Bird-B-Gone, Inc.

Pigeon control, you can`t just wing it

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Courtesy of Bird-B-Gone, Inc.

When it comes to pigeons and the problems they’ve caused, we should probably begin with a big mea culpa—pigeons were the first bird species domesticated by man over 5,000 years ago. They were raised by the millions across medieval France and England. Eagerly fed by kings and paupers, the lucky pigeons became messengers, the not so fortunate, meals. Eventually, they grew in mass numbers, feeding off grain stores and pooping on statues. Attempts to control them with guns failed. As did all manner of culling efforts. After World War II, poisons emerged, but still they proliferated. Feeding them was banned as early as the 1920’s in Los Angeles’ Pershing Square. At Wimbledon, pigeons swooping down on Centre Court would distract players in the middle of heated matches. Marksmen were hired to shoot down the dive-bombing pests. Hawks were stationed at key areas, but the pigeons simply flew around them. Environmentalists came to their defense and it seemed mankind has lost its battle with the indefatigable pigeon until a whole new industry emerged—pigeon control.

The new industry took flight almost immediately. Needless to say, home and boat owners, property and city managers, architects, churches, sports fans at ballpark owners—all breathed a sigh of relief. Your average sized pigeon dumps approximately about 25 pounds of poop annually. This can cause all sorts of problems. Not the least of which is the high concentration of uric acid found in pigeon poop. It can discolor paint, stain wood, erode metal, even crumble concrete and expensive stonework. The unsightly waste must often be blasted off hard-to-reach areas using expensive boom lifts and steam hoses. There’s also the health risk of bacteria, fungi and parasites that live and grow in the droppings, which can carry and transmit any of 60 known diseases. The fleas, mites and ticks that attach themselves to pigeons can also carry disease. Pigeon-related damage in America has been estimated to cost $1.1 billion a year.

Among the most common and effective pigeon control devices is the bird spike. Made to order for rooftops, awnings, gutters, girders, roof peaks and ledges, bird spikes keep pest pigeons and larger birds from landing. Some spikes are made of stainless steel, others feature rigid U.V.-resistant unbreakable polycarbonate. They are easy to install and won’t harm birds. The spikes are usually placed to cover an entire ledge positioned to seal off corners and open sides to keep the clever birds from sneaking around them.

Combining simplicity and functionality in a single pigeon control measure is the bird slope. Ideal for ledges, eaves, beams and other 90-degree areas where pigeons tend to nest and roost, the slippery panels prevent pigeons from getting a grip, causing them to simply slide off. Bird slope panels are easily painted to match any structure’s décor. They can be easily glued to any surface.

Another popular and highly effective pigeon control solution is netting. Properly installed, pigeon control netting presents an impenetrable barrier on rooftops, courtyards, patio covers, and other similar surfaces. For larger buildings and commercial structures, try Bird-B-Gone’s heavy-duty bird netting. It’s most often prescribed by architects. Its polyethylene fabric is U.V. stabilized, flame resistant and rot and waterproof. The netting should be draped over window recesses, balconies or even whole rooftops to prevent pest pigeons from reaching nesting areas.

Many building managers have opted for electric-track pigeon deterrents. These have proven to be a very effective pigeon control solution. They discourage pigeons from landing with a harmless, but irritating mild electric shock. Shocked pigeons are persuaded to change their nesting and/or feeding habits and move on. Electric-track pigeon control is ideal for ledges, rooftops, and flat or curved surfaces like signs. Building and restaurant owners often prefer this method of pigeon control because its low-profile electrified track conforms to a wide range of architectural configurations; it’s almost invisible to anyone looking up from below. Some electric tracks come in a flow-through design to prevent water from damming up on rooftops and other surfaces. Bird-B-Gone’s Bird Jolt FlatTrack system uses a knitted copper wire 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.

The pigeon control people at Bird-B-Gone have also recently developed a Solar Powered pigeon repeller. Its arms rotate at 30 RPM and gently sweep pigeons away. Ideal for signs, billboards, parapet walls, roofs, or any flat surface, including outdoor eating areas. Bird-B-Gone also offers a number of sonic bird repellers for a wide range of outdoor applications.

For homeowners and property manages who want a speedy, economical pigeon control solution, there’s bird gel. This non-toxic, sticky chemical won’t harm birds, yet it leaves a surface that’s tacky and uncomfortable to pest pigeons. When it dries, it provides an uncomfortable surface for the pigeons to land on. Pigeons just don’t like it and will move on.

For low budgets and large areas, one can find an almost endless number of “pigeon scare” products currently on the market. These simple solutions discourage pigeons from landing on overhangs, gazebos, patios, eaves, pool areas, and other locales. They include iridescent reflective foil or flash tape and inflatable balloons imprinted with lifelike reflective predator eyes and markings. Some pigeon repellers have iridescent foil eyes to scare away birds by day and glow-in-the-dark backsides to keep them away at night.

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