Birds have been known to build their nests in the most inconvenient places around your home – above doors, over your garage, inside your shed, on top of your lawnmower, in heat pumps, and any number of other high traffic or hazardous areas. Although birds don’t typically pose a serious threat to humans, they can cause damage to your roof, car, and property. Their nests can block stove, dryer, and fan vents causing fire hazards and rendering them useless. Their nests can also clog gutters and drains, leading to standing water and potential damage to your roof. Their droppings contain uric acid which can damage the paint on your car. Bird droppings also contain pathogens that are dangerous to humans like histoplasmosis. Bird nests can also contain other pests such as mites, parasites, and ticks that can stick around long after the birds have left the nest.
Your first reaction when encountering a nuisance bird may be to just remove the nest. However, there are Federal laws regarding bird nest removal that make it illegal to remove certain species of birds or their nests. Best practice is always to check with a wildlife control company before attempting to remove any bird nests from your home.
Here are some steps to take to ensure both proper and safe bird nest removal and/or relocation.
1. Prevent Them
The best way to eliminate bird nests from your property is to prevent them from building in the first place. Remove any food scraps and open trash from around your home as this invites them to feed. Make sure trash is secured tightly in containers. Place any bird feeders and birdbaths away from the home and further out in the yard. Only put out enough food for a few birds and clean up any spills regularly. Consider installing gutter guards to prevent nesting in gutters and downspouts. Vents are a common nesting place for birds so install vent covers and screens. Use perch repellents if necessary; these are rows of bird spikes installed on ledges, window sills, and around the perimeter of the roof to prevent birds from alighting on perches. You can also use visual repellents such as plastic owls, hawks, snakes, and even coyotes. If you use visual repellents, make sure to move them often as the birds will get used to them being in one place. Hang reflective bird diverters from strings on your porch also.
The best time to remove a nest is when it is still in the building stage. If you notice a bird nest already built or remove one this season, keep an eye out in the same area next season and stop it before it is fully completed.
2. Check for Activity
Always make sure a nest is inactive before removing or relocating it. Never attempt to remove or relocate a nest if there are birds or eggs present. It is best to wait until after nesting season for any removal or relocation. Eggs in a nest without signs of the parents don’t necessarily mean the nest has been abandoned. The parents may be out feeding or they may have left to allow the eggs a chance to cool down.
3. Wait For the End of Nesting Season
The best time to remove or relocate a nest is after nesting season is over. Most birds only nest once per year; however, some species will nest 4 to 5 times. The time varies with the species of bird. Without knowing the specific species of bird, it is difficult to determine the best time to remove or relocate the nest. A professional wildlife exclusion expert can help identify the species you are dealing with and help determine the best time to remove the nest.
4. Use Proper Precautions
Once you have positively identified the species of bird you have, confirmed it is legal to remove the nest, and have made sure the nest is inactive and no eggs are present, you can proceed with removing or relocating the nest. Bird nests can harbor other pests and residual bird droppings that can contain dangerous pathogens for humans. Make sure to wear long sleeves, long pants, latex gloves, and a respiratory mask to protect yourself. Carefully inspect the nest to make sure it is empty of eggs and birds. Spray the nest with an antibacterial spray. Once dry, remove the nest and dispose of it in a securely sealed container or exterior trash bag. Dispose of it in the trash away from the home. Clean the area where the nest was with a strong disinfectant. Remove and dispose of your gloves. Remove your clothing and wash them immediately in hot water. Wash your hands thoroughly.
5. Call A Professional
It can be difficult to determine whether or not the bird nest in or on your home is legal to remove or the best way to remove it. If you have a bird nest that is causing problems in or on your property, contact a professional wildlife exclusion company who can positively identify the species of bird you have, properly remove or dispose of the nest, and help you identify areas where nesting could be a potential issue in the future.
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Squirrels are classified as rodents making them distant cousins to other more popular species like rats and mice. Like their rodent counterparts, squirrels can cause damage to your home and spread diseases to you and your family. Squirrels can access your home through small openings such as open doors and windows, down chimneys, through fireplaces, and through holes or openings in roofs or eaves. Once inside, these pests can chew through wires, siding, and insulation, causing costly damage and putting you at risk of fire. To keep these nuisance pests out, here are five ways to deal with a squirrel in your house.
Identify Where They Get In
The first step in dealing with squirrels is to figure out where they are getting into your home. Squirrels only need a small opening to squeeze through and once they are inside, getting them out can be difficult. Perform a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior of your home, checking for holes, openings, and gaps that squirrels and other pests can use to gain access.
Seal Up Entry Points
Once you’ve identified where the squirrels are getting in, seal it up to prevent them from using it again. If there is no presence of squirrels inside your home, go ahead and seal up ALL of the entry points you find. If there is a squirrel present, make sure to leave one entryway open so they have a way to get back out. Cover this last opening with a single sheet of newspaper. If it is still intact 2 to 3 days after you stop hearing the squirrel, it is safe to go ahead and seal it up. Make sure doors and windows are covered with screens and properly fit to your home. Place wire mesh over chimneys and open vents. Use caulk, steel wool, or other appropriate materials to seal any other openings you find.
Give Them A Reason to Leave
Squirrels will often not leave your home on their own, especially if they have already given birth to a litter. To avoid this, try to drive the squirrels out as soon as you notice their presence. Playing loud music or keeping the lights on are both good ways to repel squirrels. If there is a squirrel present, try to avoid the area as you can spook them, causing them to flee to another part of the house, usually causing even more damage.
As a last resort, you can use traps to get rid of squirrels in your home. There are several different types of traps you can use. Live capture traps are a box-type trap that allows you to capture the squirrel alive and then release it outside. These traps have to be checked frequently and some states even require permits to use them. Kill traps are also box-type traps but eliminate the squirrel quickly and safely. Body-gripping traps can be used outside known entry points to capture the squirrels as they go in and out of your home.
Prevention is Key
As with any other type of pest control, prevention is key to keeping squirrels and other nuisance pests out of your home. The first step, as mentioned above, is to seal up any entry points around your home. Trim any overhanging trees that squirrels and other pests can use to access your roof, windows, and attic. Use traps as necessary.
If you have a problem with squirrels or any other pests, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify the type of pest you are dealing with, find potential entry points, and help prevent future infestations.
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Ants have been making their presence known in homes as of late. Ants are one of the most common pests that homeowner’s and pest professionals find in and around homes. Common ant species are fire ants, carpenter ants, Argentine ants, acrobat ants, and odorous house ants.
Ants have a wide range of habits. Some ants build mounds in the ground, others are found in homes near cracks and crevices, on counters, in kitchen sinks, pantries, and even bathrooms. Knowing the different species of ants and their habits and preferences is key in controlling an ant problem.
Most ants are simply a nuisance pest. They cause little damage but will invade and ruin food and some ants bite. Generally speaking, there are no diseases associated with ants.
A licensed pest professional can identify the type of ant that you are experiencing and develop a customized plan to get rid of ants. With this process, you are using the least amount of chemical possible (if any) while also coming up with a plan that will deter ants from returning. If you are one of the many homeowner’s experiencing ants right now, call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849 or visit www.callnorthwest.com