Looking for a solution for the wandering critters and neighborhood pets ruining your garden and landscaping? Motion-activated sprinklers are an affordable and humane way to deter animals from your yard and keep your yard looking pristine. Using a quick jet stream of water, they scare the animal away and protect your hard work in the garden.
In this quick guide, we'll teach you everything you need to know before purchasing a pest deterrent sprinkler, break down the pros and cons of these devices, and we'll highlight a few of the best motion-activated sprinklers on the market in 2021.
What are Motion-Activated Sprinklers, and How Do They Work?
As the name suggests, motion-activated sprinklers rely on motion sensing technology to detect wandering wildlife, feral pets, and other nosy intruders from your property. While they're highly effective at deterring wild animals like deer, birds, skunks, possums, raccoons, and rabbits, they're also great at keeping out stray dogs and cats. Not to mention, they'll keep any unwanted people away from your home too.
When the animal walks within range of the sensor, the sprinkler sends out a quick burst of water to deter them. The loud noise and sudden movement scare the pest away without hurting them or your flower beds. Plus, the quick spray provides your lawn with a bit of extra moisture between waterings.
Pros and Cons of Using Motion-Activated Sprinklers to Deter Pests
If you're comparing motion-activated sprinklers to other pest deterring products and services, you probably want to know the advantages and disadvantages of using these motion-activated products. So to help you with your search, we've highlighted the pros and cons of using a motion-activated sprinkler.
Here are a few of the benefits of using motion-activated sprinklers:
- Safe and humane— The sprinklers effectively repel animals without requiring harmful chemicals or inhumane traps. While the quick burst of water is startling, it won't hurt the animal, your plants, or any children who accidentally walk into range.
- Won't Damage Plants— While your sprinkler will effectively deter animal after animal, it won't damage gentle flowers, fruit trees, vegetables, shrubs, and other greenery. They can be used in your front yard, back yard, or any other area that needs protection.
- Cost-Effective— Unlike other deterrent methods, a sprinkler offers an affordable, long-term solution to your animal and pest problem. Most devices are under $100 and require little to no upkeep.
- Easy-to-Use— Simply hook up your hose, stake the sprinkler in the ground, and the device ready to use. No prior experience, gardening knowledge, or assembly skills required.
- Doesn't Require Monitoring— Once you've set your sprinklers up, they're good to go. Because they rely on motion-activated sensors, you won't have to turn them on or off.
As with any device, motion-activated sprinklers do have a few drawbacks. Here are a few of the cons of using a motion sensor sprinkler:
- Sensors Can Be Too Sensitive or Not Sensitive Enough— Depending on the sensitivity settings of the product you choose, it may not always pick up small animals. Others can be overly sensitive and may be triggered by strong winds.
- Potential for Leaks— Over time, lower quality products may begin to leak in-between parts or where the sprinkler head connects to the hose. You might want to read the reviews to see how the item performs.
- Difficulty Adjusting and Aiming— Some motion-activated sprinklers can be difficult to adjust and may not have the best aim on uneven or angled landscapes. While some feature adjustable heads, others need to be turned manually.
- Doesn't Always Deter Intruders— Some animals (especially those hungry enough to take on the risk) may grow accustomed to the sprayer over time. After a few scares, they'll learn that there's no real danger beyond the starting noises and unexpected sprays of cold water.
What to Consider When Buying Motion-Activated Sprinklers
Before diving into our picks for the best motion-activated sprinklers, here are a few helpful tips on what features to consider when finding the right motion-activated device for your property:
- Power Source— While most motion-activated sprinklers rely on basic AA batteries, some models are or solar-powered. In addition to being more eco-friendly, solar-powered products won't ever require a battery change.
- Coverage Range— Consider the size of the area you'd like protected to determine what spraying distance to look for. Larger areas may require multiple motion-activated sprinklers to successfully keep pests out.
- Sensor Range— Similarly, you'll also want to determine the right sensor range for the area. The best motion-activated sprinklers feature 360-degree motion detection.
- Water Source— Most motion-activated sprinklers connect right to your hose, so you'll need to consider the location of your spigot when determining where to set up your repellents.
The Best Motion Activated Sprinklers
Best Motion activated sprinkler for larger home
Hands down, the Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion is one of the best motion-activated sprinklers on the market. Its intelligent sensing technology features three distinct modes—day only, night only, and 24-hour protection— for maximum flexibility. While sensitive enough to pick up even the smallest pest from up to 40 feet away, the Orbit sprinklers advanced enough to tell the difference between blowing trees and moving animals.
The sensitive motion detection also saves water and battery life. The device needs as little as 2 cups of water per spray, and 4 AA batteries last as long as 7,500 activation cycles. To help increase coverage, Orbit offers additional Enforcers that can be linked together through the flow-through outlet. The best part is, the Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler doubles as a timed sprinkler thanks to a 30-minute watering cycle that's perfect for watering lawns and gardens.
Coverage area— 1600 sq ft
Best Eco-Friendly Option
Large properties may need multiple sprinklers to effectively deter deer from gardens, lawns, and expensive landscaping. This 4-Pack of 5277 Critter Ridder Motion-Activated Sprinklers from Havahart offers a safe and cost-effective way to protect your home from intruders. Each motion-activated sprinkler features a 100 ft detection range and 35 ft spray range. The 4-setting sensitivity dial allows you to adjust both jet distance and sensitivity for optimal operation. Plus, it offers a convenient sprinkler mode for continuous spray.
The versatile sprinklers feature a metal spike that can be staked in your lawn, garden soil, or other semi-soft ground hassle-free. Its eco-friendly water sprinkler uses just 2-3 cups of water per spray to effectively deter animals without risking overwatering the area.
Coverage area— 1000 sq ft each
Most energy efficient
Costway's Solar-Power Motion-Activated Sprinklers are one of the most eco-friendly choices on the market. They offer the same durability, safety, and day-night detection modes as other options while helping to reduce your environmental impact further. Plus, you won't ever need to worry about changing batteries.
The motion-activated sprinkler connects right to your garden hose to provide a short-duration blast whenever it senses the movement of a deer, dog, raccoon, or another pesky animal. The product has a staked design that's easy to secure in your garden. Its technology and adjustable settings are easy for any user to operate. Each package includes a sprinkler, flow-through cap, sensor housing, quick connect coupling, staked top and bottom, and optional decal sheet.
Coverage area— 1000 sq ft each
Easiest To Set Up
The Hoont Cobra Yard and Garden Motion-Activated Water Blaster is reliable, practical, and easy to use. The set comes with the Cobra animal repeller, standpipe extension, and two rechargeable AA batteries. The device connects to any standard hose and can be staked in any type of dirt, grass, or other semi-soft surfaces. Set-up is easy, and no tools or gardening ability is required.
Its motion-sensing technology detects any animal with a 30-foot range and provides 1000 square feet of protection. Once the sensor is activated, the device emits a stream of water in 5-second intervals to ensure deterrence while keeping water consumption low. It's safe for the animal, nature, and any person who accidentally crosses its path.
Coverage area— 1000 sq ft each