How to Prevent Birds From Nesting in Eaves

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by Alex A. Kecskes

Tired of messy walkways under windows and eaves? Annoyed by ugly bird nests that attract bugs and spread disease? You’re not alone.  Millions of home and building owners endure the clean-up expense of pest birds nesting under eaves.

The species of birds most commonly found nesting in eaves are sparrows, swallows, house martins and starlings. When these birds build nests under you eaves, they can create a big problem. The mess immediately below a nest can be very unsightly and requires constant cleaning from spring to autumn. These nests are invariably constructed above a door or window, where they create the most mess. The wall below a nest is often an unattractive mess and not easy to clean. Worst of all, once these birds start nesting, there’s not much you can do until they leave. It’s against the law to disturb nesting birds. Which is why bird proofing and bird control measures should be installed before the birds arrive.

One highly effective bird-proofing tactic is to physically exclude pest birds from your eaves. This is easily accomplished using Bird Netting. When you deny birds access to your eaves, they’ll look for other suitable nesting spots. If you decide to buy the netting, be sure to get the proper mesh size for the bird you are trying to exclude.  For most eave-nesting birds, a 1/4- to 1/2-inch mesh size will keep them out. Make certain you get enough netting to stretch from the outer edge of the roof to the side of your house. Install the netting using tape, a staple-gun or hooks, and be sure it extends from your roof’s edge all the way to the wall so it completely blocks access to your eaves.

Another popular bird proofing measure is to install a product called Bird Slope. Rather than excluding pest birds, the sloped, super smooth PVC panels make it impossible for them to land.  They’re an ideal bird deterrent you can use under eaves, ledges and beams. Bird Slope panels come in 4-foot lengths and they’re easy to install on virtually any flat surface using screws, nails or glue. Look for high quality panels that features a “snap on” extender—this lets you easily adapt the panels to ledges as wide as 10 inches. The best panels will come with mounting clips, which make it easy to install the slopes vertically on the sides of your house. These better Bird Slopes will also come with “end caps” to keep birds from sneaking behind the slope.

Most Bird Slopes are 2–3/4-inches wide, so you can easily attach them to your home using an outdoor polyurethane adhesive.  Bird slope panels are now available in two colors–stone and grey–to be less conspicuous when installed. The best slope panels are fabricated of U.V.-protected PVC and are more resistant to weather extremes.

You might also consider supplementing either of the above two deterrents with Bird Scare devices or Bird Frighteners.  These economical bird-proofing measures consist of Banners, Flash Tape and Balloons. Banners and flash tape reflect sunlight and snap in the wind, which make birds feel uneasy. Balloons have large, predator eyes that make pest birds very nervous. Bird Scare devices are easy to hang from most eaves. The one thing to remember here is that you should move these deterrents around from time to time or birds will get used to them.

Remember, too, that for best deterrent effect, you should install bird proofing measures before pest birds arrive.

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