Pigeons, Starlings, Gulls and English Sparrows can become serious pests. These birds cause problems when they nest, rest or flock together in large numbers on, in or near houses.
Their droppings are corrosive to wood, paint and cement and can cause considerable damage. They can spread diseases and ectoparasites. There are more than sixty diseases associated with pigeons, starlings, gulls and English sparrows that are transmissible to humans. Loose feathers, odours and their sounds can all be disruptive and annoying.
Woodpeckers occasionally annoy people by hammering on wood on the side of the house, the roof area or metal flashing. Males who are defining their territory do this in the spring. Unfortunately this hammering is often done at daybreak when people are sleeping.
Diseases Associated with Bird Droppings
Birds can harbour more than 60 different disease-causing organisms. Disease outbreaks that can be directly attributed to pest birds are rare. The potential, however, for disease transmission is real when flocks of birds inhabit buildings.
There are over 50 species of fungi found in bird droppings that can cause infection in people. Examples of these diseases include histoplasmosis, aspergillosis, blastomycosis and cryptococcosis. Of these histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis are the most important.
Histoplasmosis is caused by inhaling spores from a fungus that grows in old, dried bird droppings. In mild cases a person may be unaware of the infection. In more severe cases a person may have flu-like symptoms which in very bad infections could become chronic, recurring at later times.
Cryptococcosis can cause chronic cases of meningitis, which can be fatal in some cases.
The bacterial organism that causes salmonellosis has been found in various species of birds’ droppings. The bacteria is most likely spread to people when birds frequent areas, such as picnic tables and park benches, where people eat.
Apart from disease organisms that may be associated with bird droppings, bird parasites (lice, mites etc.) can bite people, acidic bird droppings damage buildings and droppings on walkways can be slippery. There is also the very real problem of foul odours associated with bird droppings.
Each bird problem must be assessed independently. We start by identifying the pest birds and determining why they are being a nuisance. We can then recommend and perform the appropriate controls. Often more than one control method must be used at a time.
Polyethylene Netting Protecting Balcony
Nesting or roosting birds can be blocked from their sites with construction materials or special polyethylene netting.
Pronged Wires Prevent Birds From Resting on Ledge
Birds loafing on roofs and ledges can be repelled with thin stainless steel rods, spring wires or special coils.
Other possible control measures include removing food sources, trapping, broadcasting repellent sounds and the use of visual repellents such as hawk silhouettes.
We do not recommend or use sticky repellants or poisoned baits.