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Best Heron Deterrent for Ponds (Effective Repellent & Control)

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A fish pond can take a lot of time, money and effort to set up and maintain.

So, the last thing you want is heron eating your prized fish right out of your pond!

Luckily, there are a variety of ways to deter these predators and keep your fish safe.

Let's take a look at the best heron deterrents on the market today and answer a few frequently asked questions that we receive from pond owners regarding herons.

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Pond Netting

Placing a net or cover over your pond is a simple and effective way to protect your fish from blue heron. Using a fishing line to deter herons (simply stretching it across your pond in a net-like pattern) is another similar DIY heron deterrent.

This method makes it more difficult for a bird to wade into your pond and snag fish out of it. Just remember to use heavy-duty pond netting and be sure to securely fasten it around the entire perimeter of the pond.

While protecting your pond with netting is an effective way to keep predators out (and not just for heron, but all types of predators), it can be unsightly and, in the opinion of many pond owners, can take away from the beauty of your pond or water garden.

Pros

  • Effectively deters herons and other predators like cats, raccoons, and more.
  • Not only protects pond fish from predators, but stops outside debris like leaves, etc.
  • 24/7 protection for your pond.

Cons

  • Some people find netting to be unsightly and ruin the aesthetics of your pond.

Dewitt Deluxe Pond Netting - 1/4in Mesh

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Dewitt Deluxe Pond Netting - 1/4in Mesh

Automatic Heron Sprinkler

Herons are skittish birds, therefore scare away easily when spooked. And a motion activated sprinkler is a safe and effective way to spook these predators as soon as they come near your pond or water garden.

Motion activated sprinklers, like the one we recommend here or the popular ScareCrow Heron Deterrent spray, are a humane way to repel predators and pests from your pond. They simply detect a predator nearing your pond through motion and spray them with water to effectively scare them off.

This method can work for multiple types of predators and works around the clock, even when you're sleeping.

Pros

  • Effectively deters herons and other predators like cats, raccoons, and more.
  • 24/7 protection for ponds.
  • Safe and humane solution.

Cons

  • The water blast might not be enough to ward off some herons.
  • You need to have a hose and water outlet near your pond.

Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler with Day & Night Detection Modes

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Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler with Day & Night Detection Modes

Blue Heron Decoy

If you want to attract ducks to your pond, one method is to place duck decoys in your pond as they feel safe in numbers.

Herons operate a little differently. In fact, placing a blue heron decoy in your pond has proven to be a great way to repel heron (not attract them)!

Herons are territorial birds and prefer to feed alone, so if they think other herons are already feeding at your pond, they will be more likely to avoid the area and continue flying by.

While this is a humane way to deter herons, it doesn't always work. If certain heron frequents your area and continually notice your decoys in your pond, they may, over time, feel like the decoys aren't a threat. There's not much you can do about this except to try moving your heron decoys around as to trick them into thinking they are real.

Blue heron decoys are cheap so they are worth trying out. And we always recommend using them in combination with other methods mentioned here.

Pros

  • Can deter herons.
  • 24/7 protection for ponds.
  • Safe and humane way to deter herons.

Cons

  • Can lose their effectiveness.
  • Won't stop all herons from visiting your pond.

Pond H2o Blue Heron Decoy with Legs & Stake

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Pond H2o Blue Heron Decoy with Legs & Stake 30

Alligator Decoy

Alligator decoys are not only fun pond decorations, but they are also a means of effective predator control, including heron.

This alligator decoy provides a real life-like look that even appears to be moving with wind and water movement. And since heron are natural prey of alligators, these decoys are a pretty effective heron repellent.

However, if you live in an environment without alligators, then the heron will likely not be afraid of the decoy.

Pros

  • Effectively deters herons and other predators like cats, raccoons, and more.
  • 24/7 protection for ponds.
  • Safe and humane way to deter herons.
  • Easy to install.

Cons

  • Might not work in environments where alligators are not native

Floating Alligator Head

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Floating Alligator Head

Bird Scare Tape

Bird scare tape is an effective repellent for all kinds of birds including geese, ducks, pigeons, and, of course, herons!

This type of tape combines an iridescent material that has a flashy, shimmering surface with a crinkling sound that effectively scares off many species of birds including grey and blue heron.

