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11/28/2022 5 minute read

Damage Caused by Birds

There are different birds with each possessing unique habits. Some birds are harmless, while others can cause a lot of trouble.

We often think of them as gentle beings that mind their own business. So, it is surprising to know that the flying creatures we adore cause serious damage to property and even cause harm to people. Here are some examples of the damage different birds can cause.

Bird Droppings Can Corrode and Damage Roofs

The first common damage that birds can cause is to your roofs. Your roofs can easily have leaking and their quality can immediately be lessened in half when droppings consistently drop even in small amounts. This is due to its acidity. They can eat away at tiles and metal causing them to wreak havoc over time.

Their droppings may also pile up in your shingles or block your gutters. Make sure to clean bird droppings off your roof to prevent costly damage.

Bird Nests Can Damage Roofs

Your gutters are not just a decorative display on your house. They are vital in water control. When a lot of nests are on your roofs, they can disrupt your drainage systems as well as your gutters which causes water to build up and cause roof damage. 

Bird Nests Can Start Fires

Birds’ nests can pose more danger than water damage, their nests can pose a fire hazard. Their nesting materials consist of twigs and long random grasses, so it’s a perfect fuel or medium for fire. If the nest is near an electrical wire, it can also cause a short circuit that possibly starts a fire.

Bird Nests Block Ventilation Systems

Another problem that birds can cause is by blocking ventilation systems. Their nests often block exhaust vents and intakes, which can cause a build-up of deadly gasses. This is dangerous, especially in factories and other commercial buildings where there are many people.

Machinery Damage Caused by Birds Droppings

At this point, you can already identify what severe damage their droppings can bring. They give no exemption to machinery. Bird droppings can damage the paint and coatings of vehicles, sturdy industrial machines, insulation, and other equipment.

When left uncleaned, it can cause corrosion that will eat through the metal. This is dangerous for airplanes since their engines must always be in top condition.

Bird Droppings Can Contaminate Food

As you all know, manufacturing companies are massive domes with unreachable ceilings. Birds can enter and roam around freely. When their droppings get in contact while manufacturing food, this can result in millions of damage and harmful health impacts.

There could be outbreaks of diseases like cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, and psittacosis. These diseases can be deadly.

Also, if you run a restaurant or any other food business, bird droppings create a possibility that your food will become contaminated. This is a serious health hazard and can cause people to get sick. Droppings also affect your curb appeal and reputation. No one wants to eat food at a restaurant that doesn’t look clean.

Collapsed Ceilings

Birds, especially pigeons, have been known to enter holes and access attics and chimneys- may it be in buildings, apartments, or your own houses. They build nests often in these high places, and the weight can cause the ceiling to collapse over time. But how? It’s because of all the accumulated droppings and nesting materials they bring.

Bird Droppings Can Cause Corrosion In Wood And Metal

Aside from the long list of dangers above, corrosion in wood and metal does not come late in the game. When left for a long time, their waste can eat away at the surface of these materials. 

Woods and metals are the most exposed and common materials of a house, building, or equipment. They’re often left outdoors and are more exposed to the elements. When the birds’ acidic waste is left for a long time, they can eat away at the surface of these materials. This will cause the metals and wood to rust, weaken, and deteriorate.

Bird Disease Risk to Humans

Almost every animal can transmit diseases and parasites. These tweeting creatures will give you no excuses. More than 60 known diseases and parasites can spread from birds to humans. These are the common conditions:


Histoplasmosis is a lung infection caused by a fungus often found in bird droppings. The mode of transmission is breathing air contaminated with the spore. Symptoms of histoplasmosis include shortness of breath, coughing up blood, headache, fever, and weight loss. The treatment is by oral or intravenous antifungal drugs. In some severe cases, this can be deadly.

Avian Influenza

Also known as the bird flu, Avian Influenza is a viral infection spread through contact with infected birds. This may be through contact with an infected bird or surfaces with their droppings. 

Symptoms of Avian Influenza are fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms may lead to pneumonia and can be fatal.

Treatment is also by antiviral drugs. There is no specific cure for this disease yet, but these drugs may help lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. Individuals infected may also drink lots of fluids, get rest, and take over-the-counter medicines for fever and pain. 


Salmonella is caused by bacteria that are found in bird droppings. Similar to the diseases mentioned above, this can be acquired by handling infected birds or their feathers, touching contaminated surfaces, and eating food contaminated with the bacteria.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps. These symptoms usually develop 12 to 72 hours after being infected. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. In some severe cases, hospitalization is required.

Treatment of salmonella is by drinking lots of fluids and getting rest. Over-the-counter medicines can also be taken for fever and pain. Antibiotics are not recommended as they may increase the risk of severe illness.

