Lots of birds these days rely on roof spaces for their nests. On the same note, many of them are species
of concern due to high conservation efforts. The bird wildlife population has declined over the past few
decades. While a common bird like the crow can find lots of places to nest and it is less likely to go
on your roof – crows would rather choose trees, other birds can easily rely on your structure for a bit
of warmth and protection.
Different countries have different rules, but birds like starlings, swifts or house sparrows are in
decline. Learning how to stop birds nesting on the roof also implies becoming familiar with certain
species, as well as the legal requirements about them. For instance, some species – like swifts – tend
to find holes on roofs when they inhabit urban areas. Other than that, they find holes in cliffs or
walls. They almost never land on the ground.
Swallows build nests out of the mud and they tend to go under eaves. Learning how to stop birds nesting
in eaves is just as important then. These nests look like small bowls. House martins are similar – they
use muddy materials, but their nests are more enclosed and provide more protection. Their nests also
feature small holes to get in and out.
From a moral point of view, birds should be allowed to nest if they do not cause any conflict. The roof
is critical for them because it provides protection against elements. On the other hand, birds can also
cause a series of problems. Most laws protect disturbing or destroying active nests of wild birds. If
they are already settled in, the best you can do is wait until the family is gone. Prevention is,
therefore, the best move forward.
Stop birds nesting in eaves –
Potential issues with nests
In theory, seeing a young family of birds nesting on your roof could be exciting. Just the sight of it
alone lets you enjoy the beautiful wildlife. But at the same time, it may cause a series of issues in
the long run. Most people overlook the roof, yet this part of your home can lead to expensive repairs
and replacements if you fail to look after it.
Now, birds tend to have highly acidic droppings. These droppings on your car can ruin the paint and leave
permanent stains, even if you remove them after a few hours only. They simply corrode the paint. On the
other hand, these droppings can be just as harmful on your porch or over your driveway. Not only are
they smelly, but they also encourage the growth of algae and moss. When these things target the roof of
your home, they will inevitably cause long-term damage.
Things can go even further. Nest materials are likely to come off every now and then, causing blockages.
Your gutters and drains might get clogged, causing leaks and water buildups. They can also get into
ventilation areas, leading to the formation of mold. Apart from nest materials, feathers and food can
lead to the exact same problems.
A bird deterrent represents the optimal solution when learning how to stop birds nesting in gutters and
the roof, but prevention is more important. Now, what should you know in terms of prevention?
Birds in eaves – Keep birds out
Learning how to stop birds nesting in eaves is more like preventing them from doing it. Once in there,
you still have some options, but preventing this issue is the way to go.
Make sure you check the building every winter. Do it between November and February. You can also seek
help from a professional roofer – ask for a thorough inspection. You can find potential holes or gaps.
They must be cleaned, then sealed accordingly. The general idea is to avoid leaving room for birds to
settle in. If some birds are already there, you should avoid the problem. Also, perform this procedure
in the morning, when birds are likely to be out – you do not want to accidentally trap a bird in.
If birds are there, perform small checks every now and then to ensure they are all gone.
If you are not sure about birds and you suspect some of them may still be there, come up with a wire mesh
over the entrance of the gap. This way, you can at least see them and determine whether or not you have
to wait some more. Make a permanent fix only when all the birds are gone.
It might be more challenging to get the job done on large commercial properties, so you will definitely
need a professional for this job.
How to stop birds from nesting in your roof
Learning how to stop birds nesting on the roof is not that difficult. They usually do it during the
nesting season. They want a warm and safe home. Different species have different nesting times, so there
is no such thing as a general rule that applies to all of them. All in all, once a bird manages to
establish its home on your roof, feathers, dropping and other materials will also make a home on your
The habitat of these beautiful creatures has seriously changed over the past decades – homes, roads,
warehouses and so on. Birds will inevitably try to find a good solution – an alternative to their trees.
They need high places with easy access to food and water. They want protection against predators too –
what could be better than a roof? Now, what options do you have to prevent it?
If the chimney is not in use, birds will find it perfect for nests. Now, you are going to solve two
problems with one solution. First, you can keep birds away from the chimney. Second, you can get rid of
that bulky and ugly chimney. A beautiful cover will prevent birds from going in, but it will also
prevent the damp buildup.
Chimney caps are not very expensive and can be installed by yourself if you have a bit of DIY sense.
Otherwise, you can always hire a professional to get the job done within a few hours only.
