Your roof may be a very appealing place for the local birds to hang out. In cold weather in particular, birds turn to gutters to find a drink. If there are gaps in your roof’s edge, birds may get into your attic to get shelter from the weather. And in spring, they can build their nests and lay eggs in your gutters.

While some may be beautiful, birds can cause damage to your roof. Especially when colder weather approaches, it’s important to take a few steps to keep birds out of your gutters.

Damage Birds May Cause to Roofs

Birds can cause all sorts of minor and major issues on roofs. When they land on gutters, they can bend them or even rip them off the roof. Nesting materials may clog roof downspouts. Plus, birds have acidic droppings that can wear away at roofing materials and create the opportunity for leaks.

Bird Deterrents for Gutters

If you have birds in your gutters specifically, there are a few ways to deter them. Consider installing:

  • Gutter guards: Gutter guards are thin sheets of aluminum that cover all but a tiny slit of your gutter. These guards are intended to prevent leaves and other debris from clogging the gutters. However, they may also deter birds. The birds should not longer be able to fit in the gutters to bathe. Even if their breaks are thin enough to get into the gutter’s narrow crevice, they shouldn’t be able to reach the water. When they can’t drink, the birds will find another source of water.
  • Roof bird spikes: Imagine a thin plastic panel with several spikes projecting upwards. These are roof bird spikes, also called anti-roosting strips. The strips make it uncomfortable for the bird to land. If you install them on the roof just above the gutters you can limit bird access to the gutters.

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Can You Remove Bird Nests in Roof Gutters?

Has a bird has built a nest in your gutters? Birds may do so may in dry climates where the gutters may be empty for months at a time. The nest may cause a clog in your gutters when rain does fall—and birds don’t clean up their nests when their young have grown up.

While removing bird nests is typically illegal under the Migratory Bird Act, a nest built in a gutter is considered an unsafe nest and a threat to the bird and its offspring. Enlist the help of a pest removal expert. They can usually remove the nest and offer some advice on how to deter the bird from nesting in your gutter again.

Other Ways to Discourage Birds

There are other ways to discourage birds from spending time on your roof more generally, including:

  • Fix gaps in roof: If there’s no gap leading to your attic, the bird will have no opportunity to nest under your roof.
  • Place guards on vents: Some birds like to nest in vents. To prevent this, you can install a screen or a guard.
  • Remove sources of food: Bird feeders can create roof problems. Either move the feeder further away from the roof or get rid of it altogether.
  • Install fake predators: Fake owls, hawks, snakes and even crocodiles can be useful to discourage birds from spending time on your property.

It’s always wise to reach out to a roofing expert to be sure that your new bird deterrents are installed correctly. While pest removal companies can advise you about bird behavior, most are not equipped to install things on the roof.