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In the UK, we have a wonderful assortment of bird life and, as with all aspects of the natural world, they enrich our lives. However, there is no doubting that certain birds, especially when they congregate in large numbers, can become a massive nuisance. In light of this, there are certain species that can attain pest status and under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, measures can be taken to control them as long as these measures are humane and carried out with special licenses and ideally, by professional bird control specialists.

Problem Birds – The Main Culprits

Here is a list of the main pest species that we have in the UK:

  • Herring Gull
  • Greater Black Backed Gull
  • Lesser Black Backed Gull
  • Jackdaw
  • Jay
  • Magpie
  • Rook
  • Crow
  • Collared Dove
  • Feral Pigeon
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Sparrow
  • Starling

The above birds only need a ready supply of food and suitable nesting/roosting sites in order to thrive. The number of birds that congregate in any one area will depend on the amount of food that is available so it’s important, especially if you run a restaurant or take-away operation, to keep good control of your food waste and ensure that it can’t be accessed easily. Issues such as disease, food contamination, noise, feces, building damage and insect infestations can all be brought about by the above bird species.

Bird prevention, proofing and control is a very specialist skill that requires expertise in specialist equipment and tools. At Total Bird Control we are often called upon to deal with pest bird infestations and the methods we commonly use include spikes, nets, wire and barriers. In some cases we will use audible scarers and shock strips to keep birds away, it simply depends on how big the problem is and what’s the best method for long-term control. Bird control systems can become less effective over long periods of time so the situation does need to be periodically reviewed.

For particularly bad infestations we may have to implement measures such as bird trapping, the flying of predatory birds or even shooting. The latter is obviously less desirable but in extreme cases, population reduction techniques are required to get the situation under control.

If you are experiencing a bird infestation problem and not sure who to turn to, then please do not hesitate to contact us. We will conduct a comprehensive survey of the problem and then advise you on the most appropriate control technique to implement. Contact us now and speak to one of our expert team.

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Before you start designing how your bird garden should look like, the first thing you should do is to go out and check some of the natural areas and parks near you. By going into parks and natural areas you will get a good sense of what kind of flowers, trees or plants make up the specific bird habitat near your place of residence. Take some notes about which species grow in the parks and other natural places and how those plants are structured. For example, how they form their layers and how some of them occur in very large drifts. Recreating the same growth type by using specific plants from your area is vital if you want to design a bird friendly garden.

Ideas to design a bird friendly garden

Recreating vertical layers when designing your bird-friendly garden can be done quite easily. Start by planting the tallest trees on the periphery of your garden, while larger and smaller shrubs, as well as wildflowers, should be planted closer to your house. Another important thing to pay attention to is to install plants that provide different nutrition for the birds during different seasons.

By limiting the size of your lawn. you will avoid many problems associated with fertilization or mowing.  Try changing the composition of your garden by introducing some native plant species. If you do that, your garden will be much more conducive to garden birds.

Avoid planting non-native, invasive plants which could be dangerous for birds. Also, do not forget to provide a good supply of fresh water for them.  Birds drink water not only when thirsty but also for cooling themselves down in warm months and especially during the migration period. In addition to this, another tip for making a bird-friendly garden is to provide plenty of nest boxes which they will come back every year to use.

Birds don’t have to be pests! Most of the time we are called out to deal with large seagull or pigeon infestations, but with a little control and introducing certain plants and features in your garden, you can enjoy the bird life in your garden instead of it being a burden!

Contact us for more information. 

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Pigeons are fascinating birds, but when they settle on your property or on your business premises in large numbers, that fascination can soon turn to irritation. Fortunately, there are some good DIY pigeon deterrents on the market that can help.

keep pigeons out of garden with pigeon deterrents

First of all, you can set up barriers. For instance, many people rely on anti-roosting spike strips that are usually placed on the roof even though you can place them literally anywhere you want. These spike strips are found in almost every garden centre and diy store. Observe and find out where pigeons like to roost and place the spikes accordingly.

