Birds are lovely animals when they are flying free and living in their natural habitat. But as people have encroached on nature, birds have turned urban areas and homes into their own habitat and have become a common problem for homeowners around the country. Birds like starlings are cavity nesters and in the wild, they will make their nests in holes in rock faces or in hollow trees. In urban areas, birds have had to adapt to what is around them and since trees are often in short supply, they have become adept at nesting in manmade structures like fan and dryer vent pipes on the side of houses. At Skedaddle we have had to deal with nests in all sorts of interesting places.
Andrea’s bird nest story
One customer, Andrea S from Ottawa, called us to solve a bird nest problem in her home. After a vent cover fell off the upstairs bathroom fan vent a starling was able to move in and nest in the warm and convenient vent pipe. A starling nesting season runs from spring to summer and after the first summer, the birds came back to nest for a second season. This was just too much for Andrea and once the starlings had left the nest for the second time, Andrea decided she needed professional help to deal with the problem. By then she was concerned about the mess that the birds had made and any related health problems.
Andrea called a couple of exterminators without success. One company told her that they could not help her because they did not have ladders and therefore did not deal with bird or nest problems. Another company told her that they could help her but would have to spray the vent with strong chemicals to disinfect it. This did not appeal to Andrea who feared the effects that the chemicals would have on her health. Her final call was to Skedaddle, and our advice was to remove and replace the vent pipe with an entirely new vent pipe and just as importantly, install a new vent cover to prevent the starlings from returning for a third season.
Solving Andrea’s problem
While the problem was not difficult to solve, it was time-consuming. Our trained technicians arrived on site and did a thorough inspection of the upstairs bathroom. They soon saw that the fan vent pipe was damaged by bird activity and clogged with a large amount of dry nesting material. It was unsafe to leave the vent in this state because a clogged vent can result in a mold problem in the bathroom if the fan motor isn’t working properly and the nesting material also presents a fire hazard.
Fortunately, this was not a new situation for our technicians. They have dealt with similar issues in the past and with a bit of time and effort they sorted out the problem. In this instance, the fan motor was fortunately still in good working order and did not need to be fixed or replaced. From the inside of the attic, our technicians disconnected the fan vent pipe from the motor and the vent opening and replaced the entire pipe with a brand-new section. As soon as that part of the job had been completed the vent and fan could once again work properly. After the new vent pipe had been fitted, we replaced the outside vent cover and installed a screen over the top to prevent the starlings from returning to their nesting site for a third consecutive year. The screen will also prevent other wildlife from finding their way into the home.
Our advice to homeowners
At Skedaddle, Andrea’s case is not unique, and we see many situations like this throughout the year. Our best advice to homeowners is to act quickly and call a wildlife control expert to deal with any wildlife as soon as you notice signs of a problem inside your home. Birds can be a persistent problem because many species will return to the same nesting site year after year and if you don’t block their entry point to your home they will keep coming back.
Once you have dealt with the immediate wildlife situation, it is important to inspect your entire property to ascertain the full extent of the problem. In the case of Andrea S, it was not enough to just clean the clogged vent, the entire vent pipe needed to be replaced and a new vent cover needed to be installed to prevent future invasions. It is important for homeowners to realize that a problem can be more complicated than anticipated and it is not advisable to try and solve the problem yourself. If you notice any wildlife activity in your home, call in a professional wildlife removal expert or you might end up making the situation worse.
Why quick bird and nest removal is so important
You might like birds and think that it is okay to have them nesting in your home, but expert bird and nest removal is important. Many birds, like starlings, build extremely messy nests with dry twigs, grass, and leaves. These nests can become a fire hazard as they block airflow and trap heat, and this can cause the fan motors and dryers to overheat. Once that happens, the dry nest material can easily become an accelerant, causing a fire to start and spread quickly.
You want the nest gone as soon as possible but it is not a good idea to do it yourself because disturbing a bird’s nest can release airborne debris, dust, and bird droppings into the air that can cause serious respiratory problems and diseases when inhaled. Bird nests in your bathroom vent can also mean that the dust, debris, and droppings are disturbed and blown into your bathroom every time the fan is turned on. This can become a health issue. If inhaled, bird droppings can cause histoplasmosis, a serious lung disease. Bird droppings can also cause permanent staining on building material and a bad smell in your home.
Birds are usually covered in tiny little bird mites and when the birds leave the nest, the bugs migrate into the home to find new hosts. Bird mites do not survive long on humans, but bites can cause skin irritation and discomfort.
How Skedaddle removes birds and their nests safely from your home
When you need a bird nest or two removed from your home, your best option is to call in a wildlife control expert. Skedaddle technicians will remove any birds and their babies safely and humanely from any part of your house. The adult birds are often easy to chase out and once they have left the nest a Skedaddle technician will remove any baby birds carefully by hand. The babies will be placed in a protective container with some of the nesting material. The container will be secured to the exterior of the home, allowing the parents to continue to care for their babies until they are ready to leave the nest. Once the birds have been removed, our technicians will clean, repair or replace the vents and make sure that they are secured against further intrusions. With 30 years of experience in the wildlife removal business, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control can solve your bird problems.