The Quick Guide to Managing a Bird Infestation

When seen in their natural habitat or from a distance, soaring high above the clouds, birds are graceful and even admirable creatures.

But when they come into your life by means of random feathers, noises in the roof, and/or scavenging on waste and bins, they somehow seem a whole lot less elegant and poetic. 

Unfortunately, this is how a lot of us come into contact with birds in our lives. Many birds, such as pigeons and urban gulls, have become disruptive pests both in and outside the city — scavenging on any food they can find, infiltrating homes and businesses for shelter, and regularly terrorising fish-and-chip lovers and unsuspecting passers-by.

What makes birds so problematic is that, for one, they have wings and can fly, but more so that they’re gregarious creatures — i.e. they live in flocks of anything from fifty to five-hundred. Safe to say, if you have a bird problem in your life, it’s in yours and your bank balance’s best interest to deal with it sooner rather than later.


Signs of a bird infestation in your property


Birds are not mammals or reptiles, but belong to their own group of vertebrates simply called birds. With that in mind, there are numerous different types of winged creatures out there that have adapted to urban areas — house sparrows, starlings, feral pigeons, swifts, jackdaws, swallows. And as such, just as many different and individual signs depending on which type is infesting your property. 

That being said, it’s pretty straightforward to figure out if you have a bird infestation. The first warning signs can be seen around your premises. For instance, you may first notice birds settling on roofs or ledges and nesting materials, debris, and feathers strewn about your gardens or pathways.  

Another way many people discover they have a bird infestation is through the drain, gutter, or chimney blockages, or, in more unfortunate circumstances, damaged stock, whether from pecking or fouling. Other common signs include activity in the eaves and roof spaces of your properties, regular bird cries, and areas of droppings where birds roost.


Why are there birds in my property?


Birds are not too picky about what type of property they decide to move into. Not least because they don’t have — especially those that live in the city — many options when it comes to finding shelter.

Ideally, for us and them, birds would nest in trees. Many urban environments are lacking in such habitats — hence why buildings are so popular. Plus, as they’re so used to living around humans, they don’t hang around if an opportunity to lodge — i.e. a hole or gap in walls or roofs — should arise.

Swifts, starlings, swallows, and house martins are the most common birds to nest in holes in roofs or walls. These areas are like sanctuaries to such birds as they’re free from conflict and offer a vital resting place many so desperately need due to loss of their natural habitats.

Whereas this arrangement is pretty sweet for birds, it can be very problematic for us and businesses. Birds can spread a lot of diseases, many of which are airborne. Not to mention bird droppings can cause significant, costly messes and can carry harmful bacteria which, nesting where they do, can quickly spread through ventilation systems and properties.


What to do if you have a bird problem


As mentioned earlier, when on their own and far away, birds are pretty harmless. But a flock of urban birds can cause a huge amount of damage to your home or business, particularly during the winter months.

The first problem is realising you have a bird infestation. After that, it’s knowing which type of bird you have as a house guest. For one, many types of birds are a conservation concern because of population decline — even pigeons are protected by law. So you don’t want to take the initiative and try and kill them.

But also, knowing which type of bird is infesting your home can make all the difference in dealing with the problem quickly and cost-effectively. Birds don’t live alone, and so it’s not uncommon to, say, think you’ve scared them all away, seal a hole in the roof, and then realise there’s still some in there.

We haven’t even mentioned the risk of, if you try dealing with it yourself, contracting and spreading diseases. So whether you’ve got pigeons, seagulls, or sparrows, it pays to get a professional who is knowledgeable and experienced in bird control to come in and deal with it.

A pest control expert will make use of proven methods that are safe for you, your property, and the birds. Meaning effective management of the problem, minimum disruption to your home or business, and that in no time you can get back to living or running your business.