Birds are beautiful creatures. There are some days when you are stuck in the office that you just stare outside and wish you were a bird. Wouldn’t it be nice to fly and be free? Birds also make great pets as they can be low maintenance especially for a child. Their colorful feathers are a sight itself. Therefore, it can be unthinkable for child if you say that birds can be pests. When you say pests, you think of those big, scurrying rodents or dirty, little insects. You would not imagine such gentle creatures such as birds to be called pests nor would you imagine the need for bird control. After all, most birds are protected against non-permit trapping or killing by the Migratory Bird Treaty and Endangered Species Act. This includes the birds’ nest and eggs.
So how do birds become pests? Birds become a nuisance when they have a large population in areas where they have no natural predators. Their population would therefore have significant adverse effects on your health and safety. Since they are not ecologically controlled, they tend to be a nuisance to the neighborhood. They can carry and transmit diseases and their droppings can cause damage to both your house and car. Their nests can be in unwanted areas such as pipes or electrical posts. Moreover, having pest birds can attract insect bests including mites and gnats. So unless you want to deal with insect pests and diseases, you should know if you are being invaded by pest birds.
In order to address you bird problem, you must be able to identify your pest bird. Identifying the type of bird will help in knowing the right bird trap or bird repellent needed. Remember that not all birds are pests and there is no need to extermination for pest birds. In fact, you might be surprised on how common are these pest birds. You’ve probably seen one or two already. Here are the most common pest birds:
a. Pigeons: Back in the world war, pigeons were used as messengers. These are the famous European pigeons but their descendants are now known as the top urban pest bird. You can probably blame us on how these pigeons have evolved to have a varied diet and ability to nest in man-made structures. You’ve seen one, right? A bird that is blue-grey in color with markings of black, white or brown on its wings and neck. A small head with short legs able to perch on pipes and ledges. They are found nesting in small, flat areas such as air conditioning units, window sills and even building ledges. There have been numerous times when a TV sitcom would feature a pigeon flying inside a house or apartment. If you think you should not worry, then think again. Pigeon feces have uric acid that can destroy metals when in contact for a long period of time. Their droppings can also be host to diseases such as salmonella and meningitis. Their nest and debris can cause rooftop air conditioning units to fail or clog gutters and drains. Companies spend hundreds of dollars ensuring their buildings are free from any pigeon problem. They may seem harmless but their large population can give you unnecessary headache.
b. House Sparrows: House sparrows are your typical small brown and grey birds. They have short, conical bills made for cracking seeds and grain. The male sparrows have black striping around their eyes and neck. Do not be fooled by their size. These intelligent pest birds can increase their number rapidly that you will suddenly be seeing an infestation. They can be found in huge flocks that are territorial in nature. Sparrow nests can be found in small enclosed places including shutters and drain pipes. They can be adaptable in their surroundings and can feed on our scrap food. This is why most flocks can be found in manufacturing and food processing plants. There are lots of scrap food and ideal nesting places in those plants. Their nests tend to clog machinery or cause fires in worse cases. Similar to pigeons, sparrow droppings are high in uric acid which damages the machines’ metal parts. They can also be noisy, little birds.
c. European Starlings: Starlings are not quite the darlings. They are dark, muscular birds that can be iridescent and speckled during winter and dull during summer. They have shiny purplish head, short tails and long, slender bills. Starlings can be thousands in a flock. They can drive away native bird species to take over the existing nests. Since they are massive in flock, starlings can totally occupy trees and buildings in a certain area. Their feces are also high in uric acid. Just imagine thousands of feces falling into your roof and garage. Starlings can also destroy your crops and garden.
d. Wood Peckers: Yes, Woody Wood Pecker is a pest. Some people may not be a fan of that cartoon show and it might be for a good reason. Wood peckers have brightly contrasting coloration. Woody Wood Pecker has red on his head which is true for most male of the species. There are more than 2000 species of wood peckers. They feed on insects found in trees and wood but some prefer native berries, fruits and nuts in their diet. Their pecking is the most distinguished characteristic and the most annoying for humans. They can peck through buildings, telephone poles, fences and even attics. Do remember wood peckers are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act so your bird control method must not be harmful. It should be just enough to get them out of your way.
e. Swallows: Swallows are sleek and slender creatures. They have brownish red faces with light colored bellies. Barn swallows are more distinctive with their long forked tails. They are extremely territorial birds that return to their nesting site over and over again. Getting rid of them can be tricky as they are legally protected once they lay eggs. You cannot disturb them once there are eggs in their nest. You can only remove their nests from your house when they leave during winter. They build their nests in the outer walls of houses and buildings.
f. Turkey Vultures: Imagine a large turkey, probably weighing five to six pounds. Now imagine around 70 of those birds scavenging for dead carcasses. Not a pretty sight, right? Turkey vultures are known to live for 20 years and inhabit the southern regions of the United States of America. They attack rooftops and other exteriors, causing extensive damage to residences. They have large droppings that can lead to health and sanitary violations if not cleaned up immediately. Since they feed on carcasses, bones and leftovers can be found in their nests making it an unpleasant site. They can be noisy and aggressive when scavenging and fighting for food. They can only be controlled using humane methods as they are also protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Bye Birdie Methods
With the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, how do you address your bird problem? Remember that you cannot just exterminate them like insects. You can purchase an assortment of bird scarers such as terror eyes and balloons. You can also create the famous bird scarer – the scare crow. But the best way is to avoid having the birds build nests in your house. The most common methods for that would be bird nets, bird spikes and bird traps.
Bird netting can be used for all types of pest birds but you have to know the size of the net to be an effective bird deterrent. For example, a ? inch bird netting can be effective for swallows while a 1/8 inch net is recommended for starlings. You would obviously need wider bird netting for turkey vultures.
Bird spikes are also effective bird scarers. Make sure your purchase humane bird spikes that will just keep the birds away and not severely harm them. They can prevent birds from landing on the ledges and surfaces of your structure. There are two types of spikes – plastic and stainless steel. The steel ones are used for larger types of birds as they can easily destroy the plastic ones. These spikes would cost you around a couple of hundred dollars but it can be cheaper than having your ledges cleaned every now and then.
There are also bird repellents you can use around your house. There are bird repellent gels that can be used in your rooftops and window sills. Make sure they are non-toxic and would only repel birds rather than poison them.
If you’re up for it, you can install a bird trap in your vicinity. Just make sure you won’t be harming the birds. It should be enough to trap and transport the bird away from your house.
A good brand that offers a variety of bird control products is Bird B Gone. Their products are grouped according to type but you can shop by industry. They also offer courses to become an authorized bird control installer. This is crucial in ensuring your place is properly protected. Otherwise, they can connect you to the right people who will get the installation done in no time. Installing those bird nets is not as easy as you would imagine.
Another industry leader in bird control is Bird X. Their bestselling products include sonic and ultrasonic bird repellers than can protect a large area of your house. They will help you cut the cost in bird control and avoid the risks of having a bird infestation.
Birds can attack construction sites, hospitals, schools, stadiums, residences and even boats. Make sure you’ve got your bases covered. Better to trust the experts when dealing with pesky birds.