Although birds aren’t likely to unite and destroy mankind such as the fate suggested in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie of the same name, they can and do cause much misery, aggravation, deterred business, customer agita and expense to commercial and industrial business owners and managers.
Warehouses, convention centers, shopping centers, malls, factories, airports, food plants and any other commercial establishment anywhere throughout Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Eastern Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle are all subject to damage from flying birds.
Like many pests, they are bad for business — they can ruin the molding of plastics, destroy chemicals and liquids, destroy both new and old paint on buildings, contaminate food packaging and cause big problems for airplanes and airports. All of these crippling damages can be extremely costly, and the loss of company reputation is even harder to recover from.
Most importantly to your bottom line, droppings and nesting materials on or around a place of business sends the distinct message that the building is poorly maintained. Taken a step further, imagine the thought of how clean a restaurant could possibly be if the managers don’t care about bird droppings dripping down their welcome sign!
Their removal and deterrence is not easy and requires the careful, exacting professional expertise of pest control experts.
Read on to learn more about the potential damage nuisance birds can cause to your commercial business, or call the experts at Pestco today for any commercial bird removal need — (412) 252-5200.
Damages Caused By Birds, Droppings and Nesting Materials
Birds are responsible for tens of millions of dollars in damage costs every year to American buildings, machinery, automobiles, roofs, AC units and insulation. The damage is related to a number of factors.
The acidic nature of bird droppings erodes many substances, especially tar-based roofing materials and eventually causes leaks. Statistically speaking, life expectancy of a warehouse roof can be cut in half by just a light, but continuous, application of bird droppings.
Whenever a pest bird infestation is present in an industrial or commercial setting, customers are at risk of a bomb dropping at any minute; hence droppings have become the most common problem. They can be found all over an affected property including: walkways, which can become slippery and dangerous, walls, rooftops and equipment.
Bird waste contaminates pond water, poses threats to human health and can cause clogged drainage vents, water damage and flooding. They are linked to more than 60 infectious diseases, some of which are potentially fatal.
The acidic nature of droppings can cause extreme damage to commercial property and equipment. If not quickly washed away, they dry out and become salt and ammonia. When this combines with rainwater, it causes a chemical reaction that speeds up the rusting process, eating away at paint, concrete, metal and infrastructure. In 2008 an accumulation of pigeon droppings causeda gas station canopy in Arizona to collapse.
Nests and nesting materials such as straw, twigs and dried droppings, are also the cause of a great many bird infestation problems, including fire and damage toair conditioning equipment, industrial machinery, siding and insulation.
Pigeon, starling and sparrow nests are often found in rain gutters and roof corners where drains are located. Collapsed roofs can cause fatalities, great physical damage and even bankruptcy to warehouses and other commercial and industrial structures.
While building owners and facility managers always budget annually for ground maintenance and repairs caused by Mother Nature-related factors such as harsh weather, little attention is generally paid to monetary provisions against bird damage and liability. While they too fall under the canopy of Mother Nature’s creations, pest bird infestations are serious business and require professional outside help from the experts at Pestco.
The accumulation of bird nests in office ventilation systems can block airflow and in some cases, result in histoplasmosis, an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird droppings. This can cause fatalities. Flying birds can get entangled in machinery and engines. One such incident happened in 2009 when a flock of birds killed the engine on a plane and caused the brave pilot to land on the cold and icy Hudson River.
Bird Species that Cause Problems in Pittsburgh And Other Areas
In Pittsburgh, there are several bird species that are problematic. These include: pigeons, crows, starlings, geese and ducks and sparrows. Of all of them, pigeons have a most peculiar standing among residents. Some love them while others hate them. Some consider them to be integral to urban landscape, while others refer to them as “rats with wings.”
Pigeon Poop Diseases That Can Affect Humans
Pittsburgh pigeons came to the city to serve as food stock for the early settlers in the 1600s, some escaped and repopulated the cities depending on human trash and scraps to survive.
Their excrement carries the pathogens of numerous diseases such as ornithosis, histoplasmosis, encephalitis, and toxoplasmosis and their feathers transport fleas, lice, mites, and ticks. Pigeons enter an edifice in vulnerable spots where openings are either broken or have never been properly sealed off.
They set up nests and the weight of their droppings often becomes so heavy that they can and often do cause ceilings to collapse.
Crow Damage in Pittsburgh And Western PA
In 2017, a large university became a stop for the non-breeding season of crows. While somewhat unusual in a city, plentiful food, other birds to keep them company and so many buildings where they can keep warm make urban settings attractive.
