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House sparrows, as pleasant of a creature as they might seem, can be quite a pest. According to Sialis.org, sparrows destroy gardens and kill native bird species. They are also an environmental hazard, as their feces can be a danger to your health. There are several methods for getting a house sparrow infestation under control.
Destroy sparrow nests. You can do this by reaching the nests with a ladder or a long pole and simply removing them. With luck, the sparrows will build elsewhere. If your face will be in close proximity to a nest, wear a mask because sparrow droppings are filled with bacteria and parasites that can cause health issues if ingested.
Destroy sparrow eggs. The destruction of their eggs often drives off sparrows. You can do this by infertilizing the sparrows' eggs. If the eggs do not hatch, the hope is that the the female will leave the nest, however, she might stay and lay more.
You can either dip the eggs in corn oil, refrigerate them for 24 hours or shake them, then replace them in the nests. To do this humanely, do this as soon as the eggs are laid, otherwise, they may still hatch but the birds will be deformed. You can also cook the eggs.
Place a fake owl in the same tree as a sparrow nest. Owls are a natural predator, so sparrows are frightened of them. A convincing replica may drive the pests away.
Apply a humane bird repellent near sparrow nests. There are many types of repellents on the market, including gels, sprays, tapes and powders. Apply the repellent near the nests following the directions on the packaging. Be sure it is a humane repellent so that you do not harm any native, protected bird species.
Use bird traps. Bird traps can help you catch several birds at once. There are several types, including in-box traps and baited cage traps. Buy traps that are reusable and escape-proof. You can relocate the sparrows, however, they may come right back. You can also trim their wings so predators can get them or you can euthanize them.
Use a firearm to kill the sparrows. Only take this step if you are trained in the use of guns and are familiar with all the rules and regulations of gun use in your area. Before taking this step, make sure that sparrows are legal to hunt in your area, however, it is legal to destroy sparrows in many areas because sparrows threaten many native bird species. Helpful tips include baiting the sparrows to one area, avoiding eye contact and not shooting a bird in mid-flight.
There are many types of sparrows. Before embarking on an eradication strategy, make sure the sparrows you are dealing with are a problem species.
While it is legal to kill sparrows in most places and it may be tempting to use poison, you will probably end up killing many other protected species in the process. Sialis.org reports that, without a permit, it is a federal offense to kill native birds.
Michelle Matthews began writing professionally in 2005. She has written about Medicare and health care-related issues for the Medicare Rights Center, working on the publications "Dear Marci" and "Medicare Counselor." Her work has also been published in the University at Buffalo's "Generation Magazine" and Buffalo, N.Y.'s "Artvoice." Matthews is pursuing a Master of Social Work from New York University.