No More Coos: How to Keep Doves Off Your Porch Effectively

You wake up on a lovely Saturday morning, ready to enjoy coffee on your porch. The sun is shining, the air is crisp, and you look forward to a peaceful start to your day. But as you step outside, you’re greeted by something less than serene: a clutter of cooing doves, leaving a mess on your beloved outdoor space. You love nature, but this is a bit much. As you wonder how to keep doves off your porch, you realize that this issue needs addressing sooner rather than later.

While beautiful and often symbolizing peace, dogs can become quite a nuisance when they decide to make your porch their new hangout spot or, worse, nesting area. They can create noise disturbances, leave droppings everywhere, and cause potential damage to your property. Moreover, their presence can deter birds from visiting your bird baths and feeders.

This article will guide you through understanding dove behavior and provide practical, humane strategies to help maintain your porch as a dove-free zone.

Understanding Doves

Doves, known for their gentle demeanor and soft cooing sounds, are common in many parts of the world. They belong to the family Columbidae, which also includes pigeons. Doves are generally smaller and have a lighter color than their pigeon counterparts. There are numerous species of doves, but the ones you’re most likely to encounter on your porch are probably mourning doves or rock pigeons.

Doves are grain eaters with a diet consisting primarily of seeds, fruits, and, occasionally, insects. They’re particularly fond of sunflower seeds, millet, and cracked corn, so you might inadvertently invite them to your porch if you’re an avid bird feeder.

When it comes to nesting, doves aren’t exactly architectural geniuses. Instead of building sturdy nests in trees, they prefer flat surfaces like the ground or a ledge. It is where your porch comes into the picture. The flat surface, shelter from predators, and easy access to food resources make it an ideal location for a dove’s nest. For example, imagine you’ve set up a bird feeder on your porch filled with sunflower seeds. To a dove, this is like an open invitation to a buffet dinner and a cozy bed all in one place.

Understanding their behavior and habits is the first step towards effectively managing their presence. Doves are creatures of habit and will return to the same spot day after day, especially if they’ve found a reliable food source or a safe place to nest. Therefore, it’s crucial to take action as soon as you notice them frequenting your porch.

Problems Caused by Doves on Porch

Problems Caused by Doves on Porch

While doves’ soft cooing and peaceful demeanor can add a touch of nature to your home, their prolonged presence on your porch may bring more trouble than charm. Let’s walk through some of the potential issues you might face:

🕊Damage to Property

Believe it or not, dove droppings are highly acidic. They can stain and corrode various materials over time, including metal and wood. Imagine investing in beautiful porch furniture set only marred by unsightly bird poop. If left unchecked, these droppings could even lead to structural damage.

🕊Noise Disturbance

The occasional cooing of a dove can indeed be soothing. However, multiply that by a dozen, quickly becoming a cacophony. Doves can be particularly noisy during mating season or when they feel threatened. If you’re a light sleeper, this could disrupt your peaceful mornings.

🕊Health Risks

While the risk is generally low, it’s worth noting that bird droppings can carry diseases. It can pose a health risk, especially if children or pets frequently play on the porch.

🕊Disruption to Other Wildlife

Doves can deter other birds from visiting your bird feeders. If you’re an avid bird watcher, this can be quite disappointing. Instead of various colorful birds visiting your porch, you might end up with just doves.

🕊Difficulty in Removal

Once doves started building nest, removing them without causing distress or harm can be challenging, particularly during the breeding season. Legally, you may not disturb a nest with eggs or young birds. You might have to live with your uninvited guests until their young ones are ready to leave the nest.

Strategies on How to Keep Doves Off Your Porch

Strategies on How to Keep Doves Off Your Porch

Now that we’ve identified the potential issues with having doves on your porch let’s explore some effective strategies to discourage them. Remember, the goal is not to harm these peaceful birds but to guide them to another location, preserving the tranquility of your outdoor space. Here are some humane and practical strategies to keep doves off your porch.

🔊Install a Physical Barrier

A physical barrier is the most effective way to keep doves off your porch. You can install dove netting or mesh screens around your porch. It will prevent birds and doves from entering and nesting on your porch. You can also try using chicken wire or hardware cloth to cover open spaces that doves can use to access your porch.

🔊Use of Dove Deterring Devices

Physical deterrents are an effective way to discourage doves from making your porch their home. These bird repellent devices introduce an element of discomfort that makes your porch less appealing to these birds.

For instance, you can install bird spikes on railings, eaves, or any flat surface where doves might land or nest. The spikes don’t harm the birds but make it uncomfortable for them to perch or nest. Imagine trying to sit on a chair full of thumbtacks. You’d think twice, right?

Another deterrent device is bird netting. It can be especially useful if you have a particular area on your porch where doves tend to congregate. The netting creates a physical barrier that prevents the doves from accessing that area.

🔊Implementing Visual Deterrents

Visual deterrents can be surprisingly effective in keeping doves at bay. One popular option is to use figures of natural predators, such as owls or hawks. These figures can be placed around your porch to create the illusion of danger.

