Bird-B-Gone, Inc.

Bye Bye Birdie - Protecting your Building and Employees from Pest Birds


Courtesy of Courtesy of Bird-B-Gone, Inc.

It seems that not a day goes by without a news story about avian flu and the possible pandemic it may cause. Concerns about the potential threat are on the forefront of Americas mind, and it has taught us to be more conscious about the way disease is transmitted. “Indeed Avian Flu is a recent concern” says Bruce Donoho owner of Bird-B-Gone, Inc, “however I believe that there is a wide range of diseases currently carried by pest birds that pose a serious and more immediate threat to human health.” Pest birds can carry and transmit many common diseases in bacterial, fungal, and viral forms. This includes Histoplasmosis, Salmonella, Encephalitis, and Meningitis to name a few. While many people may associate this with pigeons, it is important to realize that most pest birds are carriers. Disease is a paramount concern of pest birds, and the adverse effects can reach into other areas of business as well such as maintenance costs and liability issues. Daily or weekly maintenance costs add up, and unsafe working conditions are never a desirable situation. Bird droppings and nesting materials can clog drains, and create standing water. Dried droppings around air conditioning units can be sucked into ventilation systems. On sidewalks and signs, cleanup may be required daily. Bird proofing is preventative investment that will save you time and money. It is important that all aspects of pest birds are explored. This way we can protect our employees, our buildings and merchandise, and ourselves.

While transmission usually occurs by way of mosquitoes, mites and ticks, physical contact with bird droppings can also transmit diseases. Anywhere people come into contact with droppings is a potential spot for transmission. It is a good idea to alert your maintenance department of any affected areas. This way they can evaluate the problem, and actively work to solve it. The longer pest birds occupy and area, the harder it will be to get them to relocate. Some common areas birds favor are cooling towers, air conditioning units, parapet walls, rooftops, and inside warehouses. “Birds like rooftops and parapet walls because they provide a good lookout spot for food and predators” says Donoho of Bird-B-Gone. Air conditioning units provide birds with water from condensation, and gravel needed for digestion. Rooftops and warehouses provide excellent shelter for nesting. Birds are attracted to three things, food, shelter and water. Knowing what has drawn the pest birds to the area they are in will help determine the right product to get them to leave by making the area undesirable, or unusable. Once you have spotted a problem area it is important to identify the species of bird. This is important, because most bird deterrents are species specific. What works for the goose does not always work for the gander. Most pest birds are easily identifiable, common species include pigeons, sparrows, starlings and seagulls. If you are unsure of the type of bird, note the size. Size usually determines the type of product that will be effective. Next contact a provider of bird control products, or your pest control company. Both should be able to recommend the best solution. If your maintenance department does not have the time or resources to tackle the problem, such as lifts for high areas, then finding outside help is suggested. Most pest control companies will handle a pest bird problem, if you have a company who services your property, start by asking them. If not, contact bird control suppliers such as Bird-B-Gone who have a network of “Authorized installers” nationwide.

Whether your maintenance department or a pest control company will be doing the job, clean up is one of the most important steps for success. Studies have shown that birds do use the sense of smell to locate a precise nesting area. They prefer areas where they have previously nested. Bird Control products should never be applied until the waste / debris is removed and the area disinfected. Use a disinfectant to kill bacteria, and take away any scent left behind. When the birds do come back to the area, they will be less able to recognize it as their own. Proper cleanup with the correct respiratory and protective clothing is very important to, again, protect from any potential disease. Information on proper clean-up methods can usually be obtained online or from providers of Bird Control Products. It’s important that the people taking care of the problem know the correct way to solve it. Birds are smarter than we usually give credit, and they will take advantage of flaws in a less than perfect job. Tackle the problem head on so that you do not waste your time and money. Assessing the problem and committing to a workable solution in a timely manner is the best way to ensure success. “Sometimes there is a quick fix solution, but typically it involves much more than a temporary patch” says Bruce Donoho, adding that Bird-B-Gone gets many calls from discouraged individuals baffled as to why temporary products haven’t been effective. Donoho says “If you are going to do something, anything, do it right.”

There are many different products available to choose from. Once you have determined the problem area, and bird species, you will need to choose a product. If you have a pest control company taking care of the problem they will usually be able to give a free estimate, including a recommendation for the best product. If your maintenance department is handling the problem, a Bird Control Supplier, such as Bird-B-Gone, will be able to assist with choosing the right product. Call before hand and get an idea of pricing. Typically Bird Control is not included in maintenance budgets, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. It’s important to choose a product based on its effectiveness, not its price.

Today there are many choices available when trying to “bird proof” your building. If there are multiple areas being affected you may need a combination of products. Birds can easily relocate a few steps away if the area is not treated properly. Here’s a look at some of the more common products being used today:

Bird Spikes – Though they look menacing, spikes will not harm birds. Bird spikes are used to deter pigeons or larger birds, who know they cannot get footing on such a surface. Spikes are easy to install, and require little to no maintenance. Spikes are commonly used on parapet walls, ledges, rooflines, signs, window sills, rafters, and other narrow surfaces birds may be landing. They are low cost, and can be mounted with nails, screws, or adhesive. Bird spikes do not need to be sharp to effectively repel birds, in fact if they are sharp they can pose a threat to the installer.

Bird Gel – Bird gel is a very thick sticky gel that is applied on ledges and window sills. Birds do not like the sticky sensation on their feet, and will move on to a more comfortable area. However it should be noted that gels are a temporary solution and have a tendency to gather dirt and debris. Bird Netting – Bird netting acts as a physical barrier to exclude birds from open areas. Bird netting can also be used to box things in such as air conditioning units. Netting is typically used in warehouses, on rooftops, and in parking structures. Installation of netting is more labor intensive, but is one of the most successful products used to deter pest birds. Be sure that you get technical advice if installing net. Birds will take advantage of a poorly hung net.

Shock Track Systems - Track systems are a ledge product. You use them wherever you might use bird spikes. The advantage to these electrified systems is that they are very low profile (Most stands under an inch tall) and will deter all species of birds. This is ideal if you are concerned about the aesthetics of a building, or are having problems with multiple bird species. The Electrified track emits a slight shock to birds that will condition them to stay clear of treated areas. Be sure to have an experienced authorized installer set up these systems. The installer will must have a working knowledge of electric bird deterrents.

These four categories cover the main products used. There are other unique products for special circumstances. Consult Bird-B-Gone, or an authorized installer for advice. The more detail you have about the affected area, the more specific they can be when offering a solution. Companies like Bird-B-Gone have a network of authorized installers in all parts of the country. These installers are experienced in “bird work”, this is their specialty!

Getting rid of unwanted birds can be a painless process for everyone, including the birds. To sum-up the advice listed above, follow these 5 Bird Control Tips:

1. Identify The Bird & Approximate the amount of Birds affecting the area
2. Determine whether your company is equipped to install bird control products, or if they need to seek outside help.
3. Call a reliable authority on bird control like Bird-B-Gone. (1-800-392-6915) and get advice.
4. Get educated on the products available. Have an installer give advice on the right products, or ask for a free estimate on service.
5. Make a commitment to solve the problem.

Birds are a beautiful gift of Mother Nature. Throughout history they have been revered as signs of strength, good luck, beauty, and wisdom. Nature enhances our environment, and it’s important to find workable ways of living together in a healthy environment. We must live together, but that doesn’t mean living with disease.

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