What to Do About Birds Nesting in Gutters

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March 30, 2016
Categories: Bird Removal, Birds

We have talked a lot about birds nesting in dryer vents throughout Maryland. While this is a common problem, it’s not the only place where birds tend to nest from our experience as Maryland bird removal technicians. Their another favorite spot you should keep an eye on is gutters. All kinds of birds nest in gutters, including starlings, doves, finches, thrushes and many other small and mid-size birds. Let’s take a quick look at what to do if you find birds in your gutters, like this one:

Why Bird Nests in Gutters Are Bad

In case you have birds nesting in your gutters but haven’t encountered real problems yet, here is why you should consider removing them:

Bird nesting materials may eventually clog your gutter and cause it to overflow. As you may know, bird nests are made of twigs, leaves, grass clippings and feathers—the kind of stuff you want to keep out of the gutters. While a single bird nest can’t possibly clog the entire gutter, keep in mind that the gutter empties into a downspout. Coincidentally, the edge of the gutter where it connects to the downspout is where birds often choose to nest, because this area is often protected by the overhanging roof. As long as the entrance to the downspout is clogged, the gutter has nowhere to drain. Overflowing gutter, in turn, can ruin your landscaping and even cause your basement to flood.

Birds in gutters can be loud. Depending on how well-insulated your home is, birds in gutters can easily wake you up at 5am. Besides the tweeting, you also get the sound of their claws against metal gutters, which travels the full length of the gutter. Once their eggs hatch, birds make numerous trips to find food for their babies, and they perch on the gutter every time they return, making the noise.

Birds can get stuck in downspouts. If an adult bird or a young hatching falls into a downspout, they may be unable to get out. There isn’t enough roof for them to fly and crawling is not an option on smooth metal. The downspout exit may be too narrow for the bird to fit through, or it may be connected to your french drain, which means a bird can’t exit through it. Either way, any sort of blockage in the downspout will cause it to back up.

How to Stop Birds From Nesting in Gutters

bird sitting on a gutter

When it comes to birds, a little bit of prevention goes a long way. Many birds tend to return every year to the same nesting spot, which means if they nested in your gutters once, they will try to do it again… Unless you make your gutters unsafe, unsuitable or inhospitable environment for laying eggs. How do you do that? Here are a few solutions:

Gutter Guard

Gutter guards are sold under many different brands, but they all work the same way. They cover your gutter and act as a filter to prevent leaves and other debris from getting inside. As a bonus, they make your gutters flat at the top, and it’s difficult to build a stable nest on a flat surface. If a bird does manage to do this, at least debris will stay on top of the gutter and won’t clog it.

Decoys

Decoys like plastic owls, snakes and similar creatures that scare birds may be enough to keep your gutters bird-free. There are even more complicated motion sensor decoys that activate only when the birds are near and frighten them with a sudden noise or movement.

Bird Spikes

Bird spikes are a relatively new bird management device. It’s frequently used in commercial applications to prevent birds from perching on the edges of a building. Bird spikes are similar to barb wire in appearance, but are much longer and have blunted edges. When you install them on your gutters, they will cover the top of the gutter without interfering with its function. Birds will be unable to lend on such gutters, so they won’t be building nests there.

At Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control, we both remove birds from gutters and eves and help you prevent future problems by installing bird spikes or recommending other solutions. Give us a call or contact online today to learn more about how we can help you stop birds from nesting in your gutters.

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