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Unwanted Houseboat Guests - bird poo, animal dung, duck feces, fish banging.

by Tim
(Des Moines, Iowa)

Unwanted Houseboat Guests & Visitors - the little terrorist here : )

Unwanted Houseboat Guests & Visitors - the little terrorist here : )

Does anyone have any unwanted houseboat guests like birds, animals, ducks, or noisy fish around their house boats? I know that bird poop, animal dung, duck feces, and constant fishing banging on the hull can be hard to endure.

I was curious if any of the members have found a good deterrent to keep birds of their houseboats. The problem I am having is I have a Heron that likes to fish of the top deck of our houseboat and he is anything but tidy :)

I have tried the fake owl and that only worked for about a week. Would love to know if some of the seasoned boaters have come across this problem, and if they found a good cure?

Thanks for any help, Tim

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Reply - Answer
Well Tim, sorry to hear about your unwanted houseboat visitor, mind you, you have taken a great picture of a beautiful specimen. Personally, I wish I could be as good of a fisherman as a Heron, as they rarely go hungry :)

I am surprised that the fake Owl didn't solve your problem. You could use the scarecrow theory, like the one's that the farmers use in
the fields.

Maybe you could mount the owl a little higher, and have some hanging beads, or rags under him, so that the wind can create some movement and keep him away.

If this doesn't work, you may need to take it up a notch, and get yourself a cat :)

Personally, years ago I had an incident where I was being teased about becoming a "family man", as I had a pregnant female duck land on our houseboat roof and lay 7 eggs.

The jokes about me becoming a "foster parent" were everywhere around the marina. I put up a fake owl, and have never been a foster parent since.

Houseboat ducks and birds on roof
Ducks landed and laid seven eggs on our houseboat roof.

There is a multitude of issues that can happen around marinas and houseboats, and these folks had a problem with fish banging on their houseboat hull.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their unwanted houseboat guest tips and experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Unwanted Houseboat Guests - bird poo, animal dung, duck feces, fish banging.

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Keeping geese off of your dock
by: Daveman

A friend of mine has a product that's designed to keep geese and geese poop off your dock.

Their product is inexpensive, easy to take down when you want to access your dock, and is not a large obnoxious eye sore.

Ever since I installed the product, I have had ZERO incidents. I strongly suggest checking it out!

Unwanted guest
by: Anonymous

On my dock at the end we have this problem also. We have started putting rubber snakes out on the decks and it is really working well. Hope this works for you.

Unwanted Houseboat Guests
by: Bruce & Cindy

The issue on our houseboat is with Geese. There were dozens of them until a few weeks ago, and now there are HUNDREDS.

We love all animals (and our small dog does a good job of patrolling the decks even though we don't always want her to) but walking from the truck to the houseboat is no small feat, when there are thousands of greenish/black geese droppings all over the place.

We have to take our shoes off before we step from the dock onto the deck. Really not much we can do about it other than complain to each other :-)

We also have many types of water birds in the Oneida Lake / Erie Canal area of NY State, but I've never seen them land on the boat (perhaps ours are more afraid of the owl hanging from the top rail than yours are).

We know first hand what it takes to TRY to keep a boat clean, but we look at it as part of owning a boat and enjoying the things we can't see during the week at home & at work.

With that said, if we someday change from weekenders to full timers, we might form a different opinion after a while ? Good luck and keep the mop handy.

Reply - Answer
Well Bruce and Cindy, I can sympathize with you, as the ducks at our marina can really mess up a swim platform or dock finger. But like you said, we accept it a part of the living in harmony.

IAN from

Wildlife is awesome
by: Russell

Living here in south Florida we hear a lot about wildlife invading boats, homes, pools and other places where humans live. When I was here as a kid I used to see gators, snakes and all sorts of wildlife every day.

My grand parents used to go out of their way to attract wild critters. It was one of the best parts of living in Florida. Today it seems that everyone wants the wildlife to live somewhere else. Living on a boat is moving into the backyard of the wildlife. Why be upset because it is a little inconvienient to clean the deck.

If you didn't want wildlife, why move into an area where the wildlife would be more likely to make contact with you? I enjoy the birds, gators, snakes and manatees.

While living in Norfolk aboard my 40 foot Chris Craft I had a seal who kept leaving fish heads on my swim platform and in my dink. I found that if I got up real early I could watch him bring the fish up and lay about on the dink or swim platform while he enjoyed his meal. He always left me an offering for using the area to roll around and eat on.

Last week we had a large school of Jacks thunder between the hulls and chase baitfish for hours. I loved it.

Instead of chasing wildlife away, you should be attracting it and helping it to survive in todays world. Hosing the boat off is something we do all the time anyhow.

People move in and bring food for the gators and complain when Fluffy becomes an appetizer. The gator was just hungry and you brought him a snack.

Next time try Chicago in some little appartment on the south side. Leave the wildlife to those of us who appreciate it.

Reply - Answer
Russell, I want to thank you for giving folks another perspective of the natural wildlife that we have around marinas.

IAN from

Unwanted Houseboat Guests
by: CL

I use fake wooden snakes to keep the barn swallows away. I have used them for years, you will need to move them around every now and then so they seem real.

The wooden ones seem to work best and when they start to weather, they look almost real.... Has even stopped a few humans from coming aboard.

Reply - Answer
CL, that is a great idea about using fake wooden snakes. I guess you have to watch the family and friends :)

IAN from

Tip for great blue herons, and houseboats.
by: Anonymous

We had a problem with great blues in our small backyard pond and after much searching, came up with a solution. With a little creativity on your part you may be able to adapt it to your boat.

Herons prefer to fly in to land and so we were told to string several strands of clear fishing line in a crisscross pattern at a height taller than a person.

When the heron comes in for a landing it will either get momentarily tangled in the line or, like at our house, it sees the line at the last second and gets frightened away; permanently, I might add.

Worked great for us. Once he moves on, you can take it down. Considering their wingspan you won't need very many lines and since it's clear, won't really even notice it. Good Luck!

Reply - Answer
Thanks a million for the great tip, as there are many houseboaters that have problems with herons.

IAN from

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