In big cities such as Cape Town, we live amongst birds. If you look upwards and around you at any given time of the day, it is most likely that you will catch a glimpse of a bird flitting through the sky. We share a certain degree of harmony with wild birds in cities, as well as understanding the importance of maintaining the balance of the natural world. However, there are some bird species that can become pests when they nest in the wrong locations.
How do Pest Control companies in Cape Town offer Bird Control?
Before we launch into the intricacies behind bird control, you may be wondering what it is at its simplest core. Bird control refers to the methods used to address a pesky bird population and deter them from landing, roosting and nesting. The following birds are often considered to be pests:
- House sparrows
- Feral pigeons
Pest control companies such as Pest Managers help prevent health issues
Bird control is necessary in cases of major infestation so as to prevent the spread of health-related problems to humans. It is critical to understand that these instances are rare. They are only likely to occur if you are living in very close proximity to a large group of infected birds. The faeces of an infestation of birds in some cases can cause issues such as psittacosis, cryptococcosis or histoplasmosis.
Psittacosis: is a disease in humans that is contracted from certain birds such as pigeons and sparrows. This is considerably rare, however. If a human contracts this illness, they can experience anything from inapparent illness to severe pneumonia in some cases. It is likely that in this case, the illness would be spread via airborne inhalation of dried faeces or feather dust. This would be applicable if you are experiencing a large infestation of pest birds.
Cryptococcosis: is a fungal lung disease that has the potential of being fatal. The disease is contracted through the inhalation of infectious material, one instance for which birds can be to blame in rare cases.
Pigeons in particular are known to be guilty of spreading this material. For example, pigeon breeders experience this disease on a wide scale. Immunocompromised people are most at risk of developing symptoms.
Histoplasmosis: this is another fungal disease which also mainly affects those with suppressed immunities. In most cases, infected individuals show hardly any symptoms, and coupled with the fact that this is a very rare disease, infection is not a high likelihood.
If one contracts the condition however, it will be due to exposure to soil that is contaminated with a large amount of bird faeces, and conditions would vary from mild manifestations to life-threatening in rare cases. Pigeons, starlings, and sparrows are some of the birds that commonly carry this disease, which is caused by yeast that is found in their intestinal tracts.
A large infestation of birds also has the potential to spread lice to humans. If birds are landing or nesting in areas frequently used by humans, there is a chance of transfer.
Bird lice enjoy residing in cotton and fabrics which are ideal spots to lay eggs. Bird lice are even smaller than fleas and they are very difficult to spot. They are more active at night which means there is a lower likelihood of you noticing them on outdoor furniture, for example.
Bird lice cling to several bird species such as robins, sparrows, pigeons, starlings and chickens. When nests are abandoned, bird lice often flee to seek other hospitable environments, such as the inside of your home or office, if they are in close proximity to nests. Some characteristics of a bird lice problem in your space include:
- Intense and regular itching of the skin
- Lesions and bite marks that take a long time to heal
- What appear to be pinpricks on the skin
- A sensation of crawling on the skin
- Symptoms increase at night or in humid weather
Eco-friendly pesticides are usually used to address bird lice, and your pest control Cape Town company that offers this service should make quick work of the issue.
While contracting these diseases is extremely rare, a large infestation of pest birds as well as exposure to their faeces or feather dust does have the potential to infect human beings. The same applies to the spreading of bird lice.
If you are facing such an infestation, it is recommended that you contact your trusted pest control Cape Town company such as Pest Managers. They will help you solve the problem. With a 100% success rate in the field when it comes to bird control, Pest Managers is certainly a viable contender.
What methods do Pest Control companies in Cape Town offer?
There are various bird control methods that pest control companies utilize. Some of these methods include:
- Visual deterrents
- Physical deterrents
- Multi-sensory deterrents
- Active barriers
- Sonic devices
Because birds adapt rather quickly to what they perceive to be false threats, the most effective bird proofing methods are those that present physical obstacles that prevent them from settling and nesting. Some examples of physical deterrents include steel or plastic spike structures. However, the other techniques are still used as a result of their success.
