‘We walked right into a nightmare’: Family home overrun by more than 800 birds

Caught on camera: Hundreds of birds invade Calif. family's home

TORRANCE, Calif. (KCAL/KCBS) - After more than 800 birds invaded his family’s home, a California man had to remove them all by hand then steam clean his sofas and floors.

Patrick Belleville and his family say they came home from dinner April 21 to find hundreds of birds had invaded their Torrance, California, home.

“We walked right into a nightmare,” Belleville said. “The birds were stuck to the ceiling, stuck to every wall. They were hanging on to pictures. Every room – bathrooms, bedrooms – they’re all full of birds. They were just going crazy. They were hitting me in the head.”

Belleville says a friend called animal control, who told the family to open their doors and windows. But the birds refused to leave.

So, Belleville was forced to remove more than 800 birds by hand from his home. The rest of the family, including his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter, stayed at a hotel for the night.

“I counted 800. I stopped counting after 800. I was just grabbing them, throwing them in the box… then take them outside, shake them out of the box and let them go,” Belleville said.

After working through the night, Belleville thought he had gotten rid of all the birds, but for two more days, he says some that had been hidden continued to terrorize his family.

“There were random birds flying out of closets and stuff. There were a couple hidden on top of the refrigerator. You wouldn’t find out because they are very stealth. They’ll just sit there until you move something. All of the sudden, their wings start flapping,” Belleville said.

The birds also left behind a mess of droppings.

“Everywhere you can think of. We had to steam clean the sofas, the floors. A lot of the toys, poor kid, we were just tossing them out the window,” Belleville said.

Firefighters say a similar incident happened Sunday at a home in Montecito when about 1,000 birds invaded. Animal control officials say the birds, believed to be chimney swifts, may have gotten inside both homes through unscreened chimneys.

No one was injured in either incident.

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