Controlling Crows

(Corvus brachyrhynchos)

Yes: Crows can be noisy:

Generally speaking, crows become a particular nuisance during the winter months when they gather for the evening. It appears that crows come together at this time in order to stay warmer. Here in Springfield, MA we have had the largest winter crow roosts in Southern New England, with literally thousands of crows huddled together in several acres of trees.

Crow Diseases

West Nile Encephalitis

Crow Damage

  • Wine grapes (Chanbourcin) are harvested by flocks of crows the day before harvest (based on brix and pH measurements) says one farmer.

Crows can also damage lawns as they search for worms and grubs. Sign is the lawn appears shredded. If damage only occurs at night it is a sign of raccoons not crows.

It seems you have learned first hand why the North American migratory bird act needs to be modified. Unfortunately, there probably isn't a whole lot that can be done in your situation.  So I will give you some info. on a general basis.

General Crow Control Principles

  • Always remove food sources. Never allow animals of any sort to get easy access to food. Trash cans , bird feeders etc. should all be covered and removed. Don't expect animals to leave if there is plenty of food.
  • Remove water sources. This is a corrollary of the previous principle.

Non-lethal Crow Control & Harassment

A word or two needs to be said about harassment techniques in general. First, there are too many variables when dealing with harassment techniques such as distress calls to determine how well they will work in your situation. Most of the time you just got to try it. The other problem is that most urbanites see success as 100% removal of the problem. This can only be guaranteed by a lethal control program. Farmers by contrast can view success as the reduction of predation on their crops. Our experience has shown that urbanites have a much higher standard for success. Hints on harassing problem wildlife
  • An owl effigy will only work for a few days and chances are you will actually hear more noise as the crows try to drive the owl away. They will soon learn that the owl is fake after a few days. To reduce this risk, be sure to move the owl around or get one that moves and hoots.
  • Crow distress calls. These cassette tapes used with pyrotechnics can be very effective. Your neighbors may not like it as it will move the crows elsewhere. Tapes can also be used to attract crows for hunting purposes. Again this is a short term solution up to a year.
    Fighting Crows

    Death Cry
    Death Cry II
  • Pyrotechnics/Propane Cannons. These generally require permits from area police departments etc. However, they can be effective in dispersing crow roosts to another area. They, like all harassment techniques, work better when they are initiated before the animals become attached to the area.
  • Repellents. This is a newly legalized option. Essentially it is a chemical that is fogged and sent up into the trees. One problem with repellents is that you may not be able to use them in situations where you plan to eat the crops.

Lethal Crow Control Options

  • Shooting. But there is a catch. You need a permit from the Federal Gov. If you are killing the crows out of regular hunting season (Seasons will be set by your home state). You also have the problem of local shooting laws. Never shoot a gun unless you can safely and legally do so.
  • Trapping. This can be an effective option. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about this technique yet. But what I do know is that it consists of a large trap several feet square, that is baited. Once captured the crows can be removed and destroyed.


Other useful pages Geese.php


Hope this helps.




Disclaimer: WDC seeks to provide accurate, effective and responsible information on resolving human/wildlife conflicts. We welcome suggestions, criticisms to help us achieve this goal. The information provided is for informational purposes only and users of the information use it at their own risk. The reader must consult state/federal officials to determine the legality of any technique in the reader's locale. Some techniques are dangerous to the user and to others. WDC encourages readers to obtain appropriate training (see our informational literature at our Store ), and understand that proper animal damage control involves patience, understanding that not every technique/method works for every situation or even 100% of the time. Your use of this information is governed by this understanding. We welcome potential users of the information and photos to simply ask for permission via e-mail. Finally, WDC welcomes e-mail but understand that all e-mails become property of Wildlife Damage Control.