Visual deterrent: this is arguably the most cost effective method of bird control, and often takes the form of a visual decoy that serves to scare birds away and prevent them from nesting in appealing areas. In many cases, they take the form of birds of prey and have the ability to move in the wind, giving the appearance of a live bird.
Other products frequently used include holographic flash tape (which creates a visual disturbance and discourages birds from landing), scare balloons which work in a similar way to the former. In severe cases Bird Proofing is only achieved by doing certain areas at a time to understand what the birds are doing.
This is because birds tend to adapt relatively quickly to these products and they will lose effectiveness if they remain in the same area. Moving them around regularly is a smart way to keep pest birds away.
Sonic devices: keep birds away through emitting ultrasonic waves that while silent to most people, emit an annoying, high-pitched sound to birds. This method causes no physical harm to birds and is a safe way of driving them away to calmer and untreated areas farther from your immediate vicinity. For this method to work, however, there must be enough surface area which will reflect the sound waves.
Multi-sensory deterrents: refer to gels placed in dishes on surfaces that repel birds.
Pros and cons of different types of physical repellents
As previously mentioned, it is physical bird deterrents that are the most effective in repelling birds. The following four products each have pros and cons:
Bird netting is a suitable solution for covering large spaces, and is most effective at preventing starling or sparrow infestations. Your pest control company will know which type of netting is the most appropriate for your premises if this method is applicable to your space. It physically blocks birds from landing in certain areas.
- Nets are long-lasting
- They are easily installed
- They are considered to be discreet.
- Birds can become trapped and injured in netting
- Installation can be rather expensive
- Netting requires frequent and regular maintenance to remain effective.
- Bird spikes
This is probably the most common physical deterrent. It often comes in the form of plastic or metal spikes installed on surfaces that would be ideal for birds to perch or nest on. Although they look dangerous, the majority of birds can recognise the surface to be unhospitable and will avoid them entirely. Of course, some birds do defy norms and build their nests atop the spikes in rare cases.
- Bird spikes have a long lifespan
- They are installed easily.
- They are relatively unattractive
- They can become dirty and difficult to clean if they are in an area that is challenging to reach.
- Anti-bird wire
This option is considered to be discreet and is a suitable replacement for spikes, which is why it is frequently used by pest control Cape Town companies. The wire uses high tension and is installed over surfaces to make landing on them unpleasant for birds.
- The wires are often almost invisible and therefore not unsightly
- They are considered to be cost effective.
- If a bird does not manage to see the wire before landing at a high speed, it can severely injure itself
- Birds with longer legs might learn to step over the wire
- If the concerned ledge is wide enough, birds may learn to huddle against the wall and away from the wire.
Contrary to how harsh the method sounds, it does not cause real harm to birds. It is even approved by several animal rights groups. It issues a small electric shock when a bird comes into contact with the product. This creates a psychological barrier which will prevent birds from gathering on your property.
- Discreet and not unsightly
- Can be used effectively for both commercial and domestic properties
- This system does require maintenance to ensure effectiveness.
How do Pest Control companies like Pest
Managers ensure humane pest management?
Some pest control companies, such as Pest Managers, ensure the human removal or deterring of birds. We at Pest Managers recognise the importance of birds in the environment, and are one of the few pest control companies that are 100% eco-friendly. This means that our products and services are designed to ensure that no direct harm may come to the environment when you enlist our services. When it comes to bird control, it is a necessity to preserve the lives of birds wherever possible.
Birds play a massive ecological role in our world, even in big cities such as Cape Town. It is also only natural that large numbers of birds flock to cities, considering that they are built in their natural roaming grounds. Birds play a vital role in seed dispersal as well as interchangeably take on the duty of being both predators and prey.
They feed on pesky insects as well as provide food for decomposers(worms) and scavengers alike. Although many see birds as pests and their presence certainly can be seen as an annoyance, their ecological significance cannot be ignored.