Corvids leave no opportunity to bully their predators or steal their babies. They may even harass their least favorite humans or cause damage to their property. They can easily recognize human faces as well as behavior patterns. But, if they are destroying your lawn this can be a big problem!
Especially if you look after your lawn and take pride in it
The worst thing is getting all your hard work ruined by crows!
Question is – How do you stop crows from attacking your lawn?
Well you need to outsmart crows and convince them not to even come to your place.
Usually, this involves bluffing and making yourself seem threatening.
And this is exactly what you’re going to discover in this article
This is what we’re going to cover
- What are crows attacking your lawn
- How do you stop crows attacking your lawn
- Possible reasons why crows are in your yard
- How to get rid of crows in your yard
So if you’re tired of seeing crows messing up your lawn and want to do something about it then you’re going to love this article!
Let’s get started!
The first thing you need to know is the reasons a crow is attacking your lawn
What’s causing a crown to mess your lawn up
Let’s find out..
Why Are Crows Attacking My Lawn?
Odds are that your lawn presents secure access to food or nesting materials.
And so, if they find a safe place with enough food resources, they habitually settle down.
Therefore, crows may be attacking your lawn for the following reasons:
1. Food Resources
Primarily, these include:
These insect larvae are not only nutrient-rich but also readily available.
A typical crow family may consume up to 40,000 grubs during a single breeding season.
Since grubs mostly consume starchy grassroots.
Therefore, these are naturally predominant beneath the ground.
If crows are poking holes through lawn flooring, then odds are your turf is infested with grubs.
While crows eat almost every insect, their favorite treats include the following:
- European Chafer Beetle’s Grubs are the most common cause of crows attacking a lawn. A typical larva is about 1-2 inches in size with a brown head and white or grey fatty body.
The chafer beetle life cycle consists of 1 year, but most of it is spent beneath the ground as shown in the figure.
- Leatherjackets (Cranefly larvae) have grey-brown protein-rich bodies. While their bodies are darker and more elongated than chafer beetle grubs. However, both insects have similar life cycles.
Figure:1: Life Cycle of European Chafer Beetle
How can I Determine the Grub Infestation?
Since grubs scavenge grassroots, the larvae-infested lawns typically have pale and withering grasses.
You can determine the extent of infestation by:
- Pulling the grass. If turf rolls out like a mat, then your lawn is extremely grub-infested.
- Removing topsoil from 1 square foot, and counting the grubs.
If there are even 5 grubs in a single square, then your lawn of 120 square feet may be hosting more than 6000 grubs.
b. Bird Feeders
Bird feeders provide free food to all birds. Often these feeders are “usual bird hang-out spots”. And so, crows may hunt fledglings or small-sized birds like mourning doves or sparrows, at these feeders.
Crows are omnivores that can eat almost everything. So, they may be attacking your lawn to eat:
- Fruits like berries, apples, grapes, and dates.
- Vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, sweet corn, and peppers.
- Sprouts, weeds, and seeds.
d. Food Scrapes
These may include:
- Pet food leftovers.
- Spillage from bird feeders.
- Kitchen scrapes.
Crows can also consume lawn pests and small animals such as:
- Toads and frogs
Sometimes crows hide their surplus food in some secure place.
They may be coming to your lawn to store and retrieve their prize.
2. Nesting Materials
Crows like to be secretive about their nests.
Besides, most lawns provide all nesting materials such as grass, sticks, mud, and even skin and feathers.
Okay so now that we know what possible reasons a crow is attacking your lawn
Let’s look at how you can stop crows from tearing up your lawn
How Do I Stop Crows From Tearing Up My Lawn?
Once you have located the underlying cause of crows attacking your lawn, you can easily manage them by following these methods:
|Grub Infestation||Apply pesticides like carbaryl or trichlorfon. Irrigate the soil up to 0.5-inch to avoid health hazards.||Significant crow and pest reduction.||Chemical treatment may also kill beneficial insects.|
|Avoid plants that need excessive water e.g. Kentucky Bluegrass.||Improved lawn health.||Requires optimization.|
|Apply dormant nematodes.||Biological control of ants, flies, moths, fleas, and beetles.||Cannot overuse.|
|Bird Feeders||Remove feeders.||Reduces crows||Prevents all birds from coming.|
|Feeders excluding large birds by sensing their weight.||Reduces crows.||May enhance small bird predation.
Crows may still eat spilled food.
|Small animals||Call in pest control.||Reduces crows.||Limited results.|
|Vegetation||Draping 4-inch netting on plants or growing them in cages.||Effective for small plants.||Impractical for fruit trees.|
|Food Scrapes||Feeding pets indoors & Regular cleaning||Easy implementation.||Limited results.|
|Nesting materials||Trim down dry branches.||Reduces crows.||Wouldn’t work if crows are already nesting.|
|Use bird repellents like aluminum ammonium sulfates.||Non-toxic and effective.||Repels all birds.|
Proper lawn care often reduces pests, grubs, and weeds.
