House Sparrows

House Sparrows

House Sparrows may look harmless, but they are another harmful and invasive bird species like starlings. The house sparrows originated in the middle east and have since spread throughout the world, they are extremely adaptable to their environment.

They are found wherever people are; cities, neighborhoods, and farms. However, they avoid dense woods. They will often cluster in dense bushes.

What do they look like?

Male house sparrows are brightly colored with gray heads, white cheeks, a black bib, and a rufous neck. Female house sparrows are mainly plain brown with gray-brown underparts. Moreover, each of their backs is striped with black and brown feathers.

What do they do?

House sparrows prefer to nest in or near buildings, they also get very noisy. Sparrows will create their nests above shutters, doorways, dryer vents, or other undesirable areas. Not only are they noisy, but they also leave debris like nesting materials and droppings near their nesting areas. Their droppings are hazardous and can contain histoplasmosis which can be harmful and cause illness in humans.

Like the starling, house sparrows are an invasive bird species that are harmful to native birds like bluebirds. They also intimidate other species by dominating feeders and nests.

The removal process

Because house sparrows are considered an invasive bird species, they are not a protected species. For jobs such as birds behind shutters or birds above doorway headers, we are able to remove the nesting material and debris. During clean-up, we take all proper precautions and use PPE throughout the process due to the many diseases bids carry.

We then are able to birdproof your home. Depending on where the birds are nesting, we may need to provide exclusion for shutters, doorways, and any potential entry points.

Give us a call or contact us if you have noticed sparrows in or around your home!

Doorway Headers for Bird Nesting

Doorway Header

As birds nesting behind shutters is increasing throughout the warmer months, we offer custom bird-proofing solutions for doorways and windows.

Earlier this spring, we completed a doorway header installation for a client who had birds living above her doorway. She would have her groceries delivered to her home and before she could get to them, the birds would leave droppings on them!

How do doorway headers work?

In layman’s terms, we create a custom-bent cover constructed out of color-matched aluminum and install it on the home. Ultimately, it prevents birds from nesting above doorways and windows and matches the home’s aesthetics.

A common solution other technicians use is bird spikes. While these are effective methods of bird proofing for larger birds, they do not create a seamless, or finished, look that matches the rest of the home’s fixtures, nor do they prevent nesting by smaller birds like the Starlings and House Sparrows who typically nest in these areas.

The Bird Proofing Process

Most doorway headers we install are in conjunction with our custom shutter solutions. Bird nests on porches and patios create unwanted noise, especially in the morning. Moreover, competitive bird species like the house sparrow and starling compete with other birds for their nesting areas which also contributes to noise and mess.

In addition to scattered nesting material around the area, their droppings are usually scattered around the affected area. The droppings are hazardous and can contain diseases so bird clean-up must be performed by a professional. Birds carry histoplasmosis which can be fatal to humans.

Once we identify all places where the birds are nesting, we are able to perform a thorough clean up. We always use PPE and proper techniques when cleaning up bird messes to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Once the area is clean, we proof the doorways and shutters if applicable.

If you’re having issues with birds nesting, feel free to give us a call or use our contact form!

Feral Cats in PA

Outdoor Cat

Throughout all seasons, we receive a lot of calls for feral cats. However, our business does not handle nor provide for the trapping and removal of domesticated animals. 

We do have recommendations on who to contact and what to do with feral cats explained below.

About Feral Cats

The ASPCA recommends TNR for feral cats which stands for trap, neuter, and release. Furthermore, their cat squads will diminish over time if the practice is employed. When TNR is employed, mating habits that include roaming, yowling, spraying and fighting decrease. 

According to Humane Pennsylvania, feral cats that are placed in shelters will most likely be euthanized. As feral cats have never been socialized by people, they are extremely fearful of humans. They are socialized within their colonies, but they would most often not enjoy living indoors and would be unable to be placed into homes. 

Outdoor cats also harm wildlife. According to the American Bird Conservancy, cats kill 2.4 billion birds every year in the United States. Moreover, researchers from the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Center predicted that small mammal death from outdoor felines ranges between 6.3 to 22.3 billion each year.

How Do I Keep Cats Away From My Home?

To make your property less appealing to cats, we recommend making sure any garbage is thoroughly secured and no pet food is left outside. This is a sure way to attract stray cats and other critters like raccoons and possums.  

Moreover, there are repellents available but generally, repellents are ineffective. It will not prevent the cats from returning to the area.

Ultimately, we recommend contacting your local township or borough office for referrals or guidance to deal with feral cats.

Nesting in Solar Panels

Squirrels Nest Under Solar Panel

Have you noticed efficiency issues and loss of power with your solar panels? Bird and squirrel nests are common causes of these issues. We’ll highlight how each of their nesting habits causes issues with panels and damage to the home. 

Squirrels Nests in Solar Panels

Squirrels are the most detrimental to solar panels; they chew constantly. They chew wiring which can result in loss of power which is a pricey repair. Additionally, their nesting materials can affect the efficiency of the panels, therefore generating less power. Moreover, once squirrels start nesting they will scratch at shingles. Eventually, if they scratch enough, they will end up in your home! 

Birds Nests in Panels

Birds nest under and around panels which will cause a buildup of dirty nesting debris. Their droppings also deteriorate important components of the panels and affect the efficiency of the panels. Moreover, nesting under panels will attract other animals like squirrels and rodents. Nesting materials can also cause leaks in the roof.

The Solution

We are continuing diligent research on the procedure of installation methods of critter guards to prevent nesting in solar panels.

Solar panel companies often offer it after the damage is done. Ultimately, if critter guards are installed before the issue occurs, it prevents expensive repairs. Although this is a newer issue for homeowners, we are able to trap and remove the squirrels, install critter guards around the panels in addition to sealing any entry points around your home to resolve the issues.

Give us a call or fill out our contact form if you’ve noticed animals nesting in or around your solar panels!

Starlings in PA

Starling Sitting on Roof

What do they do?

Starlings are very destructive birds that do a variety of things to harm our ecosystems and man-made structures. They can monopolize feeders, impact milk production in cows by picking out strong protein from the feed, and they also leave polluted droppings. Moreover, their dense bodies and large, tight flocks disrupt airplane engines causing accidents.  

They often build their nests in homes or businesses. One of the most common places to build a nest is in the dryer or bathroom vents where their nesting debris causes ventilation issues or even a fire hazard. They also displace other birds by taking over their nesting spaces, destroying eggs, and harming the young. The female starlings will return to the same nest each year and add to it.

Starlings find any opportunities to take over nesting areas such as holes in trees and covered industrial nooks. 

Where did they come from? 

Starlings are not native to the United States, they actually came from Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. They were introduced into the US’s ecosystems in 1890 during a celebratory act. It was a large misstep as the starlings populated quickly. 

What do they look like?

They are chunky and blackbird-sized with short tails and long, slender beaks. During flight, their wings are short and pointed which makes them appear as small four-pointed stars which is how they earned their names. They are also known for their gracefully synchronized murmuration dances.

How do we get rid of them?

Due to their invasive nature, starlings are not protected by the Migratory Bird Act. We are permitted to perform nest removal, trapping, and use one-way doors to flush them out of man-made structures. One-way doors ensure the birds have an escape point but are not able to return. 

Starlings also nest behind shutters which creates a mess and their droppings carry parasites. We offer custom solutions for starlings behind shutters including removal, cleanup, and repair with color-matched aluminum to prevent any future issues.

After we remove the birds, we close off all active and potential entry points. For vents, we create custom screening solutions or use vent covers when applicable. 

Starlings are not easily ignored, give us a call or check out our contact page if you believe you have starlings invading your property!

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