Bye, Bye Birdie

by Katie Lee

— By Sarah Carter —

The benefits of bird abatement at your retail facility.

It’s opening time! Customers are lined up at the door, ready to shop. As they walk through the entrance, they are greeted with a smile from a friendly associate letting them know they’re available if any assistance is needed. The customer tells them they are only here for a few things since the weather’s getting warmer and it’s time for a little gardening.

The customer continues to the outside department, down an aisle, searching for the products they intend to purchase. While reaching for a planter on display, their hand recoils. The rim is covered with bird droppings!

Where did these come from? They decide to just continue their shopping, making a point to avoid any damaged product, but suddenly their attention is drawn to the skylights as they make eye contact with the culprit of the mess. Their eyes are locked on the dark feathered bird, as it sits on the ledge, gawking at them. How did this bird get into the building and how will it get out? Also, are those baby birds I hear?

Bird Abatement: Where to Start?

Birds are notorious for leaving a mess, but it becomes emergent when that mess is left in your facility, drawing negative attention from customers, as well as the health risks associated. If not removed immediately, these birds can quickly get out of hand resulting in much greater issues and will soon call the rafters, the ledges, and signs their home.

Bird abatement is the removal of birds and prevention of them in properties where nesting and flocks are not naturally occurring. However, there are a few crucial components to a successful bird abatement.

First, the nests and droppings must be removed and cleaned, as not doing so will draw the birds back to the location after they have already been safely removed. 

Secondly, in areas that are located near dense woods, forest and places where water and food sources are plentiful causing bird pressure to be high, it is helpful to have preventative cleaning and trapping programs in place to minimize bird activity. Setting traps in discreet areas, out of customers’ sight, and performing trapping using mist netting are both very effective methods in bird removal and achieving a bird-free facility. However, these methods will not prevent persistent birds from returning, and it is important to understand the next steps needed in bird control.

Exclusion: What will be most effective?

Bird control is vital for any business that is experiencing bird activity, but it is important to know what kind of birds you’re dealing with — as not all forms of exclusion are effective on all types of birds. It is key to have a trusted team of experts you can rely on to strategically plan for the right type of exclusion.

Common Exclusion Methods

• Bird Netting

• Spikes

• Bird Wire

• Electronic Disturbance Systems

Bird netting is the most effective and long-lasting form of exclusion for all types of birds and should be considered when there is high pressure in areas that can be completely covered. The netting provides full exclusion by creating an “invisible” ceiling for the birds, and when installed properly, the birds are no longer able to build nests or land in the rafters, resulting in less bird activity. During installation, zippers should be installed in areas where light fixtures and electrical components are located, to allow access for any maintenance or repairs that may be needed.

Spikes are a useful deterrent as well; however, they are best used to deter larger birds such as pigeons and seagulls, as smaller birds tend to build nests within the spikes. They can be installed in many areas, such as ledges, pipes and signage by using adhesive or zip ties.

Bird wire is another great alternative to deter birds from window ledges and rooflines. This method is done by creating an unstable landing surface for the birds as the wire is suspended between two poles. This offers a more discreet approach to excluding birds.

Newer to the scene, but being proven effective, are electronic disturbance systems, which play to birds’ biology and discourage them from roosting or nesting in a harmless way. Ultimately, the right team can provide the correct installation that provides long-lasting and complete coverage. Do you have a team in place to provide this service?

Benefits: How is this helpful?

It is crucial to act at the first sign of bird activity as the higher the pressure, the harder it is to prevent them. Once you’ve taken the necessary steps for bird control, this will eliminate birds from easily gaining access to your facility and prevent damage to products and messes that must be cleaned.

Now, let’s restart this day with bird deterrents in place. It is opening time! Your customer receives a warm greeting from your associates. The customer walks the aisle, browsing for the product they intend to purchase. They take note of how clean the facility is and can shop with ease and no second guessing due to bird droppings as you have now taken the necessary steps for bird control!

— Sarah Carter is a client account representative with Superior Facility Service Group, Inc., a family owned and operated company specializing in commercial maintenance and repair, bird control and prevention, and disaster restoration. Email the author at [email protected].

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