how to remove bird nest from gutter

Most people understand the purpose of installing gutters around the roofline of their homes and garages: to divert rainwater from the roof and house to someplace safe, well away from any structures that could potentially sustain water damage. Pretty simple, right? Yet this standard home-maintenance task is one that many homeowners push to the back burner in favor of dealing with seemingly more pressing problems.

Part of the issue is the old saying about “out of sight, out of mind”. This is especially true with gutters, since they are located well above our line of sight. Most people can’t see the debris collecting in their gutters without going to some trouble to do so. Clogged gutters can lead to big problems down the road, however, including water damage, flooding issues, unwelcome visitors like birds and mosquitoes nesting or breeding in gutters, and more.

Following is the lowdown on how to stop birds from building nests in gutters, the reasons why blocked gutters actually are a potentially urgent issue and the importance of keeping up with this particular aspect of home maintenance.

The Facts About How to Get Rid of a Birds Nest

Birds construct their nests to offer a secure, comfortable area for them to lay their eggs. Many environmental factors, including the species of bird, the presence of competitors, parasites, and predators, as well as temperature and humidity, influence the locations and types of nests that they choose to build. Some birds nest on grass or even dig burrows in the ground, while others construct their nests in trees and shrubs. Some species build their nests on building roofs, walls, or ledges. Before attempting bird nest removal, there are a few things to take into consideration, regardless of where you’ve seen them or the effect they have on your property. Often, calling a professional is the best first step.

  • Ensure the Nest is Inactive. It goes without saying that the best time to remove a bird’s nest is obviously while it’s still being constructed. But it’s possible that until it’s inhabited, you won’t notice the construction. If there are already birds or eggs there, don’t try to move them. Recall that it is illegal to remove migratory birds’ nests, so you should wait until after the nesting season. Learning how to prevent birds from creating a nest in the first place is also a good idea.
  • Check for Eggs. Eggs may be visible in the nest, but the parents are nowhere to be found. This doesn’t mean the eggs have been abandoned. In actuality, a lot of birds wait to lay their eggs, and they can survive for up to two weeks after that. Alternatively, it’s possible that the adults have just momentarily left the nest to feed or assist in cooling the eggs. Human disturbances on a regular basis may cause the nest to be abandoned.
  • Wait Until After Nesting Season. While most bird species only nest once a year, some can have as many as four or five. Diverse species also spend quite different amounts of time in their nests. Raptors may remain for up to eight or ten weeks, but songbirds typically depart after two or three weeks. Knowing the specifics of each species can be quite difficult, so it’s best to leave it to the experts to decide what to do and when.

It’s time to call Terminix® Commercial if a bird has taken up residence on your property in a dangerous area, is causing damage to your house, or is preventing any space from being used. Our skilled professionals will assist in determining the best course of action, whether you require expert bird nest removal or are looking for more information about how to prevent birds from building a nest.

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The word pest is not commonly synonymous with birds, but if they’re causing damage to your roof, car, or property, you may make an exception. In fact, you may even be considering bird nest removal if you find them wreaking havoc consistently. Not only can nesting birds make quite a racket, but they can block stove, dryer and fan vents with their nesting materials, and clog gutters and drains. Plus, bird droppings contain uric acid, which can also damage car paint. So, while removing a birds nest may not be something you’ve worried about in the past, there are occasions that might necessitate a deeper look. If you’re thinking about removing a birds nest yourself, first consider that there are laws and risks that you need to be aware of.

Bird control is not as simple as just trying to figure out how to get rid of a birds nest. Many species are protected under The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which “makes it illegal for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter, any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except under the terms of a valid permit issued pursuant to Federal regulations.” Unless you’re an expert, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to differentiate protected birds from others, so it’s always recommended that you leave any bird nest removal to professional wildlife control such as Terminix® Commercial.

