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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are many pest bird species in the UK. Here are the main culprits:
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
The summer is finally here and this is definitely good news for every food business owner. However, summer is the period of the year when birds are very active too and they can be bad for business because they can contaminate food. Unfortunately, these beautiful creatures are able to transmit more than 60 diseases which can affect not just animals, but humans too. Food businesses witness many problems caused by pest birds every year and sometimes find it difficult to meet the health codes because of their activities. So, what can a food business owner do to keep pest birds away this summer?
Things that attracts pest birds
When summer kicks in, the days are relatively warm and hot, but the evenings and mornings can be chilly which means that birds often look for indoor cover during this period. It is quite common to find nests on building ledges, nooks of signs and other similar places where they can take cover. The main point is that birds, just like all animals, are constantly looking for sources of food. So, if the area around your business is clean and they can’t find leftovers, they will probably go away and search elsewhere.
Don’t let them nest close to your facility
Different birds have different nesting seasons, but most of them use the summer period for this activity. It’s important to understand that when a bird (any bird) marks their territory, it is very difficult to move it on after that. So, prevention is the best idea and you can do this by closing gaps and holes or using some efficient bird control system.
Keep the birds away from nooks and crannies
Remember that birds are always looking for areas they can use as a base for the long term. If you create an environment that is not pleasant for them, they will look for another place. So, if you want to keep them away from your food business you should use plastic predators, reflective objects, cover holes and maybe invest in bird wiring or bird spikes.
If birds are becoming a nuisance at your business premises, please contact us now for help.
Without doubt, a garden pond can beautify any garden, but it can also allow additional space for wildlife – wildlife that is sometimes unwanted. If the pond has small sloping sides it is very likely that some small birds will use it as a bath or for drinking. In addition, such ponds are attractive for newts, frogs, toads and in some cases – herons.
If you decide to place some decorative fish in the garden pond you will not be happy when you notice a heron visiting. These birds’ diet consists of fish even though they occasionally consume small mammals and amphibians. In rare cases they eat worms, other birds and reptiles too. Due to the fact that they are hunting fish at dusk and/or dawn, people usually don’t notice them and many people have woken up to discover that their fish collection has been decimated.
Small herons learn how to fish on their own and once they leave the nests in June or July, they are looking for small ponds in gardens because this fishing is not very challenging. The fact is that there are numerous ways in which homeowners can make their small ponds less acceptable to herons. However, you should be aware that most of these techniques will keep other wildlife away from the pond as well. If the herons are very persistent and they keep coming back, then you may be fighting a losing battle and it would make sense to remove the fish from the pond.
However, when you’re designing your garden pond there are certain things you can do that may potentially block the herons from reaching the fish. Small ponds with steep sides and lots of decorations and a suitable covering that consists of lily pads should be able to help you.
According to statistics there are more than 15.000 pairs of this type of bird in the United Kingdom. Herons are also protected under the general Wildlife and Countryside Act from 1981. If you’re having problems with herons and you’re not sure what to do for the best, pleased get in touch and we will do our best to advise you.
Magpies can cause a lot of trouble on our properties and this is the reason why many property owners look for efficient ways to get rid of them. Of course, they are also looking for methods that are completely legal and for those who don’t know, legal control methods include trapping or shooting, as long as a general license is obtained.
A specific kind of cage trap known as a Larsen trap is designed to catch magpies and other birds alive without causing any harm to the health of these birds. The birds can be baited with the help of food or even with a live magpie decoy as long as all welfare rules are met. In Scotland, a Larsen trap must include a unique tag for identification which users can get from a Wildlife Crime Officer.
If you believe that a bird trap has been installed illegally to capture birds of prey, feel free to contact the local WCO. It is also good to know that gun laws don’t allow shooting of magpies in areas close to houses and public roads. There are specific measures that must be adhered to in the general license for any kind of shooting or trapping to take place. Obviously, illegal magpie control like poisoning that puts other birds and animals at risk are strongly discouraged and you could face prosecution if you use this method.
There are many people who want to control magpies in their yards and gardens. This is quite understandable because magpies are known for their tendency to take chicks and eggs that belong to other birds. However, according to numerous scientific studies, magpies are not a real threat to common garden birds. This means that the utilisation of general license may be questionable.
