3 Things You Need To Know About House Sparrows

Posted on: 9 February 2016

There are many types of nuisance birds that can cause problems for homeowners, including house sparrows. House sparrows have a worldwide distribution, so no matter where you live, they can be an issue. Here are three things you need to know about house sparrows.

How to identify house sparrows

House sparrows are small, stocky birds with short legs and thick beaks. Their average wing length is 76 millimeters (3 inches). Both male and female house sparrows have brown feathers with black streaks on their backs, while their undersides are covered in pale buff feathers.

Why they are a problem

As their name suggests, house sparrows take up residence in or near human habitations. They're well adapted to living in close proximity with people, and this spells trouble for homeowners. Unlike other types of birds, house sparrows don't make nests in trees; they move into building crevices and cavities. Some of their favorite places to live are dryer vents, attics, and the crevices around window air conditioners.

If house sparrows decide to move into your house, you'll know right away because they're very noisy and their voices will wake you up at sunrise. Aside from the annoyance, they also present very real dangers, including the risk that their nests will block your dryer vents and cause a fire. 

House sparrows also produce a lot of feces, and aside from making a huge mess inside your vents and attic, this can spread diseases. More than sixty diseases have been linked to house sparrows, including serious ones like histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and St. Louis encephalitis.

How to prevent an infestation

To keep house sparrows out of your house, you'll need to take steps to make your house less inviting to them. Since vents are one of their favorite nesting spots, make sure to block the openings to the vents with vent covers. Choose a removable vent cover for your dryer vent as you need to be able to clean out lint.

These birds also like to live in attics, but you can keep them out by sealing all possible entryways into your attic. Gaps or cracks around vents, wires, or where your eaves meet your roof can allow birds to fly inside, so make sure these gaps are sealed. You can use materials such as caulk, cement, or steel mesh to block these gaps.

If you think your home is infested with house sparrows, get help from a pest control company such as Select Pest Control.

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