Bird control is not necessarily the first thing someone thinks of when animals capable of causing pest infestations are mentioned. However, they are just as capable – if not more so – of causing serious issues to commercial and residential properties alike.
People may mainly think of urban environments when they think of areas which are potentially vulnerable to bird infestations. However, nesting birds can regularly be found in rural locations, and commercial premises. Multi-storey carparks, warehouses, farm buildings, stations and town centres can all provide an attractive proposition for nesting birds, as they offer safe breeding locations with a reliable source of food and shelter.
Nesting birds may appear innocuous enough, but an avian infestation can mark the beginning of serious and potentially catastrophic problems for businesses.
Nesting behaviours: Birds such as pigeons nest almost exclusively in areas of human habitation such as towns as cities. Their population can grow rapidly in areas of urbanisation. They are commonly found around parks, city buildings, bridges, rafter and other high places. In addition to the cost implications of such damage, the resultant damp conditions can encourage insect infestations – posing yet more pest control concerns for affected businesses.
Aggressive behaviour: Nearly all birds will display aggressive behaviour when they feel that their nest or eggs are threatened. Wild birds that live in urban areas in particular, show significantly higher levels of territorial aggression than their rural counterparts. This could be due to urban birds having less space and more resources to defend. If attacked, seek medical attention as soon as possible, as all wounds caused by wild birds carry a high risk of infection.
Disease: When accumulated in large quantities, droppings from wild birds can carry a variety of diseases. There are many diseases associated with bird droppings or shed feathers such as histoplasmosis, psittacosis, E. coli, salmonella or ectoparasites like bed bugs or chicken mites to name just a few. Humans can also be infected when particles from droppings become airborne and enter the respiratory system.
Fouling: Heavily fouled areas present a public health and safety risk as they could become a slip hazard when wet. Furthermore, materials like wood, stone, metal and clothing can be permanently damaged by unsightly and excessive bird fouling.
All these issues can cause a serious problem for businesses – especially those dealing with preparing and/or selling food – and can lead to loss of customers and revenue, staff absence due to sickness, litigation should customers be injured or fall ill, or even closure by environmental health. This means businesses need to be alert to the signs of a bird infestation and act accordingly to control them.
However, bird control is not always successful, which can be down to a variety of reasons.
#1 Birds are Stubborn
Wild birds live in a perpetually hostile environment and are beset by dangers every moment of their lives. Constant threats from predatory animals such as domestic cats, the dangers of traffic and aircraft, or injury caused by unethical bird control methods such as adhesives or untreated solutions, are just some of the challenges faced by wild birds.
This has led to wild birds evolving into incredibly stubborn animals which have to stand their ground to survive, and defend their territory if necessary. This means one-off bird control solutions can prove futile as the animals are able to weather the temporary storm effectively.
#2 Nesting Locations are Hard to Come By
If wild birds have chosen a property as a nesting spot, then it’s likely for good reason. It could be it provides safe and sheltered roosting spots such as a loft, or highly elevated rafters – or alternatively, it could be due to a reliable and easy to access supply of food and/or nesting materials, as well as convenient methods of access and egress. More likely is the possibility the property possesses all these qualities to one degree or another.
Again, this can make it very difficult to permanently move birds off premises once it has been selected for nesting, and it’s likely they will return shortly afterwards.
#3 Your Pest Control Methods are Ineffectual
Whether you are attempting to control them yourself, or employing a pest control agency, bird control requires a very different skillset compared to dealing with other pests. This means pest control professionals lacking the necessary specialist experience required to effectively deal with wild birds can be thwarted by thinking they can apply a one size fits all approach to all types of infestations.
Since the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 was introduced, wild birds, as well as their nests and eggs, have been protected by law. Intentionally killing or causing injury to wild birds, or destroying their nests and/or eggs is illegal in the UK. This causes additional challenges for pest control experts as they must take care their methods adhere to the law, while maintaining effectiveness.
If you want an ethical pest control solution which will last, it is crucial to employ bird control experts who know how to deal with an avian infestation, while remaining compliant with the law. Safeguard has over 30 years’ experience in the field, and specialises in commercial pest control.
One of the methods Safeguard employs which separates them from the competition is the use of birds of prey to humanely dissuade nesting birds from taking up, or continuing their residence. Rather than hunting and killing the invading birds, the mere presence of a predator in the environment will cause nesting birds to depart for a safer location. Regular patrols from a trained raptor will ensure birds do not return to your commercial property.