How to Get Rid of Birds In and around Your Home

By Amanda Lutz Updated February 6, 2024

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The sight of birds in your yard may be charming at first, but bird nests and droppings can disrupt your daily life as a homeowner. Below, we’ll explore the potential causes and risks of a bird infestation and outline tips for how to get rid of birds safely and humanely.



Causes of Birds In and around Your Home

Birds often invade human spaces in search of food, water, or shelter, and while most remain outside, some may find their way into your home.

House sparrows, starlings, and other small birds are the likeliest birds to break into your interior space through gaps in eaves and soffits, damaged or improperly sealed vents, and unscreened chimneys. It’s less common for larger birds, such as seagulls and pigeons, to enter your home, but they can occasionally fly in through an open window or door.

Some of the most noticeable signs of a bird infestation are bird droppings, which will accumulate near roosting or nesting sites, errant feathers, or discarded nesting materials, such as twigs and straw. If birds have gotten inside, you will likely hear chirping, cooing, or squawking sounds in the morning.




Bird feathers, dander, and droppings can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Wild birds may spread infections or diseases directly or indirectly to humans. These include the following:

You can read more about the symptoms and spread of each disease on the CDC website.

Birds of all sizes can also cause property damage. Bird droppings are often acidic enough to corrode metal surfaces, paint, and roofing materials, and bird nests can block gutters and create fire hazards. Outside, woodpeckers can damage trees and wooden structures.



Bird Control Methods

Before planning your bird control strategy, identify the bird species you are dealing with and get a sense of their roles in your local ecosystem. Familiarize yourself with federally protected species, state law, and local regulations regarding birds.

Once you’ve done your homework, review the following options for dealing with a bird problem.

Bird Repellents

Bird repellents fall into three categories: visual, auditory, and chemical.

Follow the steps below to apply bird repellents safely and effectively.

Bird Deterrents

Three of the most common bird deterrents are physical barriers, decoys, and habitat modification.

Follow these steps to implement bird deterrents safely and effectively.

Bird Removal

If a single bird has flown into your house, clear the room of any pets, open the largest window, and close the doors to other rooms. Close the blinds or curtains covering any other windows and turn off the lights. The bird should naturally fly toward the light of the open exit.

For more complex situations, consider working with a professional pest control company. Companies such as Orkin and Terminix offer commercial bird removal services and may be able to assist with residential bird problems, too. Your local animal control may also be able to help.



Bird Prevention Methods

You can take a few proactive measures to make your property less attractive to birds and reduce the chances of an infestation.

If you decide to use any commercial products, such as chemical bird repellents or bird spikes, then read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Birds play critical roles in our ecosystem, and it’s important to choose humane solutions that won’t harm them or other animals.



Our Recommendation

Birds can be difficult to expel from your living area, but now you know how to get rid of them. All that’s left is to identify the type of bird you’re dealing with and decide which solutions will work best for you.

To learn more about North American bird species, consult the American Bird Conservancy, the National Audubon Society, or the National Wildlife Federation. Your local government or state wildlife agency should be able to provide information about regulations that might impact your bird control efforts.



How to Get Rid of Birds FAQ

What will keep birds away from my porch?

To keep birds away from your porch, you can hang wind chimes and strategically place bird spikes, decoys, and netting. You should also move bird feeders and bird baths away from the porch.

How do you get rid of birds from your chimney?

Follow these steps to get rid of birds that have nested in your chimney:Identify the species and whether it is legally protected.Try to scare the bird out with loud noises or bright lights.Wait for the bird to leave.Block the chimney opening with sturdy mesh or netting.Schedule a cleaning and inspection.Install a chimney cap.

How can I keep birds from roosting on my roof?

Bird spikes and visual deterrents, such as owl decoys or reflective objects, can dissuade birds from roosting on your roof. You should also trim back overhanging branches and keep your roof free from debris.

What smells do birds hate?

Birds hate the smell of methyl anthranilate, a natural substance found in Concord grapes, grape Kool-Aid, and many bird-repellent sprays and gels. They also dislike the smell of vinegar, chili pepper, peppermint, and garlic.

How We Chose the Top Pest Control Companies

Our pest control research process starts with analyzing customer reviews on third-party websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and Google Reviews. We then do a deep dive into each company’s website, service plans, and available cost information. We also secret shop the companies we review, reach out to representatives, and request quotes.

From there, we compile the information we’ve gathered and compare each company using our in-depth pest control methodology and review criteria. This process uses a series of factors that are important to our readers, and we score each company depending on how well they perform in each factor. For instance, companies that offer more guarantees for their service earned more points than others, and pest control plans with a larger range of covered pests earned more points than ones with fewer.

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