Birds, whilst often appreciated for their innate beauty and melodic songs, can pose considerable challenges for property owners. Their tendency to gather in considerable quantities can lead to disruptive noise, unsightly mess, and property harm. Addressing this issue requires a delicate equilibrium between human convenience and the preservation of avian species.
This article provided by pest control experts aims to showcase various humane pest control strategies that deter birds from properties without infringing on their natural behaviours and rights.
Most common types of bird nuisances
Despite their general appeal, various bird species can exhibit problematic behaviours when their nesting or roosting sites are in conflict with human activity. Urban dwelling species such as pigeons, sparrows, and starlings often instigate these conflicts, with the following being typical complaints:
- Auditory disturbances, particularly pre-dawn vocalisations.
- Sanitation issues related to bird droppings which may pose health risks and degrade aesthetic appeal.
- Potential structural damage and fire hazards caused by nesting materials and activities.
- Damage to structures and crops from bird feeding behaviours.
How to keep birds away humanely
Dealing with bird-related challenges requires an understanding of the ecological role these species play. Many species of birds are protected under various environmental regulations, making aggressive or harmful measures not only inhumane but also illegal. As such, ethical and humane pest control practices remain the only legal and morally acceptable solutions for managing bird-related issues. Here are several non-harmful strategies, each exploiting a different aspect of bird behaviour to encourage them to seek habitats away from your property:
Remove possible food sources
Birds, like all creatures, follow food. If an area provides abundant and accessible nourishment, birds will naturally flock to it. By methodically eliminating or securing potential food sources—exposed rubbish, pet food, and certain plant varieties—you can significantly deter birds from frequenting your property. Reducing the availability of food requires vigilance: bins must be tightly sealed to prevent access, leftover food should be cleaned promptly, and garden plants that produce seeds or berries appealing to birds may need to be covered with nets or replaced with alternatives that are less attractive to them. Taking such steps disrupts the food chain and reduces the habitat’s suitability, encouraging the birds to relocate.
Bird spikes and netting
Physical barriers such as bird spikes and netting offer another non-harmful way of discouraging birds from settling in undesired locations, like rooftops, ledges, or other structures. These deterrents do not inflict physical harm but create an uncomfortable and uninviting surface that discourages landing or nesting.
Spikes and netting are a simple mechanical solution that doesn’t rely on chemicals or cause harm to the birds. Their visual discretion and non-invasive nature make them particularly appealing for businesses and properties keen on maintaining an unspoiled, professional appearance. However, installation should be done by professionals working in pest control services to ensure that birds can’t become tangled or harmed.
Decoys exploit birds’ natural fear of predators to create an atmosphere of perceived danger, effectively deterring birds from encroaching upon the area. Decoys designed to resemble bird predators such as owls or hawks trigger instinctual avoidance behaviours, encouraging birds to seek safer locations. While decoys are a harmless and low-maintenance solution, their effectiveness relies on their perceived threat.
Therefore, they must be periodically repositioned or alternated to simulate the movements of a real predator. If left static, birds may soon realise the decoy’s harmlessness and ignore it, diminishing its effectiveness. The successful implementation of decoys involves understanding the specific species you are trying to deter, as different birds respond to different predators.
Bird repellents offer a range of effective and harmless ways to manage bird nuisances. They operate by exploiting various senses in birds, making an area less desirable for them to inhabit. Here are a few types of bird repellents used in pest control services, that can be utilised to deter birds without causing them physical harm:
- Visual Repellents – Reflective tapes, mirrors, and flashy banners create disorientating light reflections perceived as threats by birds. Other options include ‘eye balloons’ with predator-like eyes painted on.
- Auditory Devices – These devices emit sounds that mimic predator calls or bird distress signals, tapping into birds’ acute sense of hearing to induce fear. Examples include ultrasonic devices and propane cannons. Some of these auditory devices work quite well with predator decoys.
- Non-Toxic Chemical Repellents – These substances can create uncomfortable sensations for birds without causing harm, making treated areas less attractive. They can come in the form of sprays or gels that mildly irritate birds’ feet or disrupt their sense of smell and taste.
The choice of repellent should be tailored to the specific bird species you’re trying to deter, as different species may respond differently to each method. It is often most effective to employ a combination of these techniques.
What not to use to keep birds away
Protecting our properties from bird nuisances requires us to respect the rights of these creatures, particularly by avoiding actions that can cause them harm. There are several practices we should categorically refrain from:
- Poison – Using poison to control pests is a decidedly inhumane approach, especially when it comes to birds. This can cause drawn-out, painful deaths and can indiscriminately affect pets, other wildlife species, and potentially humans. Moreover, the use of poison against birds is generally illegal in many jurisdictions due to wildlife conservation laws.
- Trapping or Shooting – These methods are not just inhumane, but they are also likely to breach legal protections linked to various bird species. Trapping may result in stress, injury, or even death for the bird, and it does not tackle the underlying problem, rendering it an ineffective long-term strategy. Likewise, shooting can be extremely harsh, potentially illegal, and introduces additional safety risks for the public.
- Glue or Sticky Repellents – Products that cause birds to become ensnared result in prolonged distress and could lead to their death. Such methods are generally viewed as inhumane due to the severe distress and potential harm they can inflict.
Rather than resorting to these detrimental practices, it’s advisable to apply humane methods or to consult with pest control services which specialise in humane control methods. These professionals can offer advice bespoke to your unique situation and assist in implementing strategies that will neither harm the birds nor other wildlife.
Hire pest control experts
In instances where bird-related issues exceed the scope of individual control, hiring pest control experts may be the most appropriate course of action. These trained professionals possess the necessary expertise and equipment to effectively manage bird problems on your property, whilst maintaining a focus on humane treatment.
When choosing a pest control service, seek those that emphasise humane methods. These professionals can assist you in implementing a wide array of strategies, from bird netting to repellents, whilst ensuring compliance with local wildlife regulations and maintaining the well-being of the birds.
Keeping birds away from your property doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. With a little understanding and the right approach, you can maintain the serenity of your surroundings while ensuring the safety and well-being of your feathered friends.
From removing potential food sources to employing decoys and repellents, several humane pest control methods are at your disposal. And for more complex situations, pest exterminators can provide professional assistance, taking care to respect wildlife and local regulations. Ultimately, we share this world with a myriad of creatures, and it’s our responsibility to find bal