Thereby, crow populations.
- Regular cleaning, dethatching, mowing.
- Moderate irrigation and periodic aeration.
- Reducing fertilizers.
- Cultivating different sorts of vegetation. This may need optimizations.
However, I recommend the following:
|Type of Grass||Proportion|
|Western Yarrow||Less than 1%|
Most people assume that crows would be more comfortable and safer in agricultural or rural areas.
However, such lands often host crow predators which means crow families prefer urban areas.
And so, crows not only attack lawns but also other places.
So, you may be wondering:
Why Are Crows Suddenly In My Yard?
Typically, this involves the following reasons:
1. Safe Heaven
You see, crows are quite the social birds with complex family systems.
They live and hunt as small families that are part of a larger “crow tribe”.
The tribe members share crucial information regarding food resources, predators, and newly learned behaviors.
Since crows are the most vulnerable at night.
Therefore, hundreds or thousands of crows get together every night to roost together on communal roosting sites.
So, if your yard has adequate perching sites and enough food resources.
Then, your yard is an ideal place for communal roosting.
2. Food Resources
Yards are rarely infested with grubs.
However, crows eat almost everything, even the household ornamental plants.
However, crows have learned to open trash containers and poke holes through plastic bags.
Crows are quite protective of their families and even their fallen fellows.
While they hold funerals for their dead, they tend to bully all their predators.
So, there is a possibility that some crows saw you around a crow dead body or fallen fledgling.
And now, they perceive you as an enemy.
Since crows can recognize faces and even pass that knowledge to other crows.
Perhaps, crows are here to scold you.
It is the most likely cause if crows are cawing at you, or even trying to bomb-dive.
Some crows can even go as far as poking you or your helpless pet.
If that’s the case, you may be wondering:
How Do I Get Rid Of Crows in My Yard?
Removing crows from your yard is not much different from expelling them from your lawn.
I propose additional methods:
|Make surroundings uncomfortable||Install 4-inch roosting spikes on walls, rooflines, and fences.||Allow small birds but large birds cannot perch.||Sharp spikes may harm cats or birds.
Crows can easily perch with small spikes say, 2.25 inches.
|Bird repellent gel on tree branches and windowsills.||Non-toxic, transparent, and quite effective.||Prevents all birds.|
|Minimize outdoor lighting as crows prefer well-lit areas.||Reduces crows.||Wouldn’t work if crows have already settled in.|
|Remove food resources.||Reduces crows.||Crows may still find food in the neighborhood.|
|Make your place scary for crows.||Get a crow predator like cats or dogs.||Pet smell reduces crows.||Crows may harass the small pet.|
|Hang shiny reflective surfaces like old CDs, reflective tape, party strings, or Disc straps||Works effectively.||May confuse other songbirds.|
|Owl or snake dummies.||16-inches mechanical owl statues or predators flown like kites work best.||Frequent relocation is needed.|
|Fake hanging crow.||Most effective method.||Not aesthetic.|
|Actively Remove crows||Play crow distress call or predator calls.||Quietens the crows.||Crows may quickly catch on.|
|Ultra-sonic repellents||Cover up to 82ft radius or 7000 square feet.||Repels all birds.|
|Motion sensor sprinklers.||Most effective deterrent that covers about 70 feet radius and 3840 square feet.||Single direction sensors.|
|Clangor with fireworks, windchimes, or motors.||Reduces crows.||Noise pollution.|
|Optical rods or strobe lights.||Reduces crows.||Crows may become accustomed to these lights.|
|Secure your things.||Cover and lock secure trash and compost cans from being knocked over.||Reduces trash spill by crows.||High maintenance.|
|Netting with 4-inch mesh.||Works for vegetation.||Impractical for most spaces.|
|Supervise your pets outdoors.||Sometimes reduces crows.||Not much effective.|
|Do not offend Crows.||Don’t touch crow dead bodies or fallen fledglings until it’s dark.||Reduces crow harassment.||Crows may still gather in your yard.|
Keep in mind that no method is perfect.
So, I would recommend the following
- Try a combination of different methods.
- Change your routines to not let crows catch on.
- Shoo crows away early in the winter before they start communal roosting at your place.
That said, no matter how noisy and bothersome crows may be, they are still birds.
Also, they play a crucial role in maintaining the ecosystem.
Even if shooting crows may be legal in your area, I still advise against it.
But if all else fails,
Call your local wildlife center for further assistance.
Crows are omnivores that can eat everything.
If crows are tearing apart your lawn then perhaps your turf is infested with grubs.
Otherwise, your place is either providing some other food resource or perfect nesting spaces.
If you can find the cause, you can easily reduce crows in your backyard.
The trick is to look threatening without much threat. (if that makes sense!)
Related article – Are crows afraid of owls?