How To Deal With Birds In Your Attic

How Do You Know if Birds are in Your Attic?

how do you know if birds are in your attic 1

Signs of a Bird Infestation

1. Unusual Sounds

When birds are living in your attic you’ll usually be able to hear them chirping, scratching, or flapping their wings, depending on the amount of insulation in your ceiling and walls.

Sometimes the faint noises are reason enough to let you know you’ve got uninvited feathered guests in your home’s attic.

2. You and Your Pets get Itchy

Another symptom of a bird problem is if you or your pets get itchy. Birds are known to carry mites and lice which can infest your home and eventually you and your family.

These pests love to feed on people and pets and can be a real pain in the butt to get rid of–especially when lice can lay eggs that continue the cycle for an extended period. Itching from lice or mites can occur on the scalp or where your skin comes in contact with your clothing.

Bird mites (unlike some other types of pests) are tiny but not so small they can’t be see with the naked eye.

3. Small Red Bumps (Mites)

If you find tiny red bumps on your skin that look like pimples and don’t disappear after a few days, it could indicate that there are mites in the home. Mites are hard to spot because they quickly bite, feed, then hide, usually within walls and floors.

Mites are just one of many reasons why it is crucial to remove birds from your home. If you find small insect bites when waking up in the morning it may be a sign that there are birds nesting in your home.

That’s because mites only infest places with known food sources.

4. Breathing Problems

Not only can birds act as a nuisance but they also can pose serious health problems in humans. Their droppings can carry disease and create a toxic environment for humans.

The waste can get into your ventilation system and cause breathing problems such as asthma or bronchitis, not to mention spreading harmful diseases.

5. Roof Holes

The types of small bird species that nest in houses are Finches, Sparrows, Wrens, and Martins. Owls and Starlings–or other mammals such as flying rodents or bats, are also known to nest in homes.

Regardless of the type of bird or animal, holes in your exterior are a tall tale sign of an unwanted guest. It’s very important to find and block off the hole they got in to eliminate the possibility of them getting in again.

A pest control expert can help identify entry points and compromised areas affected by birds nesting in your home.

6. Build-Up of Bird Droppings

Once you suspect that birds are living in your home you can start looking for other signs that they’ve nested. At this point, don’t enter the attic because the waste is harmful to breathe.

Look for potential entryways that the birds have discovered, along with nesting materials and feces. Checking bird droppings at and around the passage area is a great way to confirm that you have birds in your attic.

7. Nesting Material Clues

If you’ve found bird feces and or nesting materials outside your home around roof holes, there are likely more nesting material clues inside the attic. Nest material includes:

  • Grass
  • Moss
  • Small sticks
  • Mud flowers
  • Cloth, insulation, or other scrap materials.

Nests can range from the size of your palm to your whole body depending on the number of birds nesting.

What Do Birds in the Attic Sound Like?

The noises produced by birds in the attic can vary a little bit and may depend. You may hear:

  • Repetitive tweeting noises or high-pitched chatter.
  • Loud cawing indicates a bird that is stressed or on high alert.

If there’s more than one bird in the attic you may hear a mix of bird calls as they explore their new environment and communicate with each other. The noises can vary based on bird type – you may need someone with knowledge of bird and animal life if you need to identify what kind they are.

What Kind of Birds Nest in Attics?

what kind of birds nest in attics

The type of bird living in your home can vary based on where you live. As I mentioned earlier, the most common types of birds that nest in homes are Swallows, Sparrows, Starlings, Pigeons, and Finches.

Bats and Owls are also known to nest in attics.

NOTE: When dealing with birds it’s important to know that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects most of the birds mentioned. The Act states that capturing, harming, or killing these birds is illegal without a United States Fish and Wildlife Service permit. Fortunately, many ways to rid your home of unwanted birds without harming them.

How to Get Birds out of Your Attic

how to get birds out of your attic

Traps are the most effective and humane way to get a bird out of your attic. There are many traps on the market that capture birds without harming them.

  • A One-Piece Trap is durable metal and plastic with a built-in bait chamber. You can place this trap inside or outside your home.
  • A Two-Chamber Trap also attracts birds using bait and works by capturing them in both metal chambers. The Double-Door Rigid Trap can be reused and is the most durable and easiest to get the bird in and out.

Use a filtered face mask, protective eyewear, and gloves for whatever trap you choose. Bird seed can be used as bait to lure the bird and you can then release the bird outdoors.

How To Prevent Birds from Getting in

how to prevent birds from getting in

Once you’ve gotten all birds out of your attic preventing it from happening again should be the next step. Here are some of the best (and most practical) things you can do:

  • Make sure to seal any cracks or holes in the exterior of your home. Chicken wire is a low-cost option often used to protect homes from birds, and larger holes may need to be repaired by professionals.
  • Bird spikes are another option to lessen the threat of bird invasion and prevent birds from landing and entering.
  • It may be a good option to hire a bird removal or pest control specialist to be sure your home is safe from the effects of bird nesting and to do bird proofing similar to how rodent proofing is done.

How Long can a Bird Live in My Attic?

how long can a bird live in my attic

If you don’t take action birds can live in your attic for three to four months. Birds lay eggs and stay nesting in your home for longer if they’re not dealt with may leave only after their young have grown and left the nest.

Are Birds in an Attic a Problem?

are birds in an attic a problem

Although birds may be harmless outside, they can devalue your home if they nest in the walls and insulation. Birds can also spread harmful diseases and pests if not dealt with correctly so ignoring the problem really isn’t a good idea.

Mites are an annoying, creepy problem you really don’t want so I recommend taking action as soon as you’re aware they’re nesting in your attic.

James Marshall
About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »