What to Do About Bird Nests in Your Gutters

What to Do About Bird Nests in Your GuttersDo you know what to do about bird nests in your gutters? Alpine Gutters & Downspouts can certainly help you out with this dilemma and show you a safe way to get your gutters back in working order. So, if you are unsure about what to do, read on to understand that there is an art on how to successfully and carefully remove nests without causing any issues with a momma bird and her babies.

Thrushes, finches, doves, starlings and all sorts of mid-sized birds fit perfectly into your cozy little gutter systems, and that is why they find these homes just perfect for raising their little family. And while it may seem cute, it will become a major issue eventually. Here are some reasons why this is detrimental:

  1. CLOGGED GUTTERS: Birds like to build their nests with all the great materials that we are trying to keep out of our gutters, such as, twigs, sticks, feathers, leaves, etc. They also seem to prefer the area of the gutter system that connects to the downspout because it is usually protected by the roof eaves, keeping them dry and sheltered. A clogged gutter poses serious consequences like flooded basements and ruined landscaping and will often require professional gutter cleaning to prevent issues.
  2. NOISY: Raising little ones is a noisy affair. You most definitely will hear squawking and tweeting most likely very early in the morning, along with scratching sounds on the metal gutters, and countless trips back and forth by mom foraging for food for her babies. As cute as that may sound, it is pretty certain to get old really quick, unless you have excellent insulation.
  3. POTENTIAL DANGER FOR BIRDS: If an adult or hatchling falls down the downspout, it could be the end of them and your downspout. It is virtually impossible for them to get out of a metal chamber.

When birds find a comfy little home, chances are they will come back time and time again to have their families. So, what can you do about it? The best course of action is to make it as inhospitable as possible, so they have no choice but to go elsewhere. Here are some suggestions for keeping them away from your gutter systems:

  1. GUTTER GUARDS: These are a great system to have regardless, even if you do not have a bird nesting problem because they keep wind-blown debris such as leaves, seeds, twigs and more out of the flowing system. They also prevent large rodents such as mice and rats from making nests too. These systems are flat on top which makes it difficult to build a comfy nest, and they come in all sorts of styles and colors.
  2. DECOYS: If you don’t mind the look of plastic animals on your roof, this can sometimes deter birds from nesting, or you can also invest in sensor decoys that sense when they are near and make a noise to scare them off.
  3. BIRD SPIKES: These are most often used in commercial building to stop birds from landing on their gutters. They have a similar appearance like barbed wire, and generally, the birds will not come close to landing on them when close enough.
  4. BIRD REPELLING RIBBONS: A holographic ribbon tied in the corner of your eaves, a popular and humane way to send birds a “no trespassing” sign. These high-sheen ribbons bounce 3D colors and images off them as natural light hits and the display they emit freaks birds out. These ribbons also emit noise that bothers their sensitive ears when even the lightest breeze blows through your yard. These ribbons are effective against pigeons, crows, gulls, woodpeckers and everything in between. These are available at most hardware stores.
  5. NATURAL REMEDY SCENTS: Some are still on the fence on this one, but it may be worth a try (as opposed to having to call us for gutter repair). An application of garlic oil and mixing ground child-peppers into water and spraying branches closest to your gutters might just do the trick; however, while this may keep birds away you may notice the strong garlic smell outside.
  6. MECHANICAL SPIDERS: Yes, it does sound strange, but someone has come up with the concept, and it actually can work. Bird spiders are mechanical, not real; when motion is detected where you placed your bird spider, mechanical legs will spring out and scare whatever is in its path away.
  7. BIRD SLOPES: Sometimes called bird slides are slippery PVC or aluminum panels that can be installed at an angle at all 90-degree corners where birds love to set-up shop, such as your gutters. They prevent birds from landing on the nooks and sweet spots that birds love so much by making them slide down the slope, and they blend in nicely.
  8. PUT UP A BIRDHOUSE: If you make it nice enough and place it in a good spot, perhaps they will be satisfied with the construction and move in, staying away from your gutters.

Remember, some states have laws pertaining to bird nest removal, so be sure to contact your local wildlife conservation office if you are unsure what to do in the situation. Some species are protected or endangered and should be handled by the professionals.

In the case that you can remove the nest yourself, ensure that no chicks or eggs are left in the nest. Be sure to wear gloves in case there is any bacteria or mites. Discard the nest properly in a bag or compost pile, and clean the area with bleach and water to disinfect. Obviously, if the nest was in a tree, you can skip the cleaning. Moving nests if they have eggs in them is not a good idea, you are best to wait and let them leave the nest so as not to disturb the cycle.

If you are just witnessing the parents build a nest in your gutters stop construction and destroy it, she will hopefully get the hint that this place is not suitable.

With all these great tips on what to do about bird nests in your gutters, we are confident one of these ideas will suit you just fine. At Alpine Gutters & Downspouts, we always recommend first and foremost that you install gutter guards for many reasons that can extend the life of your gutter system and provide less maintenance and wear and tear on them. Give us a call today for a free quote.

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