows the feeling that the bird is real, not fake. 

A fake owl scarecrow, for example, will most likely come with a rotating head since that’s the typical move that the bird makes. 

If you want to protect your orchard, garden, berry bushes, or grapevine, you can install the owl on top of a pole and drive the latter into the ground. 

To deter sparrows, the owl can also be fastened on ledges and rooftops, but you’d have to tie it down properly so that it’s not taken away by the wind.  

The whole point is that it can repel sparrows if it’s in a highly visible place, where all birds can see it. 

Move the predator decoy from one place to another every couple of days, so that the birds feel like it’s alive. 

8. Scare sparrows with reflection

Practicing good sparrow control is also possible by using a reflective house sparrow deterrent. 

These days, there are a variety of designs in this category, from scare rods and wind-activated models to reflective tape. 

Their efficiency depends on the places they are installed in. 

For instance, if you cover your fruit trees in reflective tape, you will be able to repel not just sparrows but a number of different bird species, including those that might be interested in eating fruit. 

hanging cds

Wind-activated models work best when they’re installed on the roof, and they’re useful in case the sparrows might want to nest there. 

They can make for a good house sparrow repellent for these birds, but also for others, such as pigeons and starlings, who don’t react well to powerful light signals. 

A scare rod can also be the best sparrow repellent, especially since they can be hung anywhere from your roof and the sides of your house to your garden and yard. 

The light reflection ensured by this design will tell the birds that the spot is occupied by other birds or that there could be something dangerous there, so it is not a good place to roost or nest in.

9. Remove sparrows’ favorite foods

Sparrows have their preferences when it comes to the food they eat. 

So, making sure that none of the foods they favor are available on your property would make for one way to discourage sparrows. 

It’s a simple trick, much easier than using the best sparrow trap and then safely getting rid of the birds somewhere else. 

Here are some examples of sparrow bird food that you should make sure can’t be found in your garden or anywhere near your home: oats, millet, wheat, cracked corn, and bread scraps.

sparrow on a bird feeder

It is true that sparrows are not as versatile as other birds, meaning that they aren’t going to try and eat lentils or other legumes if they have nothing else available. 

Even so, make sure that you keep your garbage in secured containers so that they have no ways of getting into it. 

By comparison, if you fill up your bird feeders with safflower seeds, fruit, suet, or Nyjer, you are not going to see any sparrows gathering around them. 

They simply don’t appeal to them that much. Nuts and nectar are two other types of food you can give your songbirds without worrying that the sparrows are going to prefer them. 

10. Install bird shock tape on roosting areas

If you’ve noticed the sparrow nesting habits or where they tend to spend a little more time than usual, you already know the best place for installing bird shock tape. 

Bird shocks can be installed on most surfaces and they work simply and effectively in that they administer a tiny shock to the birds whenever they land on them or get close. 

Getting rid of sparrows can be quite effective with this method, especially since most of the types of bird shock tape out there are transparent, so they don’t attract too much attention to them.

However, once the bird gets shocked, it’s not going to want to come anywhere near that spot in the future. 

If you are worried about whether the shock wouldn’t be too strong, we’d like to put your mind at ease by telling you that the voltage is never that powerful. 

For the tape to do its job, you’ll have to charge it once in a while with a typical 110V charger or by using a solar charger. 

All in all, due to its convenience and results, we’d say that bird shock tape is a good sparrow deterrent, especially since it can be used by anyone, whether tech-savvy or not.  

11. Make the bird feeder perch shorter

One way to get rid of sparrows at bird feeders would be for you to undertake a very simple DIY project and cut the perches so that they are considerably shorter. 

So long as their length is under 5/8 of an inch, you are not going to have any problems with sparrows consuming the food for the other birds. 

It’s uncomfortable for the sparrows to use a smaller perch and they can’t grab onto it with their small feet as well as they would if it were longer. 

However, most songbirds don’t have any issue with such perches, both because they are tinier and because some of them feed while in flight.


