Understanding Bird Proofing

Understanding Bird Proofing

Understanding Bird Proofing

So What Is Bird Proofing?

Bird proofing is the use of physical, visual, and auditory deterrents to prevent pest birds from perching or nesting on buildings.

Pest birds like pigeons and gulls just love urban areas because there are usually plenty of available food sources and high buildings with all of their nooks and crannies that make for a safe place to nest.

Preventing access to sites where they perch or nest is the best way to prevent a serious pest bird problem.

Depending on the situation, we will use bird proofing methods like bird spikes, bird netting, post & wire, AviShock, bird gel, weld mesh, laser deterrents, or bioacoustic systems to deter birds from your property. As with any kind of pest control, some methods are more effective than others, but we’ll be honest with you, birds are intelligent and adaptable creatures and they might get used to some of the control measures over time, making them less useful for keeping the birds at bay.

But don’t worry, in this situation and in the face of a serious pest bird problem, we’d just deploy our ace in the pack; our falconry bird control programme.

So why would you consider bird proofing?

Our answer would be why would you not?

When birds perch or nest on your property, they are more than a nuisance, they can cause some serious health, safety, financial, and even legal problems.

Risks to health:

Did you know that pigeons alone carry more than 110 pathogens and that other birds have been found to carry diseases like salmonella, E.coli, and airborne pathogens that can cause respiratory illnesses? Bird droppings are a potent source of these pathogens. Fancy any of these getting into your food processing plant or hospital? We didn’t think so.

Risks to safety:

Bird droppings on pavements outside of your premises can be very slippery and pose a falls risk to your employees, visitors, and the general public.

And who hasn’t seen a headline about a gull attacking someone? Gulls can be notoriously aggressive during breeding season and when they are trying to get food.

Damage to property:

Bird guano (poo) contains uric acid, which is strong enough to corrode paintwork, metal, stonework, and brickwork, and it can do this in minutes.

Droppings and nesting materials can block guttering, leading to problems like water overflow which can cause damage to roofs and walls and can be very costly to fix.

Plus let’s face it, if your clients and customers come to your premises and it’s covered in guano, you’re not exactly going to project the image of a successful business that cares about standards.

Pest birds attract more pests:

Pest birds and their droppings bring with them a whole host of other pests like mites, ticks, and fleas that could add to the problem at your site.

Bird Proofing: The legal side

All birds and their eggs and nests are protected under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. You can be prosecuted in the UK if you try to harm or kill a bird, or interfere with its nests or eggs and you don’t have the required wildlife licence.

Wildlife licences are issued by Natural England and permit the control of certain bird species by particular methods.

General licences don’t need to be applied for, and they allow people to take action to control birds, (killing or trapping) which would otherwise be illegal, in specific cases:

  • Preventing serious damage to livestock and crops
  • Conserving wild birds, plants, and animals   
  • Protecting public health and safety

Individual licences are sometimes issued for situations not covered by a general licence. These do need to be applied for and are often only issued where it can be shown that a lethal method is likely to be the only effective method of control.

The law only allows trained, experienced, and competent people like pest control technicians to deal with certain species of birds, so we would recommend that you always get professional advice before you consider taking action to control birds on your site.

Where bird proofing works

Bird proofing can successfully deter birds from many locations from rail platforms to power stations, petrol stations, chemical plants, supermarket stores, you name it.

Where it might not work

Bird proofing might not be possible or appropriate if your premises is a listed building, or due to a lack of access or the size of the structure.

What are the alternatives?

First, forget DIY bird control. Bird proofing and control are specialist skills that should always be carried out by highly-trained and experienced people operatives with the right equipment.

Also, birds, their nests, and eggs are protected by law and you could land yourself in hot water if you try to deal with them yourself.  Always call in the professionals.

Falconry bird control is a great option where bird proofing isn’t suitable or it hasn’t worked.

The pros: Can prevent birds from landing and nesting in the first place. Can be quite an economical option depending on the recommended proofing method. The cons: Bird proofing can’t be used on every site. Some methods can become less effective over time.

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