Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: Keep Birds Out of Your Flower Baskets and Wreaths

Keep Birds Out of Your Flower Baskets and Wreaths

Use a Fake Snake and Get Results

Spring is here and birds are nesting. Birds like high places up and out of sight places to build their nests and to stay out of sight from predators. I see bird nests in trees, gutters and other locations that are up off the ground.

Birds tend to find my flower baskets and decorative wreaths and burrow down and build their nests. This is not good for my plants or my wreaths. In frustration I looked for ways to deter the birds. My grandson had a fake snake toy that put a scare into me. I thought maybe it would fool the birds, too and gave it a try.

The wreath on my front door was a prime target since I like to make my house look inviting and colorful. Birds make quick work of building their nests so the goal was to never let them get started. I borrowed my grandson's toy snake and tucked it into my wreath with the head just barely sticking out. The birds went elsewhere and I had a win. 

Since my first posting, How to Keep Birds from Nesting in Your Wreaths I have had great success. The birds moved over to my hanging ferns and flower baskets. So more snakes were needed and I made several trips to the dollar store and actually bought them out of fake snakes. They really do look real. I now put one in every hanging basket I have to protect the root systems and keep birds from plucking at them.

Birds don't like snakes. I don't like snakes, real ones that is but these fake ones have become my friends and serve a good purpose.

Now the birds stay at a distance and build their nests elsewhere. I still see plenty of birds in my yard, robins and cardinals are prevalent. I am happy to let them forage, carry worms and bugs to their nests up in the trees and in the neighbor's gutters and hanging baskets. Give it a try. You'll be surprised with the result.


Check out my other tips for getting your home ready to sell with My 10 Tips for Sellers. Contact Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent Debbie Reynolds for information on buying or selling. 931-320-6730.

 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

When you need Real Estate services in Clarksville TN

                  it would be my pleasure to assist you!                             

Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

Check out all Clarksville TN Real Estate on My Website

931-771-9070 Office | 931-320-6730 Cell

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Comment balloon 53 commentsDebbie Reynolds • May 23 2017 03:22AM


Debe I love the article and I love the video...You are beautiful and you are great on camera..and I like the tips..I want you all to know that I am a copy cat and I run with ideas..When you see it again, I will give you credit for it..Great blog..

Posted by Dr. Karen Lewis, Broker 305-3231556, Residential for Sellers and Buyers in S. Broward (K1 Realty Group) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie - birds can be a real problem around doors.  Thanks for the easy tip to keep them away. 

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 2 years ago

I have heard of this technique before, toy owls work too.  Personally I would rather have the birds than even a fake snake.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) almost 2 years ago

This is a great tip I am using for our monthly snail mail newsletter....and another excuse to go to the Dollar Store !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 2 years ago

Thanks for this reminder. I recall your previous blog.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 2 years ago

Thanks for the tip, Debbie.  I need to try this out on my patio.  (If my wife will let me.)

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 2 years ago

Such a great idea, i have had an awful problem this spring too. Have a good day Debbie Reynolds 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie. What a fabulous idea. I will check at my dollar store to see if they have fake snakes. I've never seen them there but never looked either.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 2 years ago

Debbie, this is the time of year the birds are building nests anywhere they can.  Great tips, but not sure I was a snake in a wreath on my front door.  May scare my guests.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) almost 2 years ago

Debbie I had no idea that birds didn't like snakes. Over the years we've had a lot of birds build their nests in hanging plants. One family even did so in a fake fern in a side patio we forgot about!  We couldn't believe our ears when we heard little chirps coming from the patio fake plant. I must admit it was kind of fun watching them grow up and finally leave the nest.  But then we took down the fake plant.   Great video!! Dollar Store is going to have a run on fake snakes!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 2 years ago

Fake snakes oh my goodness, have seen this done before and I go running the other way when I walk up to a house with snakes in the planter boxes. Oh my goodness please let the agents know they are there and to expect to see it. Have made a fool of myself backing up very quickly and saying there is a snake in the planter box. This works in barns as well ... seen one in a barn I was out showing and guess what a hoe works  well to get them out of the way but it was a fake snake so it was a good laugh but all the same watching for snakes is very important. . would make a good post watch for snakes real and fake ones. Yikes. 

