Bird Control: 10 Strategies

bird controlBy Ashley Estes
From the July/August 2016 Issue

Summer is well underway, and with that comes the arrival of many pest birds that leave a huge mess and cause a noisy disruption for facilities. Taking a proactive approach to pest bird control is imperative for maintaining clean and safe facilities.

In the past, common pest control solutions included traps or chemicals, and left behind dead or dying animals. However, the present and future of pest control are becoming increasingly dependent on humane options that pose less of a risk to surrounding wildlife and people.

Pest control has become a more integrated part of facility planning, with some architects even writing pest management plans into building specifications. Following are 10 methods for keeping pest birds at bay in a safe and effective way.

Bird spikes provide a physical barrier that prevents birds from landing on surfaces such as rooftop edges, ledges, and windowsills. Spikes come in plastic and stainless steel options—both of which offer constant coverage. They are easy to install, and stop birds from landing and nesting on elevated surface areas.

Bird netting is a great choice for semi-enclosed spaces and large open areas, like gardens. Bird netting comes in a variety of materials; heavy-duty and lighter options are available. It provides a protective barrier that keeps birds from entering, but allows sunlight in and allows for watering greenery.

Ultrasonic bird control devices play irritating high and low-pitch frequencies that don’t bother humans. Over time, the annoying ultrasonic frequencies make an area uninhabitable for pest birds, and they vacate elsewhere. These low-profile devices can be effective for facilities with high-volume human traffic, because they are silent to most people.

Sonic devices broadcast bird alarm calls and terrifying predator calls that alert birds that an area is unsafe. To humans, these sonic recordings simply blend in with nature. But, to birds, the sounds are extremely frightening. Similarly to ultrasonic bird control units, these devices condition birds to not return with continued use.

Laser bird control units work by emitting laser beams with constantly changing patterns and colors. The blinding lights work day and night to scare pest birds, while the motion of the beams inhibits acclimation. Birds remain away from the area and are unharmed.

Drones used for bird control are another high-tech pest control method to enter the market. A drone’s threatening physical presence can be combined with sound technology. Recent versions of bird control drones use sonic devices to play recordings of predator noises, and can fly fully autonomously with integrated Google Maps customization. The combination of sight and sound offers a multi-pronged effect for pest bird control.

Shock track systems are a good option as a low profile bird control method. Nearly invisible shock track strips are installed on places like windowsills or ledges, and gently shock birds upon contact, alerting them not to land in the area. Shock track systems are humane, as they do not harm pest birds, but keep them off structures.

Liquid taste aversions cover grass, turf, and foliage, and these products can be sprayed across a large area, providing an extremely cost-effective solution for pest control. Treated surfaces deter birds because they make the area taste unpleasant. Meanwhile, bird gels can be applied to structures and repel birds by creating a sticky, uncomfortable surface that is not suitable for landing. To ensure that plants and other wildlife aren’t affected, non-toxic, biodegradable formulas are preferred.

Visual scares and predator decoys are user-friendly pest control methods, as they are usually inexpensive and low-maintenance. These visual deterrents alert pest birds that there is a threat in the area and force them to seek refuge elsewhere. The most effective stationary scares use reflective or moving parts. Many predator decoys look like extremely realistic owls, hawks, coyotes, falcons, and alligators.

Bird Balls are physical barriers that completely cover a body of water’s surface. They prevent pest water birds, like geese and ducks, from landing and swimming on the water’s surface. Floating bird balls are an eco-friendly approach to pest control because they deter birds while allowing sunlight to enter in order to preserve the water’s ecosystem.

Estes is the marketing content manager for Bird-X, a Chicago, IL-based provider of humane pest and bird control solutions worldwide that was established in 1964. She is also the managing editor and chief contributor for the Bird-X blog, and regularly writes press releases regarding the pest control industry on behalf of the company.

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  1. I never knew that birds don’t like ultrasonic sounds. It might be a great idea for us to use in the future for family events at the beach. There are always birds trying to pick out our food while we eat on the beach. Maybe we could get a small ultrasonic device that attaches to our canopy.

  2. Very useful content. Some really valid and useful points here regarding bird control. Learned so many useful things from your post! Many thanks for sharing. It’s good to know that you are spreading such an informative knowledge through your posts. Bird controls should be done in order to prevent damages caused. Great share I must say!

  3. I really like how cool some of the high-tech options sound. Especially the lasers, i like how that one is humane and doesn’t harm the birds. Do you have any cheaper options you could talk about? Like home made or simple ideas that are good for bird control? Thanks!

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