DIY Bird Control Guide
The first topic to address, is why are we having this problem with Birds at our home, our business or in our attic? Well the answer is actually a lot simpler then you would think, Birds live in this earth too, they were here before we were. Birds are wildlife animals, they are used to living around trees, forest, bushes, shrubs etc. But as we have populated and continued to grow we have moved into their setting. We have taken away the Bird’s natural setting and replaced it with Huge Commercial Warehouse, Large Scale Structures, homes, HOA’s, Apartment complexes, Malls, just regular growth and construction. Well by doing this we have created a hand full of OPTIMAL settings for Birds and nuisance wildlife. As humans we create garbage, mess, waste, all of this creates additional food for Birds. Sometimes people even feed the birds so they become used to humans and interaction and then only want to stay around for that easy food! So now you take their natural setting of a forest, replace it with homes, and then add food. Well what do you think the Birds are going to do? THRIVE! And that is what they are doing we are providing the Birds with an abundant amount of food, our trash, and we are desensitizing them, meaning they no longer have to hunt and be resourceful to eat and stay alive, but just the opposite.
So what are some of the Common issues that we deal with regarding Nuisance Birds:
- Keeping Birds away from Your Commercial Building
- How to Control Birds
- Birds in the Attic
- Deterring Birds
- Birds Pooping on my car
- Birds pooping all over my building
One of the biggest complaints I get from customers is the issue with Birds and commercial buildings. Birds like to fly high, so obviously large commercial building are going to have issues with birds. Well why are they an issue, and it's simple, their poop! Bird poop is extremely toxic, bird poop stains, and bird poop can even be corrosive. So if you are having an issue with birds perching on the wires, birds perching on the edge of your building, and even birds on the roof, well chances are you are seeing all of this bird poop. Now obviously no one wants to see bird poop, it's disgusting, but it can also be extremely damaging if not cleaned up within about 72 hours. So these owners of commercial building spend $1000s of dollars every month pressure washing the exterior. Well this is not really necessary if you understand how to control bird. This is what we are going to be talking about. There are several types of bird control methods that you can use for commercial settings. One of my favorite is bird spikes. Bird spikes are stainless steel metal spikes that can be installed in all the areas that you are seeing the birds and having an issue with these nuisance birds. The installation of the spikes is pretty easy, just drill them in or glue them down. But a lot of time these spikes have to be installed at the extreme highest points and peaks of the buildings, for the spikes need to be installed in the areas that the birds are. That can be quite difficult, you need to use ladders, safety equipment, harnesses, tie downs, sometimes you have to use big lifts, or even repel down to the areas in order to install the spikes. That is why I always suggest getting a professional wildlife control company like the one that I own and run, or any of the companies that I recommend on our location page (http://www.247wildlifecontrol.com/locations.html) in order to guarantee the success and correct installation of the spikes to properly solve your bird control problem!
Well now let’s talk about why the Birds are getting into your attic. It’s simple, the attic is a PERFECT place for the Birds to create a shelter. It’s hot, it’s nice and comfy with the insulation, there are no outside elements like rain or wind so they are protected, and best of all, there are no predators or enemies. If I was a Bird I sure would rather live in an attic then a tree! So you take the perfect conditions of your attic as a shelter, then you add your trash cans as a food source right on the outside of the home, and you just gave the Birds all the things that they want to live. Why would they ever want to leave your residence? Free Rent, Free Buffet, Cozy bed, and that’s why you have Birds in your attic or rummaging around your lawn and walking and pooping on your roof, EWWW.
People ask me all the time about “hot Feet” or bird glue. This is a common bird control solution, but I am not the biggest fan of Bird glue as a deterrent for birds. So here is what “hot feet” is in a nutshell. Bird glue is used to put down in all the areas in which you are seeing the birds land and perch. The concept is that the “hot feet” glue will create a very sticky landing place for the birds. This sensation of being stuck and not able to fly away scares the living shit out of the birds. So they panic and fly away. They eventually develop this pattern that the glue is not good, so the birds will eventually stop flying and landing here. A lot of people think “hot feet” actually caused the sensation of the birds to have hot feet or burn their feet. That is a myth! But I still wonder to myself why did they call it hot feet? I should call them and ask, but Ill save that for a rainy day or a long car ride or something. Hot feet glue does not burn or cause the birds feet to get hot, it creates the sticky sensation that makes them believe they are stuck and can not fly away. Now here is my beef with hot feet and why I do not use it for control methods of birds most of the time. WELL it's glue right, and glue is sticky, sure it will help with the birds, but its glue and a ton of other things are going to get stuck to it. It will create a huge dirty filthy mess to clean up. Use spikes, netting, or exclusion work to control birds. Some glue residue will remain on the bird's' feet too, and they are likely to track it around parts of your building or home that don't have the hot feet pads applied.