Posted by Laura Filip, What can we do for you today? (Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life ) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie - Cool idea, except for maybe giving visitors heart attacks over the snake in the front door wreath : )

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 2 years ago

Great video Debbie and an easy way to keep the birds nesting where both they and you can be happy!

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) almost 2 years ago

Wonderful idea and great video!


Posted by Donny Carter, Mountain Maryland Real Estate Expert (Carter & Roque Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie

That's a pretty cool idea - I never would have thought of it! I guess as long as it works AND you don't freak yourself out because you forget, it's a win-win.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 2 years ago

Nice post

Posted by Sumon Ahsan almost 2 years ago

Clever idea.  I had a house for sale with a hanging basket out front and there was a nest of robins in it.  I thought it was so cute but it did ruin the plant.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

Cats work well too!

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 2 years ago

Debbie, thank you for sharing the tip! I'll have to try and see if it works here in Hawaii. Since we don't have any snakes, I wonder if the local birds are afraid of them too! Aloha!

Posted by Monique Ting, Your agent under the sun (INET Realty Honolulu, HI) almost 2 years ago

Or, you could just buy one of my birdhouses and keep some of them out of your front or back porches!  Good tip, Debbie.

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) almost 2 years ago

Thanks for the tip, Debbie!  A couple of days ago I took down a hanging fern to water it, and there was a birds nest!  Off to the dollar store tomorrow to solve that problem!

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie: I understand it can be annoying and also a blessing. I go to parks every day to see the birds and their babies which are here for the season and you have them at your home. Sure beats lizards, ants and mosquitoes which we have lots of here.

Posted by Janice Zaltman Realtor, LEED AP (United Realty Group) almost 2 years ago

Hey Debbie, That's a good idea if you have a wreath or basket in the front entrance.

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

Very clever solution, Debbie. I'll need to remember this when chatting with friends who have the same problem of birds nesting in the wrong places.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 2 years ago


A fake snake will keep the birds out of flower basket and wreaths  . . . . Get it.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 2 years ago

Seems to deter woodpeckers in Colorado, too! Fake snakes frighten me, so why would't they frighten "bird brains", huh??? haha!

Posted by Ruth Vogt, 719-592-0855 Apply 24/7 (Fairway Independent Mortgage, LLS. Equal Housing Opportunity. Regulated by the Division of Real Estate.) almost 2 years ago

They do look real! One time my husband found one that the kids had left in the yard. He hollered "Catch" and tossed it to me - I didn't think it was as funny as he did.

I would love to have hanging baskets at my house but it won't ever happen. We have too much wind and any hanging plants get broken.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 2 years ago

Dear Debbie,

Never had this problem, but sounds like a neat deterrent. Putting up alternative nesting spots, where you would prefer them, may help too.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) almost 2 years ago

Not something I ever think about but thank you for telling me because I might need to know one day

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 2 years ago

Thank you for the tip. I will share it with others. 

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie Reynolds ,

I remember when you posted about this last year, I'm glad you've had success..good idea just can't bring myself to put a fake snake in my wreath! I hate snakes..rather have a bird nesting in my wreath.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 2 years ago

This makes sense because the snakes do go after the birds nest for their feast. 

Posted by Rose Mary Justice, Synergy Realty Pros (Synergy Realty Pros) almost 2 years ago

Thanks for the great idea!  I have birds trying to take over my hanging baskets on my patio!

