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What to do with birds nesting in vents

“The shoemaker’s son goes barefoot.”

That old saying certainly applied to Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control last spring. Since 1989, we’ve been educating homeowners on things they can do around their home to keep wildlife out of their homes. Unfortunately we didn’t follow our own advice when it came to our office’s bathroom fan vent and we ended up with some feathered friends of our own.

The cover over the vent that exhausts the bathroom fan to our office’s exterior was left unprotected and presented an ideal place for birds to nest. We saw the birds coming and going and heard the chirping babies from inside the office. On the bright side, it gave us the opportunity to get some pretty unique footage of adult starlings raising their babies.

Like many other birds, starlings begin preparing nests and laying eggs during spring. They are cavity nesters, and in nature they would normally make their home inside tree hollows and holes found in rock faces. As part of their adaptation to city life, starlings now find similar nesting conditions in the vent openings found on the sides of houses. These openings exhaust appliances found inside the home, including bathroom fans, kitchen fans and dryers.

How do they get in?

Once a mating pair of starlings decides to nest and lay eggs inside your house here’s what you can expect:

  • Droppings – Starlings aren’t shy about where they leave their droppings. Accumulations of feces inside the home can lead to health concerns, bad odour and permanent staining of building materials.
  • Fire Hazards – Inside duct work, starlings will build large and messy nests of leaves, grass and twigs. Over a season, their nests can grow quite large, even filling entire garbage bags. The nests block air flow and can cause dryers and fan motors to overheat. All of that dry nest material then serves as a dangerous fire accelerant.
  • Bird Mites – Most starlings are covered by tiny little bugs called bird mites. The mites live on the baby and the adult starlings and survive on their blood. When the population of mites grows too large or the birds leave the nest they often migrate into the home in search of a new host. Though they cannot survive on humans they will bite the skin causing irritation and discomfort.

To prevent this from happening, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control suggests removing birds from your house at the first sign of infestation. Our technicians will remove the birds, clean the vent and secure it against re-entry. Any babies inside who aren’t ready to fly are placed inside a jog that is positioned next to the vent so that their parents can continue to feed them until they’re ready to go it alone.

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About the author:Founder of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control in 1989. Canada's largest urban wildlife removal and exclusion company. Industry leader and pioneer. Split, Scram, Scoot! However you want to say it, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has helped over 200,000 home owners and businesses safely and effectively resolve their wildlife issues. Happy to discuss business and franchising opportunities

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