How to Stop Birds Eating Grass Seed

How to Stop Birds Eating Grass Seed
Gracie Owens
Gracie Owens she/her - Author at YardPrep October 01, 2023

Have you ever noticed birds feasting on your freshly sown grass seed? It can be frustrating to put in the time and effort to plant new grass, only to have it devoured by hungry birds. But why are birds so attracted to grass seed in the first place? And more importantly, how can you stop them from eating it? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind birds' affinity for grass seed and discuss effective methods to deter them.

How to Stop Birds Eating Grass Seed

To stop birds from eating grass seed, try using bird netting or scare tactics like reflective objects or noise-making devices. Alternatively, you can create a distraction area with bird feeders to divert their attention. Applying taste deterrents or using pet-friendly repellents can also discourage birds from feeding on the grass seed.

Why Do Birds Eat Grass Seed?

Birds are naturally drawn to grass seed because it provides them with a readily available food source. Grass seeds are small, easy to consume, and packed with nutrients. Additionally, the act of pecking at the seeds can help birds keep their beaks sharp and in good condition. However, while birds may find grass seed to be a tasty treat, their feeding habits can have negative consequences for your lawn.

The Impact of Birds Eating Grass Seed

When birds consume grass seed, it can lead to patchy lawn growth and uneven distribution of seeds. This can result in an unsightly lawn with bare spots and areas of thin grass. Not only does this affect the overall appearance of your lawn, but it also increases the cost and effort required to reseed and repair the damaged areas. Therefore, finding effective methods to deter birds from eating grass seed is essential for maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn.

Methods to Deter Birds from Eating Grass Seed

1. Physical Barriers

One effective way to prevent birds from accessing grass seed is by using physical barriers. Netting, mesh, or fencing can be placed over the seeded areas to create a barrier that birds cannot penetrate. These barriers should be securely anchored to the ground to ensure that birds cannot lift or move them. Physical barriers are a reliable and long-lasting solution to protect your grass seed from hungry birds.

2. Scare Tactics

Scare tactics can be an effective deterrent for birds. Setting up scarecrows, hanging reflective objects like old CDs or aluminum foil, or using noise devices such as wind chimes or motion-activated alarms can startle birds and discourage them from feeding on grass seed. However, it's important to periodically change the scare tactics to prevent birds from becoming accustomed to them.

3. Natural Predators

Attracting natural predators of birds, such as owls or hawks, can help deter them from feeding on grass seed. Installing owl or hawk perches or nesting boxes in your yard can create a favorable habitat for these predators. The presence of natural predators sends a signal to birds that the area is not safe, reducing their inclination to feed on grass seed.

4. Repellents

There are various bird repellents available that can make grass seed less appealing to birds. Taste deterrents, such as bitter sprays or granules, can be applied to the grass seed to make it unpalatable. Scent deterrents, such as essential oils or predator urine, can also be effective in deterring birds. It's important to follow the instructions on the repellent product and reapply as needed.

5. Proper Lawn Maintenance

Maintaining a healthy lawn through proper watering, mowing, and fertilization can reduce bird attraction to grass seed. A well-maintained lawn provides birds with less opportunity to find insects or other food sources, making the grass seed less enticing. Regularly removing weeds and debris from the lawn also helps create an environment that is less appealing to birds.

Additional Tips for Preventing Birds from Eating Grass Seed

1. Timing of Seeding

Consider seeding your lawn during seasons when birds are less active, such as late fall or early spring. This reduces the chance of birds encountering the grass seed and consuming it. Alternatively, you can use techniques like overseeding, which involves spreading a larger quantity of grass seed to increase the chances of germination, even if some seeds are consumed by birds.

2. Seed Selection

Choosing grass seed varieties that are less attractive to birds can also help prevent them from feasting on your lawn. Some grass species have natural bird deterrent properties, such as thicker or tougher seed coatings. Researching and selecting these varieties can discourage birds from eating the grass seed.

3. Bird Feeding Stations

Providing alternative food sources for birds away from the grass seed area can redirect their feeding behavior. Setting up bird feeding stations with bird feeders and bird-friendly foods can entice birds to feed in designated areas rather than on your grass seed. This can help protect your lawn while still providing a food source for birds.

4. Regular Maintenance and Monitoring

Regularly checking for bird activity, repairing any damage, and adjusting deterrent methods as needed is crucial for effectively preventing birds from eating grass seed. Birds are intelligent creatures and may adapt to certain deterrents over time. By staying vigilant and making necessary adjustments, you can ensure the long-term success of your bird deterrent strategies.


By understanding why birds are attracted to grass seed and implementing effective deterrent methods, you can successfully stop birds from eating your grass seed. Whether it's through physical barriers, scare tactics, attracting natural predators, using repellents, maintaining a healthy lawn, or employing additional tips, there are various strategies you can employ to protect your lawn and promote healthy grass growth. With a little effort and persistence, you can enjoy a lush and bird-free lawn.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best deterrent for birds from eating grass seed?

One effective deterrent for birds from eating grass seed is to use bird netting or bird repellent gel. These physical barriers can prevent birds from accessing the grass seed and protect it from being eaten.

How do I protect my grass seed?

To protect your grass seed from birds, you can cover the area with a thin layer of straw or mulch. This will make it harder for birds to see and access the seeds. Additionally, you can try using scare devices like reflective tape or fake predators to deter birds from the area.

How do I keep birds from eating my garden seeds?

To keep birds from eating your garden seeds, you can try using bird netting or floating row covers. These physical barriers create a barrier between the birds and the seeds, preventing them from reaching and consuming the seeds. Another option is to plant decoy crops or provide alternative food sources for the birds to divert their attention away from your garden seeds.

Does grass seed attract birds?

Yes, grass seed can attract birds due to its nutritional value. Birds are attracted to the seeds as a food source. However, by implementing deterrents such as bird netting, scare devices, or using bird repellent gel, you can discourage birds from eating the grass seed and protect your lawn.

What are some natural ways to deter birds from eating grass seed?

There are several natural ways to deter birds from eating grass seed. One method is to scatter shiny objects, such as aluminum foil or CDs, around the area. The reflective surfaces will confuse and deter birds. Another option is to plant bird-repellent plants, such as marigolds or sunflowers, near the grass seed. The strong scent or taste of these plants can discourage birds from approaching the area.

Can I use scarecrows to keep birds away from grass seed?

Yes, scarecrows can be an effective way to keep birds away from grass seed. The presence of a scarecrow can intimidate birds and make them think there is a potential threat nearby. However, it is important to regularly move and change the appearance of the scarecrow to prevent birds from becoming accustomed to it.

Are there any homemade remedies to deter birds from eating grass seed?

Yes, there are homemade remedies that can help deter birds from eating grass seed. One option is to mix chili powder or cayenne pepper with water and spray it on the grass seed. The spicy scent and taste will discourage birds from eating the seeds. Another homemade remedy is to create a mixture of vinegar and water and spray it on the grass seed. The strong smell of vinegar can deter birds from approaching the area.