According to the maintenance department, a few years before there has been another crow infestation with thousands of crows roosting in the trees and covering the campus sidewalks with their feces.
Management addressed the problem with the help of an ornithologist, who suggested the installation of sound systems mimicking the cry of the great horned owl, their natural predator. Areas of this local university remain vulnerable spots.
Other universities and colleges also experienced a crow infestation, which they addressed by using fireworks to scare them away. While in both instances, the bird problem was momentarily solved; there is no protection from future infestations.
Starling Birds And Their Danger To Aviation And Other Industries
Throughout most of the United States, invasive starlings have displaced the native bluebird by stealing its nesting spaces, including holes in trees and covered industrial nooks. They monopolize feeders, and droppings from huge flocks can spread avian disease.
The starling is a common sight in Pittsburgh, particularly outside the city limits near Pittsburgh International Airport, where they present a clear and present danger to the aviation industry and are responsible for some of history’s worst airline disasters.
According to Bobby Hromack, a wildlife service biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture who keeps animals off runways at this airport, “starlings are a significant hazard to aviation. Most are chased away with pyrotechnics and other dispersal technology.
I would say we spend a solid four months of the year — June through September — when we have a huge amount of starlings.”
The airport has even gone so far as to plant grasses, fruit-bearing bushes and other botanicals near the runway to deter starlings. These birds also seriously impact milk production in outlying areas of Pittsburgh and western PA. They pick out the best protein from cow feed and pollute the rest with their droppings.
Duck and Goose Damage To Pittsburgh Industry
Of all the invasive bird pests, geese and ducks have the most fans throughout Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania. Bird watchers, hunters and lovers of waterfowl, including graceful and beautiful swans, love to watch them as they glide through many streams, lakes and ponds that are so much a part of the surrounding landscape. Despite this, waterfowl populations can get out of hand.
Within 5 to 7 years time, one pair of geese can easily multiply up to 50 and even 100 birds. Their droppings pollute ponds and cause damage to lawns, golf courses, parks, crops and natural resources.
Agricultural losses caused by waterfowl occur primarily in late winter and spring months. Crop damage is usually light but losses can be significant for some farmers.
In the spring, waterfowl graze and trample crops such as sunflowers, cereal grains, corn, soybeans and alfafa.
In the fall, ducks and geese eat, trample and foul freshly mowed grains. During the winter months, wheat crops can suffer, especially during periods of heavy rain when waterfowl pull and trample seedlings.
Due to recent dramatic increases in waterfowl populations, a lack of predators and landscapes consisting of large expanses of turf grass, these birds have become a public nuisance.
In the course of the last decade, waterfowl populations have swelled to more than half a million. These birds have wreaked havoc in industrial parks and farms and according to a Pittsburgh Gazettearticle of some years ago, infested and polluted the waters of Riverfront Park, Pittsburgh’s only public launch for anglers and boaters.
The Sparrow’s Droppings Spread Disease
Sparrows come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors.
They are chubby birds that are highly social and seek out areas near buildings and people to set up their nests from twigs, paper, garbage and debris. It is this very boldness that makes these birds with their sharp beaks, which they use to create holes in wooden structures, such formidable pests to both industry and private residences.
They can and often do cause significant damage to eaves, windows and roofs, and they particularly loves A/C and HVAC systems. Debris from abandoned nests has been known to circulate through HVAC units and create serious fire hazards.
These birds also carry ticks, mites and other parasites that can easily spread to humans causing serious diseases such as Chlamydiosis, Salmonellosis, Mycoplasma diseases, protozoal maladies and internal parasites such as: roundworms and tapeworms. Sparrow damage can by very costly to repair for any Pittsburgh business owner.
Sparrows can infest warehouses, large stores and shopping mall food courts, as these types of structures insure shelter from the elements and plentiful food in the form of scraps left by humans.
The very nature of the loading docks of these buildings forces them to remain open during most of the day. Sparrows easily gain ingress and have been known to deliberately trigger the motion sensors that automatically open the doors for customers during business hours.
Within the agricultural industry, sparrows can damage the crops by feeding on seedlings, seeds, flowers and fruits. They disrupt the production of livestock, especially poultry, by contaminating their feed.
Their droppings can also cause damage to the manufacture of plastics and industrial machinery, often posing health risks to workers. Farmers and store managers must pro-actively engage the services of professional outside help from the well-trained and highly knowledgeable technicians at Pestco, who can humanely and successfully address and resolve the problem.
