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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Justifying the costs of urban bird pest control

Urban pests include several kinds of birds
Falcons are used to control birds
By Michael Hall

When people think of pest animals, they don’t always think of birds. It is more common to think of rodents, but the truth is, urban bird populations do a tremendous amount of damage to property and create health hazards. Some species make a lot of noise. They can also drive away more desirable bird species and other animals. Certain birds in particular pose problems.


Starlings create massive flocks that can dominate urban areas, driving away other birds. The vast amount of droppings produced by these large flocks can cause damage to trees and vegetation, contaminate the ground, create unsafe walkways and mar buildings, statues and monuments.

Feral pigeons

Feral pigeons are a common problem in urban areas. They congregate in and around buildings, creating hazards with their droppings. Their nesting materials can clog draining systems and encourage infestations of other pests, such as insects. Pigeons also carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans by contact.

House sparrows

Sparrows have become more and more dependent on humans for their food, so they prefer places of food preparation or storage, including warehouses, factories, restaurants and bakeries. If possible, they will live inside the building, where they can contaminate the food and damage supplies.

Canada geese

Canada Geese are often a problem in gardens and parks, where they can trample vegetation, foul up walkways and footpaths and destroy the habitats of other wildlife. Also, they tend to be very territorial, driving away or preventing other waterfowl from moving into the area. Consequently, they pose a threat to biodiversity.


Herring gulls and black-backed gulls prefer living near the coast. They are an aggressive species, particularly when nesting, and are known to attack humans who might happen to pass by. Their nesting materials can clog gutters and pipes and promote insect infestations. Like other bird species, their droppings are a problem for property, walkways and vegetation.

Health hazards and property damage

Birds are known to transmit many diseases to humans. Most people have heard of the so-called “bird flu,” which has caused numerous deaths and forced the destruction of millions of infected birds. However, people don’t always realize just how many health hazards bird populations present to humans. Viral diseases include meningitis and encephalitis. Bacterial diseases include salmonellosis and listeriosis. Birds have been known to transmit toxoplasmosis and many other illnesses as well. In fact, there are more than 60 diseases and parasites which birds can pass along to humans.

Bird droppings have been known to cause accidents, making people slip and fall. Most types of bird droppings are acidic, so they can eat into building materials. Also, many species create incessant noise, which can deter people from frequenting certain businesses, keep homeowners awake at night and distract workers.

Worth the cost

Dealing with such a widespread pest problem, one that has direct impact on human beings as well as other animals, requires some expert care and knowledge. It’s not a problem that can be dealt with easily, so it’s worth the expense to bring in an experienced organization to control the population.

One effective and natural technique for controlling pest bird populations is the use of falcons and hawks. This is a safe, legal method of pest control that uses trained falcons and hawks to drive away birds. It is a long-term process that requires regular flights, but over time, it can create a safer, healthier and more beautiful environment for humans and other species.

About the author: Michael Hall is the founder of Effective Bird Control, a bird pest control company that has helped hundreds of domestic and commercial clients rid their properties of feral pigeons, starlings and other pests.

* Image license: Alex Bruda; RGBStock royalty free