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How to Stop Birds From Nesting in Your Gutters

How to Stop Birds From Nesting in Your Gutters

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If you have birds building nests in your gutter, you’re probably looking for a way to get rid of them because they clog gutters and make a big mess.

We know that the noise caused by those birds can be inconvenient, so we’re here to tell you how to stop birds from nesting in gutters. We’ll share different methods of removing the nests, discuss the legalities behind them, and answer common questions.

So, keep reading to learn how to keep your gutters clean and bird-free.

How to Get Rid of Birds’ Nests in Gutters

Before preventing birds from building nests, you should start by removing any existing nests in your gutter and cleaning it.

Make sure you’re not harming any birds when you remove the nest. You might break some laws if you harm or kill birds (we’ll discuss those laws later in the article).

You should remove any nests during the nesting season or when the bird is still building the nest and hasn’t laid the eggs yet.

Before you start, gather your tools. You’ll need rubber gloves, a ladder, a bucket, goggles, and a trowel.

Then, here are the steps you need to follow to dispose of the nest:

1 – Place Your Ladder in the Right Position

Position your ladder according to the height of your gutter and the location of the bird’s nest. However, try not to place the ladder right in front of the nest for your safety in case there are any animals or bugs inside the nest.

Put on your goggles and rubber gloves, then carefully climb the ladder.

2 – Inspect the Gutter

After you climb to the top, start checking the gutter to get a sense of what you have to deal with. Check the bird’s nest and ensure there are no eggs or hatchlings.

Once you’re sure the nest is empty, it’s time to remove it.

3 – Remove the Nest

Now, with your rubber gloves on, simply remove the nest from the gutter and dispose of it in the bucket. If any parts of the nest are stuck in a corner or joint, use the trowel tool to scoop them, then throw them away in the bucket as well.

Safely climb down the ladder and put everything you gathered in a trash bag, then throw it away.

4 – Clean the Gutter

After you’ve disposed of all traces of the bird’s nest, it’s time to clean your gutter. Keeping your gutter clean of debris and leaves will discourage birds from building nests on it, so here’s how to do it:

Now with your clean gutter, you can start exploring solutions to prevent birds from coming back and building their nests there.

Is It Legal to Remove Bird Nests from Gutters?

Many birds are protected under the MBTA (Migratory Bird Conservation Act) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

As such, it’s illegal to destroy the nests of migratory birds or kill them or their eggs. So, when can you remove a bird’s nest?

That’s when you’re sure the nest is inactive and has been abandoned.

Some species of birds are legal to remove, including house sparrows and European starlings.

If you can’t identify the type of bird in your gutter, or if the bird is causing problems, you can seek professional help. Contact your local Environmental Protection Agency and they’ll provide you with the assistance you need.

How to Prevent Birds From Building Their Nests in Gutters

There are lots of ways to prevent birds from nesting in your gutters. Let’s go over them, and you can decide what works best for you.

Bird Spikes

Bird spikes are protruding plastic or metal spikes that you place in gutters.

The spikes take up space and create a barrier, making the gutter unsuitable for bird nesting. Better yet, gutter spikes don’t prevent water flow since it passes through them, so your gutters will still function with no problems.

Moreover, they create a visual barrier; when the birds see the spikes, they know there’s no space to build a nest.

Bird spikes are quick and easy to install. You’ll only need a silicone sealant to stick the base of the spikes.

Start by ensuring that your gutter is dry. Then, grab each section of the spikes and apply the sealant to their bottom.

Afterward, lay them flat on your gutter.

Go in sections, moving in a line until you reach the end of the gutter. Make sure you hold each section tightly for a few seconds for the adhesive to stick to the surface properly.

Bird Repellent

A bird repellent is a spray you apply on the gutters to create an unpleasant smell for birds. Sometimes, those sprays also have a bad taste that birds don’t like.

You can purchase bird repellents from a store or online. Products come with instructions on how to use them, so make sure you read them carefully to know the amount you should apply.

Another option is to try a DIY bird repellent. You can create a scent that repels birds with items around your kitchen—such as cinnamon or garlic—and add them to a spray bottle as a more affordable option.

Now, all you need to do is spray the repellent in your gutter. Repeat the process every two weeks or if you see any birds starting to land on your gutter.

Rubber Snakes

Rubber snakes are another easy and inexpensive solution to scare away birds.

Birds know that they—and their eggs or chicks—are prey to snakes. Therefore, if they see the rubber snakes, they’ll think they’re real and won’t build their nests there for fear of being attacked.

Secure the rubber snakes well by tying them to the roof so that they don’t get washed away by rainwater. Additionally, make sure they’re big enough, and place them where they’ll be visible to the birds.

Do Gutter Guards Keep Birds Out?

Gutter guards cover the top of gutters to keep leaves, debris, and small animals away from the gutters, but they have small openings that allow water to go inside.

They’re an effective and long-term solution to keeping birds out as they’re heavy-duty and durable.

Here are a few factors to consider when installing gutter guards to get the most out of them.

Material and Durability

Gutter guards come in different designs and materials. The material you choose should be sturdy enough to last a long time.

For instance, plastic guards can be broken easily by birds. In this case, there’d be holes or spaces in them where the birds can build their nests.

On the other hand, metal is the better option as it’s sturdier and long-lasting.

The Openings

Another thing you need to consider when installing gutter guards is the size of the openings. The smaller those gaps are, the less likely that birds will want to build their nests on them.

This is why it’s a good idea to steer clear of brush or foam gutter guards because they have big gaps that birds may be able to build their nests in.

How to Install Gutter Guards to Keep Birds From Nesting in Your Gutter

Installing gutter guards will depend on the type you purchased. Most gutter guards come in sections.

After you clean your gutter, lay down the sections of the gutter guards next to each other. Then, secure them in place with screws or clips.

Your kit will usually come with the required screws.

Some types of gutter guards such as mesh guards don’t require any screws; you simply lay them down and fit them inside the gutter.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the different methods of preventing birds from nesting in your gutter.

You can choose from the different options in this guide such as spikes, repellents, rubber snakes, or gutter guards.

Remember to abide by the law when removing any nests and make sure that they’re inactive first.


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