Birds become pests through their nesting, roosting and feeding habits. Their droppings are the major concern as they can damage buildings, spoil food and generally create a health risk from the range of potential bird diseases that they carry. But their nesting habits can also introduce parasites so buildings (such as bird mites) and in significant numbers they can create noise pollution. Although bird management is primarily a concern for businesses, birds have become an increasing issue of homeowners due the damage they can cause to solar panels.
The majority of bird management issues are focused on controlling pigeons, starlings, sparrows, seagulls, swallows and Indian mynas. But the techniques and principles for managing bird problems are similar for the various species (although more restrictive for swallows as they are a native bird).
Most bird control techniques focus on excluding the birds from an area, most often through physical exclusion but sometimes through bird repellents. Culling is generally a last resort and often a permit is required.
There are a range of bird proofing products, with the most commonly used being bird netting and bird spikes. There are also electrified strip options.
There is increasing need for bird proofing for solar panels. Roosting and nesting birds damage solar panels – their dropping are very corrosive. Even if there is no lasting damage droppings and dirt on the panels reduce panel output significantly.
Bird repellents are often used in areas where physical exclusion isn’t possible. There are a range of predatory bird models, but repellent / deterrent bird devices are getting more sophisticated as generally birds become accustomed to repellents that are ever present in their environment. That said some of the newer visual repellents are proving very effecting such as the bird repellent gel and laser bird deterrents. There is also increasing research in the use of drones in bird management.
More information on birds.
Introducing the Flock Off bird management system, available in Australia from Pest IT.
The growth in residential solar power presents an ideal opportunity for pest managers to get into bird management.