It’s nesting season for most domestic birds in the United States. It’s hard not to “awww” when one thinks of momma birds sitting on eggs, twiggy nests, and baby birds being born. Unfortunately, birds are looking for certain criteria in a nesting spot, and many of those items can be ticked off in areas around your home. This is definitely not as sweet as it sounds. There are a bevy of risks associated with birds’ nests around your home. Read more about it here. 

Why your casa becomes their casa

Nesting birds gravitate towards human homes for reasons with which we can definitely relate - they want to be safe, and they want protection from the hot sun. Cozy little stowaway zones like gaps in siding, behind shutters, openings in conduit, dryer vents, under decks, and even light fixtures provide shelter from predators and a cool place to raise a family.

Why is this a problem?

  • Nests are a mess - this one is self-explanatory. The twigs, leaves, grass strands, and other organic matter that birds use to feather their nests. This stuff can fall out of the nest, creating pesky and persistent messes. Also, eggs and baby birds can fall out of poorly-structured or ill-built nests. The results can be very upsetting for homeowners who are left to clean up. 
  • Birds are technically vermin - and like other vermin, they carry diseases that can be harmful to humans. Dried-up bird droppings, for example, contain a fungus, histoplasmosis, that can cause respiratory diseases. The poop can also contain a bacteria adjacent to salmonella, which can be carried through the HVAC system are aerosolized if birds roost nearby.
  • Home damage is a possibility - once again, bird poop is the worst. “Bird droppings can corrode metal and concrete, while debris or feathers from nests can clog drains and gutters,” Chelle Hartzer, an entomologist for Orkin says. “Those clogs can lead to problems with your roof, basement, and foundation, and when birds get in your attic, they can destroy your insulation.”

How to stop birds from nesting on your property

There are plenty of humane options that you can use around your home to discourage birds from nesting without hurting them or their young. Bird spikes are a viable option for gutters and light fixtures. You can also install dryer vent screens, chimney caps, or sheet metal seals for gaps in your siding to close off possible roosting hotspots. The trouble is, it’s already nesting season right now, so your defense may come too late. Nesting birds - even pests like pigeons - are protected by federal law, meaning you cannot disturb a nest. During the mating off-season, using visual deterrents like Mylar tape, flashers, and lights at night can make your home less attractive to our feathered friends.