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What Every NJ Homeowner Needs to Know to Safely Remove a Bird's Nest

Thursday, December 20th, 2018


Spring is nesting season for birds in New Jersey. You can often hear the singing of the young and watch the mother work vigilantly to feed her babies and then teach them to fly. It can be a joy to have a bird’s nest on your property during the nesting season but, at times, the birds choose a location that is less than suitable for you and perhaps even unsafe for them. So, what should you do if you discover a bird’s nest on your property?

Where is the nest located? First, consider if the location is a safe one for you. Active bird’s nests will create bird droppings that can be unsightly and carry disease. Therefore a location over a door, in an overhead vent that will have foot traffic below or so on may not be an ideal situation. Bird’s nests found in gutters, inside of a dryer vent, or even on your lawn mower or other equipment around the home are unsafe locations and hopefully are discovered and can be removed before young are present.

Another thing to consider is that nests often contain other pests such as bird mites, ticks and even fleas. These parasites will feed on the birds while the nest is active, however, when the nest is abandoned those parasites will leave the nest looking for a new host. If the nest is in a location that those pests can enter your home like inside of a vent, on an air conditioning unit or by a window then the pests can get into your home putting you at risk for bites and even an infestation. Remember, these pests are so small that they can typically fit through the holes in a screen.

When can I safely remove the nest? Ideally, you will notice the nest while it is being built and if the location is less than ideal you should remove it before it is completed and before eggs are present. If you discover a bird’s nest that is already built and has eggs or young in it, the best course of action is to wait until nesting season is over and the young have left the nest before you remove it. It takes about four weeks in total for most birds to incubate and for the young to be ready to leave the nest. Beyond being kind to the birds, it may very well be illegal for you to move the nest as some birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Many birds commonly found in New Jersey are covered under this act such as songbirds, shorebirds, crows, swallows and many more.

At times, a bird’s nest will be discovered while you are about to begin a home project. This can be very tricky if you have hired a company ready to work and then discover an active bird’s nest in the area. Consider the type of bird, whether there are eggs or young present and, if at all possible, if the work can be put off a few weeks until the birds have abandoned the nest.

How do I safely remove a bird’s nest? After you are certain that the nest has been abandoned and the young have moved on then you can safely remove the nest. Take precautions when handling the nest. As we mentioned, abandoned nests often contain bird mites, fleas, ticks and other parasites that are now searching for a new host to feed off of. Therefore prompt removal of the nest after it has been abandoned is ideal.

Take the following steps to safely remove the nest:

•  Wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your skin from pests possibly lingering in the nest. Some experts recommend spraying the nest down with a pesticide to kill off any remaining pests. You may even wear a breathing apparatus to avoid inhaling particles from bird droppings that can transmit disease.
•  Remove the nest; place it in a sealed plastic container and dispose of it.
•  Clean the area with a strong disinfectant. Bird droppings can be a source of disease making this step an important one.
•  Take steps to deter the birds from returning. Fixing a broken vent or making the area unappealing is an important step to ensure that another bird does not build a nest in the same area.
•  Be vigilant during nesting season, which is in springtime in New Jersey. Regularly inspect the outside of your home to ensure that birds are not nesting in dangerous areas of the home. If so, promptly remove their building materials and make changes to the area to deter them.

If you are struggling with a bird problem or discover a bird’s nest in a dangerous area of the home, contact us today. We offer full bird control solutions including removal, cleaning and bird repellents and deterrents in areas such as Toms River and many other surrounding areas.