How To Keep Wild Turkeys Away From Your Yard

Melissa Shelly

Who knew wild turkeys were a thing? Ever heard of them? Did you know they’re a big deal in the wildlife scene? These fierce little birds are actually their own species – Meleagris gallopavo. They aren’t your grandma’s typical pet turkey; that’s for real! Keep reading to learn more about why these wild turkeys are making headlines.

If you want to keep wild turkeys out of your yard, there are some things you need to consider. Wild turkeys can become a nuisance, damaging yards and gardens while also carrying disease. Fortunately, there are some strategies for keeping them away from your property. This article will explore what you need to know about wild turkeys and ways to stay safe from them.

What Are Wild Turkeys?

Wild turkeys are native to North America and were first introduced to Europe in the 1500s. Today they can be found throughout most states in the U.S., ranging from large flocks in Canada to small groups in Mexico. They usually live in woodlands but can often be seen grazing in fields or lawns near residential areas.

Are Wild Turkeys Dangerous?

Though wild turkeys may look harmless, they can be dangerous if handled improperly or if one threatens them or their young ones. Due to the sharp claws on their feet, they can inflict serious damage on people and pets alike. Additionally, they can carry diseases such as salmonella and E. coli, which cause vomiting and diarrhea when ingested by humans or animals.

How To Keep Wild Turkeys Away From Your Yard

Suppose you see signs that wild turkeys have taken up residence near your home and garden. In that case, you must take action before the situation worsens. Here are three tips for keeping them away:

1: Secure Garbage Cans

Wild turkeys love to scavenge for food – especially around garbage cans – so ensuring your trash is securely contained is a crucial step in preventing them from frequenting your yard. Ensure that lids fit tightly onto garbage cans, double bagging food waste whenever possible to prevent odors from escaping and prevent easy access for the birds themselves.

2: Put Up Bird Netting

Bird netting is an effective way of barring wild turkeys from entering your yard without harming the animals. Place bird netting over fruit trees or around planters where you believe they may be tempted to feed on produce or dig holes to bury their food supply instead of over garden beds where it could present a tripping hazard for yourself or visitors.

3: Use Visual Repellents

Visual repellents disorient wild turkeys by startling them with bright colors or reflective surfaces like foil strips hung at eye level across patios/yards as well as fake owls placed amongst trees or other structures – these act together as deterrents that make the birds warier of trespassing again where they have seen these objects before placing too much trust in any one item though – a combination approach is recommended since many birds quickly learn how to distinguish between real threats versus false alarms!

Will Mothballs Keep Turkeys Away From Your Home?

Living in suburban or rural areas can sometimes come with its own “pests,” especially when those pets are large wild animals like turkeys. Turkeys, the grand birds found during Thanksgiving, maybe a nuisance for some homeowners. Before guests start carrying around motion sensors and shiny objects to keep these creatures at bay, they should first consider using mothballs.

What Are Mothballs?

Mothballs, also known as naphthalene balls, are inexpensive to eliminate pests like moths and insects. Originally made from napalm (an explosive better suited for warfare than pest control), these tiny balls have been used in the kill-pest game since the 1960s. Commonly available in hardware stores, mothballs generally come in sizes measuring up to 8″ x 12″, making them easy to spread around yards or gardens — where many suggest that turkeys won’t dare go near them.

Do They Really Keep Turkeys Away?

While anecdotal evidence suggests that putting mothballs on your lawn will help ward off wild turkeys, studies don’t definitively say so. However, according to wildlife experts at The National Turkey Federation (NTF), this old-school keepsake may do the trick if you scatter enough of them in one area. As one NTF official advised: “Just spread [mothballs] around the edges of your backyard or garden, and it will usually keep [turkeys] away.”

Are Moth Balls Safe To Use?

Though using moth balls is a generally OK practice for getting rid of turkeys and other pests outdoors, there are certain elements that one needs to pay attention to when using them — particularly indoors. According to, inhaling or ingesting small particles from moth balls can be harmful and even lead to neurological symptoms such as motor weakness and gum bleeding.”

Though it’s not suggested you purposely breathe these fumes in through your nose or mouth while applying them outdoors, he suggests wearing a respirator mask if used indoors. Also, properly wrapping the moth balls before disposal is key; ultimately, keeping the powder far away from curious kids and pets who may stumble upon it later on in your garbage-bagged trashcan is important.