Reflective bird items such as CDs, aluminum foil strips, or specially designed reflective tape can work wonders. The light reflected from these items disorients the birds and makes them uncomfortable, encouraging them to find a different place to hang out.

🔊Auditory Deterrents

Sound can be a powerful deterrent for doves. Devices are available that emit predator calls or distress signals from other birds. When doves hear these ultrasonic sounds, their instinct tells them danger is nearby, prompting them to fly away.

Alternatively, simple wind chimes on your porch could serve as a deterrent. The unexpected noise can startle the doves and discourage them from returning.

🔊Natural Deterrents

Let’s talk about natural bird deterrents. Certain plants, like the pigeonberry or the devil’s trumpet, are known to repel doves. Planting these around your porch could create an unappealing environment for them.

Introducing natural predators, like cats, could also deter doves. However, you should do it responsibly, ensuring the predator does not threaten other local wildlife.

🔊Eliminate Nesting Sites

Doves like to build nests in places that are sheltered and protected. You can eliminate these sites on your porch by removing any clutter or debris that doves can use for their nests. You can also prune trees and bushes near your porch to eliminate potential nesting sites.

Maintaining a Dove-Free Porch

Birds add life and vibrancy to our outdoor spaces but can also pose issues for homeowners. If you have a porch, you likely know that doves can wreak havoc by nesting and leaving droppings everywhere. These pesky birds can make your porch look unsightly and even cause damage to your property. But you don’t have to put up with them.

Here are some tips on maintaining a dove-free porch and enjoying your outdoor space without any unwanted feathered friends.

✅Removing Food Sources

Doves are scavengers who will flock to your porch if there is a food source. To avoid this, remove any bird feeders or pet food bowls that you may have out. Clean up crumbs or food scraps if you like to eat outside. If doves frequent your porch, avoiding leaving food out altogether is best.

✅Limit Bird Feeding

If you’re feeding birds, do so responsibly. Avoid overfeeding and clean up any leftover seeds or crumbs promptly. Remember, an abundant food supply can attract birds and doves to your porch.

✅Blocking Access

Doves are larger than other birds and prefer spacious nesting areas. Cover all possible entry points with chicken wire to block access, and you can also cover your gazebo with durable mesh netting to keep doves out. Blocking access may also work with installing a fake owl, which is one way to scare birds away from your porch.

✅Cleaning Regularly

Doves love dirty and unkempt spaces as they can find a place to nest. They find porches a good nesting spot, which means they’re likely to stick around if they find an ideal location, so clean your porch regularly.

It includes sweeping away any cobwebs, debris, or animal droppings left by these birds. Cleaning with a hose, sprayer, or vacuum is also an excellent option for getting rid of any droppings that may exist on the porch.

✅Giving Visual and Audio Signals

Fake predators like decoy owls, hawks, or snakes can also help scare doves away. These successfully trick doves into thinking a real predator is around, which usually sends them on their way. Wind chimes, loudspeakers, or your stereo system can also help by playing unpleasant audio signals to the birds.

✅Professional Pest Control

If you have already tried the above strategies, and it doesn’t seem to work, it’s best to get a professional pest control firm’s services. Professionals can access effective chemicals and equipment to remove and deter doves. Expert advice will undoubtedly come in handy when dealing with a problematic situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use commercial products to repel doves? Are they safe for other animals?

A: You can use commercial products designed to repel birds from your porch. They come in various forms, including bird repellent sprays, gels, and granules, and work by creating an environment that is uncomfortable for doves but typically harmless to them and other animals.

However, it’s important to always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as some products may not be safe for all animals. It’s also best to check if the product complies with local wildlife laws before use.

Q: Can I call animal control to remove doves from my porch?

A: You can call animal control to remove doves from your porch. However, it’s important to remember that laws regarding removing wildlife, including doves, can vary from place to place. Some areas may require using humane methods or hiring a licensed professional for bird removal. It’s always advisable to check with your local animal control or wildlife agency for guidance on properly and legally handling this situation.

Q: How long does it take for doves to leave once deterrents are in place?

A: The time for doves to leave once you place deterrents can vary. It depends on factors such as the type of deterrent used, the doves’ persistence, and whether there are other attractive features on your porch, like food and water sources or nesting sites.

In some cases, doves may immediately leave once you install the deterrents. In other cases, it may take a few days or weeks for the doves to fully understand the message and move on. Consistency and patience are key in this process.

Final Words

While the cooing of doves can bring a certain serenity to your mornings, their extended stay might not be as peaceful. From causing property damage and noise disturbances to posing potential health risks, doves can turn from charming visitors to troublesome guests. However, maintaining a dove-free porch is entirely achievable with the right strategies in place.

Whether through physical deterrents like bird spikes and netting, visual aids like predator figures, sound devices that emit distress signals, or natural deterrents like specific plants and predators, there are several effective ways to discourage doves from invading your porch. It might require some effort and consistency, but the tranquility of a dove-free porch will indeed be worth it.

Now, it’s your turn to take action. Implement these strategies, see what works best for you, and reclaim your peaceful porch. We’d love to hear about your experiences and any additional tips you might have. So, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Here’s to serene mornings and undisturbed afternoons on your dove-free porch.