All successful businesses strive to achieve the most cost-effective and efficient means of success throughout every aspect of their operation. This includes allocating areas of the budget to pest control services carried out by qualified contractors. Sometimes it can seem difficult to justify the cost of these services, especially where several visits are required and with many service providers to choose from.
John Dowling Falconry Ltd are dedicated to providing competitively priced, reliable and effective control services. As a Gloucestershire-based, privately owned business we have established an enviable reputation to rival large international companies, with the majority of new clients coming to us from recommendations. To find out more about our services, visit our bird control page here.
As we enter the age of the new normal and hygiene becomes even more vital within the workplace, the need for effective bird control measures is paramount. Large populations of bird species roosting on buildings can cause serious health risks and cost businesses thousands if not controlled. Continue reading below to discover the importance of our work and the risks to your business without the help of our proven bird control programs.
It is an undeniable fact that these birds can and do transmit diseases to humans, the public health risks are real (Wackernagel & Moch 2004). So how exactly do we come into contact with microorganisms associated with feral pigeons? The main route of exposure (99.4% of cases) is via airborne particles from pigeon guano that can be inhaled by people. If left untreated, dried guano causes a serious health threat.
Diseases caused by pigeon guano include:
- Salmonellosis can be traced to pigeons, as well as other birds and rodents and most commonly occurs as food poisoning. A project by Dr Jess Rollason at Coventry University found that Salmonella could be recovered in pigeon guano by direct culture after 86 days, with transmission occurring via “faecal dust”.
- Coli is a common infection caused by bacteria often found in faecal matter and can easily be transmitted to humans.
- Cryptococcosis is a fungal disease associated with droppings – the spores cause a pneumonia-like illness in humans. In 17 out of 18 investigations, positive results for the Cryptococcus fungus were found in feral pigeon populations.
- Histoplasmosis is caused by a fungus by the name of Histoplasmosis capsulatum which grows in Pigeon droppings.
- Psittacosis is an infection caused by Chlamydia psittaci, which can lead to pneumonia in humans. It is a type of bacteria that can be found in Pigeon droppings and studies have shown it is prevalent in over 50% of feral pigeon populations.
- Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and is of particular danger to the elderly or pregnant women, where it can cause seizures and miscarriage. Feral pigeons are carriers of T. gondii.
The guano is acidic, causing corrosion and damage to metals and brickwork. Nesting materials brought onto buildings by the birds can cause blockages in gutters, drains and chimneys. Subsequent flooding problems can cost businesses thousands.
The UK urban Gull population is on the increase and Gloucestershire is no exception, in fact Gloucester has been described as the Gull capital of the UK. The main protagonists are Herring Gulls (Larus argentus) and Lesser Black Backed Gulls (Larus fuscus). Like all pests Gulls are great opportunists, they are highly intelligent and very resilient. The readily available food supply prevalent inland, the lack of natural predators, warmth and light of inner city areas and large flat roofs for nesting sites all make up a unique set of circumstances that make our urban environment ideal for these birds.
The growth in the Gull population causes many problems for businesses and residential properties alike, the cacophony of noise generated by these birds especially during the breeding season can be very unsettling and stressful. Gull carcasses, droppings and nesting material can all lead to gutter and drain blockages, flooding, damage to roofs and stonework as well as posing a general health and safety hazard.
During the breeding season Gulls can also become very aggressive to humans, the number of reported incidents of this is on the increase. This issue poses a plethora of problems for schools, factories and business premises, shopping centres, hospitals and residential areas.
Excessive guano from larger populations can cause damage to stock in yards, staff vehicles in car parks and unsightly fronts of business premises, detracting from the appeal of your company to potential customers and partners.
Secondary Infestations (SPII)
Secondary pest insect infestations (SPII) can occur in buildings near bird nesting sites. These can be wide-ranging and numerous with human health implications as well as damage to property.
Bird nests are home to a number of blood-feeding parasites which can bite humans if they stray away from the nesting area. The most common include bird mites (Dermanyssus gallinae), the Martin bug (Oeciacus hirundinis) and the pigeon flea (Ceratophyllus columbae). Bird mites in particular can quickly multiply into thousands, causing a major infestation in properties. They are attracted to mammals by receptors for moisture, heat and CO2 and their bites can cause intense itching, rashes and lesions.
There are also pests that appear due to the presence of feathers, nesting material and droppings. These insects can move on to infest and destroy fabrics and contaminate stored foods. The most common insects include:
- Spider beetles (Ptinus spp.)
- Yellow/Lesser mealworm beetles (Tenebrio molitor/ Alphitobus diaperinus)
- Lesser housefly (Fannia canicularis)
- White-shouldered house moth (Endrosis sarcitrella)
- Fur beetle (Attagenus pellio)
In addition, deceased adults or chicks within a building can become a significant source to carrion eating pests such as bluebottles (Calliphora vomitoria), greenbottles (Lucilia sericata) and even flesh flies (Sarcophagidae spp.).
To overcome these issues and to prevent an SPII altogether, it is essential to remove nesting sites.