Knowing how to get rid of sparrows is important if the little guys are visiting your backyard or garden in large numbers and are scaring away other birds, eating up all of the seeds you’ve left out or just leaving their droppings everywhere and being a general nuisance.
In much of North America house sparrows, different to the other types of lovely sparrows you can see in your backyard, are a common pest.
However, with some planning and effort it’s possible to deter them from visiting your backyard and keep them from being too much of a problem in your local area.
As always, I recommend avoiding using any traps, poisons or any other unnatural deterrents that could injure the birds or have a detrimental impact on the other birds visiting your backyard and home.
There are surprisingly a wide range of different types of sparrows that live in the United States but unfortunately it’s the brown and white one that we see most often and that we want to get rid of.
Not only are they a problem in backyards and gardens, but many cities, municipalities and even farms have problems with the little guys as well.
Besides eating all of the seats you have left out and scaring away other birds, house sparrows can also get into the hard-to-reach areas of the exterior of your home, build nests and cause damage in these areas that’s both hard and expensive to repair.
Today, I want to talk about what attracts a house sparrows to live in cities and close your home and some of the tips and techniques that you can take advantage of to get rid of them.
Why Do House Sparrows Like Urban Environments?
One of the main reasons that house sparrows are seen in such high numbers in cities and around homes is because of all the safe shelter available and the seemingly endless amount of food left behind for them.
These birds don’t only eat insects and other natural foods, but they have no problem eating anything that people have left behind.
Due to their size house sparrows are able to feed on the small crumbs that people drop while they’re eating and the large amount of dumpsters and garbages around provide them a constant source of food.
That’s why you’ll frequently see them around cafés, bakeries, grocery stores and anywhere else where people buy food and eat it shortly after.
They’re even able to enjoy food from the roads and are often seen eating insects that have been killed by cars during the night and are just sitting there on the road ready to be eaten.
There’re also plenty of nesting spots for them that are safe, warm and protected from the elements.
These nesting spots include:
- Dryer vents
- Around air conditioners,
- Heating vents
- Drainage trays and pipes
- Any other vents for small crevices around the home
All of these areas are generally safe from predators and offer a comfortable area that is typically well sheltered and warm.
The problem with these nesting areas is that when the house sparrows have taken over they tend to be noisy and they can even block vents which has a detrimental impact on proper ventilation.
There nesting material also has the ability to catch on fire if it’s blocking any chimneys or heating vents and this can lead to much more serious issues.
How to Get Rid of Sparrows
One of the first things you want to do when it comes to protecting your garden, house and backyard from sparrows is to clean up.
You’re going to want to sweep up any leftover piles of seeds and make sure that there aren’t any crumbs or piles of garbage laying around where the birds can feed from.
It’s also a good idea to use seed mixtures that sparrows aren’t attracted to and to actually set out different foods that they don’t enjoy.
Preparing Your Home
If you want to keep them from building nests around and in your home there are some preventative measures that you can also take.
Seal up any large, empty spaces where the sparrows can easily fit inside.
You don’t want to cover up any vents or exhaust pipes but you can actually pick up special covers for these places that prevent birds from nesting inside of them.
When you’re inspecting the exterior of your home try to look for any current nests.
If you find any, rather than just throwing them out it’s a good idea to move to the nest to a different area in your backyard or garden.
Carefully pick it up, move it away and then clean up the area where they were nesting. Once the area is clean you’re then going to want to cover it up with a special cover to protect it from the sparrows coming back and building another nest.
If you find a nest and there are any eggs or baby birds inside simply leave the nest in its place. Check back about once every week and when you notice that there are no more young birds around remove the nest, clean the area and then add a cover.
Keeping Your Birdhouses Free of Sparrows
Another major problem that people run into is that sparrows have taken over bird houses in the backyard or garden and are scaring away other birds.
Unfortunately, if they’ve begun to nest they will be quite aggressive and territorial and this leads to other birds opting to find somewhere easier to find food and to nest themselves.
Again, just want to remove any nests that you find as long as there aren’t any small birds or eggs inside. During this time, be sure to leave out a seed mixture that house sparrows aren’t interested in eating.
If there are any specific species of birds that you like to see in your backyard try to use a dedicated bird house that that specific species prefers. Also, use a specific mixture for the species that you want to see as well.
It’s always a good idea to consider using common black oil sunflower seeds. House sparrows do not enjoy this seed, but many other species of birds do.
Some other seeds that you should avoid using include:
- Cracked or shelled corn
- Generic seed mixtures
When you are adding any bird houses or nesting boxes close to your home try to position them about 250 feet to 300 feet away from the exterior of your house or barn.
This is recommended because house sparrows actually look for areas near buildings and other structures where they can nest and are less likely to do so out in the open.
Keep At It
The worst thing you can do is to just ignore the problem or think that the sparrows are going to go away on their own.
Be sure to try out a variety of different techniques on getting rid of house sparrows before you give up.
If you’re diligent in your methods and you practice all of the tips and techniques that you learned then it’s very likely that you’ll be able to deter the sparrows from visiting your home and you’ll hopefully be able to start seeing more of the other more popular backyard birds.