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What is a Scarecrow Sprinkler?

By S. Mithra
Updated May 16, 2024
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When an unwanted animal wanders onto your property, a scarecrow sprinkler jets them with a strong stream of water and sounds an alarm to frighten them away. A sensitive motion sensor alerts the sprinkler and noisemaker to pesky animals like deer, dogs, or large birds that threaten plants, grass, fruit, crops, or pets. A scarecrow sprinkler easily set up using just a battery and garden hose to guard a farm, lawn, or backyard.

Animals like dogs, cats, crows, raccoons, rabbits, gophers, deer, and possums can ruin a landscape by nibbling on berries, smashing plants, digging holes, eating vegetables, defecating, or scratching outdoor furniture. Some efforts at repelling destructive beasts, such as chemical poisons, fences, or foil streamers can be ineffective, harmful, or nonspecific. A scarecrow sprinkler offers a humane, harmless, and accurate method of dissuading animals from coming into your yard.

A scarecrow sprinkler works through a hose with a water source, such as a spigot. It is powered by alkaline or lithium batteries. The scarecrow sprinkler itself is just a high-velocity spray nozzle linked to an infrared motion sensor and an optional noise component that beeps or blares to accompany the water jet. The motion sensor can be pointed in a particular direction, then raised or lowered to catch tall or squat animals. Some models even allow the user to set the sensitivity, so that a sparrow or a rustling breeze won't set off the sprinkler.

Just like outdoor lamps that switch on when you walk within range, the smart scarecrow sprinkler will be triggered when a suspicious animal enters the specified area. Immediately, it opens its valve and directs a strong stream of water in the exact direction of the animal to startle it. Manufacturers have conservation in mind, as the scarecrow sprinkler usually only releases 3 cups (710 mL) of water over 3 seconds.

Even if the animal bounds out of the way before getting wet, it will be scared and leave the area. Over time, intelligent animals like dogs, cats, and deer, will learn which areas are likely to scare them and no longer frequent them. If you have ever trained a cat or dog to keep off the furniture with a kitchen spray bottle, you know how effective, yet harmless, this method proves. Other, less intelligent animals will get spooked each time and run off, saving your crops or garden.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon8613 — On Feb 17, 2008

These things are awesome- highly recommended, but remember you can't use it in the Winter if you live in an area that might freeze, and also that it will spray you as well if you aren't careful!

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