Why Do Beach Houses Have Owls?

Owl statues seem to go hand in hand with beach houses. It’s as if there is a beach house decoration kit that includes an obligatory owl. Why? Yes, owls are a Feng Shui symbol for wealth. But that can’t really be why beach houses flaunt the statues, can it?

Beach houses have owls to deter pests. Similar to farmers using scarecrows, owl statues are put up to keep away rats, rabbits, sparrows, pigeons, and the occasional crow.  The size of the statue and its positioning impacts its effectiveness. There is debate if they work long-term, however.

We are encouraged to think of more earth-friendly ways to deter unwanted house guests. With vermin, many have sought out live traps. But what do you do with the animals after you caught them? It’s better to keep pests away from the start. Hence the appeal of owl statues. They are toxic-free and scare vermin away. Sometimes. If you use them right.

Why Doesn’t My Owl Statue Deter Pests?

In theory, owl statues are a great idea to keep pests away, but their effectiveness depends on how you use them. Animals are not idiots, especially the clever crow. These birds soon realize that the statue hasn’t moved in a matter of days and will proceed to happily hop all over it, mocking your efforts.

Owl statues also won’t help with certain animals. Seagulls, for example, are too big to give the statues much notice. Also, for an owl statue to work, the animal has to have decent eyesight. Mice hate owls, but their vision isn’t great, and they probably won’t see your statue. Moles only detect changes of light so that they won’t notice a stationary faux-owl, either.

How to Make Your Owl Statue More Effective

  • When buying an owl statue, look for a large one that looks similar to a local breed. Depending on the types of pets you are trying to deter, you may need to buy more than one.
  • If you are staying at your beach house, move the statue(s) to a different location every few days.
  • Put an owl in a tree, where it would be naturally seen. It is tempting to put them in the eaves of a beach house where birds are prone to nest. But it isn’t a common area for real owls to perch. An owl in a tree makes the statue more realistic.
  • Hang the owl so that it will sway in the breeze. Real owls move.
  • Add a speaker that will make occasional owl noises. Again, better to use calls from local owl breeds.
  • Have reflective eyes on the owl statue. Eyes that light up or flicker could also help.
  • Combine your owl statue(s) with other deterrents. Hang old CDs and reflective ribbons from trees and eaves to create movement and reflecting light. Plant glass bottles with only 1 inch (2.5cm) of the next exposed, so the wind makes a spooky noise to deter moles and rabbits.

Using an Owl Statue to Deter Rabbits

Your owl needs to be large, preferably a replica of a local breed. The statue will need to be pretty low so that the rabbit can spot it.

Using an Owl Statue to Deter Pigeons

Pigeons will figure out a statue is fake pretty quickly unless the statue is moved around. If you can’t reposition it daily, consider hanging it, so it swings in the wind.

Using an Owl Statue to Deter Squirrels

Owl statues do a decent job keeping squirrels shy so long as the statue moves to a new spot every few days.

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20 Poison-Free Alternatives to Owl Statues

Poisoning Mother Nature’s children is not a good look. Also, repellents such as Brid Stop, Roost-No-More, and Tanglefoot Pest Control are cruel, causing fatal injury to critters and feathered frenemies. So here are twenty other, more earth-friendly options to try.

  • Terror Eyes with their holographic eyes will give pests pause, especially as they move with the wind. Also, make fun Halloween decor.

  • Daddi Long Legs are metal wisps that wobble in the breeze. Unlike spikes, these won’t hurt birds. There is even a plastic tip at the ends to prevent them from being scratched and injured.

  • Windsocks also provide natural movement that can make pests uneasy. Ones made from Mylar and have “ribbons” are considered the most effective deterrents, such as this one on Amazon below.

  • Spinning ornaments, especially those made from Mylar, are both decretive and scare birds. Check out the Hausse Bird Repellent Spiral Reflectors on Amazon below.

  • Roosting boxes give animals a home in a world that is becoming crowded. If they have a nice place to live, they might leave your beach house alone. Amazon sells a large variety of all sorts, including bats, sparrows, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds.

  • What’s better than an owl statue? An actual owl. Tempt a real live owl to guard your property by putting up an owl box.

  • Use an LED sensory device, like the one on Amazon below, that scares animals when they are lurking near your property.

  • If you are partial to the owl motif, check out reflective hanging owls. This four-pack from Amazon below also includes twisting reflective rods.

  • Rats and mice don’t like mint. Plant mint in pots around your home and sprinkle peppermint oil on the ground. However, the oil must be natural, as synthetic peppermint isn’t enough to deter vermin.

  • Moles can’t see owls. Consider using a solar mole repellent like this one on  Amazon below.

  • Mice have trouble seeing owls high up, but if you toss realistic faux-snakes on the ground, the mice will spot them. Like owl statues, however, you will need to change their position every few days.

  • Hang strips of reflective tape, such as Scare Tape from Amazon below.

  • Occasionally hang or set out a fake dead crow, like the one from Amazon below, as a warning to its real-life friends.  But remember, if it is always out, the crows will quickly catch on that it is fake.

  • Spread joy and keep bids away by staking your lawn with reflective pinwheels.

  • Put an Ultrasonic Bird Repeller on your deck or balcony.
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  • Use holographic predator eye balloons that will sway in the wind.

  • A more aesthetic choice is this reflective deterrent from Amazon below that resembles a weather vane.
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  • Mice are not big on vinegar, so try spraying apple cider vinegar around the outside of the house.

  • Sprinkle used kitty litter around entryways to your home to prevent rodents (and uninvited human guests, too, perhaps).

  • Stuff steel wool into crevices to prevent rodents from chewing their way inside your beach house.


Owl statues make a pleasant-looking pest deterrent for beach houses. However, they are not effective long term if simply left in one place. Owl statues do better if they are moved around and paired with other deterrents, such as Mylar decorations that will flutter in the wind.