Bird Deterrence 101: A Definitive Guide for Minneapolis Metro Property Owners

Minnesota, a haven for bird enthusiasts, boasts diverse avian life thanks to its varied habitats, including boreal forests, wetlands, prairies, and grasslands. Spring, a season of vibrant renewal, is a prime time for birdwatching in Minnesota, with March, April, and May offering a delightful chorus of chirps and tweets. As the native son Bob Dylan once sang in his song “Meet Me in the Morning,” “The birds are flying low, babe.” This is a time when residents of the state truly relish the joy of bird viewing.

However, it’s not all song and beauty. While a delight to observe, birds can also become a nuisance for residential and commercial property owners. As the seasons change, so does the activity of wildlife, including birds, in natural and outdoor settings, which often extend to residential and commercial areas. This increased activity can lead to health risks and property damage, making bird deterrence necessary. 

If pest birds are becoming a concern on your property, choosing wisely by consulting with a wildlife control solutions provider is ideal. You should go with professionals experienced in bird control with a proven and tested track record, experience, and certifications

What are the most common bird problems?

Common pest birds in Minneapolis Metro can create many problems for business and residential owners. Among the most present birds that invade properties include woodpeckers, starlings, pigeons, seagulls, swallows, and sparrows. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), wild animals commonly causing property damage are classified as nuisance animals. The majority of nuisance animals may be taken when they cause property damage, such as squirrels, raccoons, opossums, and muskrats. Three types of birds are also found within the nuisance category: English sparrows, common pigeons, and starlings. 

The Risks Attached to Bird Infestation

If you are a property owner struggling with types of nuisance birds, contacting a residential & commercial bird control professional is important. Nuisance birds may threaten your family or employees’ health and damage property. For example, their corrosive droppings may contain harmful airborne particles that can damage the surfaces of homes, cars, and sidewalks. Moreover, these birds often carry fleas, mites, and other dangerous parasites. The dried materials that compose bird nests may also create fire risks.

Nuisance birds located in Minneapolis Metro 

This guide will share information about nuisance birds in the Minneapolis Metro and ways to mitigate them. This guide will be divided into categories: one for residential owners and one for business owners. However, these birds may also affect both residential and commercial properties. 

Residential nuisance birds


Woodpeckers have strong, chisel-like breaks that allow them to drill into wood. Their diet primarily consists of insects, but they also eat fruits, nuts, sap, and some small animals. Woodpeckers communicate through drumming on trees and other surfaces to establish territorial boundaries and attract mates. They excavate holes in trees to create nests, often in dead or decaying wood.

How Woodpeckers Damage Properties

Woodpeckers can peck holes in wood, stucco, aluminum, and vinyl siding while searching for insects or creating nesting sites. They can also damage eaves, fascia boards, and singles, leading to potential water damage and structural issues. The most common problem with Woodpeckers is that they can make a persistent loud noise, especially during mating season or when marking their territory. Moreover, they can also damage electrical and cable lines, which can be a significant fire hazard. 

How to Prevent Damage Caused by Woodpeckers

  • Visual Deterrents: you can install reflective objects by creating hanging reflective tape, mirrors, or CDs that can scare woodpeckers away. You can also place fake predators like owls or hawks that may deter woodpeckers. However, they may eventually realize they are not real.
  • Auditory  Deterrents: you can use noise machines that emit distress calls, predator sounds, or wind chimes. 
  • Physical Barriers: bird netting can be installed, or metal flashing to prevent access in specific areas
  • Repellents: you can apply bird-safe chemical repellents to make any surface unappealing. 
  • Structural Modifications: Repair and replace damaged wood with harder materials like Hardie board or metal. Seal any existing holes to prevent them from becoming larger or used as nests. 


Europian Starlings (Sturnus Vulgaris) are small to medium-sized birds with glossy-like feathers and a metallic sheen, with specks of white at certain times of the year. Starlings are highly social birds forming large flocks, especially outside the breeding season. They are known for their impressive murmuration displays, where thousands of birds fly in coordinated patterns. In terms of their diet, they are omnivorous, eating insects, fruits, seeds, and garbage. Starlings breed in the spring and summer and nest in cavities, including tree holes, buildings, and nest boxes.

How Starlings Damage Properties

By nesting in eaves, vents, gutters, and other crevices, starlings can damage buildings and structures. Their nests can block ventilation systems, gutters, and downspouts, which may lead to water damage. Additionally, they can cause noise if they are in large flocks and transmit diseases such as histoplasmosis, salmonella, and avian influenza, which can affect humans, livestock, and other wildlife.

How to Prevent Damage Caused by Sterlings

  • Exclusion: Seal off entry points to buildings and structures where starlings might nest. You can use mesh, netting, or bird spikes to block access to eaves, vents, and other potential nesting sites.
  • Nesting Deterrents: Install birdhouses or nest boxes designed for species other than sterlings to reduce the likelihood of them nesting in unwanted areas.


