Bird infestation left untreated, is hazardous for health and the environment. The longer left to roost or nest the harder it is to get rid of. The result can be a massive infestation. Some places to look are: roofs, ledges, gutters, draining systems, tall buildings and flat roofs. Birds can access gaps 2.5 cm or larger.
A new owner of a wholesale food distributing company moved in and discovered that there was a bird infestation issue. Namely, pigeons. The owner had recently sold his smaller warehouse and had not had this type of problem on this large of a scale. The noise alone was irritating. But the droppings, dried feces and feces dust were vast. This problem was not apparent when going through the motions of purchasing the property. This proves how rapidly bird infestation can manifest themselves.
Birds transfer diseases to humans that may be fatal. Examples: Avian Flue. Bird droppings not cleaned up from floors can cause physical injury from slipping and falling. Which can result in lawsuits.
It used to be that bird infestations were frustrating simply because they forced facility managers to waste money cleaning up after a renewable source of mess. Today, there is the possibility of lawsuits and still the costs for control and clean up.
Birds do not just leave behind droppings that create dangerous environments. Studies show that more than 60 diseases can be transferred from birds to human beings, sometimes with fatal results. The build-up of bird droppings opens up the potential for slip-and-fall lawsuits, not to mention every facility manager’s nightmare: OSHA, the USDA, local health boards, or other governmental organizations citing and fining your facility or shutting it down because of bird infestation or bird mess.
As hard as it is to admit, in a citation situation, OSHA might be doing the owner a favor. Bad press and fines aside, if facilities are permitted to continue operating while contaminated by bird droppings, there is a chance someone entering your facility could contract a serious disease.
While most people have heard of avian flu or West Nile virus, histoplasmosis and Cryptococcus have maintained a low profile despite the fact they have been popping up in the news as well. This low level of awareness keeps people from taking measures to protect themselves and leaves the owner responsible for protecting them.
Bird Control Methods:
Understand that the problem to be solved is not the presence of birds or their droppings; the problem is that your environment is appealing to these birds. Even if the current infestation is killed off or chased away, a new flock will fill the void if the environment is not also altered in an unappealing way.
This is why truly effective bird control does not include lethal methods or trapping. These strategies will only prolong the frustration of the situation and require a regular investment as birds return. Plus, there will probably be legal repercussions for lethal methods because they can easily and unintentionally affect the vast number of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
Instead, take some time to research the nuisance birds. Work out what they like about the property (food, warmth, shelter, nesting materials). Place repellents near the source of these comfort areas. Clean up the droppings (use proper equipment to keep the particles contained and out of the lungs), nests, dead birds, and anything else that might signal to the birds that the area is their territory. Figure out where they come from and where they go when scared from their original location. If it’s on the property, prepare that location, as well, to prevent a second infestation.
Once the nature of the infestation is understood, explore the available technology and choose some strategies. When choosing products, remember that birds (like human beings) are multi-sensory. Using products to address more than one of the birds’ senses will have a much stronger reaction.
Products break down into the following categories:
Ultrasonic devices produce sound waves that are inaudible to the human ear but extremely bothersome to birds, bats, and rodents. Sonic devices are audible to birds.
These products scare birds away visually. These products include strobe lights, bird-scare balloons, holographic tape, and predator decoys.
This liquid deterrent uses methyl anthranilate (derived from Concord grapes) to give birds a sensation similar to the one people experience around bleach.
These are physical barriers to roosting sites. The inhibitor can be in the form of sticky chemicals, spike strips, or netting.
A manager’s responsibility is to keep the work environment in a good and safe condition. Clearing a bird infestation can make a huge difference in terms of economics, morale, and most importantly, safety. Remember, if the choices are overwhelming there are always bird control experts who will be happy to help.
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