For large commercial buildings like warehouses and stadiums, then pigeon netting can be a good option. This should stop the pigeons from congregating in the eaves and the rafters.

Some DIY pigeon deterrents only work in the short-term, but they are worth trying. One of these deterrents is the use of reflective items like reflective tapes, foil balloons, and noise devices. These items can be effective in scaring pigeons away but they can sometimes ruin the aesthetic look of your property which puts some people off. Another popular but short-term solution is the use of fake hawks or owls which are predator birds and natural enemies of pigeons. Once again, these can help to scare pigeons away but often, over time, pigeons can get used to them being there and realise that they are not real.

If you are looking for a long-term pigeon control solution, then please give us a call. We will carry out a site inspection of the problem area and advice on the best way forward.

 

 

 

 

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Pest bird species and the debris they leave is a real magnet for insects and bacteria. The faeces of birds, especially starlings, gulls and pigeon droppings, are creating the perfect environment for the development of pathogens. Many of these pathogens are dangerous to humans.

When they are isolated, these droppings are usually harmless, but when faeces are not cleaned and left to accumulate or there is an increase of droppings due to pest bird infestation, the hazards that these droppings bring are significantly higher.

How dangerous are bird pest faeces?

According to official statistics, the number of birds, especially gulls and pigeons, that live in urban areas has increased drastically in the last decade. One of the reasons for this is the fact that these birds are true scavengers and they can easily live by eating food leftovers, litter and even the content of dustbins. On top of that, they have adjusted to urban living and they can make any part of a building their home including high ledges, balustrades and parapets.

Six out of ten birds that belong to these species may have dangerous bacteria in their system. People can be exposed to the effects of these bacteria by breathing then in once the faeces become solid, dried and powdered in large quantities.

There are two common health issues caused by bird faeces

First, there is salmonellosis which is triggered by Salmonella bacteria. Literally, every bird species can have these bacteria in their faeces. People can get infected by drinking water or consuming food that was contaminated by the bird. Vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and fever are some of the common symptoms of salmonellosis.

The other common health issue is ornithosis. This health problem, also known as parrot fever and psittacosis, is triggered by Chlamydophila psittaci bacteria. In most cases, people are infected by parrots even though pigeons can carry the bacteria too. The symptoms are very intense and similar to the ones caused by salmonellosis.

These diseases are very rare but it’s always best to be aware of them.

If you’re experiencing bird pest problems and need assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

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Bird pests can spread diseases but we need to point out that this is pretty rare. The fact is that many professions, like professions involved in wildlife rehabilitation or veterinary medicine, treat and heal wild birds dealing with different kinds of avian diseases regularly. In addition, people that practice sports like racing pigeons are also in touch with birds all the time. They are visiting messy pigeon lofts on a regular basis and as long as they are protected appropriately with their clothing there shouldn’t be a problem.

seagull-herring-gull1

There is almost the same chance to get infected or diseases from your contact with birds as with common pets. Truth be told, every animal and bird have a potential to transmit a disease and the same goes for humans.

There are a few situations where birds may be viewed as a threat to our health. The first one is the presence of excrement created by roosting birds (especially pigeons and seagulls) and dropped on the pavement areas which may cause slip and fall accidents. Secondly, when dried bird excrement is accumulated in large volumes, people who come into contact may experience respiratory irritation when they breathe in these areas. The situation gets much worse when people who are already dealing with specific respiratory issues are breathing this air.

One of the main reasons why people are worried about birds and their potential to bring diseases is simple – many people have watched the progress of the so-called avian influenza epidemic. Intensive farming was the main reason for the emergence of this disease. In other words, humans were responsible for its spread – not the birds!

However, feral birds clearly don’t belong in our homes and commercial buildings and if they’re causing you problems, the best idea is to call a pest control service provider like us. Please get in touch if you are experiencing pest bird problems and we’d be happy to advise on the best course of action.

