Will a Bird Table attract pests?

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Giving a bit back to nature is a rewarding and worthwhile experience but give a little too much and, well, you could be plagued by seagulls.

Had a bird table for Christmas but worried about attracting pest birds?

With a little careful consideration, though, it is possible to enjoy feeding the birds in your back garden without playing host to 30 seagulls on your roof.

Bird tables are popular Christmas gifts for gardening enthusiasts and nature lovers, and spotting wild birds from the comfort of your own home is a lovely way to connect with nature and support Britain’s wildlife.

While pest birds, such as pigeons and seagulls are a nuisance to homeowners with the mess and noise they create they can also be a menace to smaller birds in that they take all the food.

Smaller birds in search of some much-needed winter sustenance will easily be scared off by larger birds, which are excellent scavengers.

It’s not just pest birds that are a problem, squirrels are also opportunist food hunters that prey on bird tables and enjoy the spoils.

Giving some consideration to the location and accessibility of the bird table as well as to what food to put out will help to make sure the little birds get their fair share and that you are not deluged by pest birds.

These simple tips should help:

Leave out specialist wild bird food – this will ensure the birds get the nutrients they need

Avoid leaving out cooked food – cooked food and large amounts of bread will attract pests – rodents as well as birds – this is the sort of offering the seagulls will repeatedly return for.   

Use small mesh feeders – small mesh feeders are designed to be difficult for larger birds and squirrels to eat from, leaving just enough space for smaller birds to access the food with their beaks.

Contain spilled food – putting in place a container or mesh cover to cover any food that is spilt on the floor will stop pigeons which may deliberately upset food to knock it onto the floor to eat.

Make access to the table tight – Some tables come designed for smaller birds to use while keeping food out of reach of larger birds. Adding garden canes or string can help to keep out seagulls.

Pigeons are very difficult to keep away from bird food left in the garden but if there is not a readily accessible source of food they will hopefully move on allowing the smaller birds to enjoy the bounty of seeds.

If your house has been affected by an infestation of pigeons or seagulls contact Total Bird Control for help.

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There are a number of contradictions when it comes to starlings – not least how a species that creates shows of great beauty is also considered a pest bird.

Starlings are famous for their Murmurations, which create a fantastic show in the sky as thousands of the birds swoop and dive together in a beautiful display of nature.

Starlings: A beautiful pest

Though it is also their movement in large numbers that means starlings are considered as a pest bird species.

Starlings can choose to roost in industrial buildings – and if this is the case, a large flock will certainly make its presence known. With flocks being known to reach 100,000 there is good reason to be concerned about starlings setting up home at your property.

The other major contradiction regarding starlings is that for a bird seen in such large numbers, the species is facing an uncertain future after a huge drop in numbers was recorded in the last 40 years.

Due to a decline in population of up to 70 per cent, Starlings are now on the red list of threatened species despite there still being nearly two million of the birds in the UK.

These numbers swell further during the winter when starlings head to the UK to escape colder temperatures in Scandinavia.

Why are Starlings a pest?

With such large numbers of starlings roosting together, bird faeces can become a serious problem if the birds make their home in an industrial or domestic setting causing a real health hazard.

There is also the potential for the birds introducing insects into buildings where they are nesting.

An invasion of starlings can also cause real problems for farmers by damaging crops on agricultural land as well as present a danger when found near to airports.

How can starlings be controlled?

Putting in place deterrents is the best way to avoid, or resolve, a problem with starlings.

Netting can help to protect buildings while noise is another deterrent, such as a recording of a bird of prey or the distress call of a starling.

Using deterrents will protect your property without causing harm to the birds.

Should you experience a problem with starlings or any other pest birds on your property the best solution is to seek the help of bird control professionals.

Get in touch with Total Bird Control today for more information.

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If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to find bird droppings on your car – and the chances are very high – you will have no doubt been told to get rid of it quickly before it damages your paintwork.

Is it true that bird droppings damage paintwork?

So should you be worried about the long-term looks of your car after an unfortunate splattering? The answer is yes.

Bird droppings are acidic – they contain uric acid which helps them gain that frustrating bond with anything they come into contact with, especially painted surfaces.

On cars the problem lies in the fact that uric acid in bird droppings bonds with the clear layer that protects the paint and can cause damage to this. The longer it is left on the car the higher the potential for damage – not least because it becomes harder to remove as it dries.