Posted by Shirley Coomer, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az (Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living) almost 2 years ago

I can only imagine the reaction of a snake phobic person who comes to visit.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) almost 2 years ago

 About 12 years ago I was showing a house to a young couple  and up in the porch rafters was a snake, I also saw residual remains of  a swallow's nest.   We were all startled at first but then realized it was a fake snake.  Wish someone would have told be before that incident.   Great video  Debbieand yes it does deter our feathered friends and I reccomend it to my listings.  Wish I found an effective solution for dirt doobbers.    Anyone?

Posted by Angela Johnson-Rhodes, The "Rhodes" that lead you Home at (Fathom Realty,AR, LLC./Turn Key RE Group) almost 2 years ago

I buy tiny solar powered owls that turn their heads with the power of the sun and it does a fantastic job of keeping the birds off my porch and patio and out of my garage

Posted by Amy Gutschow, Professional Real Estate (RE/MAX) almost 2 years ago

Love seeing and hearing you in your video. Great idea, I think our cats keep them away from nesting in our pots, as Sam jumps very high.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) almost 2 years ago

I remember the wreath post and what a great idea! I didn't think to use it for baskets and flower boxes though. 

I happen to have a nest right in the overhang directly over my front door. I wouldn't want to disturb it now, but what a mess those little creatures make! Hopefully I can remember to place a snake up there next year before they establish their home!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 2 years ago

I can only imagine the reaction of anyone who walks up to your front door and sees the snake's head sticking out! Sounds like a great way to also keep unwanted visistors away, too! 

Seriously, though, what a great idea you shared! Bird nests certainly can make a mess. As I was driving to a client's home yesterday, there was a live snake slithering across the road. Eww. 

Great feature in the latest issue of the CRS magazine, by the way!

Posted by Melissa Spittel, "Achieving Results Together " (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 2 years ago

we have the same problem with donkeys eating our shrubs... we put a fake rattlesnake out and they stay away from the bushes.. great info.. thanks.... 

Posted by Doyle Lee Austin Davison Iv, 28+ years serving Investors/Banks/Buyers/sellers (Surf City Realty 714-968-6767) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie, I remember you writing a post about this and suggested it to friends and family. Luckily, I never had that challenge around my home.

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) almost 2 years ago

Great info and video!

Posted by Linda Metallo DiBenardo (RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois) almost 2 years ago

Debbie is friend to Nature and her like kind...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie, a snake in the wreath may also keep away the odd solicitor!  :-)

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) almost 2 years ago

Wow, I never would have thought of this. Thanks for the tip.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, almost 2 years ago

Really creative solution! Congrats on your feature article in CRS magazine!!

Posted by Donna Quinlan, Keller Williams Real Estate Agent Career Consultan (Keller Williams Realty) almost 2 years ago

Good morning, Debbie Reynolds glad I saw this post.... I have a gorgeous yellow flowered hanging basket near my kitchen door... and everyday I open the door to see birds flying from it.... now I'm on a mission to find a toy snake....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 2 years ago

Debbie Reynolds I had no idea this was a problem. Great job with the video and congratulations on being featured!

Posted by Nathan Gesner, Broker / Property Manager (American West Realty and Management) almost 2 years ago

Fake snakes? Brilliant!

Posted by Matthew O'Hare almost 2 years ago

The big plastic owls are supposed to have the same effect but I think it's more varied.

Posted by Mick Michaud, Your Texas Lifestyle is Here! (Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107) almost 2 years ago

Brilliant, Debbie!  Loved hearing your voice on the video - great demonstration too!  

Happy Wednesday!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 2 years ago

I love this post and your video is awesome!  I have plenty of fake snakes (and a few spiders) from The Dollar Store, mostly for my kids to play with, but I love this idea and am going to start putting fake snakes around my house and plants :-)  Kasey

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - almost 2 years ago

Interesting coincidence!  I just returned from Huntsville and my daughter had a birds nest in the basket of flowers that were ON her house!  I'll definitely share this idea with her.  Thank you!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 2 years ago