There are hundreds of species of birds in the UK contributing to a beautiful part of our natural landscapes; however some have invaded our towns and cities, becoming urban pests proving hard to remove. The urban bird has become a serious nuisance in the UK posing risks to health and safety, and environmental building maintenance.
Feral pigeons are a common site in any town or city all over the world, and we have become accustomed to seeing them in large groups populating areas, building and statues; in these areas they have become dependent on humans for food.
Ledges, girders and holes provide ideal sites for crude pigeon nests; these materials can block drains and gutters increasing the risk of flooding. Pigeon droppings also contain a high level of acidity; this can incur structural damage through nesting, and a good reason to pigeon proof a building.
Structural damage is not the only problem these wild birds cause; they also pose a high health risk. Pigeon fouling contains a wide range of fungal and bacterial diseases and allergens creating problems with smell, with parasitic insects that can spread from bird nests; the cost of cleaning can be really significant as it is harmful to humans with risk of diseases such as Salmonella, Histoplasmosis, Ornithonis and Cryptococcosis.
While pigeons are the main offenders in urban bird damage, an uprising issue we face currently is the level inland gulls in main city areas. They have been drawn to these areas through levels of rubbish and litter; with a habit of feeding and roosting at refuse tips. As larger sized birds pecking at roofs can damage the fabric of buildings, and nest debris and droppings can sometimes block gutters and drains and the subsequent pollution of reservoirs, generates concern as gulls have also been implicated in the transmission of Botulism and Salmonella.
There is a range of methods that can be implemented for the removal and deterring of urban bird in populated areas; one of the most popular and effective methods is bird netting, this is used primarily to protect structures and can be used on practically any part of a building. However this method can sometimes be thought of as unsightly; an alternative approach is trapping or poisoning the birds, where they will be caught and humanely culled.
Once the problem has been eradicated, it's important to prevent future nesting and settling; a discreet system of stainless steel posts, wire and spring systems can be fitted to ledges to provide an insecure landing area prevent birds from settling. This is that is suitable for light pressure and possibly an alternative to spikes for aesthetic purposes.