People who will kill magpies on their property may be legally challenged and they will have to provide proof that the killing was necessary. In cases like this, the scientific findings which indicate that magpies are no threat to garden birds will be used as evidence against the perpetrator.
To find out more about the laws surrounding the control of magpies, please contact us now.
We are all aware of the fact that pigeon droppings ruin the look of many public areas, monuments and roofs. However, what most people don’t know is that their faeces contain uric acid which makes the droppings not only visually unattractive, but also dangerous because they can damage the roof surface. They are also packed with bacteria and fungi that can potentially damage your health.
Some of the health problems that people can experience due to exposure to pigeon droppings include psittacosis, histoplasmosis, encephalitis and cryptococcosis. Both residential and commercial buildings can witness this kind of problem because pigeons don’t need much living space. The best way to protect yourself from these droppings is to get rid of the pigeons and here are three ways you can do this:
1. First of all, you can rely on anti-roosting strips with spikes that you can place on any area where pigeons are gathering. The most common place where they gather and live is of course, the roof. At Total Bird Control we can supply with bird spikes that are specifically aimed at pigeon control.
2. The second step is to close all the entry points on your roof. You should check the attic and the vents as well as the roofing material. If you block every hole and crack in them, they won’t be able to dwell there. Use some netting right below the places where pigeons tend to nest.
3. Finally, you can use some scare tactics. You can use loud noises from special devices to scare them away. There are many people who use reflective materials to get rid of pigeons because the reflections of light make them nervous and they eventually will move on to find somewhere the believe will be safer. Putting up fake birds of prey on the roof can also have this affect.
Keep in mind that getting rid of pigeons on the roof can take some time, and it sometimes takes a bit of perseverance to get rid of them for good.
For more advice about dealing with pigeon control problems please contact us now.
There are many business owners who don’t think about this problem, but the fact is that the vast majority of business premises can serve as a perfect home for different types of pest birds. For example, seagulls and pigeons are bird species that can adapt easily and they can live in almost any conditions as long as there is access to food and especially waste food from humans. They are also true masters when it comes to making nests because they need a very small space to build one.
Here are some facts to consider:
- Seagulls and pigeons often use the most inhospitable areas in tall buildings and flat roofs in order to create nests.
- Seagulls are fond of flocking together on roofs (especially flat roofs).
- Ledges, balconies, terraces, culverts, guttering – these are some of the areas that these pest birds find especially attractive.
- If there is a gap that is 25 mm wide or larger, this is enough for these birds to enter your building and find shelter there (and even reproduce).
- Pigeons are fond of roofs and getting into lofts. They will often break and damage tiles to seek the shelter they need.
- Pigeons live in flocks and these flocks can include up to 500 birds. Once one of these birds enters your building it is very likely that more of them will come.
Now let’s point out the most common signs of seagull and pigeon infestation:
- Constant noise made by the birds, especially young chicks.
Birds in large numbers on top of the roof.
Materials used for making nests spread all over your premises.
Loose and damaged tiles.
Bird droppings in specific areas,
Feathers and nest debris related to seagulls and pigeons.
If you see any of these signs then don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can help implement bird control measures to eradicate the problem.
DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regulates the control of feral pigeons and the rest of wild birds in the United Kingdom based on the Wildlife and Countryside Act from 1981 (or chapter 69 to be more precise).
The purpose of this Act is to regulate all legal matter related to the handling of wildlife, wildlife conservation and issuing licenses. Even though this is a very detailed act, it doesn’t provide specific instructions about pigeon pest control and the issues that arise as a result of wild birds’ activities. These problems are handled by the landowner where wild birds and feral pigeons appear. However, DEFRA frequently releases leaflets which advises about what individuals can do when specific problems related to these birds occur.
In the first part of the Wildlife and Countryside Act from 1981, the law confirms that individuals and organizations are not allowed to kill, injure or hold captive wild birds, damage and destroy their nests and destroy their eggs. Taking such actions is considered an offence. The only exception can be found in the General Licenses and they are related to specific species of birds listed there.
It’s important to point out that although a General License allows individuals to kill certain birds, this is only the case when the birds present threat to the health and security of the general public. The protection of a fabric of any building is not a reason to kill any bird or to destroy their nests.
For more advice about the laws surrounding pigeon pest control, please contact us now.