Pigeon (rock dove) infestations can pose a serious bird control problem for businesses. Their droppings can cause damage to vehicles, clothing and property – as well as requiring constant maintenance to clean up. However, aside from the issue of damage and cleanliness, pigeons can carry a variety of diseases, causing serious health issues for your staff and customers.
Diseases which can be caught from pigeons include viruses such as avian influenza and West Nile Virus. Bacterial diseases such as psittacosis and salmonellosis. And fungal infections such as cryptococcal meningitis and histoplasmosis. These diseases can be spread by inhaling air contaminated by dried droppings, or by coming into direct or indirect contact with the animals or their feathers.
Disease carrying pigeons are more common in large urban environments, as the stress levels and poor diet experienced by birds in these locations make them more susceptible to infection.
However, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects all nesting wild birds in the UK and makes it a criminal offence to kill them or destroy their nests and/or eggs. This means preventative measure are required to discourage pigeons from taking up residence on your property.
The first thing you may wish to do, before deciding if you want to arrange a professionally installed bird control solution, is take steps to try and tackle the issue yourself.
If you want to make your premises as unappealing to pigeons as possible, begin by removing any potential source of food or nest materials. This means clearing up any leftover food promptly (particularly important for companies in the food industry) and making sure all refuse is stored in secure receptacles. Birds like to use bits of card, packing material, string or any number of materials commonly found in commercial properties to create their nests, so try and eliminate their access to such things as much as possible.
You can also purchase bird repellent gel, which is an inexpensive and simple to apply solution. The gel is applied to surfaces where birds are likely to roost and is unpleasant for them to be near. The gel dries to a tacky finish so it is legally required in the UK to apply a special sealant over it, which prevents birds become fastened to the surface and injuring themselves.
The substance can also stain stone or other porous/semi-porous material, so it is always best to be cautious where it is being applied and to make sure all packaged instructions are followed. Bird repellent gel, while not harmful to birds, can have an irritant effect on human skin, so ensure all PPE procedures are being correctly adhered to. However, not all gels are considered harmless enough to the animals to be licenced for sale or use in the UK, so ensure you only purchase from a reputable supplier.
DIY solutions are all well and good, but you may decide you want to get the issue resolved professionally and look towards a more permanent solution backed up by expert advice.
Netting is an economical and safe method of bird control is an economical and safe method of bird control to discourage pigeons from settling on your property. Generally installed under bridges and ceilings, it prevents birds from entering sheltered areas containing ledges or girders and nesting.
The netting is available in a wide range of mesh sizes, making it suitable for all sizes of bird. The 50mm mesh is most appropriate for pigeons, so make sure you purchase the correct type.
Spring Wire System
Another method of bird control is a spring wire system. This works by installing rows of thin steel wire on nesting perches. Spaced correctly, they will prevent all but the most determined birds from landing on the ledge. However, should a particularly persistent specimen manage to set down, the unstable surface the wire provides will discourage the pigeon from hanging around for too long.
Spring wire systems are great choice for commercial properties, as they are easily dismounted and reinstalled – making it a very convenient solution when it comes time to carry out alterations and maintenance to premises.
Offering a more permanent solution to pigeon infestations, spikes are on of the more visible options of bird control. Rather than being designed to cause harm to birds as they may first appear, spikes are instead intended to turn an inviting perch into an uncomfortable one.
As mentioned bird spikes are a more costly, permanent installation, so are more suitable for locations where pigeon control needs to be constant, and are unlikely to see any renovation for some time.
Ask the experts
If you have tried to implement a bird control solution for a pigeon infestation yourself and not been successful, or you decide you want to take the professional option from the word go, you can call our expert team at Safeguard Pest Control.
Contact us now to arrange a free site survey which will allow us to better advise you on an appropriate pigeon control solution.