Why is bird control important at landfills?

Why is Bird Control Important at Landfills?

Bird control at landfill sites is a must. Pest birds like Gulls will are always on the lookout for food, and they’ll fly more than 30 miles every day to find it. During breeding season when gulls need to feed their young, your landfill site offers an unlimited food source. So why is bird control important at landfills?

Why You Need Bird Control at Your Landfill Site

Huge amounts of food waste end up on landfill. Once birds discover that your landfill site is an all you can eat buffet, they’ll arrive in large numbers. Before you know it, you can have thousands of birds on your site and a whole host of problems. Here are just some of the problems you might encounter if a large pest bird population settles on your landfill site;

  • Noise, property, machinery and vehicle damage, and health and safety risks both for you, your employees, and for other businesses and residential properties nearby.  
  • Large amounts of bird guano can cause damage and is a risk to health. Guano contains high levels of uric acid which can corrode buildings and machinery. It also contains some nasty bacteria and other pathogens that can cause serious illness. Imagine if these made their way into groundwater and caused contamination, or your employees were exposed to them on the job? 
  • Birds like gulls can become aggressive during breeding season, and this puts your employees at risk of being attacked. 

Is your Landfill Site Close to an Airfield or Airport?

If so, bird control at your landfill site is more important. Bird strikes on aircraft are actually quite common and if birds get into a plane engine, hit the windshield, canopy, fuselage, or wing of a plane, it can be disastrous. If you need any more convincing, watch Sully, the Tom Hanks film. In it, he plays a pilot that has to crash land in the Hudson River because of an encounter with some Canada Geese! 

What Does the Law Say AboutBird Control at Landfill Sites?

As you’d expect, because of the risk to aircraft, there’s legislation in place to reduce the risk of a disaster. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requires any landfill sites operating within 8 miles of an airfield to have bird netting covering the working area. This stops birds gaining access to food sources and so makes your landfill site less attractive to them. 

The other thing you need to know about controlling birds legally is that ALL birds in the UK are protected by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The law makes it an offence to kill or capture wild birds, or damage their eggs or nests unless you have an appropriate licence from Natural England

Bird Control at Landfill Sites: What Actually Works? 

There are a number of bird control techniques that can be used at landfill sites. However, the most effective solution for your site will depend on the site itself and the extent of the problem. There’s no on-size-fits-all approach and often, more than one bird control technique needs to be deployed for long- lasting results. 

If you want to keep birds away from your landfill site for good, your best bet is an integrated bird control plan that uses techniques that best suit your needs. 

Bird control methods which are often successful include:

  • The use of falconry to deter pest birds; 
  • Bird netting; 
  • Smart Bird control systems like Bird Alert, which uses sounds like species-specific distress calls  to deter birds. It also allows you to add on bird scarers like gas cannons and other visual deterrents;
  • The use of lasers to deter pest birds.

Why Have Some Bird Control Techniques Not Worked on My Site in the Past?

The reason that some bird control methods don’t work as well as you’d like is habituation. This is a bird’s ability to adapt to a deterrent over time. So initially, they might think of a distress call or flashing lights as a threat, but over time, they’ll realise they aren’t in danger and get used to it. 

Bird control techniques like falconry are a clear and reinforced deterrent, but methods like using  distress calls is not. Birds can get used to them and come back to your landfill site. 

What Else Can I Do To Keep Pest Birds at Bay?

If you manage a landfill site, you can take steps to make your site less attractive to pest birds like;

  • Enclosing the working part of the landfill site with bird netting;
  • Diverting food waste from the site if possible;
  • Reducing surface waste on the working of the site once per day at least

Bird Control on Landfill Sites: The Bottom Line 

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to bird control at landfill sites. What works at one site might not work at yours and keeping birds away from your site requires an investment in time, money, and vigilance. 

Contego is known in the industry as one of the leading specialist bird control companies in the UK. We understand bird behaviour and our technicians are trained to the highest industry standards. We’ve successfully controlled pest birds on behalf of clients right across the UK on sites ranging from International Stadiums to hospitals, landfill sites, schools, libraries, and supermarkets. 

Need help with bird control at your landfill site now?

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