Sparrow Problems

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Sparrows find an abundance of food around retail box stores such as Wal-Mart and Target, industrial buildings, factories, feedlots, barns, and most anywhere people are found.Sparrow Problems in greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Sparrows can be found throughout the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. These are the birds you see hopping through parking lots feeding on leftovers and dodging car tires. Sparrows, as well as other similar birds such as finches and swallows, find an abundance of food and nesting sites around retail box stores such as Wal-Mart and Target, industrial buildings, factories, feedlots, barns, and most anywhere people are found. Nesting and roosting habits of even a single bird can contaminate food production facilities and create unsightly conditions in retail stores. Though small in size, sparrow flocks can be of considerable size and can even cause significant damage to crops. Sparrows also drive out more desirable songbirds with their aggressive nesting habits.

The common House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is not native to the United States but was introduced to control crop pests in the 1850’s. They quickly adapted and are now considered a nuisance bird in many areas. They are small birds predominately brown and grey in color with black striping around the eyes and neck of the male. Sparrows will gather in large flocks driving other, more desirable birds out. They prefer to nest in small, enclosed spaces and find shelter in the nooks and crannies around roof lines, drainage pipes, building rafters, barns, etc. They eat seeds, grains and food scraps. In short, they are highly adaptable and thrive around humans.

Do sparrows carry diseases?

Yes. Sparrows, and their droppings, can present a health hazard to people, pets and livestock. Although typically a problem only with large accumulations of droppings, many diseases can be transferred from sparrow droppings including histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, toxoplasmosis, encephalitis and more. Always exercise caution when dealing with bird droppings. Sparrows also play host to ticks, fleas, mites and lice. These parasites can infest buildings, which can then be transferred to people and animals.

What damage can sparrows do to property?

House sparrow droppings, if in large enough numbers, can cause unsightly and unsanitary conditions wherever they gather. Sparrow droppings are also highly corrosive and can cause considerable damage to both buildings and vehicles. The acidic nature of sparrow droppings damages car finishes, gutters and other metal structures on buildings.

Accumulation of nesting materials in ventilation and drainage systems can also cause problems. Blocked gutters and drain pipes can result in structural water damage. Ventilation systems obstructed by bulky nesting sites can create fire hazards as well as spreading odors and nesting materials throughout the building. They will also peck on and damage foam insulation in buildings.

What type of damage can occur to businesses? To farms?

Even a single bird can become a problem, especially when nesting in retail box stores and manufacturing and food production facilities. Nesting pairs find their way into large retails facilities such as Wal-Mart, and find nesting and roosting sites in the rafters. Messy droppings and nesting materials can damage product inventory and turn off customers. Taking advantage of open loading docks, the quick sparrow can easily find their way into food storage and production facilities. Nesting and feeding activities in these facilities can easily contaminate food production lines and create unsanitary conditions.

Agricultural damage can also occur. Though small in size, sparrows will gather in large numbers and can do significant damage to field crops by feeding on grains in the field and storage areas. Sparrows will also consume livestock and poultry feed.

How can a sparrow problem be controlled?

No single approach can solve a nuisance sparrow problem. A typical control plan may include some or all of the following:

  • Installation of barriers around access points
  • Control of perching, nesting and feeding sites by installing structural barriers such as electrified wires, netting, wire screening, ledge barriers, etc.
  • Trapping and removal of nesting populations
  • Cleanup and sanitation of perching, feeding and nesting sites

The Most Effective Solution...

If your Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky business, food production facility, municipality or farm is having a sparrow problem, steps can be taken to eliminate the trouble. Whether a large damage flock or a single nesting pair, a professional animal control expert can fully assess and address your sparrow problem.


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