When any animal decides to use your home, outbuilding or yard as a resting place, or as a source of food, it can be annoying and expensive. Annoying as it can disturb your home life with noise, dangers and stress, expensive due to damage, removal costs and loss of time spent tackling the issue. It can lead to them stinking up the place, eating your flowers and/or vegetables and in some instances an unwanted guest can even end up causing health issues due to the animals using your property and surrounding area as a – to put it politely- washroom.
This is true of rodents, bats, racoons, deer, and of course birds. A few birds, or the occasional winged visitor is never going to be a problem, who doesn’t enjoy bird song? However, when a flock of birds decide they like to hang out near, on, or above your property, it can become a real problem. First there’s the noise. A full morning chorus from even one bird can be loud, but when a flock of them turn on the song it can be very distracting, even deafening. This can really affect our well being if it wakes us up too early every day and if we work from home — as more and more of us do — it can be near on impossible to concentrate if you haven’t had a good nights sleep.
What is more, as has been proven time and again, our feathered friends show themselves to be one of the most difficult animals to discourage, dislodge and keep away. When they find a place they like, it’s pretty difficult to get them shifted. Birds truly do present us with some unique challenges, as they are more than likely going to be found in areas of a property which are difficult, if not impossible, to get to via standard approaches. Also, because they will effortlessly fly away — rather than need to move to a different place via the ground — it is much easier for them to return. All they have to do is take off, do a few circles in the air and then land right back where they were. It can seem like an endless battle that you’re going to lose.
Yet, let’s not get too down about them going up, as there are several different approaches that we can use to deal with birds. Unfortunately some people will not hesitate to kill any and all animals that they see as a nuisance, including birds. In our view this extreme approach isn’t required when trying to discourage, remove or keep our feathered friends away from our homes, out buildings and yards.
There are also two main types of bird problems, with the work required when they are in a confined space such as an attic or loft space different to when birds are roosting in the higher areas of an open building.
It may seem rather obvious but certainly one of the main issues facing any bird removal is the fact that birds will perch, flock and nest in high places, usually well out of reach of even the longest arm. , so either around the roof area or nesting on beams in the high parts of a building, which usually means you will be working from a ladder for some of the work. Their ability to simply fly to another part of the building means it is also more difficult to get rid of the birds, although definitely not impossible. If you do not like heights or are concerned about working on a ladder, you will find that there are plenty of commercial companies available who can help you with bird removal work if required.
Small Spaces: Lots of birds
When you find that a number of birds, maybe an entire flock of them, have got into your attic or loft space here’s what you need to do to send them on their merry way. Without delay immediately examine the space where they have made their home and identify every place that they are using as an entrance and/or exit. This is often a hole where a tile or slate is broken or has become dislodges or around a vent that has become lose. You will then need to install an exclusion funnel or netting over this spot so that the birds will be able to get out, but cannot get back in. Once you are confident that the birds have been excluded, make sure you repair these holes properly so that other birds cannot get back into the attic.
Bird Repellents: Effective or not?
Go to any major store on the high street or online and you will see countless numbers of commercially available repellents that will claim how they can get rid of birds easily and for good. These “repellents” will usually be either chemical or audio based. Yet, reality tells a different story, as these approaches are rarely effective at getting rid of the problem. So, save your hard earned money and don’t waste it on these repellents. Not only will you have invested time and money in an approach that has not been shown to be effective, you’ll have also lost valuable preparation time to get rid of your bird problem. While you were at the store, or online ordering these “gimmicks” your feathered friends were busy pooping, urinating and increasing their numbers. There are of course some devices that work, such as scarecrows or silhouettes of animals with reflective eyes, even strings of old CDs glinting in the sun can be of use, but unfortunately these going to work indoors, especially in attics and roof spaces.
Barns and other Open Buildings
Barns and other open style buildings are perfect for birds. They can fly in and out with ease and the lack of walls around beams and other open spaces make roosting very easy. This kind of structure will need to be approached with the idea of keeping birds out safely, and making any roosting areas as uncomfortable as possible. One of the main ways to keep birds out is to install anti-bird netting. Cover any access or open spaces that allow birds in with netting.
