Integrated Pest Management for Nuisance Birds

Flying geese.

Birds generally considered “nuisance birds” include pigeons (Columba livia), house sparrows (Passer domesticus), and starlings (Sternus vulgaris). These species are not native to this country, and have resulted in many conflicts with man. Pigeons are represented in nearly all urban and suburban locations and are considered a nuisance.

Under certain circumstances, some species in sufficient numbers can become pests and even create health and safety hazards. Birds may cause damage to property, and their droppings may create unpleasant odors. Bird droppings can also ruin vegetation, painted surfaces, gutters and awnings, and cause electrical equipment to malfunction. Birds may carry diseases which are capable of infecting humans, and bird droppings can promote soil conditions favoring development of such fungal diseases as Histoplasmosis. House sparrows can damage rigid foam insulation, and their nests can become fire hazards. Nests on buildings can be unsightly, block ventilation systems and attract other pests such as bird mites or dermestid beetles. Accumulations of droppings can deteriorate building surfaces.

Most bird species (including active nests, eggs, and young) are protected under federal and state wildlife laws. Even the small numbers that are not may have local or state humane ordinances that regulate how the birds may be handled.

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