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Category Archives for "Birds"

How to Get Rid of Seagulls & Seagull Nest Removal

The beach is a beautiful place to relax and spend the day or even a long vacation, but not when seagulls are bombarding you. If you have a beach home or resort that you are trying to rid seagulls from because they have become an annoyance, there are methods you can use to help rid of the birds away. Even if you do not live at the beach and are dealing with a seagull problem these methods can help you, but first you must understand what seagulls are and what attracts them in order to solve the problem.

What are seagulls?

Seagulls got their name because these birds love being at the beach near open bodies of water such as oceans, lakes, and even ponds. This is especially true for public beaches and parks where trash cans are everywhere and boardwalks with food stands and carts. You may even run into seagulls at amusement park built on beaches dining at concession stands and stealing people’s hot dogs right from their hands as they are walking to a place to sit down and enjoy their food.

You can find these birds in most areas of the world, but they mainly hang out in North America. The birds are roughly sixteen inches long with a wingspan of forty inches wide. You can spot them with easy because they are typically bright white in color with black tipped wings, but some are gray or even three-toned with white, gray and a bit of black. Seagulls love munching on marine invertebrates, plankton and fish, but most of all enjoy an easy meal, prefering to dine on foods that are easy to obtain, which is why they love dumpster diving and hanging out wherever water and food sources are abundant.

However, these birds also love living in areas where there is plenty of moss and seaweed for building nests for laying eggs during their breeding season which is usually during the months of July and August. If your one looking for methods to keep these seagulls away, destroying seagull nests and keeping moss and seaweed cleaned up around your living space are one way that will work well for deterring and keeping seagulls away naturally.

What are some of the different breeds of seagulls you can find around open bodies of water?

  • Black-legged Kittiwakes
  • Bonaparte Gulls
  • California Gulls
  • Common Black Headed Gulls
  • Franklin Gulls
  • Glaucous Gulls
  • Glaucous Winged Gulls
  • Great Black-Backed Gulls
  • Heermann Gulls
  • Herring Gulls
  • Iceland Gulls
  • Ivory Gulls
  • Laughing Gulls
  • Lesser Black-Backed Gulls
  • Little Gulls
  • Mew Gulls
  • Red-legged Kittiwake Gulls
  • Ring-Billed Gulls
  • Ross Gulls
  • Sabine Gulls
  • Thayer Gulls
  • Western Gulls

What are other reasons for wanting to rid seagulls away besides them being annoying?

Besides seagulls being annoying at the beach and trying to steal your food, seagull droppings are another reason why people want to get rid of these birds from their beach homes and resorts. Seagull droppings actually carry diseases such as:

  • Histoplasmosis: Respiratory Infection
  • Candidiasis: Fungal Infection
  • Cryptococcosis: Fungal Infection
  • St. Louis Encephalitis: Yeast Infection
  • Salmonellosis: Bacteria Poisoning
  • Ecoli: Bacteria Poisoning
  • Bed Bugs: Parasite Problem
  • Chicken Mites: Parasite Problem
  • Yellow Mealworms: Parasite Infection
  • West Nile: Viral Infection

What are some useful methods for getting rid of seagulls?

There is many useful methods for getting rid of seagulls. One of the newest methods found useful is having sheepdogs patrol beach areas a few times per day and even going for long walks along beaches with their owners. Seagulls in general do not like dogs, but sheepdogs particularly will run any type of gull off the beach.

Another method that is helpful is attracting raptors, which are large falcon like birds that can kill off a flock of seagulls with ease. However, this method is one that needs to be used with caution since raptors can go after small dogs and cats within your beach home yard as well.

Other methods that work well are:

  • Placing large bright color flags or kites around your beach home or resort since seagulls hate bright colors
  • Place bird spikes, wires or netting around your home or resort to keep the birds from landing there
  • Use mechanical spider devices or rotating blades as ways to repel seagulls
  • Install motion sensor water sprinklers or lights around your property or devices that make loud noises
  • Try shooting off squirt guns at the birds as a harmless way to repel the birds away
  • Use mild electrical zippers to shock the birds away
  • Chase the birds away yourself as a harmless method
  • Have a pet cat that loves being outdoors repel the birds away for you

What are some end thoughts to keep in mind when getting rid of seagulls?

