How do I get rid of bird nests in gutters?

Bird nests in gutters are more common in arid climates because pest birds will find a section of gutter that is covered by a section of roof and think it’s a great spot to build a nest during a dry spell. One good rain, or several days of constant rain, will dissuade the pest bird and cause them to abandon the nest.

But, now you have a section of gutter with an unsightly nest that is probably clogging a downspout. There are several products at your local hardware store that are made to either clean or cover the tops of gutters to prevent the accumulation of leaves – these will also help with bird nests. The cleaning product attaches to an exterior/garden hose and extends so that you don’t always have to climb a ladder. Products that cover the gutter top serve a dual purpose, as they keep both leaves and pest birds out of the “U” channel of the gutter. These may require professional installation, especially in a multi-level facility.

How do you stop birds from building a nest?

Birds can build nests in many different places. In the case of pigeons, they prefer a flat surface that is at least two-inches wide, closed on one side and covered. Sparrows and starlings prefer a crevice, like those inside a wall to ceiling joint, between your store sign and the wall, or in a damaged vent. The best way to stop them from building a nest is to physically eliminate the potential nesting site by using one of several Bird Exclusion solutions offered by Copesan.

Birds have nested in vents. Is this a fire hazard?

While pest birds are not likely to nest in a dryer or other vent that is used regularly, if one has nested, you could have a potential fire hazard. There is also the possibility that a pest bird will use a damaged vent or poke a hole in a vent and use it as an entry point into the building. Vents that do not vent high-speed, hot airflow (exhaust fans and attic vents for example) do not pose as much of a fire risk as dryer vents do, but the accumulation of combustible nesting material inside a confined space is never a good idea. Properly covering all vents, including the downward facing linear ones along the eaves of a soffit is a good preventative measure. When covering a dryer vent, it is very important that you make sure to use materials made for that purpose. Improperly covering a dryer vent can  increase the chance of fire, creating an even greater hazard, due to the accumulation of lint.

What is the best bird deterrent?

There are no “silver bullets” in pest bird exclusion. In other words, there is no one best bird deterrent. That said, some bird deterrent solutions generally work better than others, and some work better on one bird species than another. There are many variables involved in identifying the right solution for a specific problem. Your best bet to deter birds is consulting with a Copesan bird professional, who can take into account all of the variables and potential solutions available and match them to your specific needs.

If you remove a bird’s nest, will they still come back?

Before I answer this, please remember that some birds are protected, and it is against the law to disturb their nests. Be sure to check your state DNR guidelines, or consult a professional before removing a bird nest as these violations are taken very necessarily and will result in fines.

Now, to answer your question… Like many questions about birds, there is no easy answer. Whether or not a bird will return if you remove their nest depends highly on the species of bird. The one  thing we know for sure is that if you do nothing to keep birds from building a new nest, it is likely birds will return and build new nests. If your facility offers conditions that make it an ideal nesting place for birds, just dealing with the one nest won’t resolve the issue. It is likely the birds will return and set up shop just a few feet from where their original nest was, or in a new area of your facility all together. Some pest birds, especially pigeons, imprint on their birth site and are very persistent. If you’re not sure how to proceed, give Copesan a call to find the best solution for your facility.

I have birds in the rafters. Is this a health risk?

The risk associated with birds in your rafters is not as much with the birds themselves as it is with their droppings. A lot of the risk depends on the species, the type of building and the health of its occupants. If the birds are pigeons, the risk dramatically increases. Pigeons are 100% non-migratory and raise 8-12 fellow non-migratory young per year. One breeding couple can grow to a flock of 24 in two short years, with each member dropping an average of 25 pounds of waste per year, much of it in their roosting site (your rafters and whatever is below them). Many times, the exclusion process to keep the pest birds out of your facility is the easy part. The remediation of the area the birds are roosting in to eliminate the health risk can be the real challenge. Locations like healthcare facilities, schools and places that handle food are at the greatest risk. An ounce of prevention will go a long way to mitigate the risks associated with pest birds and their droppings. In addition to being capable of resolving existing pest bird challenges, Copesan can provide you with a preventative solution that is proactive, rather than reactive.

About Copesan’s Resident Bird Expert: Rolando “Rolie” Calzadilla is Copesan’s Bird Business Development Manager. To quote Rolie, “pest control and construction meet at birds.” With a background in both construction and bird management, Rolie brings extensive knowledge and expertise to solving your commercial bird problems.

Rolie Calzadilla, not afraid to go to great heights to solve your bird problems.