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Fly Away Home: Getting Rid of Nuisance Birds

Find out why some birds are bad news and what to do when they invade

Beautiful garden birds make outdoor spaces come to life with color and sound, but not every winged visitor is a sign of good luck. Pigeons, starlings, crows and other common nuisance birds can quickly turn your picture-perfect yard into a living nightmare. While a single straggler isn’t a cause for panic, watch out if your new avian tenants are moving in by the flock. As harmless as they may look, nuisance birds can spell big trouble, eventually causing serious issues that run the gamut from health risks to property damage.

If you’re dealing with an invasion of nuisance birds right now, try to resist the urge to take matters into your own hands. Most of our native feathered friends are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. To avoid getting on the wrong side of the law, it’s always a smart idea to get professional help. In the meantime, you can follow the non-lethal tips below to get the eviction process started.

1. Put your visitors on a diet. Like other invasive pest species, nuisance birds scout spots with the best nutritional resources when choosing their next nesting ground. To prevent your garden from becoming an all-you-can-eat pest buffet, clean up grain, seeds and other common food sources. If you have livestock, invest in bird-proof feeders.

2. Use decoys to scare geese into retreating. While geese usually prefer to roam larger outdoor spaces, don’t be surprised if you find some roosting near your home or leaving droppings all over your lawn. To keep them at bay, surprise them with plastic swan decoys. Geese may be aggressive by nature, but even they don’t want to run into the even more territorial swans.

3. Seal off comfortable nesting areas. Pigeons, sparrows and starlings are especially fond of nesting in hard-to-find crevices. Removing potential habitats and doing occasional home inspections can help you keep them and other small nuisance birds out. If you have a barn or any other outdoor buildings, keep the doors locked up tight and stay on top of repairs.

4. Guard vulnerable crops and structures with bird netting. Designed to safely block birds from turning plants and buildings into roosting sites, mesh netting is easy to use and inexpensive.

Looking for professional bird control in the Phoenix and Tucson area? Visit Burns Pest Elimination online to learn how our leading team of experts can help you reclaim your yard swiftly and safely.

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