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How to stop birds from nesting in the gutters?

Mackenzie Gary

Get rid of birds


Gutters, being an important component of buildings, are essential for timely evacuation of water from buildings. Various factors such as bird nests can clog drains making them unable to drain water and disrupting their functioning. Consequently, clogged drains can result in waterlogging, moisture damage and significant health hazards. Thus, it is important to prevent the drains of your building from bird nests.

Clogging of gutters can be successfully prevented by following the methods mentioned below.

  •  Remove nests and nesting materials from drains.
  •  Install a nest box or bird house near your building.
  •  Install gutter guards over gutters.
  •  Deter birds with Ultrasonic Bird Repellent.
  •  Remove food source near drains.
  •  Use non-toxic bird repellent.
  •  Install bird spikes near gutters.
  •  Hang foil tapes to distract birds.
  •  Scare birds away by placing bird decoys.

Keeping birds out of sewers is a difficult task. However, the above methods will prevent birds from nesting in gutters without harming them. Here are the detailed procedures for installing these methods to reduce problems related to clogged drains caused by birds.

Remove nests and nesting materials from gutters:

It is important to remove bird nests from gutters to prevent water blockage. Water fails to move past the nesting site and causes water to accumulate in the building. If you have a waterlogging problem, you should check the gutters. If you see a nest, remove it immediately to control the problem.

Safe nest removal from gutters requires a few essential materials. These materials include a ladder, safety equipment, a scooper, or a bag or container. After preparation, follow these steps for effective nest removal.

  1. Wear your gloves and glasses for extra protection.
  2. Place the ladder where you can easily reach the nest. Climb the ladder until you reach the target height.
  3. After climbing, check the nest in the gutter. Use the wand to check if it is active or inactive. Never attempt to remove an active nest as the birds may injure you.
  4. Remove the nest material from the dormant nest by hand or using a scooper and carefully place it in a bag or container.
  5. If the nest is present on the bottom, remove the nest by washing it with high-pressure water. After removing the nesting material, carefully cover the drain to prevent further nesting.

Install a nest box or bird house near your building:

When birds are unable to find a place to nest, they often nest in gutters. In this case, placing nest boxes or birdhouses near your buildings can encourage birds to stay in these birdhouses instead of gutters. There are different types of bird houses or nests available in the market. They vary according to the types and sizes of birds.

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Take the birdhouse and place or mount it in a safe place near your building. When birds find a place to nest, they will not come to sewers. Thus, gutters effectively remove water by allowing regular and smooth flow of water.

Install gutter covers over gutters (Most recommended)

Installing gutter covers over gutters is the most recommended method to prevent birds from building nests. Covering gutters with waterproof gutter guards prevents direct bird entry into the gutters. You can use the following gutter guards to cover gutters.

  •  Raptor stainless steel gutter guards
  •  Gutter Stuff Foam
  •  Brush gutter guards
  •  Mesh gutter guards

Raptor Stainless Steel Gutter Guards:

These gutter guards are made of stainless steel. They are easy to install and protect gutters from birds and leaves etc. One side of this gutter guard is attached to the gutter using self-tapping screws. While you can lift the other side of the guard and check the water flowing down the drain.

Gutter Stuff Foam:

These cheap gutter guards are similar to foam. You can easily insert and pinch them as per requirements. They are designed to prevent the entry of birds and debris into the gutter while allowing water to flow.

Brush Gutter Guards:

Brush gutter guards look just like large pipe cleaners. Just throw them down the drain. Water flows through the brush while debris material is trapped in the brush bristles. You can clean the gutter brush to remove debris particles.

Mesh Gutter Guards:

Mesh gutter guards are porous and made of plastic or metals. They are much more expensive and difficult to install than other gutter guards. To install them, place one end of the guard under your roof shingles while the other end rests on the other side of the gutter, so it completely covers the gutter.

Water flows through gutters which prevent the entry of birds and leaves.