In general, seagulls are harmless peaceful happy creatures people love seeing at the beach because they are simply part of that particular climates atmosphere and without them the beach wouldn’t feel like the beach. Some people even love hearing them make their cawing noise because it means they have arrived at the beach and its time to relax and enjoy ocean life. With that said, if you are not one of these people and seagulls are an annoyance to you, you can always try the methods above to repel them away or even get rid of them. After all, the beach is suppose to be a place of comfort and relaxation while you are there visiting, or living.

More Seagull Control Resources:

  1. Behavioral Control of Seagulls at Langley Airforce Base – University of Nebraska at Lincoln 
  2. How to Keep Birds Away from Your House or Yard – NeverPest.com

Do Pigeons Ever Fly at Night? Where do They Go & Do They Sleep at Night?

One question that many people coping with pigeons frequently ask is “Do pigeons fly at night?” Because pigeons are usually noticed during the daytime, it’s logical to assume that they are usually active during the day. This is usually true, unless they were disturbed. Some of the things that could contribute to pigeons flying at night include:

  1. Loud, sudden noises, especially those associated with building
  2. Having lights left on late at night in or around trees
  3. Outdoor parties or other gatherings that generate a lot of noise

Even though pigeons can be a nuisance, there are effective methods that can be used. If you realize what you need to do, you will be able to avoid having pigeons disturbed by nocturnal activity disrupting your activities. You will also want to avoid methods that fail to resolve the problem over a longer term.

Why Exclusion is Better Than Poison

Many people, especially if they find the pigeons particularly annoying, resort to using poison. In addition to possibly being illegal in some areas, poison can also cause other problems. Some birds collide with building windows or cars after ingesting the poison, possibly causing damage. Dogs, cats, and other predators may also become accidentally poisoned after killing and eating poisoned pigeons.

Exclusion is a better method to use over a long period of time that involves the following:

All of these methods, if used consistantly, should make a difference. Careful monitoring is necessary to ensure that these methods are working as planned.

Barrier Methods

There are two common types of barrier methods, porcupine strips, and netting. They are both effective, but should be used properly to ensure that they work. Barriers are good at preventing them from returning to favorite roosting spots.

Porcupine strips have barbs that are sharp and discourage the pigeons from roosting. Netting also provides a surface that birds can’t roost on. However, both barriers should be checked for leaves, sticks, and other debris that would allow pigeons to get around the barbs or mesh.

Stopping Voluntary Feeding

Many people enjoy feeding birds and don’t hesitate to give pigeons something to eat. However, this encourages them to roost in a certain area that may prove inconvenient if the location is used at night. Some of the ways to stop feeding include:

  • Having a no feeding policy with posted signs
  • Using outdoor trash barrels that are properly covered over
  • If necessary, enlist the help of local health department officials

Reducing Access to Food and Water

Although many don’t like the idea of cutting off food and water supplies to pigeons, this is an effective way to exclude them even when nobody is deliberately feeding them.

  1. Make sure nuts and berries from trees and shrubs are cleaned up when they fall
  2. Consider using netting on fruit-bearing shrubs
  3. Empty out containers with standing water

Pigeons are opportunistic feeders and can easily locate food in another location.

When to Choose Capturing or Trapping Pigeons

If you need to remove a smaller number of birds, capturing can be quite effective. Use a commercial trap and release them into another area. Keep in mind, though, the fact that pigeons have strong homing instincts and might come back. This method works best for smaller groups that only roost in the area and aren’t there all day.

Always stay on top of your exclusion methods to ensure that they’re working. If they are, you’ll be in good shape.

