"There were birds flying everywhere. I mean, it was crazy. We were ducking and dodging."
REDDING, Calif. -- Uninvited guests took a new meaning for a northern California couple who returned home from a trip to find hundreds of birds inside their home.
The couple told KRCR-TV a swarm of swallows apparently found their way in through the chimney.
"As we pulled up, we were thinking you know, 20 birds or so - that's no big deal. We open the door and it's like an Alfred Hitchcock movie," homeowner Gary Reitemeyer said. "There were birds flying everywhere. I mean, it was crazy. We were ducking and dodging."
It took three hours to clear all the birds from their home. They said they got most of them to fly out the door.
"I was grabbing a handful of birds," Reitemeyer said. "I grabbed maybe three of them, or three or so at a time, and kind of ushered them out the door."
They had to hire a company to remove the rest of the birds, but now they have a $20,000 bill from the damage they left behind.
"You can't get all that bird stuff out of the furniture," Reitemeyer said. "So all of the furniture is gone, all of the carpet is gone, the blinds are gone...everything. Everything is gone."
Their insurance provider said they have an "exclusion" on their policy in regards to birds and will not pay the claim.