Scare devices are easily dismissed by many people because of the constant reminders of how ineffectual they can be against birds (Everyone has seen the famous plastic owl covered in feces with a pigeon on its head). This is a prime example of how bird control products are tools, dependent on being used in right way and in the right situation for success. Scare devices are very specific tools useful in certain situations. These products by themselves can not be a substitute for exclusion in high pressure areas (attractive habit and abundant food and water).
The goal of these devices is to make the birds feel too uncomfortable to remain at a site. Therefore, the bird control professional must use these products to create fear in the birds so that the noise and visual distractions overwhelm their attraction to the site (food, water, viewpoint or protection from the elements). This can range from easy (a flock of starlings) to hard (a woodpecker in established territory). Remember, since established birds fight much harder to stay at a site than newcomers, scare tactics should be used as soon as possible against birds moving into a new site. As always, it helps to try to remove all food and water sources in the area that may heighten the birds’ dedication to the site.