If there are only a few places were they can rest up, then anti-bird spikes can also be effective and will cost less time and money that expansive netting placement. Any netting should also be installed just below where any birds perch or nest, denying them further access. Once in place, make sure the netting checked for holes and or any other damage regularly. As any frayed, lose, or holed netting will be ineffective and birds will soon be back, living it up in their favourite spot.
Another Option: Fogging
As we well know birds can be found just about anywhere, but that does not mean we necessarily wish to see them spread all over out homes, yards or cars in a massive gathering. Yet, this does happen. One evening you can to bed with a bird free zone, and wake up the next morning to the thunderous chatter of a flock of birds that have, for whatever reason, decide your home suits them just fine. May be they’ve decide to set up house in and around your property due to there being an abundance of readily available food, or perhaps they feel safe nestled on your roof, but whatever the reason you can soon find hundreds, if not thousands of birds gathering around your property. If you find this to be the case, you need to take action or — just for starters — your car-washing bill is going to be dramatically higher!
Of course no one will really ever think birds are horrible, disgusting pests that need to be exterminated, as humans we have a strong connection to them, we marvel at their ability to fly, relax to their song and thank them for eating insects. However, too many birds can become a real problem for some homeowners. For one they release a lot of waste, which often contains pathogens and parasites that can be a concern for you, your family, and your pets. All you have to do is come in contact with that waste material in some way, and you can have a parasite burrowing into your skin and taking up residence in your body. Yuck, right? This is enough reason in and of itself to make sure that you were getting rid of these animals as quickly as possible.
Getting a large group of birds to go away is not easy, however. It can be a very serious challenge and is why many are turning to such things as bird fogging to assist them in getting rid of the birds. For some of us this may well be a new term that we aren’t familiar with, so lets have a quick look at what bird fogging is and how it can help us in our battle against keeping our homes flock free.
For those, Bird fogging is the solution for them. Inside a canister that you open and release the fog from is a repellent that scares off the birds for a certain period of time. As long as the fog has not completely dissipated around your property than it will keep the birds from returning. They find the repellent quite irritating and want to get out of it, much in the same way that police may release pepper spray grenades into a crowd to try to get them to disperse. This is the same principle behind bird fogging.
The repellent contains a chemical that is irritating to birds but thankfully it does not have any lasting harmful effects to them, you, your family or any animals such as dogs and cats. This truly does then make it a friendly way to say, “Please go away and… don’t come back!”
Yet, let’s not be led too quickly into a false sense of success, as it truly is ever only a temporary measure to get the birds to move. For sure, if you fog birds, they will lift up and fly away, there’s no doubting that but they will still see your home and its surrounding area exactly the same as before: A place to shelter, get food and rest up. So while we may well scare them off, or annoy them enough to leave, what you really need to do is now make sure your property is not a place for them to shelter, find food or to catch forty-winks. If you do not do so then your bird problem will quickly reinvigorate itself and you will be forced to try to find some other measure to get them to go away.
Bird fogging is a great way to force them out and to leave, but you must keep in mind that you need to prepare to take additional action once they are gone because if you don’t, well, they will be back.
Specific Birds: How to Tackle them Without Killing them
Pigeons are one of the most successful birds around; just look how they have made our cities, towns and homes into a place of refugee. Go to any city in the world and you’re most likely going to find pigeons. There they will be, in the park, on the sidewalk, on the ground, strutting around on the look out for freebies. Pigeons often connect humans with free food, and after such a close and long association they readily and confidently walk up and even flock close to humans.
This then means they also bring everything associated with them close to us. They will poop exactly where they are without a care in the world and leave their droppings everywhere (cars being a particular favorite for target practice). This is also true of their feathers, which can quickly amass into a disgusting mess of sludge, wet, stinky and dangerous. Feathers and bird dropping mixed together into a horrifying mound of bacteria filled contamination. Not pleasant, not good.
Then there’s the mass of materials they use for building nests. This pile of debris they call home can cause serious problems when old, or even new nests become dislodged and block guttering, especially down pipes. This can cause expensive water damage.
Pigeons, as you probably know, are also carriers of some pretty awful disease. This includes: pigeon ornithosis, encephalitis, Newcastle disease, histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, toxoplasmosis, pseudo-tuberculosis, pigeon coccidiosis and salmonella food poisoning. Pigeon parasites include a number of bugs, fleas, ticks and mites. So, as you can read, we need to be aware that, lovely as birds are, they can present dangers ot our well-being.
