Why Do Birds Enter Homes?Like all animals, birds need food, water and shelter, so they go wherever these sources are readily available. Typically, they flock to trees, tall grasses, shrubs or brush piles—anything with dense foliage. Because such sites are particularly scarce during the winter months, birds find alternate accommodations in eaves, soffits, attics, vents and chimneys. These locations provide both warmth from harsh weather and protection from predators.
What Are the Health and Safety Risks?Feathered friends quickly turn into foes once they breach your home because they pose quite a few serious health threats. Birds, as well as their nests and droppings, can carry a variety of diseases, such as encephalitis and histoplasmosis, an incurable flu-like illness. Removal and cleaning of bird-related remnants are best left to professionals as it requires specialized techniques and protective clothing. Even if you’re able to stave off disease-causing pathogens, birds can still wreak havoc on your home. Nesting materials create clogs in water sources, such as gutters and downspouts, allowing standing water to pool and ultimately resulting in roof damage. Bird droppings cause substantial damage, too, because they contain uric acid, which eats away at the paint and other building materials. Birds take nest-building seriously. They feverishly pack their gathered materials into their chosen spot, creating a comfortable dwelling for them but numerous potential hazards for you. Nests that are located in stoves, dryers, chimneys and vents prevent proper exhausting, leading to the release of carbon monoxide, the buildup of mould and the risk of fire and toxic air.
What Can You Do?There are several actions you can take to keep unwanted winged guests away from your home. Focus on restricting access to food and water sources and on eliminating ways that birds can get inside:
- Tightly secure trash and compost bins.
- Clean up trash spills.
- Remove toys, planters and lawn decorations that may collect pooled water.
- Keep bird feeders at the edge of your property, far away from your home.
- Search for holes or openings around the perimeter of your home.
- Check for signs of nesting and/or bird droppings.