How to Get Rid of Sparrows and Stop them from Nesting at Your Property

Sparrow-proof feeders, bird shock tapes, and sprinklers could be how to get rid of sparrows quickly. Find out more below.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 29, 2023
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As little as sparrows are, they can cause major havoc in your home when they are around. Therefore, you need to be aware of how to get rid of sparrows as fast as you can to save your home, keep yourself healthy, and protect your pets. Starting with their droppings, they are unsafe for you and your pets. Sparrow droppings are unethical and contain pathogens that include parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. These components, as you might have guessed can cause serious diseases both for you, your family, and your pets. Also, if they get comfy around your house, they start to build nests and this process/act accumulates parasites. They steal foods that you have saved and stored for your pets (and can also be aggressive about it). In some situations, sparrows can cause fire accidents with their aggression and invasive behavior. With that said, here is a comprehensive guide on what you need to know about sparrows and the different methods of how you can get rid of them.

What you need to know about Sparrows

How to Get Rid of Sparrows and Stop them from Nesting at Your Property

Sparrows are intelligent, resourceful, and persistent animals. The male sparrow is usually brightly colored and has a rufous neck, a black bib, white cheeks, and gray heads. Though they are colored so brightly, some are dull and grubby.

Also called songbirds, sparrows are small, ranging from 4 to about 8 inches with the most common sparrows between 5 and 7 inches.

Though there are dozens of sparrow species, the most common is the American tree sparrow. Sparrows can fly very fast at a speed of 38.5 to 50km/hr. They are shy and would rather stay away from human sightings. However, they will attack if they feel threatened by humans. Generally, sparrows eat anything from mealworms to peanuts, sunflower seeds, and millet, but they also eat insects, grains, and food discarded by humans. Sparrows have a symbology that represents love but when they are in your home, they show no love at all, hence, why you need a full understanding of how to get rid of sparrow birds in your home.

Why Are Sparrows a Problem?

Since the start of this guide, it has been established that it is not recommended to allow sparrows to roam freely in and around the home. The problems that they pose are reasons you need information on how to get rid of house sparrows fast. Here are 5 of the problems of house sparrows;


  1. Sparrows carry pose health risks: The droppings and nests of sparrows are risky health-wise for humans around. While their droppings lay around, they contain bacteria and viruses that can stick to the paws of your pet or even to your shoe. Bringing these substances into your home is unsafe and unhealthy.
  2. Sparrows can kill birds: Though songbirds are small (only a few inches long), they often kill birds their size and smaller. This makes them a huge threat to those that have chickens in their home. Even if you have a large-sized bird, sparrows can hunt and kill hatchlings and eggs.
  3. Sparrows can be dangerous to humans if they feel threatened: Regardless of the shy nature of a sparrow, they should be mistaken for calm birds. They can be very dangerous if stimulated in such directions. While adults would know better than to touch a sparrow, kids may fall victim.
  4. Sparrows are aggressive competitors: In the same light, sparrows can be aggressive when competing for food in such a way that they bully and throw off other feeders.
  5. Sparrows are noisy: Finally, sparrows didn’t get the name ‘songbirds’ by mistake. They are known for their beautiful sound and lovely songs. But having about five sparrows each chirping loudly can become annoying.

What Attracts Sparrows?

Sparrows are hardly avoidable because they are attracted by people, urbanization, and civilization. This is because (recall that sparrows are intelligent), they know that where there are people, there is people’s food. Farmers or homeowners that keep birds or plant grains would also suffer from immense sparrow invasion. Sparrows love grains and seeds so a place where there is a lot of this food will most definitely attract sparrows. So continue below to see how to get rid of sparrows from (your) house

How to Get Rid of Sparrows

It is almost impossible to eliminate all sparrows from your house, but there are ways you can reduce their presence or even make your home uninteresting for them to inhabit. Here are some tips on how to get rid of nuisance sparrows in your home.

Use Sparrow-proof feeders

How to Get Rid of Sparrows and Stop them from Nesting at Your Property

In the case where you restrict sparrows from getting a steady food supply, you might be able to get rid of them. Feeders generally attract sparrows because it establishes a situation where food is made readily available for them on a platter of gold. But when you provide food in a sparrow-proof feeder, sparrows can’t reach the food and soon enough, they get disinterested and look for other alternatives elsewhere. Some sparrow-proof feeder ideas are the clinging mesh feeder. It is a recommended choice for two reasons – it is hanging and it is made of mesh. Sparrows love to stand and feed from the ground. So a situation that causes them to remain in the air while they eat from a suspended source can be uncomfortable for them. The other side of the coin is derived from the fact that the feeder will be made of mesh which is difficult for sparrows to penetrate through. However, ensure that you clean the ground and surrounding area for any seed that might have dropped on the ground.

Intimidate them with a natural predator decoy

Sparrows are naturally scared of certain animals. Their natural predators are hawks and owls. So while you might not be able to bring in hawks and owls (those might cause more havoc), you can use decoys – sparrows can’t tell them apart anyways. Note that the decoy you choose to utilize needs to be as natural-looking as possible. If the decoys can move or make noises, this would be a plus since it would intimidate them even more, hence sending them away. Also, ensure to move the decoy birds from one place to another so that it can give the impression that they are alive and moving about.

