Why bird repellents, you ask? They sing, bob their heads, flutter their wings and coo. Who can resist the cute little things? In cages, and in small numbers in trees and forests, they're no bother at all. But nesting in flocks on your property, they soon become pests. Here's why.
Birds Cost Us Millions Every Year
Pest birds cause millions of dollars of damage annually to motor vehicles, structures, machinery, roofs, ventilation systems and warehoused products, aircraft, the list goes on and on. Another reason to look into bird repellents is roof damage, a costly problem. Acidic bird droppings eat away at many substrates, especially tar-based roofing materials. In a fairly short time, bird droppings can literally destroy a roof. In addition, many types of birds often build their nests in drains, rain gutters, roof corners, allowing water to build up. This can cause a roof to collapse, resulting in a huge expense for the property owner. In fact, pigeons have invaded attics of houses, apartments, restaurants and other buildings, built colonies of nests to cause catastrophic damage. Over time, the sheer weight of their accumulated droppings caused ceilings to collapse.
Pest birds can also block ventilation systems. Nests built in these systems can spread diseases and eventually block airflow. Birds have also been known to build nests in infrequently used chimneys. This can trap lethal carbon monoxide gas when the fireplace is eventually used. Nests built in or near electrical boxes or machinery can ignite fires as most are made of twigs, straw and dried droppings, which are highly flammable. Proper bird repellents can save thousands of dollars, and possibly even lives in these situations.
Acidic bird droppings can damage air conditioning equipment, solar panels, insulation, rooftop ventilation turbines, industrial skylights, and freeze up doors and windows. Maintenance and repair crews are also vulnerable to the many health-risks posed by pest bird droppings. Aside from breathing in disease carrying dust, workers can slip and fall off ladders, platforms, and even on the ground where bird droppings create a slippery surface. Once again, bird repellents can help prevent many of these problems.
Car, truck and SUV owners who take pride in a sparkling paint job grimace whenever they see a splat of bird dropping on their hood or roof. They know that most bird droppings, especially those from pigeons and gulls, can quickly fade paint and even eat into the protective coating they worked so hard to create.
Without bird repellents, pest birds can easily invade and fly around warehouses, airplane hangars, factories and other large indoor venues to cause all sorts of problems. Bird droppings can eat into plastics and contaminate food being prepared or packaged. They can get into delicate aircraft engine parts and potentially cause an engine to fail in flight. Precision, automated assembly systems can grind to a halt if contaminated by bird droppings.
Even the sight of bird droppings can result in huge losses for a company. Droppings and nesting materials on or around a building, particularly a restaurant can be a real turn off to potential customers. Here, bird repellents can vastly improve the image of a company or restaurant.
Types of Bird Repellents
We'll start off with the most widely known bird repellant--the Bird Spike. Essentially strips of spikes made of long lasting stainless steel or rigid unbreakable polycarbonate, they discouraging pest birds from landing on rooftops, signs and other elevated areas.
For level, even surfaces like awnings and patio covers, there's the Bird Spider. It uses spindly arms that flair in the breeze, to keep pest birds from landing. The Spider arms come in different diameters to deal with various bird sizes.
Next up is the Bird Slope. Made of angled PVC panels, bird slopes are just too slippery for birds to get a good footing and simply can't land. They're simple to install and ideally suited for eaves, ledges, beams and other 90-degree areas where pest birds often make their home.
If you're responsible for an airplane hangar, warehouse, or other large area, the bird repellent you want is Bird Netting. You can choose from a variety of net mesh sizes to repel several species of pest birds--like pigeons, sparrows, starlings, and seagulls. For lasting durability, opt for netting that's flame resistant, U.V. stabilized, and rot and waterproof. If you're concerned about radio interference, or electrical problems, choose non-conductive netting.
Exploiting a bird's natural aversion to sticky surfaces, you'll want to try Bird Gel. It leaves a tacky membrane that birds hate to land on. Safe for most birds, bird gels are easily applied on any flat or curved surface--like conduit, pipes, ledges, I-beams and parapet walls.
Our next bird repellent falls into the category of electric deterrents. Known as Electric Track Repellants, they convince birds to land elsewhere by imparting a harmless electric shock to their feet. The tracks are ideal for pigeons, seagulls and larger birds. Some tracks feature flow-through designs so water won't pool up on rooftops.
Birds are acutely aware of sounds. Which is what our next category--Audio Bird Repellents--counts on. Ideal for parking garages, overhangs and other enclosed areas, they work well anywhere pigeons, sparrows, starlings, or seagulls and larger birds gather and nest. For large open areas, like vineyards and groves, you can't go wrong with Foggers and Misters. These systems blast an area with a food-grade, non-lethal aerosol of methyl anthranilate. Although it's harmless to birds, they can't stand the stuff and wing it faster than you can say birds be gone.
Finally for those on a shoestring budget, Bird Scare products have proven themselves a worthy bird repellent. These flashy, reflective foil and shiny tape banners and balloons create an “Optical Distraction Zone” that most birds would rather avoid.