There are, of course, commercially available bird feeders that already boast short perches, but unless you can’t find a model at this time, you can perform the task yourself. 

All you need for the purpose is a sharp pair of scissors or a sharp knife. 

If you have made the feeder yourself, you might have used pipes instead of wooden perches. If that is the case, you should use a saw or any other tool to shorten them, as well. 

Remember, this isn’t a feeder or birdhouse for sparrows you’re making, but one for the other birds. 

12. Exclude sparrows with nettings

Another way to get rid of sparrows in the roof or to keep sparrows from nesting is to install netting. 

You shouldn’t use just any type, however, since there are some specifically designed to deter birds and other sizable critters that have a way of getting into your veggie garden or flower beds. 

Sparrows are going to want to investigate what’s going on on the ground if they see any trace of food that might have fallen out of the feeder. 

Since their droppings are acidic and not exactly sanitary, they can cause a variety of problems. Cover your flower beds, veggies, or even fruit trees with see-through netting so that they have no way of getting past it. 

bird net

For this purpose, Agfabric netting is the one that we recommend as it’s non-corrosive and non-toxic, so it’s not even going to leave any marks on your house walls. 

Make sure that the netting is perfectly sealed so that the sparrows can’t creep under it. 

You aren’t going to bother with undertaking a house sparrow nest removal process, either, especially if they’ve used the same nest for the past years. 

Simply cover it with Agfabric netting and they aren’t going to have the means to lay their eggs there. 

13. Safeguard bluebird nesting boxes

Unfortunately, there is no specific way to keep sparrows out of bluebird houses or to keep sparrows out of purple martin houses, for that matter. 

Sparrows are cavity nesters like these two species, so they could use your house to raise their young. 

But if you are resolute when it comes to installing a bluebird nesting box on your property, it could just as well be transformed into a sparrow bird house before you realize it. 

Sparrows can be quite aggressive with other birds, and if they might try to take over their nesting box from them, they could even risk being killed. 


If you have a house sparrow invasive group in your yard or garden, the best way of making sure that the bluebirds also have a spot to nest in would be to install several boxes across the area. 

Set up two bluebird nesting boxes at a distance of at least 10 feet from one another. 

Since sparrows are known to be territorial, if they make a home in one of the boxes, they’ll most likely protect the second one in its proximity, too. 

However, the latter will only become unavailable to other sparrows, not to other species. So, bluebirds will be able to use it. 

14. Deter sparrows from nesting

A nesting sparrow can be even more challenging to get rid of than one that hasn’t started building a sparrow nest. 

These little birds like crevices and cavities, and they actually have a preference for the sides of human houses. 

If you spot a house sparrow nest, remove it right away, especially if it looks like it’s been recently built. 

On top of that, you should cover any vents (thin mesh covers are recommended) and fix any cavities or holes that you might have. 

sparrow portrait

Keep in mind that to stop sparrows nesting, you’ll have to cover pipes, block your chimney, and make sure that they can’t get into your attic, either, where they can also make a sparrows nest.

Before removing a nest or covering a cavity, you should make sure that there is no bird left inside. 

If there is one there, you will either have to remove it yourself and dispose of it in another area, or you’ll have to get a professional to do it for you. 

If the bird is trapped inside the cavity, it will die, but it might also cause a problem for you ventilation-wise since you are not going to be breathing clean air.  

15. Call a professional

If you’ve tried a range of methods to eradicate sparrows and you’ve even tried your luck at trapping sparrows and then releasing them somewhere else, but nothing seemed to work, calling a professional might be the right way of going about things. 

On the one hand, it will save you a lot of time, effort, and even money, and they’ll get the job done effectively and in a timely fashion. 

On top of that, you’ll get rid of chirping sparrows from your property before you realize it, and you aren’t even going to have to use any sparrow poison for the purpose. 

A professional can also give you valuable advice on how you can keep sparrows away in the future. 

Plus, such services rely on a variety of techniques all at the same time. 

So they could use netting, they might install several predator decoys, use ultrasonic devices, and also guide you on what modifications you should perform on your home so that the sparrows have nowhere to nest in. 

