Vultures can be super annoying when they are circling your home and landing in your fields. Here are some facts you should know about the turkey vulture that you can use to discourage them from frequenting your property.
Table of Contents
- Things to Remember About Turkey Vultures
- Trees and Cell Phone Towers Are Great Hangouts
- Have Any Carrion Removed Promptly
- Dispose of Garbage Properly
- Clean Your Grill and BBQ Area
- Professional Pest Control
- Loud Noises
- Bird Cannon
- Motion Activated Sprinkler Systems
- Turn the Hose on Them
- Shake It
- Jump Around and Clap Your Hands
- Trapping Vultures
- Visual Deterrents
- Dealing With a Dead Vulture
- Setting Aside Vulture Space
- Dealing with Dead Wildlife
- Don’t Try to Grab or Restrain a Vulture
- The Price of Vulture Removal
- Keeping a Level Head
Things to Remember About Turkey Vultures
It is important to realize the kind of bird you are dealing with if you want to keep them at bay for a long length of time. Turkey vultures don’t give up easily if they want to get something or enjoy being in a particular area. You have to be vigilant when it comes to getting rid of these birds, especially if you want to do this humanely.
Trees and Cell Phone Towers Are Great Hangouts
You don’t have to have a major food source around to attract turkey vultures. If your property has tall trees on it or you are near them, then you can get a real problem on your hands. Large trees that have some good branches are a favorite spot for turkey vultures. Cell phone towers or any structure that is good to roost on can contribute to the issue you are dealing with. There are solutions however that are not as drastic as cutting down trees.
Have Any Carrion Removed Promptly
When another animal dies, it attracts turkey vultures. If you live near a road, then you might have seen these large birds feeding on wildlife that has been hit by cars. The longer road kill is allowed to remain on the road, the more likely it is that you will get to see some turkey vultures. The same is true of any deceased wildlife on your property.
Dispose of Garbage Properly
All types of vultures will pick through the garbage that is smelly, especially garbage that contains any meat scraps or similar pickings. Having to pick up trash that has been torn open by turkey vultures is not anybody’s idea of a great day. Make sure to always put your garbage in a receptacle with a lid or other closure to avoid this. If a garbage bag ever gets torn open by your dog or something make sure to clean it up right away before the turkey vultures come.
Clean Your Grill and BBQ Area
Turkey vultures are attracted to meat smells so avoid leaving a bunch of grease out on a grill. Also, if you leave debris out from a BBQ or other event then it can attract a lot of turkey vultures. It is well worth it to clean up as you go at your party. Have garbage bins with lids for guests.
Professional Pest Control
If turkey vultures are causing trouble at your house and you need some help, you can always call in a professional. This ensures that vultures are humanely relocated. Keep in mind that if you don’t take away the things that are attractive to them it will just draw more in after the initial few are removed. Getting a professional means you can get them to help you arrange preventative measures.
A professional can set up several solutions for you and trap and remove the vultures if necessary. The greater your vulture problem, the more it is going to cost to get rid of them, especially if trapping and removal are part of the process.
Sometimes these are known as bird squawkers. They are essentially speakers that play bird sounds that are unpleasant to other birds. This is often the sounds of a bird that is clearly in distress. This can provide some deterrent but if you have something lying around that is appealing to a turkey vulture it may not be enough.
If you live in an area where you don’t think your neighbors will complain about a bit of noise you can set up what is known as a bird cannon. This device often runs on propane gas and emits a “blast” every so often that scares birds away. As far as long-term solutions go the bird cannon is known to lose its effectiveness over time as birds realize there is no actual threat. The noise can be hard for a lot of people to deal with, and there is some expense and time required for maintenance.
Bird nets can help deter vultures, but some people find this is more of a hassle than a help. A bird net can result in vultures becoming trapped or even injured, so you then have to deal with that situation. At the same time, netting around a trash area or similar could be of use to you.
Motion Activated Sprinkler Systems
Vultures don’t like to be sprayed with water. If you live in an area where you can use a bit of water, then sprinklers can be a big help. Of course, you want to make sure that you don’t walk into it yourself, or you will be in for a wet one. Systems can vary in price a lot and can take some time to install and test.
Turn the Hose on Them
A water hose is effective at scaring off vultures. If you are at home and see vultures in your yard, you can spray them with a hose, and they won’t be back for a while unless there is something that is majorly appealing on your property. If there is garbage or carrion, this at least gets rid of the vultures until you can take care of what they are attracted to in the first place.
