Pigeon Proofing in Reading
Posted on 20th April 2020 at 15:12
We’re all experiencing lockdown and for those of use with an outdoor space we don’t appreciate how fortunate that we are to be able to get outside, take some time to breathe in the fresh air and escape from those walls inside that seem to be, ever so slowly closing in.
We were called to a balcony problem which is typical in towns like Reading; modern flats sometimes come with a small outdoor space and as little as this is; its the great outdoors for these residents. Pigeons also look upon these spaces with a view to the ideal breeding platform, relatively sheltered and with enough space to fly in and out of, a balcony is the ideal roost for the feral pigeon.
These birds were once domesticated and used as a food supply so its understandable why they are comfortable living alongside us and why they are drawn to our homes and businesses. The feral pigeon is also often referred to as a flying rat and just like its name sake these animals are scavengers; they’ll eat anything they can find from bird seed, bread and any food thrown down in the street.
Most species of birds have defined breeding seasons, and these correspond with the food choice of that species, for example, sparrows feed their young soft grubs like caterpillars and aphids so they breed when these insects are plentiful. The feral pigeon however, will breed all year round, any food eaten is partially digested and turned into a thick milk like substance. This is fed to the young pigeons meaning that they can and will breed all year round, with an ever growing population, balconies like the one we dealt with in Spey Road, Tilehurst will be quickly colonised by a pair of pigeons.
The feral pigeon population is increasing in Reading and so even a new build property will quickly have a flock take up residence waiting for the chance to move in and start nesting. Pigeons have two chicks at a time and because of their adaptability they will breed between 4 and 8 times a year meaning that a single pair of birds can produce 16 more pigeons a year.
The problem starts when pigeons have been resting on a balcony as inevitably, there will be bird droppings, or guano as we call it. A thick mat of organic matter quickly builds up on the base of the balcony and apart from being unsightly and smelling terrible, it contains some harmful organisms. One of the nastiest of these is a fungus called Cryptococcus that causes lung infections if the spores are inhaled, as the matter dries out the spores are released into the atmosphere. Harmful bacteria like Chlamydia psittaci and Salmonella are also present in the guano and these can make people extremely unwell.
The most effective form of bird control is to remove their nest sites, slowing down the breeding cycle and making our buildings pigeon proof; with the balcony at Spey Road we did just that. Firstly we scraped up the guano and washed the area with an antibacterial / antiviral solution to make the area clean and safe, once we had done that we fixed a net across the open face of the balcony. A translucent net is fitted as its easiest on the eye and when we fit it away from the handrail, it does not decrease the available space on the balcony.
In order to control the pigeon population in an area where human intervention like feeding is beyond the scope of control, the most effective way is to remove harbourage, roost sites and nest sites. It would be wrong of us to attempt to wipe out a population just because their presence is inconvenient, so we have a humane solution.
The occupant of the flat now has their outdoor space back and even better, as the summer comes in they can leave the doors and windows that lead onto the balcony open all night getting a cool breeze.
Here at Reading Pest Control pigeon guano removal and bird proofing has become a major part of the pest control service we provide, given the nature of our work, removing pigeon guano is something that fall’s naturally into our sphere of work.
Our services are available to both the commercial sector and the private sector, we are based in Reading and cover the south of England delivering bird proofing and guano cleaning at highly competitive rates.
To fin out more about our pigeon control service - visit our page here:
Tagged as: Pigeon control
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