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Electronic Garden Scarecrow Project


Nothing is more frustrating than spending the summer cultivating a garden only to have the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor devoured by wild animals or birds. Scarecrows are supposed to keep these unwelcome invaders at bay, unfortunately most scarecrows only work until the birds and animals discover your scarecrow isn’t real. Using home automation to build an electronic scarecrow can protect your future produce throughout the season.

The Eyes Of The Scarecrow

In order for your scarecrow to work it must first see the garden pests. Motion detectors are the eyes of a home automation system. Using a battery powered wireless motion detector gives your electronic scarecrow eyes to detect unwanted garden visitors.

Although outdoor rated motion detectors are currently scare (some are planned for release soon), weatherizing an indoor model can be as simple as placing a 3-side box with a cover over it and using a little caulk to seal the seams. Indoor battery-operated models are plentiful and available in INSTEON, Z-Wave, and ZigBee technologies.

The Arms And Voice Of The Scarecrow

To create an effective scarecrow you need two things - an unexpected noise, and a sudden movement.  You can accomplish both by using a sprinkler activated by your motion detector through your home automation system.  The noisier the sprinkler, the more effective your scarecrow will be. 

An impact or pulsating sprinkler makes an ideal scarecrow because of its distinctive sound as it begins shooting water.  For maximum effect, direct the water spray over the garden where the animal has been detected.  You can program your system to turn the water back off after a minute or two so you drown your veggies in the process.

Automated Control of Lawn Sprinklers

Using an automation-controlled water valve like the Z-Wave model manufactured by the company FortrezZ, you can provide water pressure to your sprinkler on demand. Run a hose from the water valve to the sprinkler, and when a trigger signal is received the valve will open, startling the unwanted garden pest.

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