If you see vultures in a tree then right at dark shake the tree. This causes them to be disrupted and makes them much less likely to continue perching there or building a nest. They may just go a short distance away, but they will be more liable to keep their distance in the long term if you make a habit of doing this regularly. Of course, this is not going to work so well with a very large tree.
If you are lucky enough to live where fireworks are allowed, they are useful for creating a loud noise that will run off a vulture. The noise factor is the most important. Bottle rockets are cheap and effective, but you need to be careful not to shoot them towards a neighbor’s house. Also never use fireworks during dry weather when sparks could start a fire. You can check with your local government to see if a burn ban is in effect. Some states list burn bans on the Forest Service website.
Jump Around and Clap Your Hands
Running around your yard and yelling and making elaborate motions with your hands is good for getting rid of vultures. This is something that you might find kids have fun with. Those nearby you might think you are weird. But if it solves your varmint problem, then you might just let them think it.
A humane bird trap can be used to trap and remove turkey vultures. You will need to get a larger trap and set it with some meat. When it comes to turkey vultures, the smellier the bait, the more likely they are to be attracted to it. Make sure to use gloves during this whole process. This is to protect your hands from the bait and to avoid leaving an extra scent on the trap.
Before setting your trap, you should contact your local animal control department or Fish & Game office for instructions on how you can relocate vultures. Keep in mind that these are very large birds so even relocating one in a cage is often more than the average person wants to deal with so they often call in a professional. Trapping can be unrealistic if you have a lot of vultures to deal with. A professional may be able to handle trapping a lot more and be less expensive because they have the equipment to handle larger pest jobs.
Visual deterrents can all help deter turkey vultures and other pesky birds. These include artificial owls, scarecrows, and bright flashing lights. Usually, a combination of different visual deterrents is used. You may need to switch out deterrents if birds seem to become desensitized to something that has been there a long time and never actually caused them any trouble. Flashing lights work well and don’t need to be moved around. It is the “still” deterrents that might need to be.
Shiny tape is not the best for deterring turkey vultures because they will become fixated on it and may be more likely to keep hanging around. This means you need to choose visual deterrents carefully.
Dealing With a Dead Vulture
If you find a dead vulture, then it needs to be removed immediately. Vultures are not shy about eating their own kind. So this means if someone shoots a vulture on your property, you need to bury it well or dispose of it the way animal control has told you to do. Some landfills will take carcasses if you let them know.
Setting Aside Vulture Space
If you are having a hard time totally getting rid of vultures, you may find that if you have a larger property you are better off just encouraging them to stay in one general area. While this might not sound particularly pleasant, it can be less trouble for those that seem to have a persistent problem and don’t want to spend a lot of money and time on vultures.
Dealing with Dead Wildlife
If you have carrion on your property, you may just want to bury it as you can get in a lot of trouble disposing of this type of thing at landfills. Dig a hole that is a few feet deep. Quick lime such as that used to fertilize gardens can be sprinkled on top before you fill in the hole. This accelerates decomposition and reduces the risk that something will dig up the carrion.
If you have a larger animal carcass on your property, you should contact Fish and Game or other local authorities to see what services are available to dispose of it. While dealing with this is not pleasant, you also don’t want vultures circling your property for weeks and taking up residence.
The presence of carrion also attracts other wildlife that can damage your property or threaten your family, pets, and livestock.
Don’t Try to Grab or Restrain a Vulture
Turkey vultures are very large birds that can pack a big punch if they hit you with their wings. Approaching an injured vulture can be especially hazardous. It is best to let a professional deal with it for you. There are far too many cases of people approaching wildlife not realizing that you can’t just make friends with any animal.
The Price of Vulture Removal
Many people can just deal with vultures on their own, but you can get someone to help you. Individual pest control professionals will offer you a quote. You may want to look into more than one service provider to make sure you are getting the best value.
Keeping a Level Head
It is good to try to keep a level head when it comes to dealing with annoying birds. Do realize that turkey vultures provide a valuable service to the environment. They are part of natures “clean up crew” because they take care of disposing decaying proteins.
Although turkey vultures are unattractive to most and can cause a lot of destruction, you need to try to think through and plan out your strategy for their long-term removal from your property.
A good plan is going to make it a lot easier. It often takes multiple strategies for success. You might have to trap some and set up visual deterrents. Or you may use a bird cannon briefly and then install a sprinkler system or use your garden hose.