Eaves represent a part of your roof that overhangs over the building. It is located between the wall and
the actual roof. The areas under these eaves are often left open, so they make excellent shelters for
birds looking to nest. Getting such guards will simply close and seal the respective space. Birds will
no longer hang around because they cannot get inside – not the right place for a nest, so they will
search elsewhere. Get these guards to block the entrance and help you regain control over your eaves.
Deter Them With Predators
Predators represent some of the best choices when not sure how to stop birds nesting in gutters or your
roof. You do not always need a living predator. Instead, a fake owl resting on the roof can get the job
done. Small birds are afraid of owls because they are predators. Your replica must be as realistic as
possible – not just a plain toy, but something with features. Opt for something with shiny eyes, as
birds are afraid of shiny objects too.
There are more decoys you can use to stop starlings nesting on the roof or chase other birds away. For
example, you could get an eagle or a hawk, as well as a snake. Birds fear predators, even if they have
never encountered them. It is an instinct and they will simply refuse to nest somewhere that might look
dangerous for their young. Adding some noises – such as an ultrasonic device – can help in the process.
Comb fillers to prevent any bird nest
Starling nesting on roof has their own issues – quite common among small birds, including swallows or
starlings. Their favorite options include cavities and holes. They must be small and tight. Such birds
will manage to get into the roof through these small gaps, whether they are by the trims or tiles. Comb
fillers are ideal from this point of view. They work like tile guards and they come in strips. They
block all the openings, deterring small birds from nesting in the roof.
Bird spikes and bird netting on roofs prevent birds
You do not have to be a genius to know that bird spikes always work when trying to figure out how to stop
birds nesting in eaves. Bird spikes might be a bit controversial because they sound harmful to birds.
Spikes are actually humane and will not hurt them. They will simply deter birds from landing on the
roof, tiles or shingles. Once they see those spikes, they will simply not land, so there are no risks at
Other pest control products are available, but the Bird B Gone UN-342 Garden Bird Netting Mesh is widely
recognized as the best bird netting product to prevent birds landing and nesting on in eaves. Netting
has proven to be a good solution to the bird nesting problem on roofs. This product will help you
prevent any damage to your roofing by a birds nest. Netting is also an excellent way to protect your
solar panels from birds.
Apart from considering these prevention techniques, it is worth noting that most birds tend to nest
between April and the end of May. Migrating birds may also return later on, just before the summertime
kicks in, so you should try to sort the issue before that to avoid any damage to your home.
Birds nesting in gutters and roof already
– Any options?
Assuming that you have failed to prevent birds from nesting, whether you started too late or a nest is
already there. What are your options then? If birds have already landed and nested anywhere around your
roof, you need to consider the legal requirements first. Many birds are protected by the law. From this
point of view, it might be an offense to ruin an active nest. You may also be prosecuted if you prevent
birds from returning to chicks.
If birds are already nesting in your roof, the most humane (and often legal) solution is to wait. By the
wintertime, birds may already be gone, as they need to go to warmer areas. Make sure every bird is gone
before taking any action. You can then seal all the entries. Remove all the mess, such as feathers, food
leftovers or moss before taking action.
There is not much to worry about either. Birds are less likely to damage the roof over a year or two.
Such issues occur in the long run and only if the problem is unattended for many years. Other than that,
you might want to know that birds like swallows or sparrows tend to migrate during the wintertime and
will return the next year. Pigeons are different – they will stick to their nests throughout the
wintertime as well.
If birds are already nesting, you can still figure out a way out. Simply set up a warm and cozy nest
similar to the natural one in the garden. Some birds may simply go there. If it is attractive enough,
they will leave the one they made themselves and they will choose the alternative instead, leaving your
As a short final conclusion, learning how to stop birds nesting on the roof is not that difficult.
Prevention is the key. If birds are already there, the job is more challenging, but you still have
options. The main rule is to avoid destroying or damaging an active nest. You need to allow the young
chicks to leave the nest before taking any action.
If you know, hear or see birds nesting, simply avoid doing any work at all. Also, if you discover a nest
around your roof, leave it alone and monitor it to see if there is anything going on.
If a nest does need to be moved, you might need a special license. You will not be able to remove it
yourself. Instead, you need an authorized agency to get the job done. Most birds will have to be moved
in a safe manner to better places, but such actions are usually permitted only if they actually preserve
At times, you may not be able to do anything, but wait. This is why most experts recommend waiting until
all birds are gone and sealing every single gap after. Perform regular checkups once a year to ensure
there are no attempts of nesting and gaps are still intact.
If you have a persisting problem, a few artificial nests in the garden or the backyard might help. They
make great alternatives for birds, as they would rather settle in a ready-made nest than building
everything from scratch themselves.