Time to make sure you are protected from the menace of pigeons

Damaged bird net
Damaged bird net

With Spring seemly getting earlier and earlier, now is the time to make sure your property is protected from nesting pigeons and other flying pests.

As the days get warmer, birds will start to look for places to settle – outside ledges and exposed pipework. Their droppings will then collect on the floor below, causing an unsightly and dangerously slippery mess.

Leading pest control company, Cleankill Pest Control, is now warning facilities and property managers to check their buildings are properly protected from unwanted birds. There are many techniques available to the professional pest controller such as installing nets, bird free gel, sprung wire systems and bird spike repellents.

In many cases, nets will be used to keep the pests from finding suitable places to perch and nest. But, poorly maintained netting can be a bigger problem than no nets at all. However, a poorly maintained net might cause potentially illegal entrapment of birds, and damage to the net. In fact, poorly maintained netting can be a bigger problem than no net at all.

“If a gap in the netting goes unnoticed and a pair of pigeons gets through and into a roof space in a matter of months there can be hundreds of birds living there and the floor will soon be covered with fouling up to a foot deep,” say Cleankill Managing Director Paul Bates.

Paul Bates, goes on to say that part of the problem is the increase in the number of broods each pigeon pair is now having:

“Twenty years ago pigeons would have two or three broods a year, but now we are more likely to see four or five. This has led to a massive increase in the pigeon population, which has been exacerbated by people feeding them and attracting them into town squares. In these locations, they can cause heavy fouling on pavements and buildings.”

The problem with some traditional bird repelling systems is that they can be unsightly, and so Cleankill can also, in the right circumstances, use an unobtrusive UV gel which invisibly repels the birds.

“In the right places, we have had great success with a gel that appears to the bird as flames. In one memorable case, a Catholic church in Uckfield, East Sussex, had a problem with birds defacing their statue of Christ – called ‘Jesus in Jeans’. Obviously traditional methods, such as netting and spikes would not be appropriate for the statues and so, after a few pest control companies failed to solve the problem, we installed our special gel and the statue of Jesus Christ has remained clean ever since.”

Property managers should take this problem seriously. Pigeons, or ‘flying rats’, actually carry more diseases than rats, and nearly all pigeons carry bird mites - a tiny spider-like creature that feeds off the bird and makes humans itch and scratch. Pigeon fouling and nest materials also provide a home for many other insects such as clothes moths, carpet beetle and mealworm beetles. When the fouling is dry, it also creates airborne bacteria affecting anybody that may be susceptible to asthma and other breathing difficulties.

Pigeons are not the only flying pest that can affect businesses and residential properties. Gulls and Parakeets are also very common pest birds. Gulls not only cause the problems of fouling and insect infestation, like feral pigeons, but they also aggressively defend their nests, diving at anyone who comes within range. They also have very loud calls. Parakeets can cause severe structural damage inside roof spaces, where they attack wooden joists and supports. Their powerful beaks can slice through electrical cables, which creates a potential risk of fire. Parakeets tend to live in large colonies, so if you have a problem, you need to deal with it in a quick, efficient and legal manner.

Paul adds: “At this time of year, property managers must check their bird control measures as a matter of urgency. Ideally you should choose a pest control company that can offer an installation service with an inspection contract. This means that it is the pest control company’s responsibility to regularly check the netting hasn’t been damaged and make any necessary repairs."

“Bird control work is very hazardous for workers and any staff carrying out this type of work need comprehensive training on working at height and handling specialist equipment. Check that any companies you ask to quote have insurance, health and safety procedures in place, and are members of the British Pest Control Association.”

Cleankill offers a specialist bird control service, from the initial survey and specification through to the final proofing solution. As registered waste carriers, Cleankill can carry out full-scale removal of bird fouling, as well as removal of contaminated goods and furniture.

Cleankill Pest Control has the accreditations you should expect from your pest control supplier including being members of the PICS supplier scheme (Contractor ID 57321), ISO9001 and 14001, Exor, Chas, Construction Line, Achilles UVDB and Contractor Plus, Safe Contractor and Altius Assured Vendor. As an Investor in People with a Silver accreditation, all Cleankill’s staff are highly trained and offer an exceptionally fast and efficient level of service. The company is a proud member of the British Pest Control Association.


Press enquiries please contact Suzi Christie on 01435 830031 or e-mail [email protected]