 

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Even though you may not be aware of it, your offices and business premises might be vulnerable to pest birds – particularly seagulls or pigeons. These birds are very adaptable and they can now thrive in almost any environment, eating leftovers and finding shelter in small spaces where they can create their nests.

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In other words, pest birds don’t mind the hectic urban environment and actually thrive on it. For instance, seagulls and pigeons are often found in the rafters of buildings and flat roofs where they make nests. In addition, many of them choose culverts, guttering, chimney stacks, ledges and balconies as their homes. If there is a gap that is more than 25 mm wide, pigeons can use it to enter your business premises without any problems. It’s also worth pointing out that pigeons like roof spaces to settle in and they are well known for damaging tiles or loosening them just to enter spaces like this. Let’s not forget that pigeons usually live in large flocks that sometimes reach up to 500 individuals, so even if it starts as a seemingly small issue, their presence can quickly become a huge problem for your premises.

So, how can you find out whether there is a bird infestation in your building and when should you start looking for professional help?

The first and most obvious sign is the presence of a large number of birds that seem to be settling on your ledges or roof. If there is a bird infestation in your building you should be able to hear long bird cries from young birds. When they are preparing their nests, they will be using different materials and if you find debris from these materials around your building then you are clearly facing an infestation. In addition, bird infestation usually results in a huge amount of droppings in specific areas.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, we would urge you to act now and call in the experts. Contact us now to discuss any bird problems you may be facing.

 

 

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There is no doubt that birds are extraordinary creatures, but when they gather and nest in large numbers, they can become very problematical and even dangerous. Every home owner and business owner in the UK who has witnessed the gathering and nesting of birds on their property can confirm this. There are a few different pest bird species that live in the United Kingdom. Let’s take a quick look some of them.

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Seagulls

This is a large family known as Laridae too. In the UK it includes the relatively rare black-backed gulls and the well-known herring gulls. They are frequently found in cities and coastal towns. Gulls are known for their ability to scavenge on almost anything. Although they are looking for food and feed far away from the nesting sites, they come back when it is time to roost. These birds are especially active during the summer period.

Feral pigeons

Street pigeons and city doves are some other names given to these birds. Feral pigeons can spread in urban areas even in relatively harsh conditions in small spaces of large buildings. They live in flocks that have several dozens of birds and there have been some cases when the flocks have reached 500 pigeons. They eat domestic leftovers, green feed, and seeds.

Collared dove

Collared dove has a grey colour and a unique narrow band in black colour located on the back of their neck. They eat grains and seeds, but they don’t go far away from their roosting sites to look for food. They nest in canopies and trees.

Starlings

Starlings are easily recognisable because they have a short tail and pointed wings whenever they are flying. They look like they are completely black, but when the light reflects from their feathers they have purple and green nuances too. Starlings are between 20 and 23 cm long and feed on crops in the countryside although they are frequently found in cities too.

In addition to these common bird pest species, there are few other that are found quite often in the UK like house sparrows and crows for example.  If you are experiencing bird control problems and need advice about the best way to tackle it, please contact us now.

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Before we start talking about the different kinds of pigeons found in the UK, it’s worth mentioning that there is no official division between doves and pigeons. They both have tiny, slim bills, round heads, curvy bodies with soft and very dense feathers, thin and short legs, tapered wings and crooning/cooing calls.

Interestingly, the wild rock dove, which is commonly found in the wilderness, was once a domesticated dove just like town pigeons. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular types of pigeons in the UK.

Stock dove – often compared to rock doves and feral pigeons due to their size and plumage, stock doves are easily recognizable. They have mostly blue and grey bodies and a unique bottle green band located on the back of their necks. When they are flying people can notice the black edges located on their wings. They can be found all over the UK except in some areas of Ireland and northern Scotland.

keep pigeons out of garden

 

Rock dove – as previously mentioned, they were once domesticated birds for food. Rock doves have a wide range of shades, but darker colours usually dominate their feathers. They are known as persistent pests in urban areas once their number grows.

