Friday, July 1, 2011

Product Review: Dalen Rotating Head Owl (Natural Pest Control)

Walmart webpage description: Dalen's Rotating Head Owl is a chemical-free pest control solution. The hand-painted owl stands 18" tall and is designed to protect gardens, decks, boats and docks from birds and other pests. The head bobbles and turns in gentle breezes.

Reason for Buying:

We have a terrible problem with grape & berry-eating birds within our community. Last year they devoured the majority of my grapes, strawberries, blackberries & raspberries. I was desperately looking for any alternative way to deter the theft of my fruit.


Although this is an attractive piece of yard decor, I have two major beefs with this "lemon" -- mechanically, and its ability to deter birds.

Mechanical: As advertised, the owl's head very gently spins with the smallest breeze -- for about two days anyway!  Soon I noticed its head no longer spinning, stuck slightly tilted in a sideways position. Upon inspection I noticed a small counterweight on the lower back portion of the head, and when moved slightly the head began spinning correctly again -- for about 2 hours! I have repeated these adjustments several times all with the same repeated result.

Pest Control Effectiveness: None. Zero. Birds ignore it like it wasn't even there. Bird's brains may be small but they're not that stupid to differentiate a live owl from a fake plastic one. NOTE: It's possible that the mechanical issues I stated above could affect its ability to deter birds, but I seriously doubt it.

Visual Appeal: The only good I have to say (keeping this from getting a failing grade), is that it's a somewhat aesthetically appealing owl. It's size and looks (from a distance anyway) are fairly accurate. It's also a sure conversation starter with strangers.


Other observations: These owls come in two versions, one with the rotating head and a molded owl with a still head. If you'd still like to give this 'alternative pest control' solution a try, I'd recommend getting the still head version. It's also about 40% cheaper.

NOTE: If I can't figure out a way to get this owl's head to continuously spin correctly, I will permanently glue or otherwise attach its head to the body and use it as a yard ornament.

1 comment:

  1. In my community garden, people have tied soda cans and aluminum pie plates up around their plots to deter birds, etc. I am not sure how effective it is, but the noise drives me nuts!