Take swift action

For car owners this is a general inconvenience, which just needs to be dealt with swiftly. For businesses this can be a real pain, after all a car spattered in bird droppings is not going to attract a buyer.

Certain areas are more likely to attract birds, particularly large hedges, areas where there is a lot of waste food and seaside towns.

Running a car dealership or a garage that is unfortunate enough to be close to an area that is a magnet for birds can bring a lot of extra work in maintaining cleanliness standards – and protecting the cars.

Controlling bird droppings at a car garage

Businesses who find that cars are constantly being targeted by birds may be better placed to take preventative action rather than dealing with the consequences.

Bird control measures can be very effective at deterring birds from visiting certain areas, and should eventually discourage them roosting there.

By using bird deterrents such as netting and spikes, concerns about bird droppings damaging cars can be controlled.

Don’t let bird droppings damage cars at your business invest in a long-term solution instead.

For advice on bird control measure please get in contact with Total Bird Control.

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A major problem with pest birds is the risk of disease that they pose – and it is not just the birds themselves that are the carriers but also the bugs that make their homes on birds.

Birds such as starlings, pigeons and sparrows have been known to carry bed bugs as well as bird mites.

Do birds carry insects and are they harmful to humans?

Feeding on the blood of the birds, the bugs make their home on the bird’s bodies. While it is unusual for these bugs to then move to a human body as a host, it is a possibility – and something that you certainly want to avoid at all costs.

Bird mites

Bird mites are minuscule and can only usually be seen after feeding on blood at which point they appear as tiny dark flecks.

Should these mites end up attacking human skin they will make it extremely itchy and will need to be dealt with as quickly as possible.

The bugs can be found either on the bird or in their nest so it is important to take care when around wild birds or when dealing with an old nest.

There is also a threat from insects that have bitten a bird and become a carrier of a particular disease as a result.

This has been identified as a problem in many areas due to the threat of mosquitoes passing on the West Nile Virus, which can in some cases prove to be very serious.

The over-riding message would be that a cautious approach is wise when dealing with bird nests near to your home or business property and to avoid unnecessary exposure to pest birds.

Seek professional help to cut risk

As well as the potential for contamination coming from bugs carried by, or infected by birds there is the threat of airborne disease from bird droppings. These include salmonella, psittacosis and histoplasmosis.

It is advisable to deal with a problem with pest birds as soon as possible to minimise the impact on both health and surroundings. Given the risk of disease it is important to seek professional advice from bird control experts who will be equipped to deal with the problem safely.

For more advice on tackling pest birds on your property please get in touch with Total Bird Control.

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When it comes to species of pest birds in the UK most people think immediately of seagulls and pigeons but Collared Doves are also known as a pest bird.

Why is the Collared Dove a pest?

Despite only arriving in the UK in the 1950s, the Collared Dove – also known as the Eurasian Collared Dove – has swiftly made its presence felt with there now being nearly one million pairs in the country.

This comprehensive establishment has seen collared doves labelled as an invasive species having originated in Asia and now being prolific in many countries including the USA.

Why are Collared Doves a problem?

The main reason Collared Doves are seen as a pest species is that they carry diseaseTrichomonas gallinae and Pigeon Paramyxovirus.

These can be passed onto other species with Trichomonas gallinae causing birds respiratory problems that can lead to death in indigenous birds.

The problem of the spread of disease is a serious concern for farmers, whose livestock can be put a risk through the risk of chickens becoming infected.

An agricultural bird pest

In addition collared doves are attracted to seeds and grains and will descend on farms and agricultural properties in large numbers to eat these. As well as decimating the drop, this is a serious concern regarding the spread of disease – particularly through droppings getting onto the crops.

For householders the constant monotonous cooing of the collared dove is seen as irritating making it a nuisance bird, particularly due to its tendency to gather in numbers.

If an agricultural property or farm is experiencing issues with collared doves there are a number of options that can be implemented to help keep the birds away.

Spikes can deter them from landing and roosting, while netting makes a good choice to keep birds out of a certain area.

Likewise for people finding Collared Doves a problem at home there are a number of solutions that can be put in place to act as a deterrent.

If you are experiencing a problem with Collared Doves – or any other pest bird species – contact Total Bird Control for a solution that will work for you.

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A major problem with pest birds is that, put bluntly, they keep people away. When it’s your business and your town that is a real problem.

