Have a bird problem? Start here First!
Before you can start proper bird control measures you need to answer 2 important questions. The first question is what is attracting the birds to your area. The main three reasons problem birds are choosing your property is because the access to food, water or shelter. The second question is what species of bird are you dealing with? Many species of birds are federally protected including songbirds and raptors under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Depending on what species of birds you are dealing with and any restrictions associated with that species you may be limited to the bird control techniques you can use.
Bird Control is not one size fits all
There are many bird control products and techniques. Not all products are effective in all situations. An example of this is bird spikes. Bird spikes are a bird control product often used in ineffective manners. It is not that bird spikes do not have a place in the bird control world but often situations require other products or techniques. Understanding why you are dealing with your bird problem and any restrictions due to the bird species will help you determine where to start with your bird control needs.
Prevention is the best medicine for bird control
Birds cause tens of millions of dollars in damage ever year. Some of this damage can be avoided by doing some preventative bird control work including make your area not attractive to birds by limiting access to food, water and shelter. Once you have completed some preventative bird control work it is important to continually inspect to ensure your work is still working and does not have to be touched up.
Methods of Bird Control
Here are some of the most common methods of bird control.
Habitat Modification – Habitat modification is where all bird control plans should start. After you determine what is attracting birds to your area, food, water or shelter, you can work to remove or restrict access to those attractants.
Exclusion – Bird exclusion is installing a physical barrier preventing bird access to where they want to go. A few examples of exclusions for bird control includes bird netting, installing guards over vents, and repair / secure openings where birds are entering.
Deterrent devices – Bird deterrents are only designed to deter the birds. This is important to understand because if what is attracting the birds is stronger than the deterrent the birds will persist. An example of this is bird spikes. Bird spikes are a bird deterrent not an exclusion device or actual barrier. Deterrents should not be used in nesting locations. Exclusion methods or devices should be utilized in nesting locations. Decoys such predators can work but should not be used in a set it and forget it manner. For best results decoys should be moved regularly to make the birds believe the decoy is real.
Harassment – Harassing birds can be an effective method especially when used in combination with other methods of bird control. Some examples of harassment include chasing geese with dogs or using lasers to scare off pigeons. Harassment should be conduct at random times in order to make the area unsafe and unpredictable for the birds.
Physical Removal – Bird removal is limited to non-protected species of birds or protected species with proper permitting. Bird removal techniques include trapping, capture nets and occasionally shooting. Prior to completing a bird removal service ensure you know all laws and regulations regarding bird removal techniques in your area.
Chemical – There are repellants and even birth control for birds. Chemical use may require special licensing. Additionally, if you are using any chemical to control birds the label is the law and needs to be followed. This means the chemical being used has to say it is to be used for birds and needs to be used in the manner detailed on the label.
Most common bird species for bird control
Pigeons – Pigeons are the most common culprit of bird problems especially for commercial properties. Large flocks of pigeons will nest and roost in an area causing a large build of droppings. Bird netting is very effective and one of the best methods for pigeon control. If the flock is large bird removal services may be required to reduce the flock size to manageable numbers. Pigeons are not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
European Starlings – Starlings are the common culprit of nesting in vents. Starlings can quickly take over a neighborhood during nesting season. These smaller black birds are cavity nesters and bathroom vents and dryer vents provide perfect home for their nesting activities. European Starlings are not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
English House Sparrows – English House Sparrows are the birds you commonly find at local home improvement stores and inside big box stores. These birds come to find nesting locations and food sources. Sparrows often get inside stores and will often need to be captured and removed. After the House sparrows are removed exclusion methods should be completed to prevent future problems. English House Sparrows are not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
Woodpeckers – Woodpeckers can cause a large amount of damage to wood and stucco buildings. If you have a wood building, ensure you ensuring it is painted as needed. Water damaged areas are frequently targeted and can be prevented by proper maintenance. Woodpeckers will go after carpenter bees and their larva. If you notice you have a carpenter bee problem, it is important to deal with it to prevent woodpecker problems. If woodpeckers have already made a hole in your building, ensure you inspect inside the home to ensure nesting activity is not present. You can then repair the hole and install deterrents designed for woodpeckers around your building. Woodpeckers are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
Barn Swallows – Barn swallows are known for there mud nests. We often see barn swallows build their nest on customers front porches. During nesting season swallows can become aggressive and fly very close to anyone near their nest. Barn swallows can not be dealt with during nesting season. They are a migratory species and your bird control efforts should be completed after the birds migrate for the winter. Bird netting, bird slopes and deterrent gel devices have all helped solve problems with swallows. Barn Swallows are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
Chimney Swifts – Chimney swifts target uncapped chimneys during nesting season. Chimney swifts like barn swallows are migratory birds. Chimney swifts can become very load if they choose your chimney to nest in. Nothing can be done during nesting season. If you find yourself with chimney swifts in your chimney you will need to wait until they migrate prior to excluding them from your chimney. The best solution is to install a quality chimney cap once the chimney swifts have migrated for the winter. Chimney swifts are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
Canada Geese – Canada geese can cause problems for residential, commercial or agricultural properties. Canada Geese can become aggressive during nesting season. Outside of aggressive geese the biggest complaint we receive is the amount of droppings. Adult geese can leave over 2 pounds of droppings each. If you have a flock of 50 geese that could be 100 pounds of geese droppings every day. Geese management requires a long-term plan. Harassment is one of the main techniques used for Canada Geese. Flock reduction may be needed to reduce the number of geese to manageable size. Flock reduction requires special permitting. Canada Geese are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
Hire a bird control expert
If you need bird control work, it is recommended you hire a professional bird control company. A company specializing in bird control are trained to know what methods will suit your needs best. They will know any legal restrictions to ensure you stay out of trouble. A bird control company will also have the proper equipment to ensure your job gets done properly and safely. If you are in North Carolina and in need of bird control work, please contact Freedom Wildlife Solutions.