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How To Control Birds

When we talk about bird control, we’re referring to the methods used to remove and deter pest birds from landing, roosting and nesting in a particular area. Whilst these methods are harmless, the impact that pest birds such as gulls and pigeons have in the UK can be very serious, particularly to businesses.

It’s essential to understand that whilst most British birds live very happily with us and we with them, some bird species can become a serious nuisance when they move into the wrong locations. If you’ve got or have had birds roosting or nesting on your business premises, not only can they cause a lot of damage and fouling, but they can also spread diseases.

The main culprits when it comes to ‘pest birds’ are feral pigeons and various types of gulls, but Canada geese, starlings, collared doves and crows can all cause problems for businesses and homes – all birds are protected!

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Bird control and the law

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects all wild birds, their nests and eggs, and the law only allows professional pest controllers to deal with certain species.

Professional bird control companies can be issued with a wildlife licence which allows certain activities to be carried out that would otherwise be illegal under the legislation.

It’s also important to note that you can be prosecuted in the UK if you damage/destroy/take a bird’s nests or eggs without a wildlife licence. We highly recommend you get advice before taking any action to control birds that are causing problems.

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Why do we need to control birds?

The risks from pest birds in large numbers can include diseases, cause health and safety issues, damage to property and insect infestations.


Pest birds can create many health-related problems through their faeces or droppings, including Salmonella, histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis, which is transmitted by inhaling the bacteria from dried droppings or handling feathers of infected birds.

Health & Safety Issues

The health risks caused from a bird infestation can pose a real health and safety hazard, for your business, staff, and customers. Financially, it can have a major impact on your business, and to your reputation.

Damage to Property

Bird debris including feathers and nesting materials can block guttering and cause damage to roof materials which in turn causes leaks. Although, it’s the bird droppings that cause the most damage as it is particularly corrosive, not only to building materials but any plant machinery on roofs and of course solar panels too.

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Insect Infestations

Pigeons are hosts to parasitic pests such as ticks, fleas and bird mites, all of which can spread to people. These insects live on the birds and in their droppings leaving the parasites to move into buildings to search for new food sources.

What bird control methods are used?

There are many different bird control products used widely throughout UK to deter pest birds. These range from traditional methods to more modern and innovative techniques. Birds usually adapt quickly to most bird control devices, altering their behaviours to the exposure of false threats and moving on to a more secure place to live and roost. 

Bird nettingbird wire and bird spiking are more traditional ways to deter birds from buildings and particular useful in cities and towns. As is falconry or using a bird of prey to control pest birds, which is a natural bird control method using nature’s instincts.

More innovative techniques include electric or gel deterrents, are ideal for listed buildings and retail applications where traditional methods can’t be utilised. Solar panel bird proofing,  laser systems and acoustic bird scaring are very effective forms of bird deterrents using modern technology. 

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When to call in the bird control professionals?

Our bird control specialists are experienced in how to get rid of any type of pest birds that are causing a nuisance for your business premises. We can successfully deter them from returning, using discreet, cost-effective methods that won’t harm the birds or disrupt your business. 

Book your free site survey or get in touch for bird control advice whatever your bird problems are, for a professional and effective solution.


Author: NBC Environment/Orkin

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