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Birds In The News

 

Bird problems appear in the news more often than we might realize. In fact, a few of the more high-profile news stories in the past few years have been bird-related:

In 2007, more than 500 people were reported sick, and at least eight died due to salmonella contamination in over 400 popular peanut butter products. It may have been the largest food recall in FDA history. Investigators determined that a leaky roof was to blame for the sanitation breach, and that—as birds are known to carry a variety of infectious diseases, including salmonella—it was highly likely that pest pigeons were the vector.

In 2007, the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota collapsed due to weak and rusted steel beams. After closer inspection, it was discovered that the structure’s framework was covered with corrosive pigeon droppings. When bird droppings are not quickly washed away, they dry out and turn to salt and ammonia; when this later comes into contact with rainwater, small electrochemical reactions take place that speed up the rusting process.

Bird strikes cost the airline industry alone around $800 million each year. Who can forget the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ that occurred in January of 2009? Shortly after taking off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Flight 1549 was struck by a flock of Canadian geese, losing thrust in both engines and forcing pilot, Captain Sullenberger, to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Fortunately, all 155 passengers survived.

Pest birds can be a nuisance and an inconvenience—they can also cause problems that put human beings in serious danger. It’s important to bird-proof your home and/or your business to avoid these issues. Visit www.bird-x.com to find bird and pest control products that are safe, green, eco-friendly, non-toxic, and non-harmful. Bird-X has solutions for every problem and every budget.

Written by Chrissy Hansen—Media Correspondent for Bird-X, Inc.

 

 

 

 

Pigeon droppings cost historic church $48,000

The Solon Congregational Church probably wouldnt have had to replace its steeple if they had implemented simple tactics to get rid of the pigeons.

The Solon Congregational Church probably wouldn't have had to replace it's steeple if they had implemented simple tactics to get rid of the pigeons.

Famous rock stars aren’t the only one’s having problems with pesky pigeons. The Solon Congregational Church in Solon, Maine had to replace their steeple because of their continuous pigeon problem.

The church is one of the town’s historic landmarks. It is very important to not only the parishioners, but also the residents in general.

In addition to being the largest building in town, it hosts nearly every wedding and burial, he said. It holds music concerts and other events. It served as a place to pray and reflect after Sept. 11 and World War I and II.

The Morning Sentinel

So in a town of only 940 (at the last census count in 2000), finding out the steeple of one of their proudest historic landmarks was decayed beyond repair was “devastating” for many. The cause? Persistent leaking and pigeon droppings.

The combination of water and dried, built-up fecal matter is dangerous. Not only toxic to humans – birds carry over sixty diseases transmitted through fecal matter – but also detrimental to surfaces. Eroding steel, metal, and, in this case, a 173-year-old steeple of the town’s beloved church.

Solon residents care about their historic church, and many donated money to replace the steeple. One congregation member even went door-to-door to get the funds for the project.

We’re kind of the little church that could,” the Rev. Nathan Richards said. With between 30 and 40 congregation members, they raised $48,000 for the work mainly through small donations.

The Morning Sentinel

Replacing the steeple was necessary, but how is the church going to defend itself against another pigeon attack? Bird spikes are a start. Since steeples use ledges and beams for internal structural support, spikes are an excellent first step for roost inhibiting.

Putting spikes on ledges is the best physical barrier for pigeons. It immediately inhibits roosting, all but eliminating the possibility of resting birds. (Photo courtesy of fencespikes.net)

Putting spikes on ledges is the best physical barrier for pigeons. It immediately inhibits roosting, all but eliminating the possibility of resting birds. (Photo courtesy of fencespikes.net)

What are you doing to protect your business from a possible $50,000 disaster? Bird-X can help you maintain your property, keeping it free from possible liabilities, and saving your business a fortune. Call us up and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Kings of Leon concert halted by pigeon poop

The Kings of Leon had to stop a concert because of pigeons. (Photo courtesy of CNN)

The Kings of Leon had to stop a concert because of pigeons. (Photo courtesy of CNN)

Who expects to go to a concert and have it end three songs in due to…pigeons? That’s what happened at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis this past weekend. The Kings of Leon spent Friday, July 23, dodging aerial attacks by pigeons.

An infestation of the birds in the rafters of the Verizon Amphitheatre bombarded the musicians as soon as they took the stage, according to Andy Mendelsohn of Vector Management.

“Jared (Followill) was hit several times during the first two songs,” Mendelsohn said of the band’s bassist.