Turkeys are an increasingly common sight in many yards these days. They can be a real nuisance and make a big mess,; but fortunately, you can take steps to get rid of them without killing them. Here’s how to deter wild turkeys from your yard:

Stick to a Regular Clean-up Routine

Turkeys like meals that come easy, so if you keep your yard clutter-free and regularly pick up any food or trash, the birds may decide to go elsewhere for easier pickings.

Discourage Roosting

As their name implies, wild turkeys prefer roosting in trees near open areas where they can access some low-growing bushes and shrubs. If they can find a place they deem suitable, they quickly move in and begin making it their own! Make sure there is no overgrown vegetation surrounding your house, and prune back any trees they may be using as roost spots. You can also use visual deterrents such as streamers of bright material or reflective tape, which will scare them away without harming them.

Install Fences

Fences can help discourage wild turkeys from entering your yard as long as it is at least four feet tall. A double fence four feet apart is even better since it makes it much harder for the turkeys to fly over (or under!) and enter the space between the fences. Adding a top wire slightly sloped inward can also help by making it impossible for the birds to land on top of the fence line.

Use Decoys or Dog Hair

Fake owls and hawks (predator decoys) can be effective visual deterrents for turkeys since these birds remember predators visually and avoid places where potential predators are seen or heard hovering about! Dog hair spread around in small amounts around the perimeter of your yard works similarly since predatory animals are known to mark their territory with their fur or other scents left behind; when wild turkeys encounter this sort of “marker,” they’ll usually rapidly leave the area out of fear that a predator might soon follow.

Wild turkeys have become more and more visible in urban and suburban areas across the United States. Suppose you’re lucky enough to have wild turkeys on your property or want to attract them. In that case, you need to understand some of their basic needs and preferences. So why do wild turkeys flock to certain yards? Here’s what you should know about what attracts wild turkeys, from food sources to cover needs.


Wild turkeys eat just about anything from seeds and nuts to insects, frogs, snakes, and even small animals. Insects such as beetles, caterpillars, spiders, grasshoppers, and ants are a large part of the turkey’s diet. They also enjoy foraging in open fields for seeds, fruits, and nuts like acorns. If you provide these foods in your yard all year long—especially in winter when food supplies might be low—they’ll continue coming back. Be sure not to leave out human food scraps which can attract other animals who might disturb the turkeys.


Wild turkeys love access to water year-round, no matter where they live. They need it not only for drinking but also for dust bathing—which helps them keep cool during hot summers—and cleaning feathers after they molt each year.

Ensure that watering holes are shallow enough so the birds can easily enter and exit without getting stuck. Place feeding stations away from water baths so they don’t contaminate their food supply with dirt, or weeds kicked up by water-seeking birds.

If you’re a homeowner, you already know the benefits of having a yard. But while it can add beauty and value to your home, there’s one animal that is not welcome in any yard: the wild turkey.

Wild turkeys are indeed an important part of our environment. Still, they can cause major problems for homeowners if they set up shop on your property. Here are some things you need to know about why the birds are bad for your backyard.

Destructive Eating Habits

The main reason wild turkeys cause trouble in yards is their eating habits. Turkeys love to feed on all sorts of plants, from flowers and fruits to grass, weeds, and bark. They’ll even peck at trees until the wood is exposed. This means that not only does their presence damage your landscaping, but it can also leave you open to pest infestations and other problems.

Poop Everywhere

Unfortunately, wild turkeys’ tendency to leave droppings all over the place is another downside. Not only is this unsightly and unhygienic, but it could also attract other large animals like rats or raccoons looking for food.

Nuisance Noises

Wild turkeys make many different sounds – mostly loud gobbling -which can be disruptive during daylight hours or early in the morning before sunrise. In addition to being annoying, these noises may startle smaller pets and wildlife in the area, making them more likely to flee the scene or become aggressive due to fear and confusion.

Expense To Remove Them

Overall, dealing with wild turkeys on your property can be costly due to removal expenses and damage caused by their feeding habits. Professional removal services usually cost between $100-$200 per bird; however, some municipalities may offer free or subsidized services for large flocks (usually 15-20 birds). Removing these birds may also require obtaining permits from local governments, so check with your municipality before attempting any removal!

Final Thoughts

After writing this piece and researching these birds, I now have a much better understanding of wild turkeys and their problems. Before, I was largely in the dark about what to do if I encountered one. Now I feel confident that should I see one in my yard again, I will know how to humanely respond and care for it.

Wild turkeys can be a great source of entertainment for our own human lives. Still, care must be taken to ensure that we both take measures to discourage population growth and utilize caring methods when they show up in our backyards. Taking the advice from this article is a good first step to get you started on your journey with wild turkeys.

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