How To Get Rid of Birds (2022 Edition)

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Birds are beautiful to look at, but they can quickly become a nuisance. Not only are birds extremely destructive pests to have around, but they can also carry and spread diseases to humans and pets. 

Birds are excellent at finding any nooks and crannies in our homes that they can use to build nests, which is why bird deterrents are crucial for preventing bird problems. If you have pesty birds, don’t worry. There are plenty of solutions for getting rid of birds, which we will go over in this guide. 

In this guide on bird control, we’ll cover: 

  • How To Get Rid of Birds in your Home
  • How To Keep Birds Away
  • How To Identify Birds
  • Signs & Causes of Birds Nesting in Your Home

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

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Table Of Contents

    How To Get Rid of Birds in Your Home 

    You’re finding birds in your home, but how are they getting in, and how do you get rid of them? Here are our top tips for how to get rid of birds in your home:  

    • Help individual small birds that get into your home. If a single, small bird flies into your house looking for food, rest easy knowing that it wants out of your home just as much as you want it out of your home. Birds sometimes wander into our homes. Then, they cannot get out as they end up stunned by the bright lights and trapped by glass windows. If one ends up in your home, take a deep breath, remove immediate dangers from the room, such as your pets and open flames, and turn off any fans. Then, remove any food and water in the room so the bird is not encouraged to stay. After this is complete, turn off the lights and open any windows or doors that will allow the bird to leave the room. Give it time, and consider waiting overnight if you can.
    • Perform a perimeter check. Check out dryer vents, openings, entryways, and pipes to see if there are gaps or holes where birds could be getting in. Replace any broken or torn screens and use a silicone caulking product to fill cracks or holes. 
    • Use mesh wire. Place mesh wire over gutters and any openings that you found during your perimeter check. Eliminating ways that birds can get into your home will help decrease the number of birds.
    • Spray insecticides to kill bugs. Many birds, such as woodpeckers, eat bugs in trees or plants on your property. Use an insecticide to kill these bugs off, which will eliminate the birds’ food sources. 
    • Utilize decoy predators. Birds have many natural predators, including coyotes, owls, snakes, and larger birds. Purchase fake, plastic predator decoys and place them around your property. Rotate these fake predators out regularly to prevent the birds from realizing that these predators won’t do them any harm so that you keep the fear fresh. 
    • Make unnatural noises and sounds to scare birds off. Birds are easily scared by abnormal noises, such as loud music, high-pitched noises, or recordings of birds in distress. Occasionally, use these noises and music to your advantage to scare birds away. Eventually, they’ll become uncomfortable hanging around your property. 
    • Use an ultrasonic machine near your house. High-frequency sounds are scary to birds, but humans are unable to hear them. Purchase an ultrasonic machine and play high-frequency sounds to keep birds away. These machines can be expensive but are often highly effective and only require batteries to maintain once purchased. Don’t use this as an option if you have cats or dogs because they can usually hear the ultrasonic sounds, which can be a distressing experience for them. 
    • Use dryer vent guards. If you have birds nesting in your dryer vent openings, remove the nests or hire a professional to remove the nests. Then, place a dryer vent guard over the opening to prevent birds from returning to nest there. 
    • Install bird spikes. Bird spikes can be installed on popular bird perch areas, such as beams and the roof. Bird spikes are sharp enough to deter birds and easy to install, making them a great pest control solution. 
    • Purchase a bird repellent. There are many bird repellents available for purchase at local stores or online through Amazon. Consider using these to repel birds with their smell. Many bird repellents use grape seed extract, which has a pleasant aroma to humans but smells disgusting to birds. 
    • Install pond defenders. Ponds are a popular home feature that attracts birds. Consider purchasing and installing a pond defender. Pond defenders are discs that float on the surface of your pond and deter birds and other wildlife pests. 
    • Set up a bird trap. Use a live capture bird trap to capture birds, then release and relocate them off of your property. Please keep in mind that some areas may have local laws and regulations against this, so always check out your local laws before purchasing bird traps. 

    Hire a wildlife control professional to treat your property. A wildlife control professional can assess your property, then discuss different bird removal options for current birds or nests in your home, along with what they can do to prevent birds from returning to your property. 

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    How to Keep Birds Away 

    Prevention is always easier than treatment. So as a homeowner, what can you do to keep birds away from your property?

    Start by looking at common places where birds are found, then consider placing plastic owls, shiny objects, or other preventative measures near those common areas to prevent birds from using these as nesting sites. 