Let’s just say that once you see what the pros use, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from getting the same devices and equipment and using it all on your own. 


16 thoughts on “15 Tips on How to Get Rid of Sparrows Fast [Humanely]”

  1. Avatar

    I work nights and sleep during the day. I didn’t realize how much the sparrows were bothering me until I put reflective spirals on the balcony near my bedroom window. Within 2 days I realized that I was much more rested, woke up less often, and had more energy.

  2. Avatar

    Thank you Garth for assembling this page. I found it while I was searching for how to drive off Eurasians while keeping Cardinals, Nuthatches, Chickadees and Wrens. I put my black oiled sunflower out for the winter on Sunday. Every day since then, I have had in the neighborhood of 100 sparrows come in several times a day, while the male Cardinal sits in the lilac. I will be testing out several of your thoughts.

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    Sad ! We are struggling to protect sparrows from extinction here. I would happily take a hundred sparrows and give them shelter in my yard, if you can export them to India.

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      They’re invasive where I live and constantly chase off the native wild life. Not to mention if you have a nest of babies screaming a foot from your window half the year (they have multiple broods) while you’re trying to focus on work, you’d feel differently. I’m not kidding when I say these fuckers scream from 5am to 9pm, the parents ignore them most of the time. If they were native I’d have more patience, but as mentioned, they’re disrupting the natural wild life.

  4. Avatar

    I would like to keep the other birds, such as hummingbirds, cardinals and though I have not seen them yet, finches. Many of these ideas are good but I want to also know their impact on other birds? I like the kite idea – will a predator bird kite scare of, cardinals, for example? The reflective mirrors – another easy idea – again…will the mirrors scare off the humming birds?

    Thank you!

  5. Avatar

    We have 3 pairs of bluebirds here – or at least 3 males vying for territory. The sparrows always nest in the bluebird box. I have read that they will corner and crush the female in her nest, caving in her skull. Then the sparrow will make their nest right on top of the dead bluebird. Who wants to allow a species like that to thrive? Their nesting materials are very different so look up what a bluebird puts into their nest, unscrew the front of the bluebord house, inspect the nest, and remove it if it is something else.

  6. Avatar

    Thanks! I live in an apartment looking over a tree filled with them and they chirp non-stop all night long! Not to mention its mating season…

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    Consider alternatives, like psychotherapy, to get over your problems with a harmless bird that’s already got more than enough problems trying to co-habit the planet with us.

      1. Avatar

        Guess who brought the birds to this continent? Right and you judge a bird by its song? Then you should probably be glad people don’t judge you the same way! Don’t blame the birds. Blame the people, or do you agree we should treat any non-native Americans the same way?

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          I love house sparrows and their happy chirping, but I live in an apartment so there’s no bird competition here. It’s house sparrows or nothing, so I’m glad to have them. I’ve read on another site that the solution to the bluebird problem is to build bluebirds a nest box with a plexiglass roof, since house sparrows only like dark boxes, not ones where the light gets in, but bluebirds don’t mind light boxes. House sparrows don’t compete with bluebirds for food, though, since bluebirds are insectivores and house sparrows prefer grains. Bluebirds can survive in the wild whereas house sparrows cannot- they are dependant on humans. So if you solve the nest box problem then everyone should be able to get along.

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      The problems are not with us but with the bird, of course as with anything “different strokes for different folks” and if you have no problems with an invasive barking creature then that’s your thing and your condescending suggestion of psychotherapy, while it may have numbed you to the reality, is not one to solve the problems.

    2. Avatar
      Jack Sparrow-Killer

      OMG. I literally spit my coffee out reading ur snark bomb lol. U obviously don’t have a sparrow invasion problem but do have a mental health issue as well as misplaced anger issues. Thanks for the laugh !

  8. Avatar

    Flock of sparrows loves my Nyjer seed. They even eat the safflower that I was told they wouldn’t like to eat. Ugh. Any ideas?

    I like the idea of shortening the perches. I will try that.


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