Ticks or bird mites 

These parasites can spread diseases to humans, such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tularemia. Here are some diseases spread by their mite:

Lyme Disease – is a bacterial infection that can transmit through the bite of an infected tick. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a bulls-eye rash.

Patients were able to recover rapidly from taking antibiotics, even those who were in their last stages. But if left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious health problems such as paralysis and meningitis.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – is another tick-borne disease acquired from contact with infected birds. Symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

Infected individuals can acquire severe damage to their internal organs, especially their kidneys and heart. When feeling the mentioned symptoms and recalling a recent interaction with birds, immediately consult a doctor. 

Similarly, treatment is through antibiotics. However, doxycycline is the only favored drug, as others are known to accompany fatal outcomes for people with rocky mountain spotted fever.

Tularemia – also called rabbit fever, is caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis, transmitted through an infected tick bite or contact with infected animals. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, diarrhea, and muscle aches. You may also get redness and pain in the eyes accompanied by liquid charges.

Patients will take antibiotics. Their treatment may take 10-21 days. But this depends on the severity of the illness and the type of medications taken.

Birds can transmit many other diseases to humans, but these are some of the more common ones. It’s essential to take precautions when handling birds or their droppings and ensure that food is cooked properly to avoid contamination. If you experience any symptoms after an encounter, please consult a medical professional as soon as possible.

Preventing Bird Damage

Bird damage does not just revolve around your home. These beings also bring crop losses and other vegetational damage. Before all of this occurs, we need several prevention methods. We’ve listed a few methods below:

Visual Scare Devices

Visual deterrents or scare devices keep birds away from agricultural crops and vegetation. These devices can be in the form of plastic owls, reflective tape, scarecrows, or scare eye balloons. The idea is that the bird sees the device and thinks it is a predator, which scares them away.

Visual scare devices need to be changed regularly, as birds will get used to them if they see them in the same place for too long. They also need to be placed in different areas, because birds will eventually learn the layout of the field and know where they are safe.

Chemical Deterrents

Several chemical deterrents keep birds away from various vegetation. Some of these chemicals taste bad to birds, so they will avoid areas that have been treated with them. Others make it difficult for birds to see, so they will avoid areas where they cannot see well.

Chemical deterrents need to be reapplied regularly, as they will wear off over time. They also need to be used in combination with other methods, as they will not work by themselves.

Many types of bird repellents are available, so choose one that is appropriate for the area you are trying to protect. Most of these, however, are not safe around humans,

Exclusion devices

Exclusion devices keep birds from accessing the area they are trying to protect. The idea is to create a barrier the birds cannot overcome. These exclusion devices can be in the form of netting, wire mesh, or fencing.

Exclusion devices need proper, and often professional installation to be effective. They must be inspected regularly to ensure they are still in good condition. The best way to prevent bird damage is to use a combination of different methods. Using just one method will not always work and can worsen the problem. 

Hire professionals

If you want a long-term solution to your bird problem, consider hiring a professional. Pros will identify the type of birds causing the damage and devise a plan to eliminate them. Professionals also have several bird control strategies that may include exclusion devices, visual scare devices, or chemical deterrents.

How to get rid of birds

There are many different ways to get rid of birds, but not all of them are effective. In choosing methods on bird control, you must make sure that it is safe and humane. Some methods are inhumane and illegal. We’ll tackle here below some existing methods:

  • Bird wire

Bird wire is a thin wire installed around the area’s perimeter. They are spring-tensioned, so they become an unstable landing for birds.

  • Bird Traps

Bird traps are a popular way of getting birds. There are many types of traps, but the most common is the live trap. This trap catches the bird alive so it can be released elsewhere.

Another type of trap is the lethal trap- this kills the bird. Unless you have a permit, you may get a hefty fine if you use this trap as per US Fish and Wildlife Service. These lethal traps are not as popular as live traps because they can be inhumane.

If you decide to use bird traps, check the laws in your area. Some states do not allow lethal traps, and some have restrictions on what type of trap can be used.

  • Grid wire

Grid wires are horizontal and vertical cables that are spaced close together. The wire creates a grid that birds cannot fly through.

Grid wire is most effective in conjunction with other methods, such as visual scare devices. It is important to note that grid wire will not keep all birds out, but it will reduce the number of birds that can access the area.

Professional Bird Removal Service

Hiring a professional is always the best option, as professionals will be able to deter birds quickly and efficiently. They will also be able to advise you on how to prevent the problem from happening again.

At AAAC Wildlife Removal, we offer the best bird control solutions for your bird struggles. Call us today!

Final Word

When you think of animals causing damage, the first thing that probably comes to mind is rodents or other pests chewing through wires or wood. But birds can cause just as much damage, if not more. They can ruin your garden, mess up your home, and even cause fires. It’s essential to be aware of their dangers and take steps to protect your property from them

Learn more about birds

Originally published at AAAC Wildlife Removal: