Barry Schader had a problem. Bird droppings constantly stopped their construction projects. And emptying your bank account. In an article in Pest Control Technology Magazine, Schader, owner of the general construction company Tischler Brothers, says that bird droppings affected multiple aspects of his business. “Bird droppings tend to seriously degrade roofing materials,” says Schader.
And the acidic nature of the droppings wasn’t his only problem. Pigeons, which eat gravel, would defecate on the roof and their fecal matter would clog the drains creating an even bigger problem: germination. The high nitrogen content of the droppings provided an excellent environment for the seeds to grow at an accelerated rate in the drainage system. Without sunlight, plants die and clog drains. Once the droppings are dry, it is a race to get them off the surface to avoid degradation of the mostly organic roofing materials. Bird droppings on asphalt and chipboard, found in roofing materials, can become moldy.
Birds transmit more than sixty diseases, some of which can be fatal. Those who spend a lot of time outdoors working in construction zones have a high risk of contracting some of these diseases since these types of environments are very attractive for birds. Mix fecal matter with puddles of water and the disease is transmitted through the air, seeps through ventilation systems, breathed in by employees and customers, and causes great disorder for a business.
Another big mess? The responsibility factor. Some species can produce up to 1.5 pounds of fecal matter a day. Slip and fall incidents are very common these days. Unpretentious passersby can provoke a stench. The New York Transit Authority was ordered to pay millions to a man after he slipped on pigeon droppings on the subway stairs. Can your business face a lawsuit for $ 6 million?
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these potential disasters. Many people, like Schader, use methods that are harmful and not as effective. He tested snakes and owls, which only worked when they were constantly moving, and tar, which killed birds. For the cost and labor, he said, it was not worth the expense as the birds returned.
Lethal methods can solve the problem in the short term, but remember that killing the birds only removes the currently roosting ones. Killing them doesn’t take away from the fact that your property is bird-friendly. Making the environment unappealing is the key to getting rid of birds for good.
Disrupting the pattern
A good start is ultrasonic sound devices. They deliver ultra-high-frequency sound waves that are beyond the normal human hearing threshold. The sound annoys the birds, discouraging them from inhabiting areas within earshot. Ted Wilson, facilities manager for Gainesville Utilities, used a device similar to this at his construction site and was pleased with the results.
In an article in Power Engineering magazine, Wilson described his problem with pigeons perched on the steel girders at his site. The smell and mess the pigeons caused was disrupting progress and annoying the workers. Those before him made the mistake of bad bird control devices and had no luck getting rid of the birds. However, after he placed the ultrasonic device, the pigeons left almost immediately.
Putting barbs anywhere attractive to birds, such as cables and beams, will prevent them from perching. The barbs provide an uneven surface, making it difficult for birds to settle. There are also gels that can be safely applied to all surfaces. The gel makes the surface sticky, forcing the birds elsewhere.
Visual scares are another way to get rid of birds. Unfortunately, many people are using the wrong products or using the correct products in the wrong way, deeming them ineffective. Scarecrow balloons with holographic eyes can move in the wind and create the illusion that the birds are being followed. Over time, effectiveness can be increased by moving these balloons around the property.
The sonic noisemakers blend in with the surroundings, which doesn’t disturb customers and can scare away birds. Sonic devices use actual recordings of bird and predator calls for help to encourage birds to find a “safer environment.” The use of items such as propane “cannon shots” and programmable sound production devices are great inhibitors and cost effective.
Birds are bothered by the taste of certain chemicals. There are commercially available sprays that use ingredients approved by both the FDA and EPA that repel birds with nothing more than a chemical that has been used to flavor gum and candy for decades. Spraying a chemical on land gives birds a sensation similar to what humans get when exposed to the smell of bleach. It is completely harmless and gets rid of birds.
Proper bird control can save your business thousands, perhaps even millions, of dollars in cleanup costs, labor, and lawsuits. Using any of these methods alone will definitely send a message to birds, but using them in conjunction with other effective products is sure to make your site bird free for life. Addressing multiple senses is the best approach to making birds less inclined to call your property home.