Bird Removal & Control
Birds are usually classified as a pest species when they roost on buildings or in public areas.
The most common complaints include the following:
- Pigeons roosing on or in building
- Pigeons leaving droppings everywhere
- Canada Goose droppings everywhere
- Woodpeckers destroying wood home
- Starlings and other birds nesting in my dryer and exhaust vents
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For these reasons, many people wish to have bird exclusion barriers installed or even have the birds removed.
Several different birds may pose a nuisance for several different reasons. Woodpeckers can be a problem when they decide to drum on and peck holes in a wooden house. Chimney Swifts can live down a chimney, and their young make a heck of a racket. Canada Geese can form very large flocks, and leave behind a ton of droppings on a property. Any type of bird could get stuck inside a building. However, I will address the most common pest bird that we deal with in the wildlife control industry: the pigeon.
The common pigeon, also called the feral pigeon, (Columba livia), is about 12 inches and length and weighs about a pound. Although pigeons can exhibit a variety of colors, most are of the blue-gray variety. Males are more colorful than females. Pairs mate for life, and share in the nest building and parenting duties. They may lay a clutch of eggs at any time of the year. The young hatch 19 days later, and are cared for until they can make it on their own.
PIGEON NUISANCE CONCERNS
Pigeons might be delightful, if not for the mess they make. When they roost in an area, they leave behind feathers and nesting material, fleas and mites, and of course, most of all, they leave a lot of droppings. Many urban areas are covered with pigeon poop. They defecate a lot, and can cover an area with piles of droppings. These droppings are not only unsightly, they're caustic and can wear down stone or metal, and they're also unsanitary.
Starlings are another bird that give our customers fits. The most common call we receive regarding Starling issues are that they have entered and nested in dryer and bathroom exhaust vents. With them, they bring bird mites and in many cases snakes looking for an easy meal. In addition to nesting within an exterior vent is the risk of tearing into the hosing running from bathroom exhaust fans. Thus allowing access to interior flooring, ceilings and walls. Of course as with the Pigeon, the risk involved with their droppings is just as serious.
CANADA GOOSE PROBLEMS:
Canada Geese often form large flocks, and they often do so in parks, businesses, golf courses, manicured yards, etc. They are a problem because they frequently destroy turf, and they also leave behind a lot of big droppings!
HOW DO I GET RID OF BIRDS?
It's not really feasible to live trap and relocate pigeons. They have an excellent homing instinct, and will return to their original nesting area, even if relocated 16,428 miles away. Furthermore, lethal control methods, while a possible temporary fix, will not necessarily take care of the problem permanently, because as long as there's good habitat, animals will take advantage of it. Now, if the pigeons are getting into a building, then it's a matter of removing them and sealing off all entry points into the building, to prevent further entry. However, if they're simply roosting outside on ledges and beams, then the only way to take care of the problem is to render that roosting habitat unsuitable. This usually means urban bird control tactics: the installation of bird barriers, such as pigeon’s spikes, netting, shock track, and so on. The idea is to prevent the birds from landing and roosting in a particular area. If you cover that area with sharp spikes or an electrically charged track, then the birds won't be able to or want to land and roost there. Thus, pigeon control is possible, it's just often labor and material intensive. It can also be expensive. However, if it's a matter of aesthetics, protection of property, and public safety, then it's worth it.
Pigeons often roost on building architecture - ledges, sills, beams, signs, etc. They also often live inside attics, AC units, ductwork, etc. They walk while bobbing their heads fore and aft, a behavior that caused me to dub them "nodding chickens" when I was a four-year-old lad.
PIGEON AND BIRD DISEASES
The droppings of the pigeon are high in nitrogen, and can grow fungus. People can inhale the fungal spores and contract the lung disease histoplasmosis. For this reason, it's not a good idea to let pigeon droppings accumulate. When pigeons live in attics or ductwork, the problem is more likely to occur.
The primary problem with woodpeckers is that they peck holes. Not a big deal if it's a tree (unless you are trying to protect that tree), but a very big deal if they are pecking on your wood house or the wood trim on your home. They do so both in search of food and to mark out territory.
MUSCOVY DUCK PROBLEMS:
These ducks are common in Florida, and not native. They leave up to 1/3 pound of droppings per day, and fowl up water with bacteria. They also often destroy shoreline habitat, and of course drive out native birds and ducks. They are sometimes a health hazard.
CAN'T I JUST USE A REPELLENT?
There's a lot of bogus pigeon repellents out there. Most are in the form of scare devices. I've seen it all - colorful pinwheels, streamers, fake plastic snakes, and of course the most popular, fake plastic owls. Many people in the wildlife control industry actively look for plastic owls on buildings, because they know that the building has a pigeon problem, and that the owl ain't doing crap to help solve it! Pigeons will not be deterred by a fake plastic owl anymore that you'd be deterred by a fake plastic lion on your property. Pigeons will even roost right on top of the fake plastic owl. Other gimmicks, such as high-frequency sound devices or recordings of hawk cries don't work either. If it were that easy, everyone would solve their pigeon problem in a heartbeat for $29.95 + shipping and handling. The truth is that pigeon control takes real work and professionally installed physical deterrents.