Stately homes can provide a unique bird control challenge. However, with the right solution in place these grand buildings can remain free of avian intruders.
Stately homes provide a proud reminder of the UK’s heritage. Harking back to an era of wealthy landowners and romantic novels – not to mention more recent and popular television series – stately homes can delight, intrigue, and stir the imaginations of visitors of all generations.
However, as with all old buildings, stately homes come with a host of challenges with regard to their day-to-day operation and maintenance. Foremost among these is the potential for pest and bird control issues. With large unlived in areas, underground passages, features such as fabric tapestries or old wood furniture and panelling, stately homes can provide an attractive prospect for pest animals, such as birds, looking for a place to roost and build their nests.
Bird Control for Stately Homes
The consequences of a bird control issue can be extensive.
As with any organisation which receives visitors, the potential for the spread of disease is great. And with birds carrying a host of pathogens – viral, bacterial, and fungal – ranging from the relatively benign, to potentially fatal, an outbreak is the last thing a stately home needs – especially if it has a cafeteria or restaurant which serves food.
Aside from concerns relating to the spread of disease, birds can also cause significant damage to property. With stately homes playing host to a range of antique and irreplaceable items, the last thing any custodian wants to deal with is them being torn apart by birds scavenging for materials to build their nests.
Birds also cause damage to roofing materials as they attempt to gain access into loft areas from outside, and the resultant leaks and damp can cause further risks to property and health.
Bird droppings are also a danger to property and person. They are acidic and, unless cleaned up promptly, can cause damage to material, stone, woodwork and paintwork. On top of this they can carry diseases and present a significant slipping hazard if left unattended.
Steps to Take
There are a few simple measures custodians of stately homes can take to reduce the chances of birds causing damage to the property they are responsible for.
Making sure all rooms are closed at the end of the day is a good way to reduce the spread of contamination, should birds access the building. This is especially important when it come to the rooms which house fabric items such as tapestries, as these make particularly attractive targets for nest building birds.
Any areas where food is kept should also be secured at the end of the day. All foodstuffs in opened packets should be transferred into sealed Tupperware containers to make sure it cannot be detected or accessed by scavenging animals.
Ensuring the roof is kept well maintained is a good way to effectively prevent birds from accessing the property in the first place. Birds love the seclusion and warmth of loft areas, so make sure to replace or repair lost or damaged tiles as soon as you become aware of them to help prevent access.
Having a strict inspection and reporting process in place will ensure your staff know what to do if any birds are discovered inside the building. Train staff on the signs to look out for, such as droppings, damage, feathers, etc. and let them know who to contact if they find evidence of an infestation.
A Professional Solution
By far the best way to prevent pest birds from ruining your stately home business is to employ the services of a professional and experienced pest control expert. A professional company will have access to the latest knowledge and technology, backed up by years of experience dealing with bird control issues, which will empower them to design a bespoke solution for your stately home.
Tactics will range from installing permanent deterrent devices such as humane spikes or nets, expert advice and training on prevention and reporting, through to unique and innovative solutions such as regular patrols with trained birds of prey. A trained raptor discourages other birds from occupying an area by the fact of its mere presence – in case you were worried they might hunt and kill the birds.
With nesting birds being protected by UK law, a professional solution is the best way to ensure your bird control is both effective and legal.
Safeguard Pest Control has over 30 years’ experience in commercial bird control and is waiting to design a tailor-made solution for your stately home.
Please get in touch with us today.