Baltimore Residents Battle Birds in Vents


Yes, it’s that time of the year again! Homeowners throughout Baltimore are waking up to the chirping of birds. Unfortunately, these birds are not in a tree outside the home, they are building nests in bathroom and dryer exhaust vents. 

Why do birds like to nest in exhaust vents? 

The species of birds that commonly build nests in bathroom and dryer vents in Baltimore are House Sparrows and Crackles. Bathroom and dryer vents without a bird-proof vent cover are easily accessible by birds. The 4-inch diameter opening on the exterior wall of a home is the perfect size for birds. This 4-inch opening leads to a vent pipe on the inside of the home that offers great protection from weather and predators. Birds are able to pack nesting material into the vent pipe and safely raise their young.

Why am I seeing tiny bugs in my bathroom or laundry room?

All birds carry lice and/or mites at some point especially when they are nesting. The lice and mites become infested in the dried grass, twigs, and debris that the birds pack into the vent pipe. The longer period of time the nesting material is in the vent pipe the worst the infestation of lice and mites will occur. Eventually, the invasive pest will make their way into the house. Many homeowners who have birds nesting in their bathroom or dryer vent report seeing lice and mites in their bathroom or laundry room. 

What are the health risks involved when birds build nests in bathroom and dryer vents? 

Over the past 20 years, we have been in business we have done over a thousand bird removals from bathroom and dryer vents in Baltimore. Out of that number of residents we are only aware of 18 people that have become ill from the dust or air-born particles coming from the nesting materials that birds have packed in their bathroom or dryer vent. Even though the risk is minimal the fact is that the health risk from exposure to dust and air-born particles does exist. 

What are the safety hazards involved when birds build nests in bathroom and dryer vents? 

Birds gather dried grass clippings, twigs from tree limbs, and trash they find to build their nest in bathroom and dryer vents. The nesting materials can easily ignite into flames when they are placed up against a hot surface like the bathroom motor of an exhaust fan. 

Fires happen most frequently in dryer vents. Birds often pack the nesting material so that it completely blocks most or all of the airflow. Lint quickly builds up on the backside of the bird’s nesting materials and the high heat from the dryer causes the lint and nesting materials to ignite into flames. Airflow is needed to ensure that the motor of the dryer does not overheat. So even if a fire doesn’t start in the vent duct the lack of airflow may cause a dryer’s motor to overheat creating another fire hazard. 

Why is there a strong bad odor coming from my bathroom or dryer vent?

Many homeowners contact us because they are smelling a strong foul odor coming from their bathroom or dryer exhaust vent. The odor is sometimes caused by eggs in the nest that did not hatch and are now rotten. Eventually, eggs that do not hatch will crack open and a pungent rotten egg smell will permeate through the vent duct into the bathroom or laundry room. Other times the bad odor coming from the bathroom or dryer exhaust vent is caused by the buildup of bird droppings. Adult birds usually deposit their droppings outside the nest however the baby birds back up to the edge of the nest inside the vent pipe and defecate in the vent pipe. 

How to get rid of birds nesting in my bathroom or dryer vent? 

It’s important to get rid of birds nesting in your vent as soon as you notice that birds are entering the vent. Homeowners should do a walk-around inspection of the exterior of their home once every week, especially in the spring and summer.  The longer period of time that birds are nesting in your bathroom or dryer vent the more damage is done. 

Removing birds and bird nesting material from a bathroom or dryer vent pipe requires getting on ladders and requires the use of special tools so it is highly recommended that you contact a reputable insured company. Mid Atlantic Wildlife Control has been performing humane bird eviction and bird exclusion in Baltimore County for over two decades. Mid Atlantic Wildlife Control evicts the birds, removes the nesting material, and installs a bird-proof vent cover to ensure that the birds cannot re-enter the vent. Give us a call at 443-417-3137 if you reside in Baltimore and need to get rid of birds nesting in your vents.