Birds eating mortar in brick on house

Asked August 9, 2017, 2:32 PM EDT

The birds are feasting on the mortar in my brick house on apache dr 40207 is there anything I can spray on the brick that would stop them. In places they have completely eating a joint between a brick. I have tried an owl statue but that has not scared them. Kaaren westlund 859 699 0322. Kaaren405boone@yahoo.com

3 Responses

Flight gives birds a terrific advantage, we can't easily stop or prevent them from destructive behavior. I assume the problem bird is a woodpecker seeking insects.( It is possible the mortar has an element they are lacking in their diet but that would not be likely.)

observe the area affected and look for signs of insects. Spraying and appropriate insecticide could help solve the problem.

Exclusion is also a possible solution. Temporarily netting could keep the birds from getting to the area while the wall is repaired, then sealed with a sealant recommended for use on both mortar and brick to protect your home.
This is a link to woodpecker control in KY: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/for/for38/for38.htm

Managing wildlife damage in KY :http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/for/for13/for13.htm

Feel free to contact our office if you have other questions.

Let me know if I can help you further!


Carol Wilder
Horticulture Technician
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
502-569-2344
200 Juneau Drive

Louisville KY 40243


Carol, you mention using an appropriate insecticide. Internet articles indicate that the birds are pecking at the mortar so that they get the grit from it to help their digestive process. I have stopped feeding the birds maybe two weeks ago completely. The feeder was not on the same side of the house as where they were "eating" the mortar out of the joints and the last couple of days I have not seen any birds "eating" the mortar. But I would be interest in what you might suggest to spray onto the brick since there really aren't an insects living in the mortar. Any suggestions would be appreciated as they have eating into the mortar as much as a half an inch in places over an area of about ten square feet.

If the birds are actually going for the mortar, repair and then seal the outside of your home with a recommended product that your mason suggests. Color, style and type of mortar and/or brick may be affected by a sealant so seek advice from a stone mason or other professional.

Good Luck!