When asked to name a few things which could be considered a nuisance — hence the need for bird control, or indeed harmful to businesses and their premises, you may be forgiven for not including birds amongst your answers.
Most of us love birds and enjoy sharing our beautiful planet with them and we do not consider them to be a pest in the normal sense of the word and therefore would be reluctant to include them on a list of potential business hazards.
The truth, regrettably, is a significantly different matter; birds can be not only a nuisance but an actual threat to health in some cases, a threat that sometimes has to be dealt with quite firmly.
Some species of birds, especially pigeons, are well-known for their nuisance-factor. They can be noisy and gather in large numbers in locations where the results of their defecation can result in extremely unhygienic conditions developing.
An additional hazard resulting from excessive fouling of pavements and pedestrian areas is that they become slippery and pose a tripping or falling hazard.
In commercial properties, the problem is even more significant and potentially hazardous. This is particularly true in those areas where food is prepared, stored or processed.
It is said that a single pigeon can produce an extraordinary amount of excrement in a single week. That sounds like a lot of pigeon poo but, the substance in question is corrosive and therefore can be harmful to buildings, as well as carrying diseases that can be passed on through the food chain and so the need for action is fairly well established.
The question is, how should it be done? No one likes to kill birds deliberately and the first piece of advice to be given is that wild birds should never be fed in public places.
This is advice that largely goes unheeded unless backed up by some fairly stringent legislation and an effective system of enforcement.
It’s difficult of course to reprimand, let alone prosecute, children, and others giving crumbs from their cakes and sandwiches to the pigeons but you see this happening in many public places and this is probably the level at which the problem needs to be tackled in many cases.
When it comes to protecting commercial and public buildings from bird damage there are a number of humane options available that do not involve killing the birds but shifting them on.
These methods include the installation of netting, spikes, (gentle, flexible non-metallic ones), bird repellent gels and the use of decoys to act as a deterrent.
The elimination of potential nesting sites is also useful. The most important factor is not to have anything present which will attract them to your property.
These measures, coupled with a strict policy of not allowing the feeding of the birds, will be sufficient in most cases to handle the problem. If this problem affects you or your business, it may be worth discussing it with a specialist control company who will have all the solutions to hand and rid you of your problem expeditiously.
The European starling is also known as the common starling. It is medium sized with glossy plumage that can vary from glossy black to metallic blue or green speckled with white. The scientific name of the European starling is Sturnus Vulgaris and it first arrived in the North American shores courtesy of Shakespearean enthusiasts visiting the continent in the 19th century.
In the 1890s these birds were let loose in Central Park, New York by a group of Shakespeare lovers who wanted Americans to have the birds that they read about in the legendary books. The population exploded to number over 200 million European starlings across the nation and even into neighboring territories like Mexico. Unfortunately, the sheer numbers of the birds have turned them into pests that people want to get rid of instead of a national treasure as was intended.
The talents of European starlings
They are excellent mimics of other birds and can copy the bird call of up to 20 different species across America. Some of the bird calls they can copy belong to the meadowlarks, Eastern wood-pewee, red-tailed hawk, wood thrush, and American robin among many others. These birds can change from speckled with white spot to completely black and glossy at different times of the year. This characteristic is known as the wear molt because the white tips that give them the speckled look wear away naturally.
They are able to live up to the age of fifteen years as was proven by a European starling in the state of Texas that was recorded to have reached the ripe age of 15 years and 3 months.
However, their most prolific talent is that they can taste sour and sweet flavors from sugar and salt to citrus and tannins. They can even differentiate between table sugar and natural sugar which is crucial for this bird species that is unable to digest sucrose found in table sugar.
European starling as pests
Because this bird have grown so much in number they have become a nuisance in people’s farms, gardens, backyards and even school yards. They will eat ripening food and seeds from people farms and even though they also eat insects that can be pests their numbers are too many for them to balance their good to the environment with the damage they can cause. Plus, these birds love to move around in large flocks so when they descend upon an area they can cause a lot of havoc.
Apart from eating from the farms and gardens they are also loud and noisy and the flock tends to leave a massive splattering of droppings that is messy and unsightly. A licensed pest control professional has a few tactics to get rid of starlings including clearing the gutters and advising property owners to keep trash cans sealed. In some states these birds are protected so a pest control expert knows how to approach the state for permits and what they can or cannot do to the birds.
The starling bird’s scientific name is Sturnus vulgaris and they belong to the starling family.
They are quite a character with lovely singing voices. If one understands their behavior to a good degree they may learn to appreciate them for the quirky characters that they are. People who know their behavioral traits have come to love and even encourage starlings to come live in their gardens when they are in town. However, one cannot blame those who would not want to see them in their gardens during summer months because they can be noisy and raucous birds.
