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Your home is your castle, but unfortunately, you can’t always lock it down with a moat and drawbridge. Which means pests may be able to find a way in. Homeowners who find — or hear — birds in their bathroom, kitchen, or even dryer vents often don’t know what to do to safely and humanely remove the nest and bid the flying pests adieu. While working with a pest control professional is often the best course of action, you can take some DIY actions in some cases.
If your bird nest removal need is greater than you can handle or you’re worried about environmental issues or potentially damaging your home, contact a professional.
ImproveNet connects you with professional pest control experts in your area. We'll help connect you with bird nest removal specialists nearby.
How To Safely Remove A Bird Nest
The safest way to remove a bird nest from almost any location, from the roof to vents and chimneys, is to wait for the inhabitants to vacate it for the season. After nesting season, which is when birds build their nests and put them to use tending eggs and raising babies, the chirping family will likely leave for a different climate. Then, you can remove the nest without dealing with wildlife.
Once the nest is empty, take the following steps to remove it.
- Using a flashlight and ladder, if necessary, try to determine where in the pipe the nest is.
- Don some protective gear. At minimum, wear goggles, a mask, and gloves.
- If the nest is located closer to the exterior opening of the pipe, use a dowel rod and needle-nose pliers to push and pull it out.
- If the nest is located closer to the interior opening, you may need to remove the interior vent cover and pull the nest out from inside your home.
You may want to wash down the pipe or wipe it down to remove any debris or residue left by the birds. If necessary, reinstall any vent covering you removed.
How To Get Rid Of A Birds Nest With Inhabitants
Bird nest removal is a bit more complex if the birds are still living in it. That’s because the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects some birds' nests if they are active. Legally, you can’t remove these nests if there are inhabitants. Sometimes, you can’t remove the nests if it’s nesting season, even if there aren’t any birds currently living in the nest. That’s especially common when dealing with endangered species of birds.
If you want to remove an active bird nest, you may need permission from a local authority to do so. You’ll need to contact someone to find out. You can start with an office such as Wildlife and Fisheries. In such cases, it might be easier to call a professional pest control service with experience dealing with birds, though. A professional would know whether permission is required and would also have the tools and knowledge to safely remove a bird's nest with minimal issues for the people and birds involved.
How To Remove A Birds Nest With Eggs
Even if you haven’t heard any birds lately, if the nest has eggs, it may be considered active. If you’re able to handle the removal yourself after checking about wildlife rules and nesting season, take care not to break the eggs. No one wants an egg mess inside their vent or pipes.
How To Stop Birds From Building A Nest
Whether you do it yourself or work with a professional, the work isn’t done once a bird’s nest is removed. Some birds tend to return seasonally to the same nesting area, so if you don’t take precautions to keep them out, you could be hosting the same family again next year.
And even if you don’t end up with the same bird, if one flying pest found a way into your vent, another could.
You’ll need to install something that allows air to vent out of your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room but keeps birds from getting in. One common option is a dryer vent guard or a similar device. These are covers that are installed on a hinge at the top. When air is released from the vent, it pushes the cover open enough to escape. But the cover remains over the hole at all other times to help keep pests out.
In some cases, this isn’t enough to keep clever birds out. If the bird can perch on anything nearby, it might be able to maneuver the cover with its beak, pushing the cover-up and slipping right into the hole and the pipe.
If you’re dealing with this type of clever bird — or you just want extra peace of mind — you can install a metal or plastic grate just within the exterior of the pipe or over the pipe opening. This allows air through but keeps birds and other pests, such as rodents, out.
- Pest Removal