CNN

The pigeons were a problem the entire night, even before the popular band took the stage. Band members reported seeing droppings on their instruments and carpet when they walked out. Soon after, the droppings began falling from the sky.

Even the opening bands, The Postelles and The Stills, dealt with the birds during their sets.

(The opening bands) came offstage complaining of getting riddled with large amounts of excrement, their publicist said…

…”We couldn’t believe what The Postelles and The Stills looked like after their sets,” Followill said.”

CNN

This didn’t have to happen, and, honestly, this never should happen. There are too many maintenance free and inexpensive ways to curtail this sort of thing. A simple, stop-the-problem-right-now solution is bird spikes. Pigeons love to roost on ledges, wires, panes — anything that’s available and easy. Spikes immediately take away that option.

The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre only need a few spikes to get rid of the pigeons. Instead, they got a media firestorm and the worst publicity imaginable. (Photo courtesy of Bird-X, Inc.)

The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre only need a few spikes to get rid of the pigeons. Instead, they got a media firestorm and the worst publicity imaginable. (Photo courtesy of Bird-X, Inc.)

Don’t like the way spikes look? Well, try a roost-inhibiting gel like this one. Like spikes, this stops birds from roosting. But the gel makes the surface sticky and uncomfortable for the birds, and they’ll find another place to rest.

Outdoor music venues are ideal places for pigeons to roost. (Photo courtesy of Blisstree)

Outdoor music venues are ideal places for pigeons to roost. (Photo courtesy of Blisstree)

Another option are sound devices. Two in particular – the Ultrason X and the Quad Blaster QB-4 – emit ultrasonic sounds inaudible to humans. The Ultrason X has four external speakers each with 100-foot cords perfect for indoor and outdoor music venues like the one pictured above. It covers 3,600 square feet and gets rid of all types of birds, especially pigeons.

The Quad Blaster QB-4 is also great for outdoors. It’s four internal speakers emit high frequency sound waves and audio signals. The sounds confuse and frighten the birds, quickly scaring them away from the effective area up to 6,500 square feet. Either one of these sound devices, in combination with physical aversions, will greatly reduce the risk of pigeons affecting your business negatively.

This story has been all over the news, and it’s been awful publicity for all involved. What if this had been your business? What would you say or do to make this go away? Could your business handle this kind of publicity?

Situations like this are 100% avoidable. Call us up at 312-226-2473 if you have questions about bird damage or just want simple tips to get rid of them. And definitely check out our website for more info on effective bird control products.

When squirrels attack…

The single best invention by human beings is the internet. Not because of the handy information about diseases, endless educational resources, up-to-the-second weather and breaking news. It’s all the other stuff – procrastination-enhancing blogs, reality television reviews and, my personal favorite, youtube.

What, exactly, does this have to do with pests? Well, I found some really great video of squirrels searching for and eating food. It was not the actual act of chewing that got to me, it was their sheer will and fearlessness. One squirrel got onto a person’s lap to eat an almond M&M. Then there’s that awesome Bud Light commercial. You know – the one where drinking Bud Light gives you the power to talk to animals. And the dog says ‘sausages’ repeatedly and the squirrel tells the guy to mind his own business. Classic.

I never really paid much attention to squirrels until I moved to downstate Illinois to go to school. This is when my true memory of squirrels and their valiance began. They were everywhere and completely ruthless. Ask anyone who went to school in a college town with a green campus and a huge quad – squirrels are fearless. Maybe they’re just used to the idea of college kids rushing to class and get a kick out of making their commute that much harder.

Hearing stories about squirrels from friends became a daily occurrence. I never had any problems with them and actually came to admire the little critters for their bravery. I mean, they would literally walk right up to me, as if to have some sort of conversation. I thought it was cute until, that is, I started to hear true horror stories.

In August 2006, people lounging in an Orlando-area park complained of squirrels getting violent. One woman said her three-year-old son was bitten by a squirrel several times, resulting in a two-inch gash. Another young child, also three, was bitten on the calf while a man endured scratches and bites on his arm while sitting on a bench. Apparently, just one squirrel caused all of this damage.

In October of that same year, a squirrel attacked a four-year-old California boy in a Bay area park as his mother unwrapped a muffin. Officials said that attack like this had been occurring since May 2006. Officials also said that the “brazen behavior stems from years of being fed by park visitors.” People expressed outrage when authorities decided to kill the squirrels – which we should all know by know does not work.

