What's Reasonable to Do about Bird Droppings Mid Stay on Back Yard's Hardscape?

So we’ve been having LOTS of bird droppings lately. In U.S., Massachusetts; co-Host lives on premises but no shared spaces.

Our back yard has a large area that’s hardscaped; the living area of the back yard is entirely hardscaped. So bird droppings are especially objectionable as guests would walk on the hard-scaled pavers to walk around the back yard. Bird crap also gets on the coverings of the outside furniture. So there’s an ‘ick’ factor for a guest removing and then replacing such covers.

Our practice has been to make sure the outside is clean of bird droppings at check-in and let nature take its course until checkout. We’ve never had a complaint about bird droppings. But there are a lot of droppings this year and we have a guest this weekend who will likely be using the back yard for entertaining.

When guests checked in during the past month there was little or no bird crap on the pavers/outside furniture because we have cleaned it hours earlier, though it has also happened that within minutes of being cleaned that more droppings are deposited. In other words it’s not 100% clean outside but close.

We have a guest coming this Friday, who had asked (and received) permission to have a few unregistered guests come over during the day for lunch over this weekend. I am anticipating that if they have these visitors over Sunday that the back yard will have more bird droppings, maybe many (?) more than when they checked in. I don’t know if the visitors are to be entertained in the back yard or inside the house, but I suspect it’s in the back yard because it is so roomy and pleasant there (normally).

My cleaning the back yard pavers each day would likely mean about an hour and a half or so of work each day of stay.

→ It’s not so much the hour or so of work that I’m concerned about this weekend but – this is what I’m asking you – whether my policy should generally be:

  1. Keep the back yard free of droppings just at check-in,
  2. Also keep the back yard mid stay clean of droppings on weekdays, or
  3. Also keep the back yard mid stay clean of droppings every day of a stay including weekends.

I distinguish weekends from weekdays because as a practical matter it’s more difficult/expensive to hire someone for weekend work, or constraining for me if I was going to do the work but wanted to be away. Also, I’d need to edit my listing disclosure below if we were in the back yard on weekends.

The listing says: “Please note the backyard is outside so pollen, leaves, bird droppings, insects and wildlife will be there too.”

The listing also states/discloses “Backyard is subject to maintenance, watering & pool servicing, usually conducted weekday mornings.” This disclosure was intended to give us permission and provide notice that we could be in the back yard on weekday mornings, not to promise that we’d be out there on weekday mornings doing maintenance.

→ Even if you don’t think my policy needs to be to clean the back yard hardscape on weekends or mid-stay at all, do you think I should clean the pavers this weekend because I know this guest is having others over? I did message the guest today about the bird droppings, that it would be clean at check-in but there’d likely be more over the weekend and that I’d leave them tools if they wanted to clean over the weekend. [But after I wrote that, had second thoughts and decided to make this post.]

No. It’s your job to present the place in clean condition when guests arrive, not make sure the great outdoors is kept pristine just because you gave them permission to have a gathering.


I would add a note in your listing that we make every attempt to provide you with clean backyard clean of bird droppings, leaves, etc. Please understand that we can not control nature and that it’s possible that after we have cleaned the outdoors, nature will take it’s course. (Or something like that.)

I have a disclaimer about harmless pests that might get into my home. I have an old home in NE and during different times of the year, there’s no way to prevent a stray insect from sneaking in.


We are lucky the bird poop here is about 1/8 x 1/8". These must be big ones!

1 Like

When I lived in a rental house here in Mexico before I got my own place, there was a ficus tree in the yard next door that hung over my balcony. In fruit season, the birds and bats would eat the figs and the poop was everywhere. The stuff was like Gorilla Glue, and was even difficult to remove with a power washer.

One of the best features of our rentals is the dock where residents and guests can sit with a glass of wine watching the boats go by, or the sunset…

The trouble is that the local iguana population love the dock too with the inevitable results.

I hose it down at least once a day, sometimes several times a day.

But it only takes a couple of minutes and it adds to the guests’ pleasure.

Furthermore, when I go out there with my glass of wine in the evening, I don’t want to weave my way through the piles of iguana :poop: .


I’m going to go out on a limb and ask: is there any chance you’re over complicating it? :wink: :joy:

We have a lot of outdoor furniture, most with cushions and we go out 2-3x a day and check for bird poop, leaves and general detritus. I just take a couple of microfiber cloths and a spray bottle of vinegar and water solution and wipe/rinse it off. We don’t remove or replace the covers. Sometimes if I’m in a rush, I just flip over the cushion.


As an upholsterer who works primarily with Sunbrella indoor/outdoor fabric, I know that this is exactly what my clients do- outdoor fabric is designed to be easily sponged off, wiped down to clean- the cushion covers don’t get removed and washed except maybe once a year, if that.

Also, a lot of people don’t bother to read washing instructions for outdoor fabric. Sunbrella is never supposed to be put in a hot wash or a dryer- the high heat destroys the things that make it so tough- the fade, mold, and stain resistance. If it gets washed in cool water and hung to dry, it still looks great for up to 10 years or more. Every client who has needed me to make new covers because the old ones were stained has had cleaners who had been putting them in the dryer (sometimes ignoring instructions to the contrary by the homeowners). While I’ve had other clients, who followed the washing instructions, tell me the stuff I made them 8 years ago still looks brand new.


Yep, iguanas, toads, birds and some bats (the majority are purely carnivores) are omnivores, and as such, their poop is pretty gross and sticks to stuff. Whereas herbivore poop doesn’t smell bad, dries up quickly and doesn’t leave a mess stuck to things that needs to be hosed and/or scrubbed off.

There’s these big toads around here in the rainy season. I often come downstairs in the morning to find what really looks like a small human poop on my terrace (usually with a puddle of toad pee next to it)- it’s pretty disgusting.

1 Like