Deter Birds With Ultrasonic Bird Repellent:

Ultrasonic bird repellents are devices that repel birds by making the sounds of their predators. They scare the birds with distress calls and hunter’s calls. You can buy these repellents from departmental stores and online websites. T

hey are easy to install and work their magic to keep all kinds of birds away from your buildings.

Installing an ultrasonic bird repellent device that operates on a direct electrical connection can be difficult. So, to overcome this problem, you can use a device that runs on battery or solar panels. Place the device near the drain and turn it on. It starts making sounds of various bird predators and distress calls.

You can change the frequency of the sounds by using the volume button on the device. The sounds carry over several acres to scare away birds from distant areas. Birds may think predators can harm them, so they stay away from drains.

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Remove food sources near drains:

A food source is the most important thing for all types of birds. We know that the main reason birds fly is to find food. Birds continue to fly until they find a feeder or food source. They immediately settle and build a nest where they have regular access to food.

 If you have feeders near drains, you should replace them immediately. It is best to keep these feeders away from the gutter area. Additionally, birds may drop down while flying, which attracts other birds as well. You should also clean them regularly.

In addition to food, running water in drains can also attract birds to the water source. The best solution for this purpose is to cover them with cover guards. This way the birds will have no reason to nest in the gutters and stay away from them.

Use a non-toxic bird repellent:

Non-toxic bird repellents repel birds with their strong smell and irritating feel. Baking soda works as an excellent bird repellent to keep birds at bay. Take the required amount of baking soda and sprinkle it on the area near the drain. Birds dislike the presence of baking soda under their toes because of its irritating sensation.

Additionally, you can also use flavor repellents to prevent birds from nesting in gutters. The most effective flavor repellent is “Avian Control Bird Repellent.” Take a bottle of this repellent and spray it in the gutter area. It repels birds because of its taste. You can use any of these repellents to protect your building’s gutters from bird nests.

Place bird spikes near gutters:

Installing bird spikes works as a permanent solution to prevent bird nesting in gutters. This requires proper installation and maintenance of these spikes. The spikes act as a physical barrier between the sewers and the birds preventing their entry.

Clean the area with a disinfectant before inserting the spikes. For this purpose you can use a mixture of ammonia and 10% bleach as a disinfecting agent. After cleaning, apply bird spikes to the surface. If you are installing spikes on a wooden surface, you can use self-tapping screws and nails to fasten the spikes properly.

The base of the spikes has patent fixing holes. Fix the bird spikes to the wood surface by passing nails or screws through these holes.

On the other hand, if you are securing the spikes to a stone or concrete surface, you can use exterior construction adhesives. Avoid using silicone adhesive to achieve desired results. Apply glue beads using a glue gun to the base of the spike. After applying the adhesive, place it on the target area and press it firmly. They prevent birds from landing unharmed.

Hang foil tape to distract birds:

Foil tapes with a reflective surface distract birds. Take foil tapes and hang them from available solid supports or tree branches near gutters. When light hits the foil tapes, they reflect because of their reflective surfaces.

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Moreover, the tapes also make horrible noises when the wind hits them. Reflections and frightening sounds both distract and frighten birds. As a result birds fly away from the sewer area. You can also use cassette tape instead of foil tape.

Scare birds by placing bird decoys:

The most effective way to prevent nesting gulls is to scare away birds with bird decoys. Decoys are shaped like birds of prey like falcons, owls, snakes etc. You can say that these are the best imitations of birds of prey.

Take an artificial decoy such as an owl. It can be made of plastic or rubber and can show movement. They are easy to install. Remove the base of the owl and fill the owl with rocks. You can also place the owl on a fixed vertical stick near the gutters.

When air hits a fault, its head can move in different directions. When birds in flight see the mimicking owl, they may sense the presence of a real owl. They leave this gutter area at any time to protect themselves from any damage caused by the owl.

Similarly, you can use fake falcons and snakes to protect gutters from bird nests. This is an inexpensive way to get rid of birds, but due to the constant presence of these predators, the birds can become habituated. So, to get consistent results, you should change the fake hunters after a short interval of time.