    Common places that birds are found

    • Attics
    • Garages
    • Vents on the side of the house
    • Porches

    Our top tips to repel birds from your property: 

    • Place plastic owls around your home in familiar places where birds are found. Plastic owls or other predator decoys can spook birds away from your property. 
    • Use shiny objects to keep birds away. Scare birds by hanging reflective, shiny objects on your property. Try hanging shiny CDs, reflective tape, or strips of aluminum foil from trees, shrubs, and your roof. This makes for an inexpensive but effective bird repellent. Try choosing shiny objects that will easily move in the wind to scare pest birds even more. 
    • Hang out with your pet outdoors. Birds are not fond of our pets, especially dogs and cats. If you have a pet, spend time with them outside and allow them to scare birds away. Many dog breeds love to chase birds and will get a good workout in the process. 
    • Set up a motion-activated sprinkler system. The water from the motion-activated sprinkler system will scare off birds that land on your lawn and disturb birds hanging out in nearby trees. The sound and motion are enough to scare birds and many other pests away from your property, such as rabbits, raccoons, and stray cats. 
    • Don’t put out birdseed or a drinking fountain. Like all pests, birds constantly look for easy food sources and stick around if you provide them with one. Avoid putting birdseed in your yard and consider covering any water sources, like a drinking fountain.
    • Remove food sources from your yard. Birds will take advantage of any food source they can access, so depleting them of food sources means that they will have to move on. Don’t leave leftovers or pet food outside. Make sure that you clean up any crumbs or food particles after eating outside. 
    • Inspect your trash can and compost pile. Make sure that your trash can is thoroughly secured and the inside and outside are wiped clean regularly. If you have a compost pile, make sure that it isn’t smelly and periodically check that the lid is tight and working well. 
    • Properly trim your trees. Birds love to nest in trees because of the protection they provide them from predators. To avoid wild birds from nesting, trim any low-hanging or extra branches on your trees. Any branches touching your roof or close to your home should also be dealt with because this makes a bridge from the tree onto your roof for birds and other wildlife pests.
    • Seal off entryways. Use mesh screens or other dense materials to seal chimneys, vents, gutters, and other common bird nesting sites or entry points. This will prevent birds from building nests and infesting your property.

    The primary reason birds will nest near your home is easy access to food and available hiding places for their nests. While it can be difficult to control outside food sources, taking time to eliminate access to human sources of food, such as leftovers or pet food, can decrease the risk of birds nesting near your home.

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    flock of birds

    How To Identify Birds 

    There are three primary types of pest birds in the United States. All three of these types of birds are not native to the United States, which leaves them with no natural predators, so their populations frequently get out of control. 

    The Pigeon (otherwise known as a Rock Dove)

    • Grayish in color with a greenish to purplish head
    • Frequently carry fleas, ticks, and lice
    • May transmit dangerous diseases, like salmonella and encephalitis 
    • Not easily scared of humans

    European Starlings

    • Dark in color, with faint speckles and a yellow bill
    • Swift fliers
    • Typically spends time hanging out on people’s lawns
    • Comfortable in urban and rural settings
    • Droppings can transmit histoplasmosis and encephalitis 

    House Sparrows

    • Aggressive birds that make sharp chirping noises
    • Smaller birds that are light brown or reddish-brown
    • Nests often attract other pests, creating additional infestations
    • Roost and fly within one to two miles
    • Love eating grains and may contaminate livestock feed
    • Fast reproducers
    • Known to carry West Nile virus, among other illnesses

    If you spot any of these birds on your property, you’re likely experiencing a pest bird infestation. Consider immediately contacting your local wildlife removal company before the problem gets out of hand, as these birds are not afraid of humans and can even be aggressive. They’re also known to transmit dangerous diseases.

    Signs & Causes of Birds Nesting in Your Home

    If birds are nesting near your home, you’ll want to take care of them immediately. So, how do you know if you have birds near your home or a different kind of pest?

    Signs of birds nesting near your home: 

    • Destructive behavior, such as torn up grass, feathers, or other nesting materials
    • Birds flying to a place that doesn’t have food (a bird may fly from a bird feeder to the roof multiple times)
    • Increasing bird noises
    • Finding bird nests near your home
    • Spotting growing numbers of birds
    • Finding a dead bird
    • Seeing birds plucking their own feathers near your home (preparing material to nest) 
    • Finding “injured” birds (some species of birds play “injured” to deter predators away from their nests)
    • Spotting a bird perched on one spot of your home for an extended period of time
    • Increase in bird droppings

    Causes of a bird infestation: 

    • Easy access to food, such as insects, earthworms, fruit, corn, vegetables, and seeds
    • Living in or near a forest area (woodpeckers)
    • Pet food left out
    • Bird baths or water features on your property
    • A bird feeder on your property
    • Living near a lake or body of water (seagulls) 

    The primary reason birds will nest near your home is easy access to food and available hiding places for their nests. While it can be difficult to control outside food sources, taking time to eliminate access to human sources of food, such as leftovers or pet food, can decrease the risk of birds nesting near your home.

    Final Thoughts

    Birds are beautiful creatures, but pest birds are often unchecked due to a lack of natural predators. To counteract this, it’s important to use preventative measures, such as bird repellents or bird spikes, to prevent pest birds from nesting in your home or on your property. Don’t wait for a problem to form, be proactive and prevent birds from gathering. 

    If the birds keep returning or the problem is getting out of control, consider hiring a bird control professional to remove birds safely and set up preventative measures to repel birds in the future.

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