There are nearly 10,000 bird species in the world and their ancestors date back to the time of the dinosaurs. The largest bird in the world is the ostrich at 9 feet tall and the smallest, the bee hummingbird, is only 2 inches. All birds have two legs, a beak and feathers. Feathers not only help a bird fly, but provide warmth and protection from sun and water. Depending on the species, birds may eat insects, seeds, garbage, nectar, fruit or even small animals. They don’t have any teeth, so they must swallow their food whole. The majority of bird species select a single mate for life and all species lay eggs. The most common pest birds include pigeons, starlings, sparrows and woodpeckers.
Bird Nesting Problem
In nature, birds look for sheltered areas that are near food and water to build their nests. This could be in the hollow of a tree, a dense bush or a little burrow on the ground. Birds will also take advantage of sheltered places on your home and will commonly build nests on the overhang of roofs, on the speakers of outdoor entertainment systems, in gutters or within uncapped exhaust vents.
Droppings can stain your roof and siding, soil insulation, and will eat away paint and other materials. In severe cases, the weight of nests and bird droppings can cause attic floors, roofs or eaves to collapse. Nests can also clog roof drains and gutters, which can lead to roof damage. Nests built in heating or cooling systems or chimneys is a fire hazard and can lead to malfunction or worse. If you have cedar, pine or redwood siding — watch out for woodpeckers! These birds will peck holes in the side of the house looking for bugs to eat.
Types of Birds
Woodpeckers range in size from 6 ½ inches tall to some species like Pileated Woodpecker that can measure up to 19 ½ inches in height. Their feathers are mostly gray to brown in color. Woodpeckers are known for their annoying knocking noise as they pierce through trees for bugs to eat. They have extremely thick skulls that allow them to drill into a tree without damaging organs.
Most species of pigeon average around 11 inches. They have blue-gray feathers with small beaks. Pigeons are commonly found perched atop buildings, under bridges, or on window ledges. They are mostly city dwellers.
Certain species of starling have recognizable glossy colors of blue and green throughout their dark colored bodies. Starlings range from 6” to 11” inches. When extended, you’ll notice triangular patterns on their wings. Starling beaks are yellow in the summer, but turn black in the winter. Their legs are pink.
Birds On The Roof & In The Chimney
Large populations of birds that are frequently roosting on your property or building nests in your house can not only be an annoyance, but cause damage to your house and expose you to disease. Bird droppings can carry fungus spores that cause histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is an infection that includes symptoms such as a fever, achy muscles, chest pain and coughing. Birds can also be infested with bird mites, and bring these tiny parasites into your home. If a mite population becomes too large, it may migrate from the nesting area into the living space while looking for a new hosts. Birds will often take advantage of any openings in your home that will let them sneak into the attic, eaves or soffits to build their nests. Gutters and chimneys are also common spots for bird nests in your home. If there is ample food and water nearby, your home may become the new nesting site for the birds to return to each season to raise the next generation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I remove bird nests?
It can be difficult to remove bird nests, depending on location around your building or house. There are also many species of birds that are protected by state laws. It’s best to consult with a pest management professional before removing any nests.
Benefits of Professional Bird Pest Control
Pest management professionals have the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a bird problem. Treating for birds can be difficult, depending on where they perch or nest. A pest management professional uses their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the bird infestation.