Birds cause thousands of dollars in damage and cleanup costs to businesses and municipalities annually. Bird droppings and debris can deface and eventually damage the roofs, skylights and facades of many structures. They can also damage lighting, cameras, gates, AC units, and solar panels. Equally problematic, bird droppings and bird nests can harbor any of 60 known diseases—including histoplasmosis and West Nile Virus. Dried bird droppings can be drawn into rooftop ventilation systems, creating a health hazard for inhabitants. Wet bird droppings can cause dangerous slip-and-fall hazards.
What Bird Species is Creating Your Problem?
Birds come in all shapes and sizes. They have different roosting and nesting habits. To properly deter them, you need to identify them. Some of the more common pest birds include:
Pigeons: These birds will east just about anything—fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, insects and waste food. They will nest along building ledges, rafters, beams, and under bridges or inside barns. Their saucer-like nests are often made of stems and leaves. Pigeon droppings are highly acidic and will eventually eat into most surfaces—even stonework. If you have one pigeon, you’ll soon have many, for they are attracted by the scent of droppings and nests.
Cliff and Barn Swallows: These slender, sleek birds are very territorial and will return to the same nesting site over and over. They will build their mud nests under building eaves and other structures. Swallows have brownish red faces and throats with steel blue coats and light colored bellies. Cliff swallows have squared off tails, but barn swallows have long forked tails. Swallow mud nests can damage and deface the outer walls and eaves of buildings. Their droppings often cover the sides of buildings and the ground below. The bacteria, fungal agents and parasites found in swallow droppings and nests can carry a host of serious diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more.
Woodpeckers: These noisy, troublesome birds peck many different types of wood surfaces full of holes. They’ll drill into eaves, window frames and trim boards, whether it’s cedar, redwood siding, plywood, pine, fir, or cypress. Woodpeckers will even peck at metal gutters, downspouts, chimney caps, TV antennas, rooftop plumbing vents, and metal roof valleys.
Gulls/Seagulls: These medium to large, grey or white birds are ground-nesting opportunistic scavengers. They will eat virtually anything from crabs, small fish and trashed human food. They gather in noisy, densely packed, large colonies and leave acres of disease infested white droppings.
Loafing, Nesting or Roosting—What’s Your Bird Pressure?
To properly assess your bird problem, bird control experts have developed a yardstick called Bird Pressure. This term is used to determine the level of commitment birds have to various locations where they nest, roost, eat and spend time. Bird pressure ultimately helps to determine the most effective way to deter and keep pest birds away from a location.
Heavy Bird Pressure: This level indicates a very high level of commitment. It usually refers to locations where birds find protection from the elements. It may be where they were born and have established nests; a place they consider home. Birds will not be easily deterred from heavy pressure areas.
Medium Bird Pressure: These locations do not hold the same commitment as those where birds nest or roost. But, because these areas might provide a place to rest or might be a source of food, birds are committed to spending time and returning to these locations.
Light Bird Pressure: This level of commitment is low. If the location is convenient and unobstructed birds may enjoy a time of loafing. But it will not hold the same importance as the places where they roost, nest or eat.
About Bird B Gone
Bird B Gone is the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of bird control products, providing effective and humane solutions to a bird-free environment. Now celebrating their 25th year, the company provides advice; training and installation services for those who need help with these and other bird control measures. For the complete line of products from Bird B Gone, call 1-800-392-6915; fax: 949-472-3116 or visit our website at www.birdbgone.com, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.