Types of pest birds in North Carolina
Pest birds can be found living in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Pest birds are difficult to control and can cause a lot of damages to structures and health risks to people; they can be particularly problematic for commercial property owners. Getting the professional services needed to remove and control pest birds is important to the health and safety of both your family and your property.
A very common pest bird in North Carolina, starlings are black (or dark-colored) birds about eight inches long. They are often distinguished from other birds by their long, slender bills and short squared tails. Much like the pigeon, starlings have adapted well to urban life and are a nuisance in both urban and rural areas of North Carolina. Unfortunately, these pest birds are known to drive native birds away and they damage property and introduce health risks with their droppings.
The most common species of sparrow is the house sparrow. The adult sparrow is about 6 ¼ inches in length from the tip of its bill to the top of its tail. They weigh about 1 ounce. Males and females differ in appearance, the male’s topside is chestnut brown in color, and its underside is a lighter grayish tan color. The male’s throat and upper breast is black, while their head is gray in color with whitish cheeks and they have a single white wing bar. The female house sparrow is much less impressive looking than the male; the female is tan in color and they have dark reddish-brown wings. Sparrows, much like other species of pest birds live close to people in order to have easy access to food and water sources. Sparrows will eat almost anything from bird seeds to garbage scraps.
Barn swallows are the most common type of swallow in our region and the one that lives in closest contact with people. Barn swallows grow to between 5 and 7 ½ inches in length. Their wingspan is between 11 and 12 ½ inches in length. The top of their body is cobalt blue in color and their underbelly is a tawny color. The long outer feathers found on their tail gives their tail a distinctive deep “fork” shape. These birds are cone shaped and have a slightly flattened head. Swallows once mainly created their nests in caves but as our environments have merged closely together they now almost exclusively build their nests in man-made structures.
In North Carolina, there are several kinds of woodpeckers including the red-cockaded woodpecker and the ivory-billed woodpecker. While size and coloring vary by species, all woodpeckers are known for their chisel-like beaks and the distinct sound they make as peck at wood. Their habit of drilling into structures causes damage to wood including siding and window frames. What’s more, the holes these pest birds make are often invaded by carpenter bees and other insects.
Though it is considered the number one pest bird in most areas, pigeons are not as large of a problem as other pest birds in our part of North Carolina. Adult pigeons grow to between 11 and 12 ½ inches in length and weigh up to about 13 ounces. They have a light gray body and a darker colored head, shoulders, and breast. Pigeons also have two distinctive dark bars going across their wings and another dark bar going across their tail. Their beak is a grayish-pink color. Pigeons prefer to feed on seeds but will basically eat anything that they come across. They leave their nests to feed in the morning and late afternoon and then return to their nests and stay in them throughout the night. Pigeons can be found living in both urban and rural environments- happily feeding on scraps of food from sidewalks or on seeds found in fields.
Are birds dangerous?
Pest birds are dangerous for many different reasons. Their droppings can carry many diseases and bacteria that can make people ill including salmonella, toxoplasmosis, and histoplasmosis- a fungal disease mostly affects the lungs and can be life-threatening if not treated properly. In addition to diseases that they carry and transmit, pest birds are hosts to many parasites (lice, fleas, ticks, mites). Along with making people ill, accumulated pest bird droppings can lead to “slip and fall” accidents and their feces also erode signage and damage other building surfaces. Bird nests, when constructed on structures, can result in equipment and machinery damage or even failure.
How do you get rid of birds?
It is very difficult to prevent pest birds from roosting or nesting on your structure, and once they’ve established themselves, it can be even harder to get rid of them. For professional bird control in Lenoir, Blowing Rock or elsewhere in Western NC and the Piedmont region, A-1 Pest Control is the ideal solution. Using industry-leading bird control techniques and practices, you can count on our locally owned and operated company to safeguard people and protect your structure from damages caused by pest birds.
How do you keep pest birds away?
To keep starlings and other pest birds away from your home or business, you must remove food and water sources that attract them. Wherever possible, you should also seal holes that would allow them to nest inside. The best way to prevent pest birds is to consult with professionals who have the tools and knowledge to keep these nuisance and destructive pests away. To schedule an inspection for your pest bird problem, contact A-1 Pest Control today.