There are a couple of ducks in my yard (male and female). I think they have come to my backyard to make a nest. I fear that if this happens half my backyard will become off-limits due to an angry duck-mom. I also worry that they will munch on my seedlings in the spring. How do I get rid of them?

I have read that hanging CDs on trees could deter them. Does this work?

I know a dog would do the trick, but I don't want a pet. Also, both of my neighbours have dogs and the ducks do not mind them so far.

I want to stay away from pesticides, but if that is my only option I will use it.

  • 12
    Duck L'Orange??
    – bstpierre
    Mar 18 '12 at 22:13
  • Do you (or your neighbours) have a pond? If your pond is the only water in the area, then covering it up may help.
    – winwaed
    Mar 19 '12 at 13:49
  • I can confirm that dogs may not work - depends if the ducks are used to them: I know of a farm with dogs and ornamental ducks - ducks didn't care about the dogs.
    – winwaed
    Mar 19 '12 at 13:50
  • As it turns out, the ducks did not nest. @winwaed, yes, I have a small pond and that is what was attracting them, but they seem to be scouting the whole neighbourhood, not just my backyard. They do visit ocassionally still.
    – Om Patange
    Mar 31 '12 at 18:10
  • @bstpierre that made me laugh.
    – itsmatt
    May 23 '13 at 14:43

Here are some often repeated remedies. However ducks are like people with individual likes and dislikes. What might terrify one duck could be "ho-hum" to another.

  • a plastic owl: usually available at birding stores, sometimes outdoor/hunting stores. Get the better quality ones with a head that moves or the deluxe versions with wings that move. (I'm not making this up!)
  • any bright object like CD's on a string or bright reflective streamers
  • as a temporary solution string fishing line across your yard near where they land above head height. All birds don't like to hit things when they are landing and fishing line will not hurt them, only surprise them.
  • 1
    I am not sure whether or not to accept this answer, as I did not get to try any of your suggestions; the ducks just left on their own. What is the general etiquette in a case like this?
    – Om Patange
    Mar 31 '12 at 18:14
  • 1
    If you accept an answer it should be due to it's quality. If it answers your question in a comprehensive way with solutions that could have worked for you.
    – kevinskio
    Apr 1 '12 at 1:47

I've had a pair of mallard ducks come to my yard. (Unlike you though I welcomed them...)

In any case - they did not take residence - they just liked to visit often. I wish they had stayed to lay eggs - and nest

They did not damage my garden

They returned the next year and hung about - no nests, no "angry duck mom".

If you don't want wildlife perhaps move to an urban area?

  • I am in fact in a city, and my backyard is not very large. This is why I was concerned about having an angry duck-mom.
    – Om Patange
    Mar 31 '12 at 18:12

Try dusting the area with cayenne pepper. I seem to recall hearing that some animals respond to the heating effects by moving on.


Mylar balloons should take care of the problem. We anchor them to a brick. I read somewhere that the balloons interfere with their landing mechanism. We used old balloons, but once they have been inflated, they can sometime take a second inflation. After that, they are done!

Our ducks came back after a few years. So this evening, we have posted 3 mylar balloons.

Good luck!


We have a pool and twice a year ducks try to nest around it. They make a mess of the pool. My solution was hi-tech. I went to Leslie's and bought a battery operated boat. I rigged up the battery wires to a home made motion sensor. When the ducks landed in the pool the waves started up the boat and scared them away. Hee hee.


A hunting rifle would probably solve the problem.

If you're looking for non-lethal methods, you could probably shoot them with a BB or pellet gun, and encourage them to go somewhere else that way.

  • 1
    I'm not sure that any kind of violence (in other words: the risk of injuries to the animal) is a good idea. I think there is always ways to get rid of "pests" by using natural ways.
    – Patrick B.
    Mar 20 '12 at 12:39
  • 4
    Where I live if you harm/scare wildlife you can be subject to fines unless you have a hunting licence and meet the other regulations.
    – kevinskio
    Mar 22 '12 at 17:44
  • 1
    Where I live, if it's on your property, you can shoot it. Also, nature tends to be violent when it gets rid of pests.
    – baka
    Mar 22 '12 at 23:16
  • 4
    -1: If you're anywhere in the US, you need a duck stamp to hunt ducks. Shooting the birds with a BB gun or a pellet rifle is even more irresponsible in my opinion, because you run the possibility of seriously wounding them without putting them out of their misery.
    – Doresoom
    May 8 '13 at 14:55
  • 1
    could be dangerous for other animals and people in the neighborhood...
    – J. Chomel
    Apr 13 '17 at 6:27

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