ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – It’s that time of year where birds are making their nests and the locations they choose can sometimes be problematic.
Birds like to build their nests in areas that are sheltered from the elements, which means in and around your home can be ideal for them. Sometimes this isn’t an issue, but there are things to be aware of.
First, this means birds may be bringing straw and leaves into your home, which could potentially be a fire hazard. They also leave a lot of droppings behind and can carry some parasites that can be a problem for humans once the birds leave the nest.
“Examples would be if you had an air conditioning unit on your window and the bird had a nest underneath of it. Those birds grow up and fly off. Those parasites don’t have anything to feed on so they search out a new host and sometimes that can be us,” said Jay Everitt, technical director for Rottler Pest Solutions.
When it comes to moving the nest, that’s not always an option.
“There are a few of them out there that have some protection. Your barn swallows, maybe woodpeckers, things like that,” Everitt said. “And any of your migratory birds like geese or even some of the hawks.”
Those species are protected once there are eggs in the nest until the baby birds fly away. For many of the other species, the nest can carefully be moved.
“You can take that nest and move it to an area that may be a little better for the homeowners as well them,” Everitt said. “But if you’re going to do that make sure they have some protection so they’re out of the elements and that’ll help them survive as well.”
But some homeowners enjoy having nests nearby.
“Every year, every spring around this time we have birds that nest throughout the house. So it’s a fun scavenger hunt for my kids to figure out where the birds nesting.
“This year, the new one is the mailbox. That’s a new one. They have found homes, as you see; back there our two little planters and we’re happy to have them there as long as they don’t bother us and we don’t bother them,” said Katie Cothron, a homeowner in Oakville.
Another favorite spot are those wreaths on our front door.
“A couple years ago we did have one in our wreath and for safety reasons we decided to move it and now because we don’t have that anymore we just let them do their thing. As long as they’re not aggressive to us we’re good,” Cothron said.
The best way to control this issue is exclusion.
“You can use hardware cloth. These materials generally don’t rust. They’re pretty heavy duty…If you have ledges you can put spikes on it so the birds don’t land on it. It won’t kill them it just deters them,” said Everitt.
Any holes or voids around your house or areas where siding and brick meet are common spots to find nests as well as those dryer vents, which they do sell covers to help prevent that.