 

 

 

Additional Pigeon Behavior Resources:

  1. Internet Center for Wildlife Management  – Pigeons (Rock Doves)
  2. 7 Strange Tips for Pigeon Problems – Never Pest
  3. Techniques for Feral Pigeon Trapping, Tagging and Nest Monitoring – New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Crow Deterrent & Repellent Tips – Sprays, Sounds & Devices to Keep Crows Away

Crows are most seen as a nuisance, but they are in fact an intelligent and resourceful bird. The can adapt to their environment quickly and learn new skills to enable them to get at food sources. The crow is a very social bird and will about to look for food as a family; so if you see one crow chances are there are more around. Due to the crow being a rather intelligent species of bird, it is going to be a challenge to get rid of them should you try to go at it by yourself.  It is not impossible, just difficult. It may take more than one method and repeated attempts. Here are some methods that should work for you as crow deterrent:

 

Create unfavorable areas

  • Crows can easily tear into garbage bags to find food. Secure your garbage in a garbage bin with a secure lid so they don’t have access to it. Don’t overfill the can or they will still get at it. If a crow finds your garbage a good source for food it will keep coming back.
  • The crow is an omnivorous species of bird and will eat any food scraps you leave laying around. A lot of people like to compost their food scraps which is a good idea, except it will also attract crows come into your compost area. For compost and not attract crows you will need to cover the pile or keep it in a contained bin.
  • Crows love it when you plant a garden. They can help you by eating the insects and grubs which come from gardens and they also like the crops you’re growing. There are flexible bird nets you can place over your garden to keep the crows away from your crops. Using a four-inch net will still allow smaller birds into to eat pests but keep crows out. If they are bothering fruit trees or bushes in your yard, the net will work them as well.

  • Don’t feed crows. One thing many people overlook in their yards is the fact that bird feeders can attract crows. There are feeders on the market that will close if heavy birds land on them. This would be a good investment for you if your problem with crows includes your bird feeders.
  • Crows are also known for eating hatchlings of smaller birds. Once a crow finds a source for this food, it will return every year to the same nest. You can prevent this from happening if you make your bird houses at least six inches deep from the hole to the bottom of the nest box. Do not put a perch on the house that way crows will not have a place to wait for the hatchling to stick its head out.

Eliminate the crows nesting and roosting areas

The crows travel in groups or families and will look for open areas to roost together. Remove the dead branches from your trees to eliminate possible places for them to roost.

If you place bird spikes on your roof line or fences it will deter crows from landing and perching there. When bird spikes are placed on these areas it prevents them being able to get their footing and encourages them to move on to look for more suitable areas.

Transparent bird gel applied to branches and other areas crows has been roosting will make it uncomfortable for crows to land there. This has been effective in encouraging crows to change its nesting area. The gel is non-toxic and can be found in most hardware stores.

Crows seems to be attracted to lights. They gather in well-lit areas at night; so by reducing your outdoor lighting will make your home less appealing.

Crows migrate so by not letting them a welcome at your house when they fly through will prevent them from wintering in your yard. Dusk is the best time to disrupt them when they are looking for a place to roost for the night. If they can’t find a comfortable place, they will move on find a more hospitable place.

Scare tactics

Hanging fake animals in your yard will keep the crows away from your area. You can use fake; horned owls, snakes, crows or any type of decoy to suspend in areas where crows tend to gather. These methods are temporary as they will soon learn the pattern and know the decoy is not real. Try changing the type of decoy and its placement to continue scaring the crows.

Harassment deterrents only work for a short time with crows; however, continued harassment will make them eventually give up on your yard being favorable.

Crows are often challenging to manage; they will not make it easy for you to send them on their way. You will have to be as persistent to get rid of them because if there is something that attracts them, they will use their intelligence to find a way to stay.

Best Woodpecker Deterrent – Homemade Repellents & Sprays to Keep Them Away

You are trying to sleep in on a Saturday morning or trying to relax in your own backyard when you hear that dreaded sound: the rat-a-tat-tat of the woodpecker hammering holes into the siding or your house or the trees on your property. You cringe because you know all too well once that sound starts it isn’t going to let up for some time, and it is nearly impossible to ignore as it echoes in your ears.

Woodpeckers are at once beautiful birds that anyone with a feeder welcomes and the kind of creature that can drive a person out of their mind after about two minutes of making noise. The destruction they can cause is untold. People with persistent woodpecker problems lose the health of their trees and sometimes whole sections of siding; the woodpeckers drill holes into these surfaces looking for food and end up making entryways for insect infestations and moisture damage.

