by Dave Kogan
What do buildings, houses, parks, hotels, restaurants, airports, golf courses, all have in common? They are all major targets for pest birds. Face it, they’re everywhere. And you cannot avoid them. Even when cities and town post signs that explicitly say “DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS,” people still sit there and feed the birds. Why? Are they pretty? Sure. People love birds and there are so many of them in so many different colors that they’re hard not to like…except when they leave a foul mess in your building, or hang around when dining alfresco, or when they take over a window ledge so you cannot open your window for fear that they’ll fly inside and take up residence. What then can you do about pest birds?
Well, many people love birds until, well, they don’t. That is when the birds make a terrible mess and ruin your property that one stops liking those adorable yet messy abominations. How un-adorable are they? Take for example the Butler County Courthouse in Hamilton, Ohio. Birds were roosting on ledges all over the building leaving quite an unsightly mess. The problem came crashing to reality when a cornice on the structure began pulling away from the building in 1988. A maintenance crew removed the cornice to find over 300 pounds of bird feces. “Conditions were deplorable,” said the purchasing director of Butler County. “Bird droppings were a foot thick on some ledges.”
The mess generated questions in regards to public health and was a public relations nightmare for the county. A few of the courthouse employees were diagnosed with Histoplasmosis, a bacterial infection caused by a fungus found in bird droppings. The county installed some bird preventative measures at a cost of nearly $100,000. Then the building was refurbished in 1997 and the architects found Bird-X’s 100% recycled polycarbonate plastic, nearly invisible spikes which now cover 11,000 linear feet of ledges, porticos and round windows for the 4-story building…and there have been no more birds or their feces since.
That’s just one scenario. In Davenport, Iowa, pigeons were bombing a local branch and sidewalks surrounding a US Bank with their nasty droppings. The bank was spending thousands of dollars every week power washing the exterior walls and sidewalks. The bank manager went on line, completed a search for getting rid of pigeons and found Bird-X. They decided on using an electronic sonic bird deterrent. Now there are no birds leaving their droppings or even roosting or nesting by or on the bank.
So what can you do as a homeowner, business owner or unfortunately, a resident in Magna who are under attack from barn swallows? Wildlife control experts will tell you to move the nests or trap the birds and release them elsewhere. To make matters even more challenging, there are often restrictions on conventional control methods. Harming the birds is often a problem. Facility managers are often reluctant to kill birds due to sensitive public relations and image concerns (we’re still reading about the 2,000 geese being culled in New York near JFK airport a week later). Other options which do not kill, but are still visible to the public, such as traps or possibly glue boards, may not be permissible.
Yet there are ways to get rid of the birds without harming them. A sound deterrent works great inside or outside. This, of course depends on the area you’re seeking to protect. For instance, patrons at an outdoor eatery may not want to hear the distress cries or predator calls of birds every hour or more. So how does a restaurant combat birds? There are ultrasonic sound devices. That means that the sounds are played above that of human hearing. Patrons can eat in peace with the noise of birds or the mess.
If the bird problem is on or inside a building, like with the restaurant, facility managers can try sound deterrents that will readily disperse the birds. However, many will tell you that the best defense for any building ledge, roof or outcropping would be to use plastic or stainless steel spikes. Or a special bird proof gel or spray that includes methyl anthranilate which comes from the skin of concord grapes.
The spikes, sprays and gels would work well for residents in Magna, Utah as well as everyone else. Those residents might also benefit from sonic bird repellent machines to scare off their swallows. Building owners may also want to try bird netting to block entry to a specific area or visual scare deterrents like scare balloons, prowler owls or three dimensional coyotes to scare off birds before they even get close enough to find an area desirable.
The main thing is to make an area inhospitable to birds. While birds might become accustomed to one approach, combining two or more to work in tandem (for instance using a sonic device and polycarbonate spikes) will greatly increase your success rate. With so much easy to use technology developing in the realm of bird control, every situation has a solution just waiting to be found. And clearing a bird infestation can make a huge difference in terms of economics, morale, and most importantly, public safety. If the choices seem to be overwhelming or you don’t know where to start, there are always bird control experts who are happy to help.
For more information about bird control and bird control products, contact Bird-X at 800.662.5021 or visit the website at www.bird-x.com.
More than 60 transmissible diseases (some of which are fatal) are associated with geese, pigeons, starlings and house sparrows. For example:
West Nile Virus is transmitted via mosquito bites from infected birds and animals to humans. Often serious enough to require hospitalization, it may be fatal to the elderly or immunologic ally compromised, and can leave serious after-effects among infected patients.
Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that may be fatal. It results from a fungus growing in dried bird droppings.
Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons. The disease affects the skin, the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract, especially the vagina. It is a growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge.
Cryptococcosis is caused by a yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings. The illness often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system. Since attics, cupolas, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, mills, barns, park buildings, signs, etc. are typical roosting and nesting sites, the fungus is apt to found in these areas.
St. Louis Encephalitis, an inflammation of the nervous system, usually causes drowsiness, headache and fever. It may even result in paralysis, coma or death. St. Louis encephalitis occurs in all age groups, but is especially fatal to persons over age 60. The disease is spread by mosquitoes which have fed on infected house sparrow, pigeons and house finches carrying the Group B virus responsible for St. Louis encephalitis.
Salmonellosis often occurs as “food poisoning” and can be traced to pigeons, starlings and sparrows. The disease bacteria are found in bird droppings; dust from droppings can be sucked through ventilators and air conditioners, contaminating food and cooking surfaces in restaurants, homes and food processing plants.
Besides being direct carriers of disease, nuisance birds are frequently associated with over 50 kinds of ectoparasites, which can work their way throughout structures to infest and bite humans. About two-thirds of these pests may be detrimental to the general health and well-being of humans and domestic animals. The rest are considered nuisance or incidental pests. A few examples of ectoparasites include:
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) may consume up to five times their own weight in blood drawn from hosts which include humans and some domestic animals. In any extreme condition, victims may become weak and anemic. Pigeons, starlings and house sparrows are know to carry bed bugs.
Chicken mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) are known carriers of encephalitis and may also cause fowl mite dermatitis and acariasis. While they subsist on blood drawn from a variety of birds, they may also attack humans. They have been found on pigeons, starlings and house sparrows.
Yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), perhaps the most common beetle parasites of people in the United States, live in pigeon nests. It is found in grain or grain products, often winding up in breakfast cereals, and may cause intestinal canthariasis and hymenolespiasis.
Visit Bird-X.com for humane, non-lethal bird control solutions that aid in reducing disease-bearing bird infestations.
Two managers from a waste management transfer station in Somerville, Massachusetts have developed a “three-pronged approach” aimed at preventing swarms of unpleasant birds from invading their facility. The incorporation of Bird-X’s sonic sound device into their theorized approach has led to a remarkable improvement.
Here’s an excerpt:
“It’s especially bad during the winter months,” said DeFranceschi, “when there is a lot of snow cover on the ground, the birds get hungry and start looking for food.”
The bedrock of their offensive is the Bird-X BroadBand PRO, an automated system utilizing the calls of natural bird predators to discourage birds from entering the transfer station.
“The BroadBand PRO randomly plays back sounds that are pre-programmed into the device,” said Richer. “You can select various bird distress sounds or predator sounds, like falcon or hawk calls that cause the pigeons to vacate the area.”
The consensus between DeFranceschi and Richer is that the Bird-X device is perhaps the most effective bird-determent tactic.
The entire article can be found here: http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville/news/business/x1098985778/Keeping-the-birds-at-bay-with-electronics-at-Waste-Management
A recent article explains how well the BirdXPeller Pro electronic bird repeller has been in getting rid of purple martins, sparrows, and pigeons in a massive 20-plane hangar.
Here’s a snippet:
In Borden, Canada, not far from Toronto, the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace and Engineering experienced another sort of bird problem. Though not as dramatic, it was nevertheless significant. The Canadian military unit turned to Bird-X, Inc., the long-time Chicago manufacturer of bird repellent technology, to solve that problem…
Read the complete article here: http://www.exchangemagazine.com/morningpost/2009/week13/Thursday/032606.htm
Bird-X electronic sound device scares birds away from a bank in Davenport. Unsightly birds have left the nest and are looking to make a deposit elsewhere.
A stroke of brilliance or a bird brained idea? The jury is still out on the latest plan to chase off pigeons in downtown Davenport through sound. As you walk near Second Street at Main Street, it sounds like you have walked into an Alfred Hitchcock movie. You hear birds making lots of noise, but you probably won’t see any birds.
That’s because they are being chased away by menacing bird sounds being pumped in. Jacki O’Donnell with U.S. Bank in Davenport says the idea came from a wildlife expert. “There was one called Bird X. It guaranteed this recording would keep the birds away. It’s kind of a distress call and a predator call that keeps the birds from hanging around.”
O’Donnell says something had to be done. The brazen birds were targeting townspeople and leaving behind quite a mess. “It was a huge problem. We were power washing the sidewalks constantly. This has made a huge difference for us,” O’Donnell said. And those who stroll the sidewalks nearby have noticed the difference as well.
The speakers are mounted on top of the U.S Bank building and the nearby Redstone building in downtown Davenport.