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Discovering The Best Essential Oils To Keep Birds From Building Nests

& A Few Other Ideas

Generally speaking, having birds around your house is never a bad idea. You love the noises they make on a quiet summer afternoon, just like you know they can help with certain pests. Feeding them is a pleasure, and the closer they get, the happier you are. But these are only the beneficial birds. Some birds can be quite pesky and cause a lot of trouble. Even beneficial birds could be problematic in large flocks.

A single nest will not necessarily cause any harm, but the more nests you get around, the more difficult it will be to handle this situation. Most countries have strict rules about wild birds – you might get in trouble for disturbing an active nest. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent it from happening. But before discovering the main essential oils to keep birds from building nests, here is how they can affect you.

Bird droppings and potential damage

Bird droppings are rich in uric acid. They are not nice to see around, and they smell bad. At the same time, they can also dissolve building materials. The acid will damage paint – especially on a new car. Stone and metallic elements could also face damage if exposed to bird droppings for long periods of time. Apart from the problematic stains that stick, the damage will also cause potential leaks, allowing damp or rust to spread around.

Bird droppings represent an even bigger issue for old or historical buildings. Such places are often protected by the law and appreciated for their old-fashioned appearance. While modern buildings could feature better technologies, they are also likely to get damaged. For instance, a warehouse roof will be damaged by bird droppings in no time, and its lifespan could be reduced with a few good years.

Damage to appliances and machinery

Many modern buildings feature modern equipment – such as air conditioning, among other things. All these appliances and machinery can be damaged by the uric acid in bird droppings. Regular maintenance is necessary due to the electrical circuits in these things. Some technicians will even refuse to conduct maintenance or reduce the warranty if the respective machinery is covered in bird droppings. Not only are droppings harmful

for such machinery, but they also smell and can bring in some health-related issues.

Damage to cars

Lots of people simply park on their driveways or on the street. If you think parking inside underground parking is better, you are wrong. Birds can also build nests in such environments. If birds end up roosting in such places, they will cause lots of damage to vehicles. Once it reaches the paintwork, the uric acid will dissolve it. Stains will become permanent.

Other types of damage

If there is a way to get into a building, birds will most likely find it. No matter what it is – a food warehouse, your garage, your own warehouse, or other type of building, you do not need birds in there. They will contaminate stuff and cause damage.

Pest birds will also cause damage with their nests, hence the necessity to use some essential oils to keep birds from building nests – mostly starlings or pigeons. They often choose gutters for their nests, but they may also go on top of a building. They like hiding under eaves too. Drainage systems end up clogged, and water will overflow, causing significant damage to the building. Such damage is difficult to repair. The bad news is that it is often missed until it is too late.

Generally speaking, any secluded space is good for a nest, and birds will not ignore it – ducting and chimneys are just as common. In the worst-case scenario, fumes from your heating system could get inside. You will not feel them straight away. By the time you do, it may already be too late. Apart from illnesses, such cases can also cause death.

As if all these were not enough, nesting materials are usually flammable and can start fires or maintain them. If the nest is too close to electrical equipment, it could be responsible for a massive fire.

Now that you know the potential damage associated with birds, what are the best essential oils to keep birds away? What essential oils do birds hate?

Scents to keep birds away

Cayenne pepper, garlic, essential oils, and a few specifically developed products are known to deter birds. Birds simply hate such things. While you can keep birds away with decoys, scarecrows, shiny things or loud sounds, this is a quiet and simple way to get the job done. The method is simple, effective, and inefficient. More importantly, it does not mean that you have to hate the smell. Birds tend to hate many smells that you actually like.

Other options will work too, but essential oils to repel birds are more efficient because they can be thrown in hardly accessible places – the types of places where you cannot really install netting or spikes. Furthermore, such alternatives are subtle and less likely to ruin the décor of your garden. They are effective, yet quiet. Plus, they smell great for you, so no one will complain about the dodgy smell.

essential oil to repel birds

Scents that repel birds – How about bird gel?

Bird repellent gel is available in all kinds of forms and sizes. The gel is often based on various flavors that birds hate – most commonly, peppermint. Do birds hate peppermint? Absolutely. Such gels are not necessarily based on essential oils to keep birds from building nests, but they smell the same. Not only will they affect the sense of touch, but they may also affect the birds’ sight. The gel is often shiny. More professional products release ultraviolet light as well. Throw in the smell too, as well as a sketchy texture, and birds will feel like they are on fire. They will avoid the house no matter what.

Bird gel is also effective for long periods of time – up to four years. There is one problem with it – it can be quite expensive, but it brings in good value for money.

peppermint oil to repel birds

Peppermint oil for birds

Talking about peppermint, this is the most effective essential oil out there and for a wide variety of uses. Most people use it with therapeutic and relaxing effects, yet it is just as efficient against birds. Birds find it quite offensive and will try to avoid it. The good news is it smells fresh, so most people will love it.

You can come up with your own personal recipe. Get ¼ cup of vinegar, ¼ cup of water, and seven drops of lemon oil. Get seven or eight drops of peppermint oil too, and mix everything together. Get some cotton balls, soak them in this cocktail and spread it around places that birds may like to settle in – hidden and secluded places where they normally build their nests.

The smell will fade with time, so make sure you apply it on a regular basis.

Lemon essential oil to deter birds

Lemon essential oils to keep birds from building nests are just as attractive. Again, you can have a mix with a bit of water and vinegar too. The vinegar will work wonders with the lemon oil because it has a stingy aroma as well. Similar oils and mixtures are also accepted – for example, you can use citronella and peppermint oil for birds for similar effects. Get some cotton balls soaked in the oil and spread it around corners or places where birds like to hang out.

Other flavors to keep birds away

Garlic is not effective against vampires only, but it also feels very offensive to many birds. It is 100% natural, inexpensive, and available in every grocery store. You can simply leave a few cloves in places that birds like. You can also squeeze the juice out of it and spread it around these places. If you do use cloves, make sure you remove it before it starts rotting. Garlic oil is also helpful.

Cayenne pepper is not to be overlooked either. Lots of birds and animals hate its aroma, yet people love it – especially when they cook. It hits the olfactory like nothing else – hence the problematic effects over birds. Apart from birds, skunks will also hate cayenne pepper – great if you deal with such invaders too.

Various chili pepper mixes and professional products based on chemicals will also work. If you use chemicals, make sure your pets will not reach them, as they could be harmful for them. All flavors mentioned here can be considered excellent choices to stop birds eating your plants.

lemon and other flavored oils to get rid of birds


Bottom line, these are some of the main essential oils to keep birds from building nests – as well as a few other ideas based on natural ingredients that could give you a hand in the process. The good news is most people will love these smells. They are also inexpensive and easy to apply, yet they will require regular reapplications for maximum effectiveness. Not only will your place smell nice and fresh, but birds will also find it offensive and avoid nesting around it – mission accomplished.

Written by James Laverne

April 16th 2021

Avatar author James Laverne

Hi, I'm James! With over 25 years of anti-pest experience, I am writing this blog to help you birdproof your home. Get in touch if you have any questions. Happy reading!


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