Bird Nest Removal Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

A bird's nest cradled in a hole in the roof.
What You'll Need
Long sleeves and pants
Respiratory mask
Latex gloves
Trash bags
Soap and hot water

Bird nests aren’t generally as scary or daunting as removing something like a hornet or wasp’s nest, but they can be as dangerous. But if you’re a home owner faced with a bird nest removal, here are some tips and mistakes to avoid.

Humans don’t generally contract diseases from a direct transmission from birds. But, humans can contract life-threatening diseases from bird droppings in, on or around a bird’s nest. Parasitic mites such as chiggers or scabies mites often inhabit bird’s nests, even after the birds have left.

One Major Mistake to Avoid

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If the bird’s nest you’re trying to get rid of is active—meaning birds are nesting or there are eggs in it, destroying it may bring the law down upon you. It is a federal offense to remove or destroy an active bird’s nest if the nest belongs to a migratory bird. Swallows fall into this category, as do geese. Local and state laws are even more restrictive—forbidding the removal of active wren and robin’s nests.

Tips for Removing

The best time to remove a nest? Preferably, when it’s being built. The longer you wait to remove the nest, the closer you get to disrupting the animals and possibly getting into trouble. However, if the birds have already moved in, then you need to contact a professional for advice on how best to proceed.

Nests can contain fleas, ticks, bedbugs, and mites transmitted from the birds themselves. Decontaminate the nest with an over-the-counter pesticide before removing it. Wear long sleeves and long pants and remove and wash them in hot water immediately after removing the nest to kill any chiggers or mites that may have remained after using a pesticide. Also wear gloves like latex gloves used in hospitals or for painting to help keep your hands free of mites and other parasites, as well as to avoid any direct contact with bird droppings. Dispose of the gloves afterward and wash your hands in hot, soapy water.

Use respiratory protection when removing a nest to avoid inhaling parasites, dust, and pathogens that could be harmful to you.

Dispose of the nest in an exterior trash bag and seal it properly to prevent the spread of any pests that may be inside.

Regular visual inspections of your home’s exterior are a necessity if you have recurring issues with bird’s nests, not to mention, it can help with early prevention. Always check for new nests in the very early spring as birds are returning to warmer climates.

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