Scare Sparrows with reflection

Like many pests, sparrows are scared of sudden movement and flashy lights. So using reflection is a great point for how to get rid of sparrows under the roof. Since sparrows tend to nest under the roof, you can hang scare rods, reflective tapes, or wind-activated models to scare them off. The reason this method is more loved is that it works both for sparrows and other bird-related pests like pigeons and starlings that could also be a disturbance. But why do reflectors scare birds? Naturally, when a sparrow sees such a reflection, they interpret it to mean that that spot is occupied by predators and could be dangerous for them to hang around or nest.

Remove their food

If you can determine what food attracts sparrows to your home, you could already have the ultimate answer to getting rid of them – remove the attracting element. Sparrows love seeds and grains. So if you have seeds and grains scattered around your home, you might want to consider keeping them controlled. But even more than that, sparrows are more attracted to some types of grains than others. So if you own other types of songbirds and want to feed them, you can opt for safflower seeds, Nyjer, suet, and fruit. Their best foods are bread scraps, cracked corn, wheat, millet, and oats so it means you can also feed your birds nuts and nectar without any problem. Further, keep your trash cans away from where the sparrows can reach.

Install bird shock tapes

How to Get Rid of Sparrows and Stop them from Nesting at Your Property

If you want to know how to get rid of sparrow nests, this works also for other birds. The first thing you need to do here is the target where you believe the sparrow’s nest often, then install a bird shock tape there. How it works is that it sends a voltage powerful enough to shock the bird that lands on the tape for a few seconds. As powerful as this shock is, it is not enough to kill them but just the right amount to send them running (or flying) without looking back. What’s most impressive about bird shock tapes is that they are transparent and cannot easily be spotted. As long as you charge your shock tape, it should do its job pretty conveniently.

How to Prevent Sparrows

Though you may have succeeded in getting rid of the sparrows, if you are not careful enough, you might bring them back. Here is how to prevent recurrence after you must have learned how to get rid of sparrows.

Natural Predator kites

Similar to the decoy, using natural predator kites especially one resembling a hawk will help keep sparrows far off. This might not be done too often and can leave one or two days off. But getting a kite that makes sounds looks highly similar to the real-life creature. By having a kite that looks like the sparrow’s natural predator, you would prevent them from coming back.

Electronic Sparrow distress sounds

Distress sounds are those that are made in the case of trouble, danger, or problem. If there is a distress call coming from your home (with the pairing of the fake hawk), it will be a major pointer that your home is an unsafe place for sparrows and that would keep them away. In other words, sparrows will believe that your home is a dangerous place for them to be at.

Motion-activated sprinklers

How to Get Rid of Sparrows and Stop them from Nesting at Your Property

For sparrows that can be stubborn and want to check out the source of distress, motion-activated sprinklers can increase the intimidation and keep them afar off.

How to Remove Sparrow Nests

You can also use things around your home (or even nothing at all) to repel foxes. If you want to know how to get rid of foxes from chickens and your other farm animals, see below.

Check for the law

In some regions of the world, tampering with or disposing of a bird’s nest is illegal. So if you want to attempt the nest removal, research whether or not you are allowed to do so from the wildlife protection officials in your area. If this is not allowed, then call the authorities and let them know of the sparrow’s nest in your home. However, if you are allowed to dispose of the nest (mostly allowed in the US, then you can proceed to step two.

Wait till after the nesting season

Better safe than sorry, wait till after the sparrow’s nesting season before you tamper with their nest. Mama birds usually don’t leave the surroundings of their nest so easily. So even if you may have succeeded in getting rid of them, it is possible that they are hanging around pretty close by.

Prepare yourself and sanitize

Sparrows’ nests are filled with different pathogens and parasites that contain all sorts of germs and bacteria. So it would be risky for your health if you were to touch the nest with your bare hands. Firstly, wear protective gloves that cover your palm, wrists, and some parts of your arm (just in case), then sanitize the area of the nest that you will hold.

Do things quickly

Even though the besting season may be over, there might still be some surveillance going on (and recall how sparrows can be when they feel threatened). Therefore, don’t dally and wait too much time. Be quick and fast with removing the nest from its position and into a trash bag.


The safest way to dispose of the nest is to throw it into the trashcan outside of your home. But don’t allow it to sit there for too long (because of how unhealthy it is). Make sure to take out the trash or hand it over to the professionals to get rid of it permanently.


Is it illegal to kill house sparrows in the USA?

The United States of America has every bird (large and small, invasive or not) under a protective law. Thereby, you are, under no circumstance, allowed to kill a sparrow. Instead, learn how to get rid of sparrows in the most non-fatal way.

Can rice kill sparrows?

During the quest of learning how to get rid of sparrows, rice is a common debate. Rice cannot kill sparrows or any type of bird for that matter. While many hypotheses state that it can cause their tummy to swell, it is a lie and not proven by any research.

What do house sparrows eggs look like?

House sparrow eggs are small, just like the bird itself. It is only about half an inch in diameter and can either be gray or white. Some have a tint that is green in color and others could come with specks of brown spots.

Final Thoughts

Sparrows can be a huge nuisance for the home especially if you own birds as pets. They pose health risks and can only be noisy when they make their sounds. Though sparrows are small, they have a big appetite that makes them aggressive and bullies. Luckily, this guide has mentioned numerous methods on how to get rid of sparrows and even prevent them from coming back. But despite all the methods, it can still seem like those sparrows just won’t live in your home alone. If you have reached this point, you can consider hiring a professional to take care of things smoothly. This will save you time, resources, stress, and money in the long run. Also, a professional is trained in the skills and techniques of dealing with intelligent birds such as sparrows.


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