So, if you are seriously wondering how to get rid of birds it is important to remember that there is no magic spray or device that you can use to make them go and/or stay away. Some manufacturers came up with the “bright” idea of selling fake birds of prey — such as hawks and owls — to get rid of pigeons, but believe me, it doesn’t work: At all. Please do not waste your money on this “approach”, it may make a nice ornament, or be funny as a novelty for the kids, but pigeons truly are not that stupid.
Then there’s the other manufacturers dream: ultrasonic sound emitters. And wishful thinking is all they are. These devices are worthless at eliminating birds. There are some stories still making the rounds that recommend mothballs or ammonia-soaked rags to make birds leave, but to be honest we have no proof that these “remedies” work. Plus, ask any pest control expert and they’ll be happy to tell how it’s basically bad science, or, to put it in plain English, nonsense.
So don’t be mistaken into thinking there’s any one way to solve your bird problem other than through the installation of deterrent devices such as bird spikes or even via trapping and removal.
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Sparrows and Starlings often choose to nest in building and this causes problems when any nesting material clogs vents, drains, guttering, or extractor fans. This kind of material build up can and has been known to cause fires. Their droppings can also damage building facades and other structures within a building such as window frames, stonework and metal finishing. The uric acid in droppings is a powerful chemical and over time will cause damage, weakening and discoloring of various materials. Also, keep in mind that — as with all excrement — it will contain bacteria; fungal agents and parasites all majorer health risks.
Woodpeckers can be a nuisance to some people, but will be a nightmare for everyone if they suddenly decide to start pecking into your house instead of a tree. Their — what can seem like — constant pecking obviously has a meaning. Woodpeckers peck to establish territories and communicate, and both male and female woodpeckers will drum. Between feeding, excavating nest cavities, and drumming, woodpeckers can peck up to 20 times per second, or a total of 8,000-12,000 pecks per day. That is a lot of pecking and will undoubtedly drive even the most committed bird lover crazy.
These birds will often discover that a wooden house offers a fine substitute to a tree. For one the wood will be softer and thus easier to peck. A nice wooden building can offer itself up as a place to make their noisy territory claim, most likely due to your wooden cladding producing a better sound than a solid tree. Better acoustics means better communication to both enemies and potential mates. If your house has insects, then that gives woodpeckers another reason to peck away. I’ve seen houses full of woodpecker holes. They can cause quite a headache with their noisy hammering, and quite a lot of damage that will put you out of pocket to repair.
How to Get Rid of Pigeons in the Barn
Roof Pigeons: how to get them out
Eave Pigeons: Move them along
Pigeons are ruthless when it comes to grabbing the chance to live inside a home. Broken eaves are chief area for pigeons to perch. Not only do eaves offer protection from the weather, they also have the potential to lead into attics and crawlspaces. The only way to successfully keep pigeons out of your eaves is to fix them. Once repairs are finished place spikes and netting to prevent any birds from gaining re-entry.
As pigeons have a nearly unpatrolled homing ability they cannot be easily removed and relocated as they can just effortlessly find their way back to their favourite perch – in your roof! The best way to get rid of pigeons is to make them want to leave. Don’t leave food around, don’t make it comfortable for them, don’t leave holes unrepaired, and don’t leave large — or small spaces — for them to roost, nest or rest. Be vigilant, be prepared and take the battle to them. The war can be won but only if you are ready to fight with bird spikes, netting and a will to keep food sources absent. Good luck!
Attic Pigeons: Good Riddance
When you find a pigeon problem in your attic or loft this can be one of the most difficult battles you’ll have against the pesky guests. Attics can be either large or small and they are usually incomplete, with spots without floors and beams and struts all over the place: Perfect for our feathered friends but quite dangerous for big humans to move around in. If you’re lucky your attic will have a window. If not, your task becomes more difficult. If you do have windows up in the roof, simply open them and wait for the inevitable. When any birds leave, close it and then close up any holes that allowed access. If the pigeon has entered through a damaged vent or eave, you may need to wait for the bird to leave on its own. Harassing the pigeon will only make it fly wildly around the attic. Any eggs should be removed. If hatchlings are present, you can contact a wildlife rehabilitator though many rehabbers will not take on animals unless they are injured or naturally displaced.
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