Thankfully there is a wide range of products you can try if you are determined to chase off these birds from your yard altogether. Better yet, birdwatchers may be able to control woodpecker activity enough that they stick around to be enjoyed but stop the incessant pecking. The most common woodpecker deterrents are:

  1. Reflective strips to frighten woodpeckers
  2. False predators, like plastic owls and eye balloons
  3. Sound deterrents
  4. Sticky repellents such as bird glue
  5. Deterrent spray that changes the feel and smell of the surface being pecked

Scaring Woodpeckers Away

One of the more effective means of deterring woodpeckers is reflective strips. Woodpeckers are scared off by the flashing light that bounces off reflective surfaces. A general bird deflector, commonly used on high voltage power lines to keep birds safe, may work. Better yet, there are a variety of reflective windsocks and windmills that stay in motion with the slightest movement of the air, acting as a sort of living scarecrow for woodpeckers. The simplest reflective woodpecker deterrent is simply long strips of mylar streamers attached to the surface you are trying to protect.

Woodpeckers and other birds aren’t too fond of being watched by predators, and you can recreate this effect by hanging eye balloons. Eye balloons are round ornaments that make it seem as though a pair of eyes are staring at the woodpecker no matter where it flies. Since birds will eventually figure out it is a trick, these deterrents need to be moved every few days to keep the woodpeckers fooled; the same advice applies to plastic owls or any other fake predator.

Sonic deterrents are usually bird specific since they use the natural warning call and predator sounds of a particular bird breed. Woodpecker deterrents using sound will send out the woodpecker distress call followed by the sound of a hawk. This method uses the bird’s natural instincts against him and guide him away from your property in a hurry. You can choose a sonic device that releases a constant warning call or install a motion-sensitive mechanism that kicks in whenever a bird flies by. Other do-it-yourselfers may want to buy a CD or audio file with this sound pattern and play it through their own outdoor speakers.

Making Their Feeding Ground Less Appealing

Bird glue is sometimes utilized for stubborn bird problems, but there is a word of caution about using such products. If applied too heavily they trap the bird, who dies a rather miserable death stuck to the side of your tree or house. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology discourages the use of sticky repellents because they are potentially harmful to woodpeckers and other birds when it gets caught up in their feathers. They urge homeowners to consider one of the many other effective deterrent options available.

Woodpecker deterrent spray is typically made of a non-toxic vinyl coating. You spray the area where the birds are making holes, and they should find the surface undesirable due to its new taste and smell the next time they return. Sprays are manufactured primarily for use on trees. A similar paint additive can be mixed in with paint for situations where the woodpeckers are causing problems for your house or outbuildings.

Once you have chased off the woodpecker or while you are managing the problem, make sure to seal up and repaint any remaining holes. Holes left by one woodpecker is like a welcome mat rolled out to others. Adams Pest Control recommends filling some of the holes with a putty deterrent, similar to the spray and pain mentioned above, just in case the woodpecker starts nosing around again.

Restoring Peace and Quiet to Your Property

You don’t have to live with the incessant noise or property damage brought on by woodpeckers. If you have a feeder, consider removing the suet from your mixture, giving woodpeckers no reason to return if there are neither bug hunting spots or seed for them to eat. Remember that woodpeckers can be beneficial to trees by helping to control insect populations; this is part of the reason woodpeckers are protected birds, and it is illegal to kill them without a license. You need to be prepared for an uptick in tree infestations if the birds do decide to leave.

If you are lucky you may be able to strike a balance between seeing the beautiful plumage of the woodpecker at your feeder without ever having to deal with their noise or destruction again. In the end, it is all a matter of finding the right woodpecker deterrent.

Additional Woodpecker Repellent Resources:

  1. Woodpecker Prevention and Control Measures – University of Illinois 
  2. US Department of Agriculture – Woodpecker Deterrent for Utility Poles
  3. Woodpecker Nuisance Problems – Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

How To Get Rid Of Woodpeckers – Humane Control Methods

Woodpeckers are wild birds that live in woodlands and forests mostly, but some species enjoy treeless areas too. In fact, there are species that live in deserts and rocky hillsides. The bird is part of a family that consists of two hundred species. Woodpeckers peck holes in trees with their sharp bills in the search for food.  The problem with these birds is that they can become a nuisance for homeowners if they are not controlled.

How do Woodpeckers Feed?

