Birds are everywhere; in fact, many of us encourage them into our garden with bird feeders and tasty morsels. Some smaller birds are also the gardener’s friend, eating the small insects and bugs that can wreak havoc across vegetables and plants.
But, there is a balance that needs to be struck and this can sometimes fall out of kilter, leaving us with expensive damage to repair and severe health risks.
Any bird can be a problem when their numbers increase to such a level that they need to look for safe nesting sites etc. that are on or around our properties.
But two common birds that are seen as a nuisance are the pigeon and the seagull. Both of these birds have similar stories…
The ancestors of these birds lived naturally along the coast, in rocks and craggy ledges. However, as the human population increased, and our building gathered pace, these birds found that they could adapt and live in the towns and cities. In many cases we encouraged, in obvious and inadvertent ways – the rubbish we create is a great food source for them but we also feed the birds, so the pigeon and seagull became a permanent fixture across the UK.
But they didn’t chose to solely nest on rocks or ledges, they chose the rooftops of our buildings instead, along with building ledges and other small crevices. And so the problems start.
Bird faeces is not only unpleasant when it lands on us, but when dried, the dust can be detrimental to our health. So you must take care of you cleaning a property, car or window ledge with bird faeces on it (wear a mask).
Their roosting and nesting can cause a huge amount of damage as their faeces is a corrosive substance on the fabric of buildings. Like many other pest control issues, preventions is the best way forward. Blocking holes to prevent them making nests, such as cowls on chimney tops, is the best way of doing this BUT, do NOT do it if there are young in the nest. Trapping a live bird can have serious legal implications for you, as well as further complications to deal with insects and maggots in your property from decomposing, dead birds. Devon Pest Control specialises in bird proofing methods.
The size of any bird population is down to what food is available to it; rather than culling adult birds, experts now realise that controlling food supply is the best way forward, as well as more holistic approaches.
The methods available
The suggestion would be that instead of property owners paying expensive repair bills that they invest in bird proofing measures. These are humane pieces of equipment that can be fitted to ledges, roofs, chimneys, verandas etc. that prevent birds from roosting and nesting. It is a simple, affordable and effective method of bird and pigeon control.
This can be anything from spikes to netting; they all, essential, do the same job and do it well, without causing harm. No species with such a large population will ever be wiped out and so there are things that you can do to help control the number of birds that visit your garden or property;
- Only feed birds using a correct bird feeding device – this prevents not only larger birds, such as pigeons and seagulls diving bombing you, but it also prevents other animals and pests such as rats and foxes.
- Make sure that any crevice etc. that could be used as a nesting site is effectively blocked off
- Your bird control issue could be part of a wider issue too and so encouraging local councils to be proactive in population control.