by Bryan Donoho   

For many people, their home is their greatest asset. It provides shelter, equity, and sense of accomplishment so it is without surprise that most people will do whatever it takes to protect the value and aesthetic properties of their home. Unfortunately, humans are not the only creatures who seek refuge in a house. Pest birds such as pigeons and sparrows find most any house to be a suitable nesting location. Once a bird begins construction on a nest, it is next to impossible to get rid of them.

The solution:  Solve the problem before it begins. Factors such as disease and property damage further encourage homeowners to get rid of birds to avoid any potential problems.

Birds are very simple creatures but can present some complex problems when nesting on a home. They will seek out any nook or crevice that will provide sufficient shelter. They prefer to be near a food source, so it is always good to check and see if there is any available food. If there is one, get rid of it. This includes bird feeders, trash, pet food, etc. Once birds have established a viable food source, there are very few things that will deter them. After eliminating any potential food sources, getting rid of birds will be much easier.

When attempting to get rid of birds on a home there are three basic kinds of deterrents. These include physical, visual, and sound deterrents. Each different type of deterrent has its place in keeping a home "bird free". By examining these three types of deterrents, one will have a better understanding of how to get rid of birds on a home and hopefully avoid any potential problems.

First off, physical bird deterrents are always the best way to get rid of pest birds. By completely blocking off they're nesting or perching areas, it forces them elsewhere. The most common types of physical bird deterrents are bird spikes and bird netting. Of course, there are other types of physical deterrent, however the majority of the time either netting or bird spikes will do the trick. To understand this, one must have an idea of where the most common nesting and perching areas are on a home. Beginning with the top of the house, birds will often times perch on the roof peak of the structure and the chimney. These areas are used more as a lookout post rather then a nesting area. When encountering this, it is best to install bird spikes along the edges of the roof along with the chimney area. Another option for this situation would be the application of Bird Gel. Bird Gel is applied with a caulking gun and creates a sticky surface that pest birds can't stand.

Nesting situations can be a little more difficult to contain. Once a pest bird has constructed a nest, a physical deterrent is a must. Birds are opportunistic nesters and will find just about any nook or crevice to make their own. For example, dormers are common on most houses and are one of the easiest and safest places for birds to nest. Nesting usually occurs, but is not limited, to the spring and summer months. The pest birds begin by gathering nesting material and packing it in their desired location, in this case, a dormer. If a homeowner can catch the problem at this point it will make deterring them a lot easier. Once identified, this problem can be solved by installing bird netting over the area where the birds are entering. Netting made of polypropylene or polyethylene are readily available and generally inexpensive. Netting is really the only way to eliminate nesting birds and can be used anywhere on a house. If installed correctly, it is virtually invisible and highly effective.

Last there are the visual and sound bird deterrents. Visual bird deterrents offer a simple yet effective solution to getting rid of birds on a house. The most common types of these include, but are not limited to hawk decoys, mylar flash tape, and flashy balloons. Birds have many natural predators, one of them being the red tail hawk which is found throughout the United States. By placing one of these hawk decoys on top of a house it causes pest birds to avoid the area all together in fear of being the hawk's next meal. The mylar flash tape is very effective when cut into one to three foot strips and placed in trees where large concentrations of birds congregate. This tape puts off a lot of flash and glitter that distorts the vision of the birds causing them to vacate the area. The balloons works in a similar fashion as the flash tape in that it has large metallic "eyes" on all sides that creates extreme discomfort among a pest bird population. These can also be place in trees, on porches, basically anywhere that can support the weight of a beach ball. As far as sound deterrents go, they are proving to be more and more effective as technology expands. These sound units emit a distress call that gives the birds the illusion that one of their own is being attacked by a predatory bird or mammal. Instinctually the pest birds flee the area. Sound units are safe, humane, and will not affect household animals.

After discussing the potential damage pest birds can cause along with solutions, it is easy to see why household bird control is growing in popularity. When it comes down to it, no person wants any animal defacing their home, especially when it comes with the risk of disease. By getting rid of pest birds, one can ensure the aesthetics and equity of their home and more importantly the safety of those living there.

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