And not only is it a humane and safe bird repeller, but it's also incredibly easy to install (just cut into strips and hang around your pond), is eco-friendly, and non-toxic.

Pros

  • Effectively deters herons and other birds like geese, ducks, and pigeons.
  • 24/7 protection for ponds.
  • Safe and humane solution.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Easy to install.

Cons

  • Hanging flashy strips around your pond can make it lose some of its visual appeal.

Premium Quality Bird Scare Tape Ribbon 350 feet Long

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Premium Quality Bird Scare Tape Ribbon 350 feet Long

Make Fish Less Visible

An effective way to stop herons from visiting your koi pond is to make its inhabitants less visible. This can be done by using pond dye, setting up a waterfall or fountain, and by adding floating plants to your pond or water garden.

Pond dye, for example, is used to enhance the look of your pond. But, it can also be used to hide your fish as heron passing over won't be able to see your fish swimming through the dye (as long as they aren't near the water surface).

Aquashade Aqua Blue Pond Dye & Weed Control

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Aquashade Aqua Blue Colorant & Weed Control

Waterfalls and fountains provide a consistent source of water agitation. This rippling water will not only help deter herons, but it may also make it harder for them to see fish below the surface.

Pond Boss Pump & Filter Kit

Pond Boss Pump & Filter Kit

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Pond plants, especially the floating types, provide valuable hiding spots for your fish. As an added bonus, they can help oxygenate your water and keep it clean by filtering out pollutants.

Water Hyacinths Floating Water Garden Plants (12 live plants)

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Water Hyacinths Floating Water Garden Plants (12 live plants)

Fish Shelter

Preventing all heron from visiting your pond may not be possible, so it's a good idea to give the koi or other pond fish a chance to protect themselves.

If they don't have any hiding spots under ledges in your pond, then add an aluminum and mesh fish shelter!

This 18 x 12-inch long shelter provides a safe barrier from many different types of predators, including blue herons. They also provide shade for your fish on sunny days.

Pros

  • 24/7 fish protection.
  • Safe and humane protection for koi and other fish.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Provides shade.

Cons

  • It does not deter predators, but rather it provides protection when a threat does come along.
  • You may need a lot of shelters if you have a lot of fish

Nycon KK-01 Koi Kastle (Aluminum and Mesh)

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Nycon KK-01 Koi Kastle (Aluminum and Mesh)

Heron Deterrent FAQ's

How do herons take fish from ponds?

Herons typically stand very still in shallow regions of a pond, patiently waiting, and when a fish comes within range they will thrust their head forward impaling the fish with its spear-shaped bill. This is known as a "bill stab". They will even throw up into your pond so that your fish will come running (ok, swimming) thinking it's food!

Do herons fish at night?

Typically, heron will search for food in the early morning hours or at dusk. However, they can and will feed all night long, especially if it's a full moon or the area is well lit.

Do heron decoys work?

Yes, heron decoys can work to help deter herons. They work on the principle that they are territorial birds and prefer to feed alone, so if they think other herons are already searching for food at your pond, they will be more likely to avoid it and continue flying by. However, they don't always work. And it's best to combine them with other methods to keep herons away from your water.

How do I keep predators out of my fish pond?

You can effectively keep most predators out of your pond, for example, heron, raccoons, snakes, and more by combining multiple techniques mentioned in this article, including:

  • Pond netting, which is essentially a barrier over your pond to keep out predators.
  • Decoys that are designed to help keep predators away. Alligator heads can be useful to deter heron, etc. while owl decoys will help get rid of snakes and other predators.
  • A motion-activated sprinkler to help repel predators as they near your pond or water garden.

There are less common options, such as repellents that emit loud sounds and a fence that produces an electrical shock when touched. But we haven't had much luck with using sounds as a repellent (and they can be annoying) and shocking wildlife isn't the most humane or safe option.

And keep in mind, it can be difficult to keep all predators out of your pond, so be sure to provide your fish with ample hiding shelters so they can fend for themselves in the event a predator does visit.

Nycon KK-01 Koi Kastle (Aluminum and Mesh)

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Nycon KK-01 Koi Kastle (Aluminum and Mesh)