Bird control is for home and boat owners, property and city managers, architects, churches, sports fans at ballparks, the list goes on and on. Basically it’s to keep our structures and statues clean and sanitary by safely discouraging our fine-feathered friends from landing, pooping and nesting on our prized possessions, including our food. While birds destroy many worms and insects that infest orchards, blackbirds and starlings will attack apple orchards and peck holes in apples just as they begin to ripen. So even here, bird control is essential.
More importantly, bird control can save lives. The FAA says that birds are attracted to airports with disastrous results. A tragic example is U.S. Airways flight 1549, which was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River after a flock of geese flew into its engines. Between1976 and 2007, there were 76,000 reports of accidents with birds and aircraft, and of those, 11 people died.
So whether it’s pigeons, sparrows, seagulls, starlings, crows or geese, bird pests can cause all sorts of problems. Not the least of which is the high concentration of uric acid found in bird droppings. It can discolor paint, stain wood, erode metal, even crumble concrete and expensive stonework. And don’t forget the health risk of bacteria, fungi and parasites that live and grow in bird droppings, which can carry and transmit any of 60 known diseases. The fleas, mites and ticks that attach themselves to birds can also carry disease. All told, the costs to cleanup and repair what pest birds do runs into the millions of dollars annually.
One especially effective bird control device is the bird spike. Ideal for keeping pest birds from landing on rooftops, awnings, gutters and girders. Some spikes are made of rigid U.V.-resistant unbreakable polycarbonate. Others have flexible stainless steel spikes. They come in a variety of widths and colors, are easy to install and won’t harm birds. Be sure to install a sufficient amount of spikes to cover an entire ledge to keep birds from sneaking around them. And close off corners and all open sides of a ledge.
Bird control netting is another highly effective bird control solution. Ideal for courtyards, patio covers, and rooftops. Properly installed, pigeon netting presents an impenetrable barrier against these pest birds. If you want to keep birds away from fruit trees, crops, vineyards, you’ll need agricultural netting. For buildings and other structures, try heavy-duty bird netting. It’s most often prescribed by architects. Its ISO 1806 mesh test polyethylene fabric is U.V. stabilized, flame resistant and rot and waterproof. The sub-zero stable, non-conductive webbing comes in 3/4″, 1-1/8″ and 2″ mesh sizes to control a variety of birds. Be sure to place the netting over window recesses, balconies or even whole rooftops to prevent birds from reaching nesting areas.
Another simple, but effective bird control measure is the bird slope. These slippery PVC panels are ideal for ledges, eaves, beams and other 90-degree areas where birds tend to nest and roost. The steep angles they present won’t allow birds to get a grip, causing them to simply slide off and move on. Bird slope panels come in a variety of colors to match any structure’s décor. They can be easily glued to any surface or screwed to wood. Be sure to use UV stabilized polycarbonate panels that can be painted to match the structure.
Other bird control products used by many building managers include electric-track bird repellers. These present birds with a harmless, but irritating mild electric shock that discourages them from landing. Once shocked, birds alter their habits to nest or feed on that particular building. Ideal for use on ledges, rooftops, and flat or curved surfaces like signs. Building and restaurant owners often prefer this method of bird control because its low-profile electrified track conforms to any architectural configuration. And because it’s almost invisible close-up or to those looking up from below. Choose a flow-through design to prevent water from damming up on rooftops and other surfaces. These systems use copper knitted wire mesh that’s stronger than steel, resistant to corrosion and highly resistant to alkali and acidic environments. The knitted design features a single strand of higher gauge wire and a tube-within-a-tube design for greater conductivity, strength and reliability.
One novel bird control device is a Solar Powered bird repeller. Its arms rotate at 30 RPM and gently sweep birds away. Ideal for pigeons, seagulls and larger birds, the repeller can be used on signs, billboards, parapet walls, roofs, or any flat surface, including outdoor eating areas. Their are also a number of sonic bird repellers available for a wide range of outdoor applications.
For bird control on a budget, there are an almost endless number of “bird scare” products currently on the market. They discourage birds from landing on trees, overhangs, gazebos, patios, eaves, pool areas, and other areas. They include iridescent reflective foil or flash tape and inflatable balloons imprinted with lifelike reflective predator eyes and markings. Some bird repellers have iridescent foil eyes to scare away birds by day and glow-in-the-dark backsides to keep them away at night.
Finally, for a fast and economical bird control solution, there’s bird gel. This non-toxic, sticky chemical leaves a surface that’s tacky and uncomfortable to most birds. The gel skins but never sets hard, providing an unstable surface for the birds to land on. Birds hate it, yet it’s safe for both birds and people.