Bird Netting is another great solution for Bird Control, and when used with spikes or audio deterrent works AMAZING! The idea here is to install bird netting over and in all the places that you are having an issue with Birds. The bird netting when properly installed will not allow birds to access the areas in which they were causing the issue. I LOVE bird netting when dealing with bird removal in warehouses and other very large areas. I did the bird netting for the parking garage in Holy Cross in Miami Florida. I installed bird netting on and throughout all of the parking garage and was able to guarantee that the birds would not get into the parking garage. The hospital was having such an issue with birds pooping on all the cars. So I installed all the bird netting and the birds were not able to perch anymore so they did not come back, bird problem solved!!
Another great bird control solution is electric wiring. This is a very complicated bird control method but it works very good. I DO NOT recommend any DIY people do this themselves. Definitely give me a call if you want to go the route of electrical bird deterrents. Call me for more details because this can be very confusing to describe via text vs going out and inspecting and talking about it together in person. Using electricity to deter animals can also be extremely dangerous! Be safe and do not attempt to install this type of equipment unless you know what you are doing.
How to fix your Bird problem and how to remove the Birds: 10 Simple Steps for Effective Bird Removal & Control
1st step is to Identify that you do indeed have the bird problem. Is your house covered in poop? Are you hearing REALLY really loud noises like chirping and rustling around or even the flapping of wings in the attic? Do you always see birds nesting on your roof when you get home from work? What I normally like to do and tell my customers when they suspect that they are dealing with a nuisance Bird Issue is document it. So we can make sure it is a Bird, since all animal removal methods are different. If it’s not a Bird in the attic then check out my other how to removal pages. Check the property, the exterior of the house, the roof line and lawn. Look at the Feces: Are you seeing Bird poop around the property or under areas where the birds can be perching or nesting? Are you seeing Bird claw prints on your trash can, on the wall, on the pavement, do you see Bird tracks?
Confirm the activity on the exterior is indeed Birds. The next step that you are going to want to take is to see if they have made it into the attic or not. You will not always hear Birds in the attic. They can be agile, they can be quiet, and Birds in the attic are not always loud. So what you are going to want to do is get into the attic and perform and inspection. Any time you think that you have animals in the attic, especially Birds in the attic, you want to be 100% careful and safe. If you do not feel safe or do not want to take the chance call me, Brendan Mangnitz, and I can talk to you over the phone and even do an inspection for you or send you one of my inspectors or companies that I work with out to help out. If you do want to do the inspection then continue reading?
Anytime that you enter an attic for Birds there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Birds are dangerous, they are territorial, they are Nasty and have tons of bacteria, so you want to make sure you are prepared. Bird feces is one of the most Bacteria infested feces that we deal with on the regular so you will want to make sure you wear a respirator like the one here. There are a few issues with Bird feces that I will touch on to make sure you are protected, get it removed, and the attic and your home is contamination free.
Wildlife are known to carry many different zoonotic diseases, to read more about bird disease and the harmful bacteria affiliated with Bird infestations, then go here!
Next step once your lungs are protected you will want to make sure you wear safety glasses and gloves. I ALSO strongly recommend you take your phone in the attic with you or even a blue tooth speaker and you should blare some music. Birds in the attic will be afraid of all this noise. They will think that there was a party in your attic and will become afraid and want to hide or leave. This is what you want when you do an inspection, if you are doing an inspection of Birds in the attic yourself you do not want to come in contact with a mother Bird she may get defensive and you do not want to run the chance of her attacking you. So blare some music, whatever just make sure you make a lot of noise to scare the Bird. Once you are certain the the Bird is out of the attic, go ahead and take out your flashlight and do an inspection remember to walk on the beams in your attic, you don’t want to fall through the attic. Make sure you walk on the beams, not the wood that is holding the drywall up, it won't be able to hold your weight. Walk around the attic and look for the evidence of a Bird infestation. Do you see Bird poop, do you see urine, do you see Bird trails? If you do then you can confirm that you are having an issue with Birds in the attic. If you do not see any of the sign, great, you caught the issue before it became a real big problem. Either or what you are going to want to do is continue ready for the steps below for how to trap and remove the Bird from your attic or property. Then next you will want to close off any of the openings on the home to prevent future Birds from coming back.
