When people think of commercial pest infestations, it’s usually insects, mice and rats etc. which spring to mind rather than bird control issues. However, an infestation of nesting birds such as pigeons can cause a lot of problems for businesses.
Bird faeces is acidic and can cause permanent damage to vehicles, clothing, property and merchandise. It requires constant maintenance to clean up as it’s unsightly and poses a slipping hazard, which can cost businesses both time and money.
Birds can also carry a multitude of serious diseases – viral, fungal and bacterial – and can spread them via contact with their bodies and discarded feathers, or through inhalation of atomised faecal dust. Infection from these diseases either to staff or customers, can result in a significant loss of revenue due to absence, lawsuits and lost business.
However, all nesting wild birds in the UK are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is a criminal offence to kill them, or destroy their nests and/or eggs. This means preventative measure are required to discourage nuisance birds from taking up residence on commercial property.
An Ancient Solution
Beginning in Mesopotamia – an area covering parts of modern day Iraq, Syria and Turkey – falconry spread across the Middle East, medieval Europe and Mongolia as both a sport and status symbol amongst nobles. Around 500BC in ancient Rome, falcons were used to hunt ducks and from then these birds were widely used alongside dogs as hunting animals. In the 7th century, the Quran of the Islamic faith considers prey caught by birds of prey to be halal (permissible) for consumption.
However, it was in the ancient Persian Empire (modern day Iran) where falcons were first employed as a bird control measure. Land owners would deploy the birds to ward off any other animals which might threaten crops or livestock.
In the 21st Century
Today, birds of prey can provide an elegant bird control method of containing birds such as pigeons. Pigeons like to nest in business properties, as warehouses and other high-ceilinged locations can provide them with plenty of elevated rafters and ledges upon which to nest. Reaching these areas can be problematic and potentially unsafe for business owners and pest control experts alike.
Installable bird control solutions designed to discourage nesting are widely available. From sprays and gels, to wires and spikes, they are all effective methods of preventing or discouraging pest birds from taking up residence. There are positive and negative sides to each solution – spikes are costly and permanent, while gels have the potential to harm the animals and damage property if incorrectly applied for example – but will all perform the function they were designed for.
However, introducing a bird of prey to an established roosting area can have an immediate and long-lasting effect. They are able to displace any animals which have already taken up residence and discourage newcomers from setting up home. The best thing about a bird of prey pest control solution – apart from its superb efficacy – is that it’s 100% environmentally friendly.
The birds of prey are not trained to attack or kill the pest animals, but simply discourage infestations by way of their mere presence. Also, with a bird of prey solution, there are no chemicals or machines used and there are no permanent installations. This means business owners need not worry about potential damage caused by gels or having to maintain spikes, nets and other permanently installed solutions.
Bird of Prey Solutions with Safeguard
Safeguard’s resident bird of prey expert, John Lacey trains and handles two birds of prey, offering protection to customers in all kinds of environments from warehouses and train yards, to heritage sites and stadiums. John’s avian colleagues are a male harris hawk named Beau and a female called Rio – female raptors (another term for birds of prey) are larger and more aggressive than males. John was first inducted into the world of falconry at the age of 12, keeping a Kestrel called Kes, and has since joined the nationally accredited LANTRA falconry award programme.
Clive Bonny, advisor for the Responsible Business Award says “The solution offered by this method of population management is not only effective but also environmentally friendly. Safeguard should be applauded for addressing an age-old problem with a proven “Green” solution.”
If your business has a bird control issue, and you would like more information about Safeguard Pest Control’s effective and environmentally friendly bird of prey based solutions, please get in touch today. Our friendly and professional staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.