In Need Of A Duck Repellent?
Normally we enjoy having ducks in the area, and see no apparent need for a duck repellent of any kind. A pair of ducks and/or several ducklings are enjoyable to watch and by and large don't bother anything. Where we often run into problems is with geese, specifically Canada geese, which have multiplied in numbers by a tremendous amount in recent years and who are not always afraid of humans to the point of sometimes becoming aggressive.
It has gotten to the point where geese repellent is showing up on the market place more and more frequently. Duck repellent is a little harder to come by until one realizes that what works for geese, generally works for ducks as well. Many pest repellents rely on odor, particularly the odor of a predator, to scare small pests away. Coyote urine odor can be very effective in ridding an area of pests ranging from rabbits to deer. Coyote odor may or may not work as a duck repellent, as ducks rely more on sight and sound to spot a predator rather than scent.
The makeup of an effective duck repellent is something that is going to make what ducks like to eat smell or taste bad. Rather than frightening the ducks away, the repellent serves to make food in the area it is applied taste and smell bad (from the duck's perspective) and the ducks will simply move on to what they consider greener pastures, where the food tastes better.
A Repellent That Works - Perhaps the best known chemical duck repellent is methyl anthranilate. The chemical can be used on lawns, or in ponds as long as the ponds contain no fish. Methyl anthranilate will drive ducks (and geese) away, but is not harmful to humans, pets, or songbirds, nor will it drive songbirds away. The chemical is not harmful to ducks either. They simply don't care for the smell or taste of it, and won't hang around for long once the chemical has been applied.
If you just have an occasional duck or two to contend with, ones that do little harm for the most part, but may be leaving droppings on your lawn or deck, shooing them away is often easiest and least expensive. Ducks have a natural fear of humans, although if not frightened off will eventually become somewhat more tame. The idea of course is to scare them away before this begins to happen. If they are breeding, it's another matter. You can haze ducks or scare them away most any time, but when they are breeding it's generally illegal to do so.
It's Best To Start Early - If there are many ducks in an area, it can become more difficult to get rid of them, and using duck repellent could become fairly expensive if the area in question is very large, so its much better if you either use a duck repellent or employ scare tactics when there are only a few ducks around, before the relatives move in.
If you do have a duck problem it's most likely to be with mallards, if only because mallards are the most abundant species of duck in the United States. While most are wild, there are also mallards what have been released from captivity, and the latter may not be shy about making your home their home and leaving droppings on the lawn and, worse yet, in the swimming pool. Mallards are not noted for carrying diseases, but duck poop, besides being unsightly, always has that potential.
Extreme Measures - If you live out in the country, and away from other houses, you might consider the shotgun as the duck repellent of choice. No matter where you live however, you can't legally shoot ducks except during hunting season, unless the situation is dire, in which case you may be able to apply for an out of season permit.