Driving tests

How to stop birds pooing on your car or truck

The acidic nature of bird poo is particularly bad for your paintwork. If left on, it can eat through the clearcoat and into the paintwork. Once the clearcoat is damaged, water can get underneath and suddenly a small patch becomes a larger damaged area. Paint where the clearcoat has been removed will fade.

Droppings from birds that eat seeds are worse than those from birds that eat invertebrates.

How can you avoid birds messing on your car?

Wrong place at the wrong time: motorway speeds and an open driver’s side window. Half of it hit the B pillar while the other half hit the seat belt and rear seat!

You can never completely avoid the risks but there are plenty of ways you can minimise it. Avoid parking under trees where birds hang out – particularly ones with fruit. Birds tend to roost in trees at night. If you spot a tree next to the road and you can also see that there’s a lot of bird droppings on the surrounding pavement, your vehicle is at risk.

If you have to park outside, you can purchase a car cover, but the act of putting it on and taking it off will get annoying on a day-to-day basis.

If you do get bird droppings on your vehicle, wash them off as soon as possible.

One school of thought says that birds are attracted to reflections of themselves

Unverified methods

  • Using an image of a bird of prey or a natural enemy of the bird in the windscreen
  • Placing fake snakes on the roof
  • Placing a plastic bag over the wing mirrors (the theory being the birds see themselves in the mirror and want to socialise with themselves, or attack a competitor)
  • Choosing a less reflective car colour (e.g. you can’t see your reflection in a white car, but you can in a black car)
  • Tying something to the wing mirrors that will move a lot

Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

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