Tips To Help Keep Birds From Flying Under Your Radar
The Overlooked Problem of Bird Infestations
What comes to mind when you think of pest infestations? A cockroach darting across the floor? The sound of rodents scratching in the walls? Walking up on a coiled snake? If you’re like most people, certain types of pests have a higher ick-factor than others—and seeing just one of these critters is one too many. Birds typically don’t inspire the same level of fear or disgust but, while their presence is wonderful in nature, it can be a big problem for businesses and facilities.
Risks of Bird Infestations
Birds are known to spread more than 60 transmittable diseases, including Salmonella, meningitis and encephalitis. If that isn’t enough, they can also carry fleas, ticks, lice and mites. Additionally, birds can—and do—cause damage to machinery, vents and roofs through their nests and highly corrosive droppings. For businesses, birds and their leave-behinds are not only risks for your equipment and employees’ health but can also hurt your reputation with customers.
Common birds that cause damage—sometimes called pest birds—include pigeons, starlings, grackles, woodpeckers, sparrows, geese and other species, depending on geographic location. They all have one thing in common, though: they are looking for food, water and shelter, and businesses often conveniently offer all three.
Fortunately, an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach can help tackle bird management and prevention programs in the safest and most bird-friendly manner possible. Read on to learn how to identify and control bird problems that might fly under your radar.
Signs of a Bird Infestation
Due to their prevalence in our everyday lives, birds can often fade into the background and off your radar for facility maintenance. Therefore, it’s critical to keep an eye out for signs of an infestation. Here are a few hints that you might have a bird problem.
You Can See and Hear Them
Birds often gather on rooftops and ledges in plain sight
Bird droppings are easily identifiable, and some nests are visible
Birds are also easy to hear, thanks to their gift for song
You Notice Property Damage
Bird droppings are more than an eyesore, they are also hard on structures. High in uric acid, bird feces can eat through roofing materials, deteriorate paint on vehicles and damage materials—even steel. The droppings can also block vents and cover up security cameras.
Bird nests in the wrong place can become a fire hazard or block crucial HVAC and plumbing functions. Nests in rain gutters can cause extensive problems, leading to sitting water that can attract other pests and even cause cave-ins.
Getting Birds Under Control
With smart bird control management, your pest control provider can prescribe effective methods for clean-up and removal, while ensuring minimum impact on bird populations and the environment. There are five primary steps to get your bird problem under control.
Inspection: A detailed site survey will help identify the exterior and interior areas of your business where birds gather, home and live.
Habitat Modification: One of the best ways to get birds to leave is to make sure they don’t feel like staying. By using exclusion methods like filling holes, sealing gaps, installing electrical track on ledges, using gel deterrent (think a modern-day scarecrow) and netting to limit the spaces birds can inhabit, they won’t find your business so hospitable.
Physical Removal: Capturing and removing birds from inside your facility using traps, nets and other methods are effective and reliable for stopping bird damage immediately.
Clean Out: Should the site inspection yield signs of fecal matter, experts will sanitize and remove the hazardous material in the safest way possible for your team and customers.
Ongoing Monitoring and Maintenance: Like any good pest management plan, vigilance is key. With many different species of birds with varying migration patterns, instincts, needs and preferences, it’s important to make sure that you’re covered year-round for whatever new friends fly your way.
Ready to banish your bird infestation?
If you’re keen to see birds fly far, far away from your business, it’s time to get started on a plan. The best first step is to work with an experienced pest management provider who can help you spot and solve every problem for your specific industry and needs. Read more about our Bird Control Services, or schedule a free consultation with one of our well-trained Orkin Pros to help prevent your facility from being a landing place for pest birds.