Join forces to stop seagulls hitting visitor footfall

While pigeons are as a general rule – although not always – shy of humans their mess can be a major deterrent to visitors looking for a spot to enjoy a drink outside.

Seagulls on the other hand can be extremely aggressive, so much so that that can be a blight across an entire town.

Seaside towns are obviously the natural habitat of these birds and it is some of these coastal areas that have reported real problems with the seagull population.

Tourists feeding aggressive seagull behaviour

Preying on visitors for easy food, seagulls are becoming emboldened by the rich pickings of discarded food and, even worse, tourists feeding them.

One tourist’s choice to throw food to the seagulls is another tourist’s decision not to eat at a seafront cafe due to it being plagued by brazen gulls.

To protect the livelihood of the cafes, restaurants and pubs – and to ensure the continued footfall of holiday makers and day trippers – local authorities and community groups need to take action to protect the area as a whole.

While gulls are part and parcel of coastal life, they do not need to aggressively scare customers away from cafes.

Action to support the community

A decision by the council or local chamber of trade to tackle the problem by implementing strategic deterrents is all that is needed to help businesses and seagulls co-exist more peacefully.

Spikes and netting can be added to lampposts, landmarks and roofs to deter the gulls from preying on unsuspecting tourists – and making visitors consider choosing an alternative destination in future.

While one business acting alone may be able to protect their customers, traders need to consider the appeal of the town as a whole. A combined effort will really help to protect a specific area from aggressive seagulls targeting diners.

Whether you are a local authority looking for a solution to a pest bird problem or a chamber of trade being asked to take action, Total Bird Control has the expertise and solutions to help.

If you are a business owner in despair at the effect seagulls are having on your trade consider teaming up with other local traders to tackle the problem together.

Contact Total Bird Control to discuss the best solution to your bird pest problem.

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When a pest is identified it is natural that the first concern is whether the animal concerned poses a risk to human health.

Pest control concerns: Do pigeons cause asthma?Due to the nature of pest species many animals are a health concern owing to their capacity to spread germs and disease as a result of the areas they inhabit.

But what about the animals themselves? Where pigeons are concerned there is certainly the possibility of there being a risk to health.

Alarmingly pigeons can be the cause of breathing difficulties through people nearby inhaling dust from droppings.

As well as being an unpleasant idea it is also an unpleasant experience for those who happen to be unfortunate enough to be affected.

What is the link between pigeons and breathing difficulties?

The main cause of breathing difficulties relating to pigeon droppings is a disease known as Bird Fancier’s Lung.

It mainly affects people who have close contact with the birds either through their work or hobby.

The disease is a form of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which causes coughing, shortness of breath and sometimes a fever. The symptoms can appear to be very similar to asthma.

Once found to be suffering from Bird Fancier’s Lung a person needs to avoid all exposure to pigeons and anything related that may trigger the condition. This should usually help the symptoms to go – along with steroid treatment.

It can, however, become very serious if left to build up over a number of years and will scar the lungs causing fibrosis.

Can pigeons affect asthma?

While Bird Fancier’s Lung is the main respiratory concern connected to pigeons, birds are known to affect asthma.

Like other animals that trigger allergic asthma, pigeons can do so through their feathers and dander.

If the person affected by the allergic reaction suffers from asthma there is every chance that exposure to birds could affect it.

While many people do choose to keep pigeons as a hobby many more people come into close quarters with pigeons as a result of a pest infestation.

If pest pigeons have chosen to roost at your property or place of work them action is needed to make sure there is no risk to human health.

For help controlling a pigeon pest problem get in touch with Total Bird Control.

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Having good security in place is an essential part of protecting a business but pest birds can be a serious problem for external technology.

Keep outdoor technology safe from pest birds

Unfortunately, the areas surrounding a building that require extra security through the installation of CCTV are all too often a haven for roosting birds such as pigeons.

It comes as no surprise that security technology and birds are not an ideal mix. Pest birds will not only potentially block images but will also cause a mess and possibly damage equipment with faeces.

It’s not only security equipment that can fall foul of pest birds, the performance of outdoor information screens, public entertainment systems and broadcast equipment can all be affected by pigeons that make the area their home.

Protecting CCTV equipment from pest birds

As with security itself, when it comes to protecting outdoor technology from birds prevention is better than cure.

