Sparrows are common problem birds, causing damage to many structures and finishes where they are found. Extremely noisy and highly adaptive pests, Sparrows are considered to be one of the most notorious urban Pest Bird, often living on urban scraps.

Being a widespread species globally, with various forms of the Sparrow family found in different regions, they frequently clash with human beings. House Sparrows are of a particular concern, as they tend to inhabit areas that are populated by humans. Due to their familiarity with our urban environment, these House Sparrows have become brilliant at taking advantage of the opportunities we provide.

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House Sparrow

Sparrow Behaviour And Characteristics

Sparrows generally inhabit urban, suburban and residential settlements, and tend to prefer small enclosed spaces such as house shutters, drainage piping, building rafters and corrugated metal siding for building nests.

They also enjoy roosting in tree branches, on ivy covered walls, as well as under roof eaves and, as a result of their aggressive nature, have been known to force other birds out of their “homes”.

In terms of breeding, Sparrows generally build their nests either on buildings or in trees, where they will lay anything from one to six eggs at a time. These are large nests that can often hold several Sparrow families at once. Astoundingly, one breeding pair of Sparrows can produce over two thousand Sparrows in a two to three year window.

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Sparrow Droppings in a Warehouse

What Attracts Sparrows?

A readily available food source provides the perfect attraction for any Sparrow, and multiple nesting spots will often be found close to these sources of food. This is why House Sparrows often make their home in environments such as food processing and manufacturing plants, and warehouses where food is stored, as well as in or on residential buildings.

The following is a list of the primary attractions for Sparrows:

  • Food: Sparrows eat a wide range of seeds and grain.
  • Water: These birds are usually attracted to water sources present at a lower level, such as bird baths, and are especially attracted to moving water.
  • Nesting Sites: Sparrows will quickly move to an area sheltered from the elements if they need to nest, or if they feel endangered or distressed in any way. Thick bushes and shrubs can also be attractive to Sparrows.

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Roof Insulation in a Warehouse torn by Sparrows

The Problems Associated With Sparrows

The uric acid present in the Sparrow’s droppings, as is the case with other pest birds too, is capable of causing a great deal of damage to the paint, plaster & finishes of buildings, degrading the aesthetics of potentially neat and beautiful buildings. These droppings have also been known to cause serious damage to the paint work on cars, as well as that of plant and machinery.

In warehouse settings, where Sparrow activity is somewhat common, especially when there is a food source available, they will often make their home within the roof insulation running under the roof on the interior of the building. The birds gain access by tearing through the insulation, which is very costly to replace, and will make use of the space for shelter and nesting purposes.

In addition, gutters and drainage pipes clogged with Sparrow’s nests can back up and cause extensive water damage.

The nests of Sparrows are usually an untidy mass of dried grass, leaves, string, paper and feathers, and, if in close proximity to electrical points/lines, or chimneys, can pose a very serious fire hazard.

Aside from the potential physical damage caused, the presence of Sparrows and their droppings creates an extremely unhygienic and unpleasant environment for anyone living or working in close proximity.

Sparrows may create a health risk when HACCP standards are not met within food processing companies, as a result of the birds entering factories and warehouses. Not only could their droppings cause damage here, they could also come into contact with raw materials, exposed products still in the manufacturing process, as well as finished and stored goods. Here, bacteria, fungal agents and Ectoparasites may pose a serious health risk to both clients and employees.

If the problem is not resolved quickly, the risk of contraction of diseases such as Histoplasmosis for clients, employees, tenants and visitors increases exponentially, along with an increase in maintenance costs.

Are you experiencing similar pest bird infestation in your home or at your place of work? If the answer is YES, then we have the solution to a pest bird free environment for you, your family, your co-workers and your clients. Give Bird Deterrent Specialists a call today, for a *FREE quotation, on +27 21 797 7788, or email us at [email protected]