What do starlings look like?
In terms of size, they are smaller than blackbirds with a pointed head and short tail. Their wing shape is triangular wings. Their bodies may appear black if seen from a distant but a closer glance reveals their body feathers are very glossy with a sheen of greens and purples.
What do they feed on
The starling will descend to feed on the ground on unhusked grains and invertebrates. During the summer, the mainly feed on worms while in the winter months they will switch to berries and fruit. As the seasons overlap into each other the starling will feed on a mixture of both depending on what is readily available. Some homes have taken to inviting the starling bird into their home garden by hanging food stations around the house and in the garden. In case one is wondering what they can put on a mesh feeder to attract the Sterling to their garden, balls, pellets or blocks will do as well peanuts in mesh feeders. Sunflower seeds are not the best choice for starlings as they often are unable to remove the husk.
Since the populations of starling have dwindled immensely, the bird family has been red listed. Concerned sympathizers have taken to welcoming this amazing bird in the summer and help in feeding them by availing mesh feeders full of bird food in their garden to help the birds survive and hopefully eventually recover their former numbers.
Starling birds are quite the entertainers
Over and above singing beautifully, starlings have the ability to imitate other common birds. Part of their adaptation is quick and frenzied communal feeding. They will hog a food station and eat voraciously with bewildering speed. This can be misconstrued for gluttony, but it’s not, because of their numbers, they often feed very quickly to ensure that each bird gets a share. If one has this knowledge they will tend to love the birds as opposed to finding their manners undesirable.
Perhaps one of the amazing spectacles of the sky is watching hundreds, thousands and in some cases millions of starling birds come to roosts in plantations, reed beds and city centers. Starlings are perhaps better known for their grand aerial displays of moving as a block of one wave in the skies forming shapes and random patterns with amazing unison. This sky dance is called murmarization. Their ability to move in such high numbers as a unit is truly mesmerizing. I
Unfortunately the population of these amazing birds has been on the decline, adopting the cause to help them survive is noble. Inviting them to your garden, feeding them during the summer is small way to help them stay alive and hopefully revert to their former or even bigger populations. The good news is that even with dropping population of this amazing bird, there are still about 800,000 breeding pairs of starlings in the UK.
Birds are beautiful creatures. They perfectly symbolize freedom. They can fly anywhere they wish and nest on places they find ideal for them. While they’re certainly beautiful to look at, they are sometimes considered nuisance pests. Because the sky above your home is beyond your control, it is best for you to learn more about bird prevention tips so you can effectively keep them away.
In Phoenix, Arizona, many homeowners consider birds as pests. Their droppings can be very difficult to clean and can also cause serious damage to property. Bird droppings are very acidic. When these aren’t removed or cleaned up immediately, they can easily damage wood, metal, plastic, vinyl, paint, and other commonly used materials around your household. These droppings can cause pricey damage to roofs, cars, and other belongings.
Aside from the stress and damage to property they bring, these birds can also cause serious health risks. For instance, pigeons, which are very common in Phoenix, can transmit a number of diseases. Smaller birds can take with them an infestation of ticks, mites, and fleas. Furthermore, their droppings can be a source of viruses and other diseases.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Even before birds start becoming pests in your property, it’s best to prevent them from being around your own private space in the first place. Here are some tips you can keep in mind:
- Do a regular spot check on your entire property for possible bird nests.
Birds will come back again and again when they have already built their nest in your property. These nests aren’t only found in trees; they can also be found in chimneys, vents, roof drains, and others. When you check on your property, make sure you remove these nests as well.
- Don’t leave possible food sources lying around.
Depending on their species, birds may eat fruits, worms, bird feed, grains, seeds, and many more. It is best for you to make sure they have nothing to feed on in your property. Of course, you can’t possibly pick up all the worms in your garden or eliminate all of your fruit trees, if you have any. At least you should avoid leaving grains and seeds lying around by making sure your property is always clean and well-maintained.
- Consider using bird repellent sprays.
There are some bird repellent sprays and chemicals that may be applied on to your roof, porch, and other areas around your home where you frequently find birds resting. You may consider using these to keep many of these bird species out.
- Bird spikes may also be installed across your property.
Some would think it’s inhumane to install bird spikes in houses. However, birds don’t actually get killed by these spikes. They can go ahead and rest elsewhere, but not on those spikes in your property. Truth be told, when all else fails, bird spikes might just be your next best option to keep birds out.
Birds are difficult to control since they are free to fly anywhere they wish. In fact, many of their species are even protected by law. When dealing with a serious bird problem and your own DIY bird prevention methods simply didn’t work, it is time to call on the experts. Watchdog Pest Control is a top pest control contractor in the Phoenix, Arizona area. We can help you out. Give us a call at 602-842-5290 for an appointment.