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How to Get Rid of Nesting Birds in the Rafters

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder

  • Plastic or nylon netting

  • Porcupine wire

  • Frightening devices

Birds often make for a beautiful sight, whether flying through the air or stopping to take a dip in a bird bath; however, they also can be a nuisance when nesting in rafters. Not only can the birds inflict damage to the property, but they also make a big mess with nesting materials, food and their droppings. While nesting birds can create quite an issue, there are ways to encourage them to find a new environment in which to roost.

Climb a ladder and remove any nests or nesting materials with your hands after the birds have flown away. If the rafters are too high, try knocking down any materials with broom handles or other objects that are capable of reaching and knocking material down. Be diligent in removing the material, as birds may continue to come back and attempt to roost.

Place nylon or plastic netting on the underside of rafters when the birds have flown away for a bit, suggests Kansas State University. The netting will make it impossible for them to return to the rafters. However, make sure the birds have flown away before attempting to place the netting or you will trap them.

Cover fruited trees or other vegetation that provides fruit with plastic or nylon netting. A close food source is often a reason why birds choose to nest where they do; therefore, eliminating the food source can encourage them to look elsewhere for a new home.

Install porcupine wires along the rafters to prevent the birds from landing and nesting. Porcupine wires are heavy wire prongs that stick out at different directions, making it virtually impossible for a bird to land without risking injury.

Scare birds away using frightening devices. Tools created to scare birds away include alarms and stress calls played over loud speakers, hawk silhouettes, flashing lights and water sprays. Move the devices frequently so that the birds do not become familiar and, ultimately, comfortable with them. Many outdoor life and feed stores carry these types of products.


  • According to Kansas State University, it takes five to seven days of continual scaring to keep the birds away. Because birds scare more easily when flying than roosting, begin the scaring process about 1 1/2 hours before nightfall, when most birds begin to nest.