Birds seek out crevices, holes, and high places that protect their young from the elements. A few of the most common include:
Birds in the Attic
Some birds will find their way into an attic when a large enough crevice allows.
Common species include:
- Barn swallows
- European Starlings
- House Finches
- House Sparrows
Exclusion is the most effective method of bird removal from attics. Bird exclusion flaps allow the bird to leave, but they cannot re-enter. From there, a Critter Control Wildlife Technician will seal all potential entrances, clean the area, and then sanitize.
Critter Control recommends against DIY solutions and traps within the house, where birds may suffer or become injured. This is especially important for federally protected bird species, where the law bans harassing most bird species.
Birds on the Roof and Gutters
Birds will roost (settle) or nest on roofing for any number of reasons. The most likely reason is that your roof is nearby a food or water source. These bird infestations can soil or damage your home's roof, costing you money. There are several techniques we employ to keep birds away from your house including distress calls, Mylar tape and balloons, removing nest materials and food/water sources. Similar tactics are used to remove pigeons from roofs and trees.
Birds in Soffits and Roof Returns
Soffits and house corners, places where the gutters meet and connect to downspouts, frequently attract birds as they are a source of freshwater. To prevent this, it’s important to maintain clean gutters and prevent clogs. Critter Control Wildlife Technicians can install gutter guards and/or screens to prevent both bird nesting and debris.
Birds in Vents and Exhaust Pipes
Birds occasionally nest or get stuck in vents. Common places birds enter include vents on the side of the house, kitchen and bathroom exhaust vents, or others. Vents are attractive locations for birds to build nests as they are off the ground, away from predators, and enclosed for protection from the elements. However, vents do come with their own set of dangers for young birds, which sometimes fall into the vent exhaust pipe, where they’re unable to escape.
Even adult birds with full flying capabilities fall into the same trap. Birds are initially attracted to the warmth of the vents, which is why they are commonly found in dryer vents and kitchen exhaust vents. This becomes a fire hazard when birds nest in these locations. Furthermore, nests in vents are dangerous because humidity and steam can spread disease, including histoplasmosis, which is found in bird droppings.
When any of these cases occur, it’s important to call professionals with the proper equipment and expertise to minimize the stress of the animal. After a bird is removed from the vent or exhaust, a guard can be installed to prevent further recurrence.
Birds in Chimneys
Some birds prefer to make their homes in hollow trees, and for these species, your chimney is an attractive place. One of the most prominent species is the swift family, which nest in the interiors of chimneys. While these nests aren’t a fire hazard, nests interrupt the airflow of smoke and carbon monoxide. Moreover, young birds may slip and fall out of chimneys into your home. Nests of baby birds inside chimneys will make audible rackets of chirping sounds as the hatchlings call to their mother. Finally, homeowners may be alerted to birds stuck in chimneys by the foul smells produced by excrement or, in worst-case scenarios, dead and decaying bodies.
Critter Control Wildlife Technicians can remove nests and baby birds if you suspect one is in your chimney. To prevent birds in the chimney, it’s important to install a chimney cap, especially before the fall and winter, when you may be making use of your fireplace.
Finding Dead Birds in The Yard
Birds die for a variety of reasons, including old age, flying accidents, and predator attacks. For the most part, dead birds are found in yards, but they can also be discovered indoors. Attics, chimneys, and even basements can all end up harboring a bird carcass. Dead birds get in houses through vents, gaps in roofs, and other small openings while alive. It's usually only through the odor of decomposition that residents become aware of the presence of the pests.
When the body of a dead bird is found, proper steps should be taken to dispose of the body quickly and safely to avoid contracting diseases or attracting further pests. Left alone, the body of a bird will naturally decompose with the help of insects like blowflies, ants, and cockroaches.
Disposing of the body is crucial to avoid attracting such pests to the home. Additionally, birds that died from a virus or bacterial infection may still be capable of transmitting their fatal illness, such as West Nile virus or salmonellosis, to nearby humans. Finally, as bird bodies break down, they release foul-smelling gasses and fluids capable of staining ceilings and walls.
How to Dispose of a Dead Bird
In order to limit exposure to dead birds, homeowners should take steps to keep live ones away from their yards. While it's nearly impossible to exclude birds from properties completely, a combination of limiting food sources and nesting sites can deter them. When faced with a dead bird in the house or yard, never approach or handle the carcass. Instead, contact the trained professionals at Critter Control to safely handle dead bird removal.
DIY Bird Prevention
There are several ways you prevent birds from choosing your home as their nesting or roosting spot. As birds often choose a house due to the presence of food or water, the most important step is to remove these sources. Maintain gutters, remove or block food and water sources.
Learn more about bird removal.