Birds are beautiful creatures to have around your home. However, if they find your porch habitable, birds can cause severe damages. Doves, pigeons, European starlings, house finches, and house sparrows are the most common culprits. Here is how to keep birds from building nests on your porch.
First, you must not throw food items around the porch. Most birds are generalists in their mode of eating and will feed on nearly everything. You can also exclude birds, reduce their reproductive rates, trap them, or employ lethal methods to keep them from building nests on your porch.
Do you know why birds like nesting on porches? We will also tell you what to do if a bird makes a nest on your porch. Read on to find the best way to keep birds from building nests on your porch and some crucial things to keep in mind when doing so.
Why do birds like nesting on porches?
Birds can nest on your porch for long periods without you realizing what the problem is. You may have done everything right to keep birds from building nests on your porch without registering any significant difference. Birds like nesting on porches for several reasons;
1. Presence of Food
The birds that are likely to nest on your porch are usually generalists in their mode of eating. That means they will feed on seeds, grain, insects, handouts from people, bread, even garbage. If your porch provides any of these conditions, birds will nest on your porch.
Cavity dwellers like European starlings will build nests on your porch if the area is not well covered. They can build messy nests using grass, straw, leaves, and trash, which can damage the surface of your porch. Therefore, check that there are no holes or cavities in the ceilings and walls around your porch.
Birds also find porches habitable because of the sense of security. The European starling, for example, is very tolerant of people. They do not perceive humans as a threat to their nests. Cats are natural predators for birds, and keeping one can discourage birds from nesting on your porch.
Porches also provide considerable warmth for birds to hatch their eggs. Porches also protect birds against the direct impact of rain and sunlight. Birds like pigeons that build open nests will find your porch more convenient than those that build enclosed nests.
Finally, if there are no bird distractions around your porch, finches, sparrows, and starlings can nest there. However attractive porches, with nesting materials such as dried leaves, twigs, and branches can keep birds on your porch throughout the seasons.
In a nutshell, birds like nesting on your porch because they find a suitable habitat for them. They not only get food but shelter, security, warmth, and convenience from your porch. But how can you keep them away? What is the most effective way to do so?
How to Keep Birds from Building Nests on Your Porch
Birds will not only build nests on your porch. Bird droppings can also pose significant risks to people, livestock, and property. It is not healthy to allow birds within your porch as they can contaminate uncovered food or water. Therefore, they can transmit diseases to humans and livestock.
Additionally, the accumulation of bird droppings causes discoloration of paints on surfaces. These will make the porch messy and unattractive, reducing the aesthetic appeal of your porch. Fresh bird poop on your porch can also result in slipping and falling, and we don’t want that to happen.
However, there are two key factors to consider to keep birds from building nests on your porch.
- The type of bird you are dealing with
- The laws protecting birds from harm
We will take an in-depth look at these. Right now, let us look at how to keep birds from nesting on the porch.
Remember: Consistency in applying these methods is key to keeping the birds from nesting on your porch. Also, birds can get acquainted with the same technique. So we recommend alternating between methods after every two weeks to get the best results.
1. Exclude Birds
It is the best way to keep birds away from your porch. Although expensive, excluding birds from your porch is effective in the long run. You can exclude house sparrows, pigeons, and house finches in the following ways;
- Keep your doorway closed by hanging heavy plastic strips in your door to prevent the entry of birds. Plastic strips block birds from your porch but allow humans and machinery to pass through.
- Cover the undersides of rafters and eaves on your porch with cloth, boxes, or nettings.
- Repair any openings such as broken windows, ceilings, and walls that are around your porch area. Cover the spaces using glass, metal, or wood.
2. Make Your Porch Unpleasant to Birds
An unattractive porch discourages birds from nesting on your porch. Although this method can be time-consuming, it ensures safety for people and livestock. Here are some ways to make your porch unpleasant to birds.
- Install electronic bird repellent devices. The devices have electrolytes. When the birds land on it, it gives them a shock.
- Hang shiny and reflective materials on your porch. Birds do not like the reflection of glossy surfaces to their eyes. It disturbs their sense of direction; birds will keep away from the reflective and shiny porch.
- Construct catwalks on your porch. Cats are natural predators that feed on birds. Allowing your cat to walk and patrol your porch throughout will keep birds from nesting on your porch.
3. Change Light Fixtures on Your Porch
Bright yellow lights raise the temperatures on your porch, providing warmth for birds. The heat gives the birds a favorable environment for laying and hatching their eggs.
You should not remove the lights and leave your porch dark either. The point is to change your bulbs from non-heat production to shiny white ones that will irritate the birds. The unpleasant environment will discourage birds from nesting on your porch.
4. Keep Bird Feeders and Birdbath Away From Your Porch
When a bird feeder with seeds and grains is near your porch, it will attract birds. The birds will fly to your porch to feed on the grains and seeds. If they continually find no distraction on your porch, they can build nests.
One of the best things to do in this situation is to move the bird feeder a distance away from your porch. We recommend the furthest corner of your garden or backyard. The birds will get used to the new location in a few weeks and stop nesting on your porch.
5. Remove materials that birds can use to build a nest
Materials used to build nests also attract birds near them. These materials include tree branches, dried leaves, and garbage. If the birds find these around the porch, they will build nests on your porch very conveniently.
Therefore, keeping your porch tidy will keep birds away. When the porch is clean, the birds will not have a reason to come there, let alone build nests. Cutting tall branches extending to your porch. In a few days, you will realize the drop in the number of birds around your porch.
6. Lethal Methods
Before embarking on any lethal method, it is advisable to seek guidance from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). That is because the law protects some nonnative birds from extinction. Be careful when using these methods not to cause harm to the untargeted bird species.
You can use these lethal methods on pigeons, house sparrows, and European starlings. They include;
If you opt to shoot pigeons, house sparrows, and European starlings, you should consult your local firearm ordinances to determine the rules governing shooting within your area.
● Avitrol Chemical
Depending on the amount of the Avitrol placed on the bait, birds can display distress or die. This scares away the other members of the flock, making them move away from your porch.
What to do if a bird makes a nest on your porch
If birds make their nests on your porch, you will need to determine what birds are causing the problem. Secondly, know the methods that you can use to drive them away. Also, be aware of your area’s laws concerning bird protection.
The federal government protects all bird species except three; pigeons, home sparrows, and European starlings. It is against the law to kill or move any bird’s nest without permission. Therefore, if a protected bird is involved, you should file for a permit from the government.
The protected birds can also build nests on porches include robins, woodpeckers, doves, cardinals, and grackles.
To get a permit, you should file for a permit application and send it to your regional office of headquarters. For example, in the USA, you can get it from the Pennsylvania USDA-APHIS wildlife service.
You will get directions on what to do with the birds and nests on your porch. You will choose the most appropriate method to keep birds from building nests on your porch.
Remember that alternating between methods and consistently in their application is critical for keeping the birds from building nests on your porch.