Pigeons can be found in cities and rural areas worldwide. They live up to 15 years in captivity, though their lifespan is typically 3-5 years in the wild. They breed year-round, producing up to 12 offspring per year. Pigeons are omnivorous and consume seeds, fruits, and sometimes small invertebrates. In urban areas, they often scavenge for food scraps. 

How Pigeons Damage Properties

Droppings from pigeons are highly acidic and can corrode building materials, including metal, concrete, and stone. Over time, these can weaken structures. Moreover, their nests, feathers, and droppings can block gutters, drains, and ventilation systems, which may lead to water damage and decreased air quality. Their droppings can cause diseases such as histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis. Their mites and ticks can infest buildings as well.

How to Prevent Damage Caused by Pigeons

  • Physical Barriers: you can install netting around potential roosting areas to block access and spikes/slopes surfaces on ledges, sills, and other flat surfaces to prevent pigeons from landing. 
  • Food Control: Reduce food sources by securing garbage, using pigeon-proof feeders, and removing nests.
  • Chemical Repellents: apply non-toxic, sticky repellents to common roosting spots. 


Seagulls belong to the family of Laridae and are closely related to terns. Over 50 species of gulls are commonly found along coastlines, but many species are also comfortable in inland environments near lakes, rivers, and urban areas. Seagulls are omnivorous and have a varied diet, including fish, insects, small mammals, and human food waste. 

How Seagulls Damage Properties

Seagulls usually build nests on rooftops, which can cause structural damage over time due to the accumulation of nesting debris. Their droppings are acidic and unsanitary and can also corrode paint in buildings and vehicles. Seagulls are very noisy, and their calls can be disruptive, especially during breeding season. Sometimes, they can be aggressive and attack people or pets. 

How to Prevent Damage Caused by Seagulls

  • Physical Barriers: Installing bird spikes on ledges, roofs, and other surfaces and building a bird net to exclude gulls from certain areas, such as rooftops and courtyards.
  • Environmental Management: Proper disposal of food waste securing trash bins, and encouraging people not to feed seagulls.

Commercial nuisance birds

Here are the nuisance birds that are most common in brick-and-mortar businesses that may cause disruptions to employees and customers.


Swallongs belong to the family of Hirundinidae, which has 90 species globally. They are small birds with slender bodies, long pointed wings, and forked tails, known for their agility in flight. Swallows can be beneficial for controlling insect populations since they primarily feed on insects they catch during flight.

How Swallows Damage Properties

Swallows construct their nests from mud, which can stain the exterior surfaces of buildings, especially around entryways and windows. Their droppings contain bacteria that may cause health risks.

How to Prevent Damage Caused By Swallows

  • Regular maintenance: Regularly clean and maintain the exterior of buildings to remove old nests and droppings.
  • Nest Removal: If nests are in the early stages of construction, they can be removed before the eggs are laid, but it’s important to note that many swallow species are protected by law, and may be illegal to remove active nests (with eggs or chicks).


Sparrows are highly adaptable and can live in urban, suburban, and rural areas. They co-exist with humans more often. They breed multiple times yearly, with 3-5 eggs per clutch. 

How Sparrows Can Damage Properties

Sparrows build their nests in various structures such as vents, gutters, eaves, and building crevices, and their droppings can accumulate, leading to unsanitary conditions and health hazards. The droppings can also cause corrosion and staining. Moreover, Sparrows can contaminate food sources and areas with droppings and feathers. On the agricultural side, they can damage crops, stored grains, and ornamental plants.

How to Prevent Damage Caused By Sparrows

  • Food Source Management: Secure trash bins and clean up food spills promptly to eliminate or reduce access to food sources
  • Habitat Modification: Trim trees and shrubs near buildings and remove unused structures where sparrows might nest.

Why choose Abra Kadabra Environmental Services?

Abra Kadabra has certified bird and zoonotic disease specialists who can assist your home or company develop a comprehensive bird management program designed to address your particular concerns and limitations. We are a second-generation family-owned company with 20 years of experience. We are here to help and provide a warranty you can trust.

When your home is experiencing a wildlife problem, it is important to have the animals removed and the entry points sealed up (to prevent re-entry) before doing a thorough waste cleanup. At Abra Kadabra, we follow the National Wildlife Control Operator’s Association’s (NWCOA) 4-step inspecting, removing, monitoring, and repairing process. We always confirm the target species and identify the areas of activity and entry points, trap out the animals, and then exclude (wildlife-proof) the structure.

Once completed, we can remove, disinfect, or encapsulate contaminated materials to eliminate dangerous waste products and any pheromones marking prior entry points. Note that disinfectant can be used at the first appointment when the waste is in a high-danger area, such as a kitchen or child’s room.

Wrapping It Up

Birds can be everywhere, but most people are unaware of the threats that nuisance birds can create to human health and safety. Knowing more about how to prevent nuisance birds from disrupting your business’s operations and your home’s safety is essential. We may have shared some DIY tips to prevent nuisance birds, but it is important always to call a professional to prevent long-term damage.

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