Another common area and inspection point for identifying bird issues will be doing a perimeter check. Walk around the outside of your building or even on the roof if you feel safe and comfortable. You will want to look for areas that birds may be nesting or hiding. They will generally prefer areas of shade and areas with coverage. A good example would be the underhang of a patio or walkway entrance to your home. If you are on the roof, look for areas that provide shelter or coverage. Keep your eyes out for poop and nesting materials. These are all tips that you can use to help identify if you are having a bird problem.
Ok so Next Step: Removal of the Birds - IE Trapping! Trapping is the most successful and humane way physically to remove Birds. There are also deterrents that I will talk about and a variation of trapping is called valving where you install 1 way door that allows the birds to fly out but not gain access back into the home. There are deterrents for Birds that you can use, and I will discuss tools to trap Birds, but in all honestly the best way to remove Birds is to Trap them. I prefer Havahart Bird Traps. You generally want to buy and use 2 traps when dealing with Birds in case there are several in the area, and most bird taps can hold quite a ew birds in each one. Remember birds are social animals so they are generally in flocks and you will need to catch more than just one to be sure they are all gone. You want to put the traps around the property where you are seeing the signs of a Bird infestation. So put the traps around the garbage, put them on the areas on the lawn where you are seeing the activity. I don't recommend putting the traps on the roof or in direct sunlight unless you build a coverage for the trap. Otherwise the birds can get heat exhaustion and die, and that is not Humane, so let's avoid that please and thank you! Once you have determined the correct place for the Bird traps you will want to set those Bird traps.
Next you will want to make sure that you properly bait the Bird trap. There are several different baits you can uses. I generally will use seeds, corn, sometimes nuts, bread works good. Honestly they will eat just about anything, they are birds and not that picky. If you are dealing with a predatory species then you will need a protein based bait like slim jims.
*Note- Sometimes Birds are smart enough to steal the bait from the traps by reaching through and grabbing handfuls of bait without setting it off. They will also flip the traps. If you run into this, there are a few tricks you can use to fool them.
Stake the traps down in the ground with Rebar stakes or zip tie it down so it can’t be shaken or moved. It will prevent them from being able to flip the trap. Take the bait and wrap it in Hardware cloth and zip tie it to the back of the cage. You can use the wire that is wrapped around the hardware cloth to hang the wrapped bait from the roof of the trap above the trip pan. They get frustrated that they can’t just grab the bait and will sit on the pan.
Live Bird Trapping and removal can take some time. I generally give it a total of two weeks trapping from start to finish until I catch all the Birds. Normally Birds travel in pairs or groups, so even if you catch just one Bird I would recommend keeping the Bird traps out there for a extended period of time. Be patient, give it time and don’t mess with the traps. Let the bait sit there for a few days and try to catch the Bird. Bait will normally stay good for about 72 hours depending on weather conditions, but remember Birds are used to eating trash, so the Bird will not be picky if it smells a little.
Next Step: I caught the Bird what do I do next?? Simple – Humanely relocate the Bird. Birds have a great sense of smell and direction. So when you caught the Bird you will want to make sure you relocate it from far away from your home. 25 miles or so should do the trick. Every state and county is different, you will want to contact your local wildlife management agency like fish and wildlife commission and get their state statutes on relocation. Generally it’s a 40 acre plot of land where you have written consent from the owner. You want to relocate the Birds to an area that you know they will thrive in and be safe. Examples of good areas would be like wildlife management preserves, forests, areas that are their natural habitat.
When you have the animal in the trap you want to make sure that you handle the animal safe. DO NOT put your fingers in the trap, do not mess with it, the animal can scratch or bite you which would then be a rabies scare to cause you to need to go and get tested. What you need to do is buy good Kevlar Glove rated for animal handling. If you caught the animal the law states that the animal has to be released from the trap within 24 hours of the Bird being caught. The sooner the better for the longer that the animal is in the trap the more it will suffer. We want to focus on humane and safe animal trapping.
Traps have a handle on the top of the trap and a safety plate. You want to grab the handle of the trap, NO OTHER AREA of the trap. The Bird may try and stick its arm or beeck out the trap that is why you want to wear the Kevlar animal handling gloves and only hold the handle. Be careful when you are holding the trap, don’t keep it to close to your legs or it may reach out and try to grab your legs or shoes. Be very safe when holding the trap and transporting the animal.
