How to Get Rid Of Crows

By: Contributors  | 
A black bird perched on a rock.
Crows produce an irritating sound you wouldn't want to wake up to. Norbert Kurzka - Photography / Getty Images

They're celebrated in all manners of media and pop culture, and revered for their intelligence. But crows aren't exactly the best neighbours. If you're looking to learn how to get rid of crows, you've come to the right place.

Form afar, crows really are remarkable creatures. They work together, have shown the capacity to use tools and solve complex problems. Up close, crows can be a real nuisance. Even the most well-mannered among them are known to rummage through trash bins, devour vegetable gardens, and squawk at all hours.


They aren't exactly easy to get rid of either. Crows are creatures of habit, and not easy to fool. Handling a crow problem is tricky business, but it can be done with the right precautions. First though, let's take a look at. what makes crows so special.

A Little Bit About Crows

Crows, belonging to the genus Corvus, are among the most intelligent birds found across various continents [source: Britannica]. These highly adaptable creatures are recognized for their distinctive black plumage, complex social structures, and remarkable problem-solving abilities.

Intelligence and Social Behavior

Crows exhibit extraordinary intelligence, often compared to that of primates. They are known for their ability to use tools, remember human faces, and even hold grudges.


Their social nature is evident in the way they communicate with each other and work collaboratively. In some cultures, crows are considered symbols of wisdom due to their clever traits.

Habitat and Adaptability

Crows are found in almost all habitats, from rural farmlands to dense urban areas. Their ability to adapt to different environments is unparalleled.

Crows eat a wide range of food, which includes insects, seeds, and even waste, making them highly adaptable in all sorts of conditions.

The Crow and Human Interaction

The relationship between crows and humans is often one rife with conflict. These birds are often seen as pests due to their opportunistic feeding habits and their loud, harsh calls. In urban areas, large groups of crows, can create significant noise and mess.

Understanding the nature of crows, their intelligence, adaptability, and the way they interact with their environment is essential. This knowledge not only fosters a better coexistence with these fascinating birds but also provides a foundation for effective and humane methods to manage their presence in human-dominated landscapes.


The Problem with Crows

While crows are admired for their intelligence and adaptability, they can pose several challenges in both urban and rural settings. The issues caused by these birds are diverse, stemming from their natural behaviors and interactions with human environments.

  • Agricultural damage: In rural areas, crows can cause significant damage to crops by feeding on freshly sown seeds or ripening fruits and vegetables.
  • Urban annoyance: In cities, crows are known for their loud and persistent cawing, especially during their early morning gatherings. They're also scavengers, and their search for food often leads them to rummage through garbage, leading to littering and sanitation issues.
  • Health concerns: Crows, like many other birds, can be carriers of certain diseases, such as West Nile Virus. Their droppings can also pose health risks and contribute to the spread of bacteria and parasites.
  • Aggressive behavior: During nesting season, crows can exhibit aggressive behavior to protect their young. This can result in crows swooping down at pets or even humans who inadvertently come close to their nests.


How to Get Rid of Crows

Crows are scavengers and will eat almost anything. They'll devour any seeds that have been planted as well as young growing vegetables [source: Vegetable Expert]. Here we will give you some advice as to how to get those annoying crows out of your yard.

Deterrents and Scare Tactics

Adorning your home with a collection of crow deterrents can help keep these large birds away. Visual deterrents like scare crows, reflective bird tape, plastic owls or other decoy predators can be used to frighten crows. Fake dead crows are particularly effective.


Crows respond to auditory deterrents too. Playing crow distress calls or predatory bird sounds can scare away crows. With any sound, it's important that they're used intermittently to prevent the crows from growing accustomed to them.

Habitat Modification

If you begin to notice crows hanging around, then your home is most likely attracting them with tall trees, food scraps, bird feeders, pet food, or compost yard waste [source: Bob Villa]. The first thing you should do is secure these food sources.

Ensure that your garbage bins are properly sealed, and scan the property for other possible food sources. Trimming tree branches where crows roost and use bird spikes or bird netting to make landing areas less hospitable can help too.

Repellents and Exclusion

There are specific non-toxic chemical bird repellents available that can deter crows from gardens and fields. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and local wildlife regulations when using these products.

In agricultural settings, bird netting can be used to protect crops. In urban areas, netting can also be used to protect balconies or eaves where crows might nest.

Again, crows are incredibly intelligent, and are difficult to keep away from a reliable source of food. The key to keeping crows at bay is addressing the problem quickly. So be proactive with your space, and try as many of the tips above as you can to five yourself the best chance at eliminating the problem for good.


Moving Forward

As we coexist with wildlife in our shared environments, the need for sustainable and humane wildlife management practices becomes increasingly important. By applying thoughtful and effective strategies, we can mitigate the problems associated with crows while respecting their role in nature.

This balanced approach not only benefits us but also contributes to the broader health of our ecosystems. While crows may present challenges, they also enrich our world in many ways. By approaching the issue with knowledge, creativity, and respect, we can find ways to coexist peacefully with these fascinating birds.