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The three birds that most often become pests in the United States in urban areas are pigeons, starlings, and house sparrows. If you have ever tried to get rid of pigeons, you know just how difficult pigeon control can be. Other birds, from hawks to swallows, may occasionally cause unexpected and unusual pest problems. When blackbirds and crows roost in suburban areas they become pests. Woodpeckers may peck holes into house siding looking for insects, to make nest cavities, and to communicate with other woodpeckers. Seagulls can feed at food-plants, and they roost and nest on large flat roofs with crushed stone.
Birds may be beneficial, neutral or harmful to man’s interests, depending upon time, location and activity – and certain birds (sparrows, woodpeckers, waterfowl, pigeons and blackbirds) are more likely to become pests.
Pest bird situations include:
- Feeding on agricultural products
- Roosting or nesting around human habitations
- Destroying vegetation and contaminating foods
- Noise, droppings, odor and feathers
- Diseases or ectoparasites affecting man including histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis
- Unpleasant or hazardous working conditions