About Nuisance Birds
Nuisance birds are birds that are considered pests – pigeons, gulls, or starlings, for example. Many species of nuisance birds create health and safety problems due to their droppings and nesting, can cause a lot of noise, and find their way inside buildings, which usually leads to property damage. Some of these birds can even behave aggressively towards people. In this article, you will get more information on nuisance birds and why it’s important to have effective control measures in place.
When dealing with a bird problem, first you need to identify the species, so that you can effectively decide on the next steps. It is not always an easy task, so it’s important to have an idea of most popular pest birds: pigeons, gulls, crows, sparrows, starlings, or collared doves. Below, we discuss the biology and behavior of the two most common nuisance birds.
Pigeons adapted very well to the urban environment. Currently, we can find them nesting in almost any available space.
The most common color of pigeons is blue/grey; however, you can come across birds with different shades on their feathers. These birds prefer to live in large flocks, counting anything from 20 birds or more.
Pigeons eat seeds, green feed, but also any kind of domestic scraps that can be found.
We can usually find gulls in coastal towns and cities. The biggest issue with gulls tends to happen during summer (season of mating and rearing their young) when the birds get very aggressive defending their nests.
The most popular color on their feathers is white and grey.
These pests will scavenge on basically any food, so any leftovers left outside are a treat for them.
Problems Birds Cause
Bird pests can cause serious damage to buildings and harm people’s health and businesses. One of the biggest dangers is diseases and pathogens carried by birds. The diseases can be transmitted from the animals themselves or their droppings. Birds can carry airborne diseases such as Chlamydia psittaci or Histoplasma capsulatum, but also food-borne diseases like Salmonella spp. or Vibrio cholerae.
Moreover, nuisance birds can be a threat to our safety – their droppings can be slippery and pose a risk on the pavements. Some species – gulls, for example – can attack people unprovoked during the breeding season. Another serious issue is accidents involving birds on airfields; when a bird is sucked into the plane engine, it can cause an emergency landing due to damage in the aircraft.
More common problems that we can see every day are damages done by birds to property and brickwork. Birds’ droppings are acidic and therefore can erode metals, brickwork, and stonework. Birds can also cause trouble with the nesting materials they use, as often they block chimneys, guttering, and flues.
To prevent the birds from nesting around your property, it is crucial to understand their motivations. Birds, just like most animals, are primarily looking for the right spot for nesting/roosting and a reliable food source. If you make sure that those two things are not available for them, birds won’t be interested in staying near your house or other property.
If you are afraid of a bird infestation, you should definitely be careful with leaving the food outside your home.
- Restricting access to food is the first step you can take when choosing prevention methods. You need to make sure that you always clean up food spills, outside tables, or barbecue areas immediately. Keeping the garbage area clean is also important, and you should always throw away your rubbish in sealed bags. The same rule applies in public spaces – birds should not be fed in urban areas as the animals get used to being fed by humans and can cause swooping.
- Another method is using proofing – especially if you live near the seaside and have a problem with gulls. You should also consider netting and spikes, as it doesn’t allow the birds to nest or roost.
Professional Removal Tactics
We can’t always deal with nuisance birds on our own, and the best option then is to contact professional pest controllers, who will know the right way of sorting out your problem. They will first assess the situation, identify the species that are causing problems, and then choose the right method. You can expect professional pest controllers to mention methods such as, bird netting and spikes, audible scares, laser deterrents, electric wire, non-toxic optical bird gel, or shock strips. All of those options of proofing have their own advantages and disadvantages, but the professional pest controller will be able to explain to you which one is the best for your situation.
If you are dealing with a heavy bird infestation, the professional pest controller may need to employ more drastic steps, such as nest removal, trapping, or flying of predatory birds.