Finally when you have chosen the area in which you are going to want to relocate the Bird you will want to safely set the Bird trap down. Point the trap away from you, and in the direction in which you intent to relocate the animal. ALWAYs stand behind the trap when you are ready to release the animal. You will want to push down on the safety bar and spring, this will then allow the door to be pulled up. Then you will want to pull the door all the way up, this will allow the Bird to safely exit the trap. Generally the Bird will run right out of the trap. In the event that the Bird slowly leaves the trap and is facing you put your arms in the air as if you are a bear and make several loud predator sounds this will scare the Bird causing the Bird to leave and run away.
Once it is confirmed that all the Birds are gone, trapped, and removed, the next step in How to Remove Birds is going to be an Exclusion. An exclusion is where you seal up the home from any of the openings, damage or access points that the Bird or other animals have used to gain access to your attic and home. This is more on the handyman side of things. If you are not good at handyman or construction work you may want to give us or any of our prefered vendors a call, and we can go out there with the exclusion crew and take care of the Bird damage for you. If you want to try it, then keep reading and good luck!
You want to use only the best materials anytime you are dealing with Birds. They are strong and fierce, and very determined. The foam that they sell at the hardware store, is 100% crap. Birds can chew right through this, this just makes them laugh.
You want to use only Steel, Metal, and Concrete products. Identify all the areas on the home that have gaps or openings. You then want to seal off these areas ensuring that future animals cannot get into the structure. Take your time and do a good job closing off your home from the Birds, take a look at the roof, walk the soffits, and really make sure you locate any spots that can be potential access points. Roof returns are common areas that Birds generally use, you will want to close these off using metal and concrete. See the way I closed off this Roof Return on a home, this is how you do exclusion work to guarantee that you will not have a future issue with Birds!
Final and Last Step! Clean up the mess behind. No one said this was all fun and trapping games, Bird removal is hard and dirty work, but it's got to get done. Now that you have trapped the Bird, gotten the Birds out of the attic, did the animal exclusion and repair work, you are on the final steps to completing the job. The last thing that you want to do is remove all the mess that the Bird left behind in the attic. This is honestly one of the most important parts of Bird removal and my how to guides for removing Birds and getting rid of Birds, but so many times homeowners skip this step and have more and more issues in the future.
Why: Feces Urine contaminates, this is all bacteria in the attic. Do you want this over your head at night when you sleep? NO that is why it must be removed. There are ductworks and airways that lead from the attic into your home. Just look up, you see those vents in your ceiling? Where do you think the ductwork and vents are? Your attic, and what if there is an opening or cut in the ducts from the Birds, well then you're breathing in all that bacteria that was left in the attic. Remember the harms from the Bird poop I was talking about before? Well that’s in your attic, you want to remove that asap. Breathing in bacteria from a Bird infestation can be fatal and causes many other severe respiratory issues. You will want to wear a full Protective suit and make sure you are fully covered and protected, you can uses a shop vac with HELP filter or use your hand and bags and start removing all the insulation that has been contaminated and also all the feces and urine areas, these are called Latrines, when Birds defecate in one single area. Once ALL the contaminates from your attic and from the Birds are removed you will want to apply a product such as DSV to all of your attic. You can use a little pump spray from your local hardware store and apply all the product to the insulation and attic. Make sure you read the label and use the correct amounts. Here at Centurian, we use heavy duty equipment like an atomizer , when I am doing any type of attic sanitation. For my customers I wasn’t to make sure that EVERY single section in the attic is fully taken care of and nothing is left behind. If you are ready this how to article and want to do this yourself just make sure you do a very good job, don’t cut any corners, and be extremely proficient to ensure the safety of your family.
And that is my How to Guide when it comes to Birds in the attic or your property and how to remove them. Like I have mentioned my name is Brendan Mangnitz I have being doing pest wildlife and Bird removal now for over 6 years. I have worked and trained 100’s of people of the past years. It takes time, skill, and patience but removing Birds can be very fun, dangerous, but is also something that we deal with on the daily here. Birds have learned how to thrive and do great in the urban setting. This is not something that is going away. With more and more houses coming up every day, more land being constructed and developed we will always have issues with Birds in the attic. Just read and learn how to protect yourself, your family and your home and you should be good to go. If you have any questions you can email directly at brendan@CenturianWildlife.com or call my cell 1-844-247-WILD any time of the day or night THANKS!