Collared dove – these doves have pale pink and brown colours and a unique black collar on their neck. They also have slightly red feet and distinctive red eyes. They usually live alone, but it is not unusual to see them gathered in larger numbers.

Turtle dove – The turtle dove has a unique size. It is smaller and also a little bit darker compared to the collared dove, but it is a little bit larger compared to blackbirds. The black and chestnut colour and pattern found on the wings makes them easily recognizable. In recent times, the number of turtle doves has dropped.

If you are experiencing any problems with pigeons at your home or business property and need professional advice, please contact us now.

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Without any doubt, birds are beautiful creatures. However, when they start perching in places where they shouldn’t, they turn from beautiful creatures into annoying pests. The good news is that it’s fairly easy and simple to prevent perching in specific areas, but you will need to be careful, patient and you will also need to put in some effort to eradicate the problem.

roof

In order to protect your property there are a number of items that you can get on the market such as plastic owls, window ledge spikes, netting or wire screens. The first step is to find out why birds are perching in the first place. In most cases, they perch and form nests in areas where they can get water, food, and protection. Once you determine why the birds are perching, you can start the process of deterring the birds from settling there.

Choose your deterrent carefully. If the area is rich in food for birds, then they can infest the area so the best thing to do is try and cut off their food supply. If they feel protected and safe, you can try scaring them with fake owls or stop them from landing by investing in some bird spikes. If you notice them in the storm drains or eaves, you can protect these areas with wire screens.

The next step is to get the deterrent ready. Purchase pre-made spike strips and position them on your roof and window ledges.  In addition, buy some wire screen and cut it into suitable pieces that can fit the storm drain or eaves.

It is crucial to find the right position for the deterrent. Put them close to the bird’s nesting and perching locations for the best results. If you are relying on window spikes, then use some glue to keep them secured in position. If you have some plants that birds use as food, then cover them with a net. Make sure that any rubbish or food is stored away and remove their access to easy pickings. You may also need to change the position of all these deterrents occasionally because the birds will start to figure out the deterrent and find alternative ways of perching and nesting on your property.

If you are having problems eradicating your bird control problem, then please give us a call. We would be happy to help.

 

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There are many pest bird species in the UK. Here are the main culprits:

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Pigeons

Pigeons are one of the most common pest birds in the UK. The feral pigeon is responsible for a great deal of damage to residential, industrial and commercial properties. They cause damage worth millions of pounds every year and they are usually active in cities and urban areas. Their highly acidic urine causes most of the problems.

Gulls

This is another commonly found pest bird in the UK. Gulls are scavenging birds which means that they can eat almost everything – starting from ordinary rubbish/food waste to bugs and mice. On top of that, there are many cases when flocks of gulls have caused problems to aircraft flying close to the ground.

Sparrows

Even though they look cute, sparrows can create many problems in industrial plants dedicated to food processing and manufacturing. Their favourite nesting spots – drainage pipes and gutters –  are clogged by the materials they bring and as a result of that, property owners often experience water damage.

Starlings

Starlings are the third most common pest bird in urban areas. During the so-called flocking stage, hundreds or even thousands of these birds “occupy” trees and buildings. Aside from the noise they make, they cause a lot of damage with their droppings.

Crows

Crows are considered to be one of the most intelligent pest birds. They dwell on trees and if they create a nest on a tree close to a place where people are walking frequently, they have been known to swoop and attack people.

Swallows

Swallows usually live in suburban areas and the main reason why they are a pest is the fact that they have special nesting habits and activities. They create their nests on the eaves of houses and other buildings and the material they use can create significant damage to the facade.

If you are experiencing any problems with the above birds and need help to control them, please contact us now.