Colorado is home to many species of bird – from hawks and falcons to barn sparrows. Most thrive in natural habitats and do not pervade human residences or structures. However swallows, woodpeckers, and pigeons have become common household “nuisances” as they are known to nest on or in inhabited buildings and inflict damage on the structure.
If you are experiencing unwanted bird activity, CALL 303-683-9283 to schedule your bird inspection TODAY!
Our experienced technicians will provide a thorough inspection of your property and develop a personalized plan for bird removal, bird nesting removal & clean up, bird damage repair, habitat modifications and more.
Feral Pigeons are considered a true nuisance bird as they are associated with disease transmission and unsanitary conditions. Pigeons often perch/roost or nest on the roofs of residential homes and commercial business creating a mess of nesting material and droppings. If the structure contains any openings along the exterior, pigeons may infiltrate the attic space or wall cavity and nest inside the structure. This can cause additional concerns for air quality, disease contamination and endoparasitic pests.
Woodpeckers are an important part of the ecosystem and are protected by both Federal and State Laws. In Colorado we typically encounter Nuthatches and Northern Flickers, both of which can become a nuisance to homeowners when they peck through the exterior structure of homes. They may be simply pecking to feed on small insects hidden in or behind siding or they may be making an access point to nest in. Due to the lightweight construction of efface stucco, woodpeckers can easily penetrate. Rats, mice and squirrels may use openings created by woodpeckers to access the attic spaces or wall cavities of a structure. Therefore, it is important to seal up any openings even if the woodpeckers are not nesting in holes.
Swallows can also wreak havoc by building unsightly mud nests along eaves. While the nests don’t necessarily cause damage to the structure, the presence of the birds can be disrupting to guests and clientele. Swallows are typically accompanied with droppings, bird mites and lots of swooping and diving at people passing by.
Bird removal needs to be tailored to the species in question and the time of year the problem is occurring. For example, there are no federal or state protections on feral pigeons so their nests can be disturbed at any time, but woodpecker nests cannot be active when removal takes place. Therefore, it is important to start with a thorough inspection to develop a complete mitigation plan including bird removal, nest & dropping clean up and repair/barrier work. Read below to learn about common bird situations and removal.
Pigeon Removal Scenario #1: Pigeons are living inside of a soffit area and gaining access into the attic space.
In this scenario, it is important to assess if there are other vulnerable areas on the roof that will be used if the current access point is repaired. All auxiliary repairs must be done at the same time as the pigeon removal otherwise the pigeons may start a new nesting area or enter the attic in a different spot. Pigeons can be removed from a space through manual extraction, taken by firearm or through 1-way exit doors. After the removal has taken place, clean up can begin. Often exterior nesting areas need to be washed to remove droppings and insulation may need removed/restored inside. Treatment for bird mites may also be necessary when dealing with areas of heavy pigeon activity.
** A popular type of repair for pigeons involves using wire mesh to seal the attic access point and/or soffit area. However, we do not recommend pursuing those types of repair methods as pigeons are often able to manipulate the wire mesh and continue entering or nesting in the area.
Pigeon Removal Scenario #2: Pigeons are living underneath solar paneling that is installed on a commercial or residential roof.
In this situation pigeons can often be removed by startling them from the area, but removal via 1-way door may be necessary where large sections of paneling are present. Nesting and feces cleanup is highly recommended after the pigeon removal takes place. Tile roofs can often be power washed, but shingle roofs may need a gentler touch to avoid unnecessary damage. Keep in mind that bird mite treatment may be needed when dealing with areas of heavy or prolonged pigeon activity. Once the pigeon removal and clean up phases are completed, a bird barrier can be installed around the solar panel’s perimeter to prevent future pigeon access.
**If the solar panels installed on your property are leased, make sure to get authorization from the leasing company before tampering with the panels in any way.
Woodpecker Removal Scenario: Woodpeckers have nested inside of wall cavities after they penetrated the exterior siding material.
With woodpeckers, the nests can only be removed if there are no eggs or fledglings present. Ideally repair should take place before a nest has been built so that no disturbance of the reproduction process occurs. Since a nest has already been made in this scenario, homeowners and wildlife professionals must wait until the woodpecker fledglings are able to fly independently and the nest is vacated.
Once the nest is vacated, woodpecker damage can and should be patched with cosmetically appropriate, peck resistant materials. Long term solutions against woodpecker damage include re-siding the structure with durable, hard coat materials such as hard coat stucco or cement board siding.
Temporary deterrents for woodpeckers include visual, auditory or tactile irritants. Such solutions typically have a short-term effectiveness and may need re-applied or adjusted on a regular basis.
Swallow Removal Scenario: Swallows are starting to form mud nests along the soffit area of a structure.
Swallows are also protected during their reproduction cycle and nests cannot be removed when swallow eggs or fledglings are present. It is ideal to work towards prevention of nesting, rather than removal of swallows. If you know that a structure is visited every year by swallows, it may be time to invest in a barrier to prevent their ability to nest. Otherwise there is often an endless cycle of nesting building and removal.
When swallows start to form nests, property owners can employ visual and auditory deterrents to discourage the completion of the nest. Short-term deterrents are only recommended until a permanent barrier can be installed. If the mud swallows succeed in forming the mud nests, power washing and repainting the area are often necessary to remove the staining created by the mud nest. Bird mite treatments are also recommended in areas of heavy and/or lengthy population.
Building a New Home:
- Consider altering the design of the home if there are deep soffit/roofline intersections that will provide protected nesting sites for birds.
- Stay in communication with your builder to make sure that all roof areas are properly sealed.
- Ensure that any solar panels are installed with bird barrier.
- Avoid efface stucco and cedar siding where woodpeckers are prevalent.
- Have your home regularly inspected for bird & wildlife concerns to proactively seal possible entry points.
- Schedule regular pest control to minimize food sources for woodpeckers on your home.
- Ensure that any solar panels are installed with bird barrier.