Pest birds are a common problem for homeowners and businesses alike. The three most common pest birds in our area are Pigeons, House Sparrows, European Starlings. These are all introduced species. Occasionally one of our Native Woodpeckers, The Downey Woodpecker can inflict damage to wooden structures. Each of these species is briefly identified below.
These native woodpeckers occasionally inflict substantial damage to our homes. Pecking or “drumming” against trees or buildings is the characteristic most associated with Woodpeckers. They do this to establish territories and to attract or signal mates. This can be quite annoying for humans, especially in the early morning when trying to sleep. Woodpeckers can also cause significant damage to the sides of buildings, telephone poles, eaves, fences, etc., by pecking holes into the surface. The holes are usually caused by 1 or 2 birds during the spring time mating season. EHS uses a non-poisonous solution to stop this damage. Our process is usually effective for 3 to 6 months, but may need to be repeated.
Pigeons are descendants of domesticated European homing pigeons, so they have a varied diet and feel at ease making their homes in man-made structures, generally nesting on ledges. Pigeon control is important due to the damage and disease problems these birds often create. The uric acid in pigeon feces is highly corrosive and can cause extensive damage to metals and other substrates it sits on for long periods. Debris from flocks of problem pigeons often build up, backing up gutters and drains which can cause flooding and roof damage. Nesting materials and other debris can cause failures in machinery, especially rooftop air conditioning units, which are a prime nesting spot for pigeons. Other frequent pigeon problems include slip and fall liability from feces or debris. The bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites found in pigeon droppings are responsible for a host of serious diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more. Many companies also retain significant clean up costs due to the pigeon problems they don't resolve.
House sparrows are an increasingly common sight in urban areas. These small, quick, intelligent pest birds are predominantly brown and grey in color, with black striping around the eyes and neck in the male of the species. Sparrows are very adaptable and have learned to nest in our structures and eat our scrap food. Sparrows often gather in huge flocks to feed and roost, aggressively forcing other birds out of their territories. Sparrows prefer nesting in small enclosed places such as house shutters and soffits, drainage piping, rafters and corrugated metal siding. These pest birds average about 20 offspring a year, allowing their numbers to increase rapidly to infestation levels. Sparrows are noisy birds, especially when they congregate in large flocks. Sparrow nests often cause flooding from backups in gutters and drainage pipes, as well as clogging machinery and even starting fires from nesting materials in machinery housings. Sparrow droppings also contain uric acid which is highly corrosive and can cause extensive damage to metals and other substrates it sits on for long periods. In addition, the bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites found in sparrow droppings and nesting materials are responsible for a host of serious diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more.
Starlings are an introduced species to America and have adapted well to urban life. The starling is a dark, chunky, muscular bird with a short tail and long, slender bill. In the winter, starlings showcase a highly speckled, iridescent coat, while in the summer their plumage is a much duller brown/black with fewer speckles. Starlings gather in massive flocks and these aggressive birds will drive out other native bird species, often taking over the other birds' existing nests.
Starlings commonly invade bathroom and dryer vents on homes, completely blocking air transfer with their dense nests. Large scale buildup of their sprayed feces (which can cause a whitewash look on the sides of buildings) can lead to structural damage as the uric acid in the pest bird droppings can corrode stone, metal and masonry. Like all pest birds, machinery and drainage problems occur from Starling nesting materials and bird droppings. In addition, the bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites found in starling droppings and nesting materials are responsible for a host of serious diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more.
Technology and increased knowledge of pest bird behavior have created many new and effective methods of bird control in recent years. Each species of pest bird has its own behaviors and biology, requiring thorough inspections of affected areas to determine the best course of action. Bird netting, screening, anti-roosting spikes and repellents can all be effective methods of bird control. Newer, high-tech products that physically alter roosting sites without taking away from the structure’s aesthetics have also been very successful in the field. Most of our control methods are non-lethal, and based on changing a bird’s behavior and nesting site without altering the animal. Regardless of the species or structure, we will provide you with the best solution to fit your needs.