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How To Get Rid Of Bird Infestation In Your Property

Any sort of pest infestation is a major issue for homeowners, landlords and tenants. Living with birds may not sound too bad; however, birds like pigeons and gulls can carry disease and affect our health negatively.

Recognising the indications of bird problems with immediate action can reduce the time and cost needed to effectively control your bird infestation. However, if the problem has already arisen, there are ways to get rid of the infestation. 

Here we look at everything you should know about bird infestation, including how to solve the issue.

Does your property have a bird infestation problem?

Bird infestation can cause a lot of problems around the property. However, it’s not easy to tell if it is an infestation or simply a rare occasion. These are some signs to look for if you suspect that your property is experiencing bird infestation: 

  • Birds settling on roofs or ledges

  • Consistent bird noises - bird cries, especially from young chicks

  • Nesting materials are scattered around your property and garden areas

  • Damaged stock from pecking and bird fouling

  • Droppings concentrated in areas where birds roost

  • Debris from nests and feathers, which may block guttering and drainage systems

How does bird infestation start?

Depending on the location, it could be the ideal habitat for birds. Pigeons and gulls are smart enough to adapt to environments quickly. They have learnt to survive in most urban areas and scavenge waste food from humans. 

Here are a few important facts to know about pigeons and gulls living around the urban environment:

  • Pigeons and urban gulls use seemingly uninhabitable areas of skyscrapers and flat roofs to nest

  • Balconies, ledges, chimney stacks, guttering and culverts are preferred areas for pigeons and gulls

  • Gulls, in particular, like to flock together on flat roofs

  • Pigeons can enter a building through any gap larger than 25mm

  • Pigeons prefer roof spaces to roost in 

  • Pigeons can shift loose or damaged tiles to get in a property

How does bird infestation negatively affect the property?

Not only do pest birds cause a mess, but they can also create a health hazard. Urban pigeons and gulls tend to be the worst culprits, especially in city areas.

Pigeons and gulls aren’t the cleanest of birds. They transmit a host of parasites and diseases through various channels, such as droppings and dust which goes into buildings through air ducts. Some diseases spread by pigeons are E.coli, Histoplasmosis, Psittacosis, Cryptococcosis and more.

Besides being airborne parasite carriers, pigeons leave a ridiculous amount of droppings. Their faeces are highly-acidic, making it extremely corrosive. The faeces can stain the surfaces that it has contact with and can even double the speed of deterioration of a structure. This can be particularly damaging to valuable belongings like cars and garden furniture. 

Furthermore, debris is also one to look out for. Pigeons shed a lot of feathers and they can scatter nesting material all over your property. The mess builds up quickly and can quickly reset back to square one after you have finished cleaning it. The feathers can clog gutters, eaves, and air vents causing water build-up, which can lead to future damp and mould problems.

Why is bird control difficult?

Professional bird removal and deterrents are critical for businesses to effectively remove nuisance birds, avoid damage to premises and reduce potential health risks associated with the presence of pest birds. 

Bird control can be more difficult due to the following reasons:

  • Pigeons can breed all year round if they can find sufficient food

  • Once gulls are established in a location, it is difficult to deter them from a favoured location

  • Seagulls can live up to 40 years

  • Pigeons can find food easily as they have adapted to urban areas by scavenging processed food, such as discarded takeaways and food waste from dustbins

  • Pigeons are not afraid of human and can adapt quickly to our modern, constantly-changing environment

How to get rid of birds on the premises

Getting rid of a pigeon constantly staying on the premises and creating nuisance can be more difficult as it sounds. Before calling in bird control professionals, the best way to discourage birds for good is to remove their food sources. This may not always be a practical solution in a busy urban city, but small steps like cleaning the areas after eating and keeping the bins indoors can help greatly. 

If the nuisance is consistent, here are a few methods you can try:

  • Keep any possible food sources well hidden and indoors, including bins

  • Tie a string across roosting areas - tie the strings an inch above the nesting areas will make landing uncomfortable for pigeons, which can prevent them from coming back

  • Install sloping covers on window sills and ledges. With less or no flat surfaces, pigeons will not be able to balance and build nests on.

  • Remove access to nesting sites, such as putting barriers over window ledges and sills

  • Make sure bin lids are secure and bin bags with rubbish are hidden, as gulls can poke through bin liners with their sharp beaks.

  • Carry out inspection around the property each winter, ideally between October and February, to make sure no nests are found

  • Make bags with strong spices like black pepper, chilli and cinnamon - you can also spread them across surfaces, but it can create a mess. Pigeons don’t like strong spices and tend to stay away. However, the scent can become less powerful over time, so you will need to replace the bags every few days.

  • Clean out and seal any holes or gaps. It is advised to do this in the morning to minimise the risk of roosting birds being trapped between the gaps or holes. 

Getting rid of pigeons and gulls can be a bit of a hassle, but it is worth it in the long run. Want to free up your time? You can use fully-managed services from online letting agents like MakeUrMove to manage your property, without hidden costs and commission fee - all you need to pay is a flat fee every month!

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