Spring is sparrow season

Krissie Callahan

Spring is when nature begins springing back to life – flowers bloom, insects emerge, and birds begin chirping and nesting. For commercial properties, that last item on the list you should watch out for, especially when it comes to house sparrows. These birds are especially attracted to man-made structures because they typically offer lots of safe spaces to build nests and many potential food options.

House sparrows are small birds that can create big issues. Both sparrows and their droppings can carry pathogens that are harmful to humans. Their nests are often hot spots for bugs and parasites that can make their way into buildings. In addition, in some areas, sparrow nests can create fire hazards.  

Sparrows love to stuff their nesting materials into tiny gaps – the perfect size is about 1 to 3 inches. This can include the framework of structures, letters of signs, corrugated overhangs, and even dryer vents.

Problems with sparrows

The birds can become problematic for many types of facilities, such as big box stores or food processing plants, when they make their way inside. If not removed quickly, sparrows may take up residence inside due to plentiful food or safe spaces to nest.

These birds are also clever. In fact, they are capable of learning and quickly become educated on behavior patterns. Sparrows have been known to figure out how to activate sensors on an automatic door so they can get inside, learn to recognize the faces of people who feed (and try to catch) them, and more.

Solving a sparrow problem isn’t something that should be undertaken by just anyone, however. In fact, if you think you have a sparrow issue, you should contact a professional to help protect both the birds and your brand.

“When working in bird control, one must be aware of the sensitivities involved in this pest line of business,” says Kim Lewis, a bird management expert with more than 31 years of experience who serves as Rentokil Steritech’s Division Manager of Bird Control Services in North America. “For the most part, people love birds! Even if they are creating a problem or considered a nuisance, it is always important to be humane and respectful in dealing with the issue. Failure to do so could lead to negative brand perception through unwanted media attention, social media posts, or even word of mouth.”  

In addition, hiring a professional bird management firm ensures that you properly identify the bird species and adhere to all regulations regarding how they are managed. Many bird species are protected by federal, state, and local laws. Although sparrows don’t have any specific federal or state protection, your facility may be subject to local ordinances.

How to get rid of sparrows and deterrents

Once you have properly identified the bird as a sparrow, there are many solutions available, both on the interior and the exterior. Rentokil Steritech can provide these solutions, including:  

  • Exclusion using netting, sheet metal, or hardware cloth to take away nesting areas
  • Trapping using mist nets or single catch sparrow traps to remove birds from inside structures
  • Repellents or tactile gels to provide perch modification to eliminate roosting and perching
  • Hazing systems that disperse irritants to create a negative environment which deters birds
  • Cleanup sanitation services for treating nesting sites, and removing droppings and associated debris

However, there are also things that you and your staff can do to reduce the likelihood that sparrows will be attracted to your facility. Download Rentokil Steritech’s House Sparrow Tips Sheet to learn more about these birds and get 7 tips to put into practice today.

Need help solving a sparrow issue or want to learn more about Rentokil Steritech’s Integrated Bird Management Services? Call us today at 1-800-488-9495 ext. 20302 or contact us online.

Krissie Callahan
Krissie Callahan

As the Communications Manager for Rentokil North America, Krissie specializes in writing, editing, and shaping both internal and marketing messages for the company. When she's not at work, you can usually find her taking in a live music performance in her hometown of Charlotte, NC.

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