Scarecrows have been around for many decades and are predominantly used to discourage birds from feeding on crops. Over the years scarecrows have flitted between friend and foe, featuring in films such as the Wizard of Oz, which is a children’s classic, to Jeepers Creepers which is a well-known horror movie.
Do air blown scarecrows actually work?
It’s no wonder that birds are scared of scarecrows. You would be too if you spotted a man made of plastic or straw, who was dressed in old clothes, standing alone in a field – it is enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies. But imagine if that human shaped effigy popped up and danced when you were least expecting it!
Most bird scaring devices are static and therefore need to be complimented with other methods in order to be fully effective. An inflatable scarecrow, however, uses a number of tactics to scare birds away.
These inflatable plastic characters; which are also known as “air rangers”, “tube men” and “scary dancers”; have been traditionally popular with automobile dealerships but have more recently become favored by farmers and city businesses alike.
Made from brightly colored materials, these airblown bird scarers are imposing in stature and are automated to inflate and deflate at random whilst emitting a loud noise. These are all attributes that well-known to scare birds away. Some even come with sensors so that they can detect movement to illuminate the scarecrow at night.
Benefits of using an air blown scarecrow
Inflatable scarecrows offer a great way to target avian pests such as crows, collared doves, seagulls, pigeons and magpies. Although initially designed with the protection of crops and vineyards in mind, these air blown devices have become popular in cities and across coasts as an efficient way to combat pest birds.
The main benefits of air blown scarecrows over motionless bird control devices, is that the product incorporates movement, sound and visual stimulus in one. The brightly colored tube flaps its arms against the wind and can be propelled into the air in a matter of seconds. There are pre-set options that allow you to adjust the frequency of the inflation in order to catch birds unaware.
Drawbacks to using airborne scarecrows
There are very few drawbacks to using inflatable scarecrows however, weather can play an important part in their effectiveness.
Strong winds can prevent these devices from fully inflating and in extreme conditions can cause them to blow over. Placing your air blown scarecrow in a less exposed area that has some form of shelter, will help protect against this situation.
Most inflatable scarecrows use a power cable in order to generate air, noise and light. Although they can be used outdoors and in most weather conditions, it is important that any electrical leads or units are not exposed to the elements or placed on wet ground. As with any outdoor electrical device, we would strongly recommend that you use a ground fault circuit breaker to help prevent any electrical hazards.
Finally, just like any decoy, if left in one place for any length of time, there is the chance that birds may become accustomed to it. Therefore, we recommend that you move this around your property or land on a regular basis to keep up the element of surprise.
Best inflatable scarecrows for scaring birds
Predominately used for promotional purposes or for entertainment at kids’ parties, inflatable scarecrows for use against pest birds is a relatively new concept. Having only become popular within the last 10 years, there is currently a limited amount of choice available when it comes to purchasing air blown scarecrows.
Here we will guide you through our top three inflatable scarecrow devices – all of which are available to purchase on Amazon.
1. AirCrow Inflatable Scarecrow Blower
Shaped like a snake, the AirCrow 6” inflatable scarecrow comes in a variety of colors. Once inflated this inflatable blower harmlessly frightens unwanted bird pests away.
The AirCrow air blown scarecrow uses a combination of both sound and movement, although the snake flapping in the wind creates enough of a noise on its own. Able to work effortlessly off a 120-vault plug, we would recommend buying a timer to enhance this product, so that it is not on all the time.
2. AirCrow Blackbird Inflatable Scarecrow Blower
From the same manufacturer as the snake design above, this 8” inflatable scarecrow guy is able to wave his hands erratically on a windy day creating both movement and sound. What we particularly like about this brand of product, is the customization elements. Both of these electric models can be extended, with a 4″ sewer and drainpipe which enables you to place it higher into the air.
The only downside to this product is that it is not UV protected so the colors are prone to fading over time and unit itself is not fully waterproof.
3. AirRanger Reflective Inflatable Bird Scarer
All Singing All Dancing Scarecrow
What the other two inflatable scarecrows lack in terms of weatherproof ability and choice of settings, this singing all dancing bird scarer offers in spades.
Able to inflate to heights of 20ft this non rip dancing man comes in a variety of different colors and includes a power blower that is not only water resistant but has 2 different speed settings. The motor itself is fully enclosed which means that is it guarded against weather damage. Slightly more expensive that the other two inflatable scarecrows, you certainly get what you pay for with this high-quality bird scaring device.
If you are fed up of trying a selection of different bird repellent methods, then we would definitely recommend an inflatable scarecrow. Nowhere near as subtle as reflective tape or bird sound deterrents, their imposing nature, unpredictable life-like movements and irritating sounds are what keep problem birds at bay.
We believe that inflatable scarecrows are so successfully in scaring pest birds because they use a unique combination of color, sound, and movement that will keep them guessing season after season.