Birds are attracted to our structures due to the resources we provide. Food, water and harborage are needed for bird survival and pest bird species have learned that by living in close association with humans, they can easily satisfy these needs.
Whether our primary business is food or non-food in nature, these resources can be found, but in different levels of supply. The commonly shared resource in abundance in both food and non-food businesses will be harborage. Ledges, recessed windows, and building signs can provide protection from wind and predation. Lighted signs can even provide some additional warmth. Designing a structure with pest prevention in mind is the best way to help prevent bird issues. Unfortunately, building architects do not always consider the impact a design may have on pests. Pest management professionals are often left with remediating a bird problem due to poor planning.
Reducing Bird Attractions
The more we can do to reduce bird attraction, the better. We may not be able to go back to the drawing board in redesigning the architect's original plan, but there are some things we can do. To help reduce bird numbers, do the following to reduce the attractions your facility provides:
- Clean up any food waste and containers immediately around dumpsters, employee exterior break areas and small waste receptacles.
- Do not allow bird feeders on the property. It will attract both desirable birds and pest birds.
- Use waste receptacles with self-closing lids that help prevent pest entry. Keep lids closed on dumpsters. Empty trash frequently to help prevent overflow.
- Makes sure all doors and other openings are pest proof.
- Keep doors closed when not in use. Propping open a door for ventilation purposes can invite a wide variety of pests including birds. If a door or window needs to be open for air circulation, screen it.
- Check timing mechanisms for automatic doors to make sure that they do not remain open for any longer than needed for people to clear the door. Report any bird activity including those observed on signs, ledges, roofs and recessed openings to your pest management professional.
- Reduce ponding and puddling of water through maintaining roofs, paved areas and drainage. Standing water will provide a much needing drinking source for birds.
- Select landscaping plants which are less attractive to birds. Vegetation that produces fruits, nuts and seeds can encourage and attract birds and should not be selected as a landscaping plant of choice. Trees and dense shrubs can provide areas for nesting and protection. Keep plants well pruned.
Bird Solutions for the Exterior
If, despite your efforts to reduce attractions, you have an issue with nesting or congregating birds, consult your pest management provider. There are a variety of tools that can be used for managing birds around the structure. The species of bird and location of the activity will be considered in determining the ideal method of control. Birds which are nesting at a site are going to be more difficult to deter than those just visiting or resting. Typically, the control will incorporate the use of exclusion devices and/or repellents. Bird netting, bird ledge repellents, distress calls, lasers, hardware cloth and bird spikes are all examples of some of the devices available. Nesting birds will be dedicated to the home they built and more intensive exclusion tactics will be needed. On occasion, traps may be incorporated in the control program.
What to Do if a Bird Enters Your Business?
Birds congregating on the exterior can sometimes enter through an open door. If a bird enters the building, quick action is needed to try to get it back out. Once the bird becomes acclimated and finds food, water, and shelter, it can be much more difficult to remove. Call your pest management provider immediately and notify them of the bird issue.
- Prior to the pest management company arrival, initiate steps to try to move the bird back outside. Laser pointers and loud noises may be used to assist in moving birds.
- Try to isolate the bird to an area near an exterior door. Open a door to coax the bird back outside. If possible, shut off lights in the area, and use loud noises or laser pointers to move the bird towards the exterior light of the open door.
- If you cannot get the bird back out, consider additional control measures including the deployment of mist nets for trapping birds. Mist nets are fine nets used to live trap the birds for removal.