How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof

Written by karen cotton
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How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
Inhaling bird faeces is associated with histoplasmosis. (carrier pigeon, feral pigeon image by Lars Lachmann from

When you think about home pest control, chances are you imagine dealing with insects or rodents. Birds, however, can pose an even greater threat to your family life than pests like ants and mice. Living with a colony of birds on your roof can bring with it sleepless nights at best and--at worst--disease, structural damage and parasites. Effective pest control will rid the birds from your roof and help prevent their return.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Binoculars
  • Bird identification book
  • Ladder
  • Bird spikes
  • Chimney guard
  • Pots and pans
  • Bird dispersal system
  • Streamers
  • Gloves
  • Netting or chicken wire

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  1. 1

    Use binoculars to identify areas of the roof where birds are present. Most species gravitate toward hot spots such as chimneys or vents. Be on the lookout for bird faeces, twigs and leaves.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Nesting birds choose high, warm spots to raise their young. (stork nest image by Marius Lazin from
  2. 2

    Refer to a bird book to identify the types of birds on your roof. Some birds are protected, so to fully comply with the law, it's best to know what you're dealing with.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Some birds, like Canada geese, can become aggressive during nesting. (Canadian pride image by Sebastien Fremont from
  3. 3

    Examine your home, paying particular attention to the roof, for areas where birds might be able to enter, nest or perch. Look at the hot spot areas for damage, such as broken vents. You'll need to use a ladder for this. To be safe, always have someone at the bottom of the ladder to steady it and watch you.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Seagulls create noise and mess in seaside communities. (Seagull fighting for place on the roof image by nra from
  1. 1

    Fit bird spikes to all potential perching and nesting spots. Areas such as window ledges, roof peaks and chimneys are top choices for birds like pigeons. Install a chimney guard to keep birds from entering your chimney or nesting or perching on it.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Birds will perch on any smooth surfaces of a roof. (pigeon image by dinostock from
  2. 2

    Make random loud noises to startle the birds and encourage them to leave. This can be done with normal pots and pans or with more advanced products from a pest control specialist. While effective at removing birds from your roof, special care should be taken to avoid upsetting nearby neighbours.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Clapping pots and pans together provides temporary pest relief. (pots pans and barn 1 image by Lise Powell from
  3. 3

    Install a more advanced bio-acoustic bird control system for long-lasting effects. This pricier, but neighbour-friendly, option plays natural bird distress calls. This makes your roof and home an unpleasant, if not hostile, environment for your feathered pests. This is an effective, humane dispersal method utilised by homeowners and professionals alike.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Many farmers choose acoustic bird control methods. (grape image by Anton Chernenko from
  4. 4

    Fit streamers to your roof and you'll soon see the birds heading elsewhere. Yellow seems to work best for deterring blackbirds, while a red and silver combination works well for other birds.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Blackbirds do not like the colour yellow. (forsithia yello flowers image by Maria Brzostowska from
  5. 5

    Repair any holes or openings in your roof. Your average sparrow needs only a gap the size of a golf ball to enter your home. Pay special attention to broken vents. These repairs and the removal of nests that are no longer in use is a job best done in the autumn, after the young have fledged. Always wear gloves when handling and removing bird nests.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Sparrows can fit through very small gaps in the roof. (sparrow image by FFprod66 from
  6. 6

    Call in a professional pest controller to treat bugs that might be attracting woodpeckers. When the wood of your home is new, it can house insects that act as a magnet for woodpeckers. And a hungry woodpecker can quickly decimate a home. By removing all signs of insect life, you can increase the odds of keeping woodpeckers and their noisy hammering away.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Male woodpeckers are often searching for insects. (red-bellied woodpecker image by Pix by Marti from
  7. 7

    Install netting or chicken wire to any attic windows, gutters or vents. You might also want to do this to block any crevices or cubby holes on your roof.

    How to Get Rid of Birds From a Roof
    Use netting or chicken wire to block entry to popular nesting spots. (gable end image by Rob Hill from

Tips and warnings

  • For professional advice on removing birds from your roof, contact a local pest control company.

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