How to stop birds from nesting behind shutters

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Q. We are having our house painted, and this seems an ideal time to deal with a big problem we had in recent years. Birds perch/live behind our shutters on all sides of the house, and their poop has created streaks on the house that look terrible. Before the shutters are put back up, is there anything we can do to stop them from moving back in? Our painter suggested carpet strips. Any help would be appreciated.

K. JOHNSON, Lexington

A. Since the shutters came off easily for painting, I think they are hinged, in the old-fashioned way, and can be opened and closed.

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