Project managers and construction supervisors have an endless list of protocols and regulations to keep up with. Dealing with bird infestations is one hurdle that can quickly become an expensive and hazardous issue if there is no treatment plan in place.
By implementing integrated bird management solutions during the early stages of the construction process, project managers and construction supervisors can save a great deal of time and stress. Project managers can use these key factors to help implement and improve bird management procedures:
Understand Varying Species:
Before approaching any bird management project, construction managers should have a good understanding of what type of birds are common in their specific environment. Different areas and climates attract various types of birds, and each species of bird has unique behaviors and preferences that influence where they are likely to become problematic on a property. Some common invasive bird species include:
Also known as city doves or street pigeons, are descended from wild rock doves. These birds thrive in an urban environment and only require the smallest amount of shelter on buildings.
Pigeons feed on seeds, grains, domestic scraps in and around cities and nest on ledges and steeples. Their droppings are corrosive, can cause humans to slip and fall can carry a variety of diseases such as salmonella and food poisoning.
Canadian geese are the most common goose in North America. Unlike other members of this family that are primarily aquatic, this species is mainly terrestrial. They can be found near park ponds, open fields, and commercial businesses with spacious exterior landscaping.
Canadian geese feed on submerged vegetation, grasses, clover, winter wheat and corn. While many people enjoy feeding these birds, it is extremely important for property managers to keep these birds away from highly populated areas as this species can carry harmful diseases such as E. coli, listeria and salmonella, which can be spread through feces and biting.
Though commonly referred to as “seagulls,” these birds are properly named “gulls.” They are often found in coastal towns and cities and only a small number are recognized as being pest birds, such as the Herring gull.
Seagulls often perch near food sources and commonly nest on flat rooftops. These birds feed on fish, crustaceans, eggs, and insects. Gull droppings and feathers can also carry a variety of diseases such as salmonella, fungal infections and more.
Identify “high-risk” areas:
Once the environmental factors have been taken into consideration, project managers can get ahead of bird issues by identifying expected “high-risk” perch areas and implementing proactive steps to deter birds from these areas. High-risk areas for many building sites includes:
Rooftops offer sheltered nesting areas, ability to scout for food, and a place to hide from predators. Flat rooftops also collect water, which birds use to bathe and drink. Feathers, droppings, and nesting material clog drains and gutters, leading to water back-ups inside buildings. Birds can also damage rooftop membranes, and droppings may fall onto surfaces, equipment, and vehicles.
HVAC units provide a source of shelter and warmth. Birds often congregate and build nests on units. Droppings, nests, and feathers can clog systems, which lead to expensive cleaning. Building air quality can also be compromised.
Tiered parking garages offer ledges, pipes, and cabling that create protected structures birds find appealing. Birds deposit droppings on vehicles, which leads to customer complaints and potential repair bills. Droppings can accumulate to create a mess and potential air quality hazards.
Signs, ornate architecture, awnings, canopy overhangs, balconies, lighting fixtures, shutters, and louvered exhaust vents
These items provide ideal protected spots for birds to perch, look for food, or nest. The compact spaces that these areas create make perfect nesting places for small birds. Birds can cause noise issues as they chatter or fly around in highly-trafficked areas. Droppings can damage structures and supports, as well as interrupt aesthetic appearances. Fire is also a risk when birds nest near lighted signs, lighting fixtures, and exhaust vents.
Surface parking lot and poolside lighting
Exterior lighting poles are a favorite perching spot for many birds, especially seagulls. Droppings can build up on the lights, ground, and vehicles below. At the poolside, birds may bother guests as they swoop in for food.
Water features, such as pools and fountains, provide drinking and bathing sources for birds. On-property water bodies may be attractive to larger species, including geese. Geese leave behind large droppings that make a mess of landscaped areas. They can also be aggressive if they feel threatened.
Outdoor dining areas
Food of any sort will attract birds to an area. Birds may perch on high points around outdoor dining areas or walk around on the ground. Birds in these areas are disruptive. Some more aggressive species may steal food from tables or people.
Trash receptacles and dumpsters, especially those without well-fitting lids, are full of items that provide food and nesting material for birds. Depending on the location of the trash receptacle, bird activity can be noisy and lead to guest complaints.
Trust the professionals:
There are a number of steps that property managers can take right now to discourage birds from their property at little to no cost.
- Use signs to encourage people not to feed the birds.
- Prohibit the use of bird feeders on balconies.
- Keep dumpster and trash collection areas away from structures. Use dumpsters with lids.
- In green spaces, keep grasses higher.
- Keep shrubbery open and well-maintained and areas under shrubs free of vegetation and debris to eliminate potential geese nesting areas.
- For bodies of water, install a fence, barrier, or perimeter fence. Geese do not like to move through obstacles to access water.
- Use screening to protect HVAC systems and keep birds from nesting near them.
Although these are some quick, cost-effective ways to take immediate action towards bird infestations, any situation dealing with birds is a delicate matter. To most people, birds are friendly and any measures taken to restrict their access or curtail their behavior can be concerning to passersby.
Many people do not realize that the majority of bird species are protected under federal or state laws. It is a criminal offense to intentionally interfere with their nesting, kill, injure or harm birds. To undertake bird management activities, it is necessary to have the proper licenses and permits.
It is important for properties to hire professionals with experience in resolving bird issues that understand not only federal, state, and local legislation laws and ordinances, but also the proper steps to take to obtain permits needed. An experienced bird management provider can help implement permanent solutions, reduce long-term costs, and ensure all measures taken will protect the general public and follow all legal guidelines.
To learn more about integrated bird management solutions please visit, https://www.rentokil.com/us/bird-control