Adding a bird deterrent to new CCTV equipment is a good way to protect security technology from the off.

Spikes can be added to the top of equipment and surrounding areas to deter pigeons from sitting on top of CCTV or outdoor television screens. This will make the equipment itself inhospitable to birds, helping to protect it from any bird mess.

Installing bird deterrents in the surrounding area will help to keep the area in general free from birds, allowing security equipment to work properly and deliver clear images that are not blocked and disturbed by birds swooping in and out of the immediate area.

Protect your investment

When investing thousands of pounds in external technology to enhance visitor experiences or to keep premises secure, it is advisable to protect that equipment – particularly in an area that has already experienced problems with pest birds.

Onscreen advice that has been introduced to smooth the arrival of visitors for example will present entirely the wrong welcome message if the screen is covered in bird droppings.

Plan ahead and take steps to protect your investment in outdoor technology by installing bird deterrents.

For more information on installing a bird deterrent at your property contact Total Bird Control.

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How do spikes work as a bird deterrent?When seeking a solution to pest birds a humane approach should always be the first port of call.

Culling birds is always seen as the last option when all other alternatives have been exhausted and there is a real threat to health.

So how exactly do humane bird control methods work? The basic idea is that bird control solutions make an area inhospitable to birds so that they no longer return there to roost.

Deterring pest birds from nesting

Spikes are particularly effective in doing this. Importantly they are also fairly unobtrusive and can be adapted to a many different aspects of a building.

When you consider the parts of a building that birds might choose to make their homes, accessibility is important for the chosen bird control solution.

Aerials, chimneys, underneath gutters, window sills, rooftop corners and crevices are all prime targets for birds looking for a place to make their home.

Small enough to be used in these areas but prominent enough to deter birds, spikes are an essential piece of kit in deterring birds from nesting.

The metal spikes are attached to a plastic base and are either glued or screwed into place.

They work by making it difficult for birds to land in a particular area thereby deterring them from making their nest – or returning to a former roosting site.

Importantly, the spikes do not harm the birds and as such are seen as a highly efficient form of bird control.

Prevention

By being a permanent solution, spikes not only deal with a present bird control problem but will act as a bird deterrent in the future to prevent more birds from attempting to make their home at the property.

While dealing with pest birds it is important to protect your property and the health of the people who live or work there, so is doing this in the most humane way possible.

Spikes are an effective way to deal with pest birds without causing unnecessary harm. They get the humane seal of approval.

If you have a problem with pest birds at your property get in touch with Total Bird Control to talk about a suitable preventative solution.

Birds of Prey as a pest control solution across Great Britain

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Can birds of prey be an effective deterrent for pest control?When it comes to the bird population there is a clear pecking order and hawks certainly seem to rule the roost.

So defined is this battle between the smaller and larger bird species that some birds are actually introduced to an area to act as a pest deterrent.

Some species of birds are classed as a pest due to the risk they pose to human health, particularly when they gather in large numbers in a public place or at an industrial property. The main problem is the risk of disease from droppings, particularly when they make their home near to a food source.

The birds most commonly considered to be a pest are pigeons, seagulls, sparrows and starlings.

Are birds of prey a pest solution?

Some birds of prey, however, are seen as a solution to help solve a problem with pest birds. Harris hawks and falcons are both seen as a deterrent against smaller birds that have become a pest.

The basic premise is that as birds of prey they scare away the smaller birds by flying over the affected area. The hawks are intended to act as a deterrent only and by making unpredictable flights over the pest birds the hope is the pest birds will move on and roost elsewhere.

Hawks are particularly seen as useful in deterring birds from airport runways where birds can pose a serious danger to planes taking off and landing.

Deterrent

While some people see the method as a natural way to deter birds, it certainly is not without its critics.  There are arguments that the method alone is not effective without a bird cull, and also that the hawks used are not natural predators for the pest birds – and as such it is not ‘nature at work’.

The main objective is for the hawks to act as deterrents only – not to kill the birds. However, while the birds are apparently trained to do this it is impossible to prevent them attacking a bird while in flight. Critics of the method attack the savage spectacle of seeing a bird destroyed by a hawk – particularly if this is in a public place.

There are many humane ways that pest birds can be controlled and encouraged to leave an area that they have inhabited, such as the use of netting etc.

For more advice on how to control pest birds at your property get in touch with Total Bird Control today.