The first time you caught sight of a wild turkey strutting through your yard might have been exciting. But now, weeks later, you’re not as excited about your new friend. That turkey has devoured your garden and scared away the birds you so enjoyed seeing at the bird feeder. Or maybe the turkey is chasing your kids.
It’s not so much that turkeys are inherently dangerous, but they become bolder as they lose their fear of humans (which happens when we become familiar). Their boldness might become intimidation or domination, and they could become aggressive or cause damage (especially during breeding season).
You’re finally fed up and ready to take control of the situation. You need to know how to keep turkeys away, so we’re about to tell you how to get rid of those pesky wild turkeys — and the headaches they’ve caused — for good (without causing them harm, that is).
Here are five effective (and humane tips) for deterring wild turkeys.
Turkey Deterrent Tip #1: Food Police
Ready to learn how to get rid of wild turkeys (especially the hungry ones)?
Wild turkeys lead a normal life in their natural habitat, but when they’re in human territory, their behavior adapts to the environment. Like any wild animal, when they find a place they can get food easily, they’ll decide to stick around.
Have they found a daily banquet in your neighborhood? Are they gobbling up food scraps in your neighbor’s backyard? Do they hang out near the bird feeder, waiting for birdseed to fall?
Here’s how to keep turkeys out of your yard: Police the convenient food sources.
As much as you enjoy watching the wild birds perched on your bird feeder, store the feeder in the shed. Politely ask your neighbor to stop feeding the turkeys his leftovers. Keep the garbage can in the garage where it won’t be tempting.
Other potential snacking sources include grass seeds, nut trees, and berry bushes. Cut your grass often, and put a fence around your fruit-bearing plants and garden.
Turkey Deterrent Tip #2: Unidentified Flying Objects
The Humane Society of the United States recommends moving to the top of the turkey pecking order. This way, your neighborhood turkey will be more likely to fear you and less likely to try for dominance or to become a daily nuisance.
So, how do you climb to the top? One method is to introduce unfamiliar objects in the air or throughout the environment. Wild turkeys notice even the smallest changes in their surroundings and are frightened by unusual, unidentifiable objects.
Predator kites flying from tall poles are known to scare off turkeys. Waving your hands in the air or opening an umbrella will startle turkeys into a run. Throwing tennis balls at turkeys can frighten them away.
How to keep turkeys out of your garden? Make it a “sculpture garden” by adding a 3D coyote replica or simple scarecrows. These “sculptures” will make turkeys uneasy, especially if they regularly change location as living predators might.
Turkey Deterrent Tip #3: Water Hazards
Turkeys aren’t especially fond of water. If they’re getting too close, grab your hose and direct a stream of water at their feet. Or keep a water gun handy for better convenience.
Motion-activated sprinklers are another option, although they’re often recommended as a last resort. Motion from children, dogs, and other creatures can also set them off, so the sprinklers could end up annoying you even more than the turkeys do!
Turkey Deterrent Tip #4: Remove the Roosts
Wild turkeys are active during the day but sleep at night. They look for nice, easy, comfortable places to roost — places like your roof, your trees, or your bushes.
Don’t become a turkey B&B; block them from their favorite roosting spots. If your neighborhood turkeys like to roost in trees, prune your trees and bushes to make them less desirable. Fencing can deter turkeys from choosing your yard for a nap. You might also install metal poultry wire around fruit bushes and trees. (We recommend steering clear of polypropylene bird netting. It can harm other wildlife like possums and skunks, who can get tangled and strangled.)
Remove the roosting options, and the turkeys will have no choice but to camp elsewhere.
Turkey Deterrent Tip #5: The Day and Night Dream Team
Nite Guard offers the day and night wild turkey repellent dream team.
During the day, when turkeys are active, let Nite Guard Repellent Tape scare them away. Our durable flash tape creates bright flashes of light and startling crackling sounds, which turkeys can’t stand.
At night, we recommend Nite Guard Solar lights. While turkeys generally sleep when it’s dark, you might have an occasional wanderer, so it’s best to keep your nighttime bases covered. Nite Guard Solar lights rely on red flashing lights to mimic the presence of a predator. This sends the wild turkeys into fight or flight, and they quickly flee your property.