These wild birds usually eat insects, grubs from trees, beetles, termites, spiders, fruit, nuts and sap from trees. Woodpeckers have a varied diet, as they are omnivores. The foods found in live and dead tree trunks are their primarily source of nutrients. They are known for maintaining the health of the trees just because of their eating habits. Trees are protected in this way from various infestations.

What is the Behavior of Woodpeckers?

These birds can have different types of behaviors, as they can be antisocial and solitary, or aggressive towards other birds from the same species, but also very social and living in groups in some cases. Woodpeckers are diurnal creatures and they sleep during the night in holes. These birds are territorial and they leave their territories when they are in the search for mates. The drumming generated by these birds when they peck their holes in trees can be annoying for humans. Even worse is the fact that woodpeckers can cause damage to your property if your property becomes part of the bird’s territory.

What are first measures to take against a woodpecker infestation?

In order to avoid the frequent drumming sound and any damage to your property that may be caused by woodpeckers, you need to take measures. The birds don’t drum on your house for no reason. You may already have an infestation of insects and you may have to get rid of the insects first as an initial measure to take to rid the birds. Go to the areas in your house and your attic where the birds have been spotted or where it has left traces of its activity and try to eliminate the insects found there.

Planting Bushes and Fruit Trees and Placing Suet in Your Yard

In order to draw the birds away from the house, you should plant bushes and fruit trees at a distance from the building. If you do it too close, the results will be the opposite of what you expect. In addition, you can place suet in the yard. Suet is made from cow fat and you can find it in stores. Woodpeckers like to eat suet and this can help you avoid the drumming. As time passes, you will have to move the feeder as far as you can from the house. You can move it a bit each day. It is not recommended to use suet when the weather is hot, as it can damage the wings of the birds.

Using Sound and Images to Keep the Woodpeckers Away

Woodpeckers have predators and they are scared of anything that sounds like their predators. Things that have a similar appearance to their predators can also keep them away. You can hang shiny materials from the edge of your roof. Good examples can be aluminum pie plates, reflective tape or foil strips. The wind will take care of everything else and the birds will become scared, thinking that they have predators ahead.

Colored materials, flags and figurines bought from stores can also do wonders. If you also use sound, your operation will be even more successful. An ultrasonic recording of a predator or a woodpecker in distress can be placed in your attic. In order to keep away the birds throughout the day, set up the device to function only from time to time. There are more expensive devices in stores that use sensors. They can turn on when a woodpecker gets close to them.

Use Woodpecker Discouragement and Harassment

If you repair the holes that woodpeckers have made in your house, you will eventually discourage them and they will not return. Already pecked holes can draw in more birds and more insects. As soon as you find holes, make sure you fill them with putty. Use polyurethane paints to paint the putty, as this will keep insects away and as a “side effect”, woodpeckers.  In order to avoid more damage, try to put plastic netting or bird netting in the previously affected areas. It can be interesting and challenging to do everything on your own. But, in the end, calling for professional help is the best approach.

Trapping and Killing Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers can be trapped with bird netting and a netting drop system. There are also lethal traps, but there is no point in killing these beautiful birds when you can get rid of them in an ecological way.  For lethal methods, there is a need for permits anyway because this bird is protected and a permit can only be obtained when extensive damage has been done to a household. Rat snap tracks are used in this case near the holes made by the birds. The bait can be suet or even peanut butter.

Use of Woodpecker Repellents and Woodpecker Control Services

Woodpecker repellents can be hole fillers, but there are also woodpecker repellent sprays. The sprays will have to be applied over the entire area where the birds dwell. Sprays will prevent future drilling, just like protective paint does. The only problem with sprays and paint can be that they can change the color of the wood and stain it, making it to look bad. The use of other chemicals like mothballs can lead to unpleasant effects for the users, so it is not recommended. The best way to know what the right approach is for your particular situation is to call woodpecker control experts. If you use specialized pest control services to control the woodpecker population in or around your household, you can avoid the stress of trying different methods yourself.

Additional Woodpecker Control Resources:

  1. Wildlife Nuisance and Damage – Wood Pecker Control by PennState
  2. How to Keep Birds Away from Car, Garden, House, Pool, Trees & More – Never Pest
  3. Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management – Woodpeckers
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