Pestco Bird Control Strategies and Solutions
Business owners and managers need peace of mind in order to run their facilities at peak capacity. A bird infestation can surely upset the equilibrium of everyday work routines and agendas.
Pestco can offer that by providing detailed inspections and specific solutions to address the problem of nuisance birds, including barrier netting, surface deterrents, exclusionary strategies and other effective methods. We also are equipped with state-of-the-art tools and products that far surpass industry standards which include the use of engine powered boom lifts and camera drones.
The Pestco approach is holistic and always directed at eco-friendly strategies that are, whenever possible, both humane and environmentally sound.
In addition to our various bird-control methods, we have developed a multi-spray fog application system, which can be placed strategically within large complexes that contains a pleasant aromatic substance that effectively deters birds, but is pleasant to the human nose.
We come highly recommended for any commercial facility and their technicians are fully licensed and equipped to handle bird infestations. Our innovative integrated pest control and pest management systems are the most efficient found anywhere.
Call Pestco today. Eliminate your company bird infestation tomorrow!
Final thought about nuisance birds: Well, I’ll be a dirty bird.~ Comedian, George Gobel
A Few More Interesting Facts About Destructive Birds
While there might be a temptation to have a change of heart about destroying these bird pests after reading about some of their unusual assets, such thoughts must be put into perspective, as infestations and not single pigeons, geese, ducks, crows and starlings are the destructive culprits.
If you as a business manager and/or owner feel guilty about destroying a bird infestation after reading about this, consider quietly buying a pet bird and loving it to compensate. If at all possible, most bird pest solutions are environmentally sound and humanely applied.
- Pigeons Have Saved Many Lives – Homing pigeons saved thousands of lives during both world wars. The United States alone had a flock of more than 200,000 homing pigeons at its disposal during World War II.
- Pigeons May Well Be The World’s First Domesticated Bird – The pigeon that annoys urban dwellers by roosting on the roofs and window ledges of buildings is also known as the rock pigeon. It is very likely that this bird is the first to hang out in such a way, as archaeologists in Iraq have uncovered their depiction in frescoes that date as far back as 4,500 BCE.
- Pigeons Understand Space And Time – A 2017 Current Biologystudy indicated that pigeons are capable of discerning the abstract concepts of time and space. According to Edward Wasserman, co-author of the study, “the cognitive prowess of birds is now deemed to be ever closer to that of both human and primates. Those avian nervous systems are capable of far greater achievements than the pejorative term ‘bird brain’ would suggest.”
- In flight, starlings resemble the shape of a star and that is how they came into their namesake.
- The starling, much like domesticated Myna bird, can vocalize sounds that are not part of their natural environment, such as a doorbell, car horn and back-up beeper. They have also been known to mimic the human voice.
Geese and ducks
- Geese are very loyal.They mate for life and are very protective of their partners and offspring. If a goose’s mate or chicks become sick or injured, he or she will often refuse to leave their side, even if winter is approaching and the other geese in the group are flying south. They mourn the loss of a mate for long periods and never mate again.
- Migratory geese are capable of flying up to 5,000 kilometers(3,000 miles)each season.
- A group of geese is called a “skein”in flight, a “gaggle”on the ground and a “flock”anywhere.
- Crows are songbirds and they have a varied repertoire of melodies. As is true with the human voice, the more melodious the song, the more soothing the effects. It is said that some crows have even been taught to recite opera.
- Crows Have Excellent Memories
Crows are masters at stashing food in many spots, moving it sometimes two or three times, and remembering exactly where they placed it. In fact, for their size, crows have the largest brains of all birds except some parrots.
- Sparrows usually fly at the speed of about 24 miles per hour, in the case of emergency, they can speed up to 31 miles per hour.
- During the last century when sparrow populations were at their peak, there were many sparrow clubs whose members competed to kill the most birds in a year.
Are You In Need Of A Complete Facility Maintenance Program?
This simple year-round monitoring and maintenance program is a win-win for all industries.
Complete Care Facility is a three-pronged initiative that offers a vast array of professional services under one cost-effective blanket.
It insures healthy workplace environments with its generous offer of the ultimate in integrated pest control and pest management,comprehensive deep-cleaning washroom hygiene services backed by Enviro-Master and environmental odor controland air freshening solutions supplied by the ambient air-care specialists at our sister company, Air-Scent.
In continuous operation since its inception in 1948, Pestco is a family-owned and operated highly respected company.
Our reputation as a leader in the pest extermination industry is unblemished for more than seven decades and every business owner, no matter which industry, in Pittsburgh, western PA, eastern Ohio and parts of Virginia, can be assured of superior service and quality.