For most bird problems, appropriate bird control technologies provide a workable solution that humanely and legally preserves plant operation while protecting property, health and safety at industrial sites.
Industrial facilities often attract birds, some of which may cause problems for site operation and management. Bird problems at industrial sites include:
- Impediment to operations — birds and their nests or droppings may interfere with plant operations.
- Property damage — birds and their droppings are messy and can cause damage to roofs, structures, other building materials and equipment.
- Health and safety concerns—birds and their droppings can carry more than 60 transmittible diseases such as histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis and avian influenza. Accumulations of droppings can also create slip and fall hazards to pedestrians.
- Regulatory issues — native birds and their nests are protected by federal and other laws, therefore they need to be protected or humanely excluded from sites where they are a problem.
Birds on Buildings.
Birds are usually deterred from nesting or causing problems on buildings or other structures with appropriate bird control technologies. Birds on roofs, ledges, and other structures are often excluded by humane plastic or stainless steel bird spikes or an electric bird jolt flat track. Birds nesting or roosting inside or under building structures are usually best excluded with durable and virtually invisible bird netting.
Birds in Buildings.
Birds should be denied entry to industrial facilities, especially those associated with processing, manufacturing, or storing human food. Openings larger than 1 inch across should be sealed with bird netting or other physical barriers. Large open doorways should be blocked with vinyl strip doors or other barriers whenever possible. If buildings cannot be sealed, bird netting or other barriers should be installed to keep birds from roosting or nesting in rafters or other overhead areas.
Common Bird Problems.
What follows are some of the most common bird problems that pest management professionals face in the field:
- Pigeons congregate where there are food sources such as waste food or garbage, and at covered nesting sites such as open buildings, ledges, and sheltered utility structures. Whenever possible, exclude pigeons by using bird spikes where they congregate or bird netting where they nest.
- European starlings and house sparrows are attracted to grain and other food processing operations. They nest in vents, gutters, or other holes in buildings, causing property damage and potentially harboring disease organisms. Block these birds using netting, screening, or other physical barriers to seal all holes larger than 1 inch in diameter.
- Crows may gather for the night in large numbers on building rooftops or other industrial structures, possibly damaging the roof or structure. For large flocks, a pest management professional may need to install bird netting to exclude the birds from the area entirely.
- Gulls are attracted to garbage, other wastes, rooftops, and open water. Remove potential food sources from the site, and block access to ledges and peaks with bird spikes or an electric bird jolt flat track. Gulls on industrial ponds can be excluded by nylon-coated bird wire suspended over the pond in a 6- by 6-foot grid and with a line 6 feet high around the perimeter or with industrial pond netting.
- Ducks and geese can be excluded from industrial ponds with a similar wire grid or industrial pond netting.
Fergus has a Ph.D. in urban bird conservation from the University of Texas. If you have a bird-related question for him, visit the “Ask the Bird Expert” section of the Bird-B-Gone website, www.birdbgone.com.