Bird control is a huge concern for any business operating in the food service industry. However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your outdoor areas remain a pleasant place for your customers to dine.
Birds – like all pest animals – pose many issues for the food industry. The threat posed by these creatures is greater in food-related businesses than in other industries, due to the far higher risk posed to the public by infestation.
Birds cause damage to property and premises as they build their nests and scavenge for food. They cause litter as they tear open binbags to access the tasty morsels inside, and they damage roofing as they attempt to gain egress into premises. Bird droppings are highly acidic and, if not cleaned up promptly, can damage wood, stone, vehicles and clothing – as well as providing a significant slipping hazard.
More significant, and indeed, more relevant to the food industry, is the risk of the contamination of food with one of dozens of communicable diseases. These infections can be fungal, viral, and bacterial, and range from the relatively benign, such as the common cold, to the potentially fatal, such as salmonella.
Keeping birds away from internal areas can be a difficult enough task. However, when it comes to al fresco dining areas, it becomes a more challenging matter entirely.
Bird Control for Outdoor Areas
Obviously keeping birds away from outdoor dining areas will be a challenge – especially in seaside towns where seagulls and other birds are prevalent in much larger numbers. The problem is exacerbated when tourists intentionally feed the birds, thereby encouraging them further.
Therefore, one of the best ways to keep birds away from your al fresco areas is to put up signs instructing your customers not to feed the animals. As well as this, make sure that your waiting staff are instructed to clear outdoor tables promptly, to reduce the amount of leftover food lying around for birds to scavenge.
However, while these preventative measures will help with the situation, you may find you need some more concrete bird control solutions.
#1 Bird Spikes
Ringing your dining areas with plastic bird spikes will humanely discourage the animals from loitering around your business. The spikes don’t hurt the birds, but rather, ensure they are unable to find a comfortable place to sit and wait for a scavenging opportunity.
#2 Bird Tracks
Tracks work in much the same way as spikes, but look far less unsightly. The tracks are designed to deliver a very mild electrical shock when a bird lands on it. The shock does not harm the animal in any way, but simply provides a deterrent to roosting. The tracks sit almost flush with the surface they are installed on, meaning they won’t be visible to your customers either.
Covering your al fresco area with bird netting will prevent birds from entering your premises entirely. However, while effective, the netting is not the most aesthetically pleasing solution, and may reduce the attractiveness of outdoor dining for your customers.
#4 Visual Deterrents
Visual deterrents are not designed to provide a complete bird control solution, but rather to compliment other physical options. They come in various shapes and sizes including beach ball-sized scare balloons and flat reflecting panels. The reflecting panels are designed to be hung around the perimeter of the premises where their shiny surfaces irritate the birds’ vision. The deterrents also feature markings which, to the birds, appear like the eyes of a predator, instigating the fight or flight response.
#5 A Professional Bird Control Solution
While any of the above suggestions can be implemented by yourself, by far the best way to effectively prevent birds from becoming an issue for your food service business, is to employ the services of a qualified and experienced bird control expert. Safeguard has over 30 years’ experience in the commercial bird control industry, and can recommend and implement all manner of solutions, from permanent installations, to innovative bird of prey deterrents.
Regular patrols from a trained bird of prey will not actively hunt them, but instead discourage other birds from hanging around your premises by fact of their mere presence.
If you need effective and quality bird control services, to ensure your customers can continue to enjoy relaxing and luxurious al fresco dining, then Safeguard Pest Control has a solution to suit all businesses and situations.
Get in touch today to talk about how we can help.