Birds can carry diseases that could be harmful to humans, so professional removal is necessary in addition to adhering to rules and regulations. Microorganisms from birds can cause a range of communicable diseases and can spread through different routes. Nests are likely to remain long after the birds have left and may contain mites, parasites, ticks, and other pests carried on the birds themselves. Additionally, it’s likely that the nests will contain droppings, increasing the danger of handling

How To Keep Birds From Making Nests In Unwanted Places

Some homeowners may even find it cute that there are bird nests in their gutters. Since they require a secure area to lay their eggs and raise their young, birds must construct their homes somewhere. Due to factors like urban sprawl, many bird species have run out of places to build their nests, resulting in fewer trees and other natural nest sites that birds need to survive. Nothing is cuter than a nest full of tiny baby birds peeking out from fragile, cracked eggshells, when you stop to think about it!

Even though everything above is accurate, understanding how to prevent birds from building nests in undesirable areas, such as your gutters, is nevertheless crucial. Maintaining clean gutters is the most important step in preventing bird nests from entering your gutter system.

It makes sense that many homeowners put gutter cleaning at the bottom of their lists of things to do because it’s an unsightly home maintenance chore. Gutter cleaning is risky, dirty, sometimes extremely muddy work. Cleaning your gutters on your own can be risky depending on the height of your house; you might not even have a ladder tall enough to complete the task.

These are only a few of the explanations for why a lot of homeowners neglect their gutters, particularly if there aren’t any apparent drainage issues with their house or property. However, astute homeowners are aware that maintaining clean gutters ought to be at the top of the list of routine home maintenance duties. Gutter cleaning is just one of the things you should do to maintain the condition of your house and yard and stop damage from developing over time—damage that will undoubtedly require an immediate, and frequently costly, repair.

Discouragement or prevention of birds nesting in undesirable locations is the best approach to deal with this issue. To greatly reduce the likelihood of birds settling in your gutters, keep them free of leaves, sticks, mud, and other debris that they use to build their nests. Here are some additional preventative measures that may be useful in preventing birds from building nests in undesirable locations. To prevent birds from becoming trapped inside, keep in mind that you should only use these techniques after you have confirmed that there are no birds or eggs in the areas you are attempting to keep bird-free:

  • Put in surface-tension material, wire mesh, or plastic screen gutter guards over your current gutters.
  • Any gaps or holes in your porch, eaves, roof, or other places where birds could build nests should be sealed with steel wool. For a truly sealed-off area, reinforce the steel wool by covering it with wood or metal.
  • Upgrade outdated gutters with new ones that are better at keeping leaves and birds out.
  • To give birds a secure place to eat and build their nests, install birdhouses, nesting boxes, and bird feeders on your property.

In order to reduce the likelihood of leaves, sticks, pine needles, and other debris getting into your gutters, it’s also a good idea to keep trees well away from your home.

Birds can congregate inside and outside of your home in areas other than your gutters. When homeowners discover a nest or other indications that a bird has made its way inside, they frequently wonder how to get rid of birds in the attic. Birds that are seeking shelter from the weather may fly into these openings, chimneys, and windows. Steel wool works well in these areas as well for keeping birds out. Depending on whether you have a window to open or some other simple means of letting the bird fly out on its own, you may need to show it the way out. In other situations, your best option might be to consult a wildlife expert to keep these unwanted houseguests out of these areas.


How do I get rid of bird nests in my gutters?

Your best bet, in this case, is to call a trusted pest control company or your local wildlife removal service to handle the problem legally and humanely. If you find a bird’s nest in your gutter and it is late fall or wintertime, you are legally allowed to remove it yourself.

Can I remove a birds nest myself?

It is also illegal for anyone to keep a nest they take out of a tree or find on the ground unless they have a permit to do so issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Under very limited circumstances, the Service may issue permits to take active nests.

Why do birds build nests in gutters?

Birds, and wild animals in general, consider gutters, eaves, and home ledges to be an ideal place to build their nests and raise their chicks. Pests favor small, secluded spaces because spaces such as these can protect them from predators.

What happens if you disturb a birds nest?

For the most part, a mother bird will simply keep raising her nestlings in a nest that has been slightly disturbed. Sometimes they will keep raising their babies in an artificial nest if the original has been damaged. Because the situation in the question does not happen, there is no need to address it.