People could go a long way in helping themselves when it comes to this seemingly harmless furries of mass destruction. I sometimes think squirrels have gotten a bad rap with sites like All Squirrels Must Die! devoted to getting rid of the creatures. Posted on the site is a pretty entertaining video showing what happens when a group of squirrels and a female M&M – this of the animated persuasion – cross paths (what is it with squirrels and candy-coated chocolate?).

Bird-X has some great devices that can solve your squirrel problem. One such gadget is a Quad Blaster QB-4. This device is ultrasonic which means it is above the human hearing threshold (we can’t hear it). Basically, it emits a sound that birds, squirrels and most other pests and critters cannot stand, and they will flee the coverage area immediately. You can use it almost anywhere and the 360-degree coverage is up to 6500 square feet. It is programmable, so you can change the frequency, warble rate and speaker sequencing so the animals will not become accustomed to the noise.

Another top option is the YardGuard. This sonic repeller has a built-in infrared motion detector; activation occurs when animals wander into the coverage area (up to 4000 square feet). Since this is a motion detector, it is actually lower maintenance than many of our other products including the Quad Blaster QB-4. It is also effective in getting rid of raccoons, deer, skunks, as well as dogs and cats, and other garden pests.

Pigeons on the pill

They’ve used it in San Diego, St. Paul, Minn., and had heated discussions about it in Staten Island, NY. All of these came and went without much notice. Then, Ovocontrol-P, a now-popular form a birdie birth control, went Hollywood on us. Literally. The Argyle Civic Association (ACA) – a neighborhood association in Hollywood – decided to give the pill a try. The pigeon population had soared in recent years to the apparent evil doings of someone referred to as the “Bird Lady”; she recently dumped a 25-pound bag of bird feed in 29 Hollywood places.
Hollywood’s response? OMG!
Residents were less than pleased when more pigeons, and more pigeon droppings, got in the way of their high-stress lives of beaches, Beamers and Botox. Panic ensued. The ACA then went the way of twenty-something women everywhere in an effort to fix the problem. During the summer of 2007, they implemented the first dose and expected to see some kind of results in a year. My incessant Googling produced no updates on their current plight, but by 2012, the pigeon population is expected to shrink by half.
After Hollywood, the domino effect was instant. Almost immediately, the Linda Vista neighborhood in San Diego tried Ovocontrol-P for the pigeons roosting on the roof of a popular skate park. Then, a councilman representing Staten Island, NY suggested that birth control could slow the pigeon population at the ferry terminals. Recently, St. Paul, Minnesota employed the tactic just in time for the Republican National Convention.
Why is ‘pilling’ the pigeons becoming so popular? It is a non-lethal and completely humane way to get rid of them. Basically, the pill interferes with the egg development; pigeons will still lay the eggs, they will just never hatch. And since People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) gave Ovocontrol-P the thumbs up, it is all systems go. Even the Brits are considering borrowing (read: stealing) our brilliance to handle their pigeon problem.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Sure, it will (eventually) rid my life of pesky pigeon poop on my freshly washed and waxed automobile. And I will (eventually) not have to deal with their low-flying, loud and disease-infested presence ruining my ambiance. No more feathers clogging my drains. No more threat of bird mites attacking my bloodstream, making my life miserable. No more lice (courtesy of nests) lurking a few feet above my head.
But…
This seems a bit extreme – even for someone who doesn’t care too much for the little critters. Pigeons, with all their pervasiveness, should be given a shot to procreate as well. No, we don’t want them roosting on our roofs or defecating on our property. But do we really want to stop another living species from, well, living? What happens when we get tired of squirrels; put them on the pill too? How about stray cats? Animals in shelters? One (extremist?) poster on sciforums.com suggested that this is the beginning of the end for humans as well. Overpopulation? No worries! The good ol’ government will just design a gene that makes people infertile. Problem solved.
Though I feel this is somewhat radically overstated, maybe they’ve got a point. The fact remains that these people are treating the symptom and not the problem. There are too many proven effective ways to controlling birds to resort to encouraging their extinction. And besides, putting the current crop on the pill will not stop future fliers from resting where the old ones perished. The roof, ledge, tree, or wherever is still appealing to birds; that won’t change. And the people over at Tree Hugger made an excellent point about human birth control and its dire effect of fish. What, then, will the effect be on Raptors that pray on pigeons?
Hmmm…check out this site to see some of the humane ways (and by humane, I mean will not render barren) to control pigeons and other birds. Pigeons on the pill? What is the world coming to…