In “A Moveable Feast,” Hemingway describes how he would wait for the gendarme at the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris to leave for a break or a glass of wine, then seize a pigeon for his next meal. While this is certainly one way to get rid of pest birds, there are far more humane and efficient ways to achieve the same result.
Pest birds cause millions of dollars in property damage every year. Their nests, droppings and the diseases they carry have become a major concern for homeowners, boat owners, facilities managers and municipalities worldwide. The solution? Bird proofing. Today’s new generation of bird proofing systems covers all manner of bird types and sizes. Many are surprisingly economical and easy to install. Most combine a little bird psychology with common sense. And all have been proven effective in deterring pest birds from their assigned venues.
Spiders to the Rescue
No, not the kind that eats aphids, these spiders are multi-legged and man made. Called Bird Spiders, their spindly arms wave threateningly in the breeze to scare birds away. As a bird proof device, spiders are ideal for use on restaurant tables, canvas boat covers, awnings, patios and other flat surfaces. What’s more, bird spiders come in various arm lengths to shoo away a range of bird types.
Spikes Spell Relief for Pest Bird Sufferers
Anyone who has ever had pest birds nest in their rain gutters knows the problems they can cause. Water dams up, gets under shingles and suddenly, you’ve got an expensive roof repair bill. Enter the Gutter Spike. These spiked strips are the ideal way to bird proof gutters against large pest birds like seagulls, crows, and pigeons. The spikes usually come in two-foot long strips and the spikes are blunted so they won’t harm birds, pets or people. Look for spikes with adjustable clamps at the base that facilitate easy installation to the lip of your gutter.
Also available are Mega Spikes, which boast long 7″ spikes. These are an ideal way to bird proof against cormorants, turkey vultures, raptors and other large birds. Try to get spikes made of marine-grade stainless steel as the will typically last longer. You can also get spikes with a crush proof, non-reflective metal finish (which makes them blend in to their surroundings). The best spikes feature a U.V.-protected polycarbonate base that you can angle to fit curved surfaces. In general, most spiked strips come with either durable stainless steel or rigid unbreakable polycarbonate spikes.
Foggers and Misters to Clear up Pest Bird Problems
Bird Foggers and Misters create a bird irritation zone around a specific area that birds can’t stand. They accomplish this by spraying a fine mist of food-grade methyl anthranilate–essentially a grape extract–in measured amounts to deter pest birds. Harmless to birds and humans, birds fly through the mist and keep going. Simple units consist of a sprayer and a chemical canister. More sophisticated systems employ timers and multiple nozzles that allow users to direct the mist to specific sites in varying times and durations.
Inclined to be Effective
Bird Slopes are slippery PVC panels that prevent pest birds from getting a grip whenever they try to land. And if they can’t land, they won’t stay. The angled panels are ideal for use on eaves, ledges, beams and other similar niches. They can be nailed, glued or screwed to a wide range of surfaces. They even come in a wide range of colors to maintain a building’s aesthetics.
All’s well with this Gel
Bird Gel is the icky, sticky stuff that bugs the heck of pest birds. This bird proof solution was designed to deter a wide range of birds. Gels are ideal for use on conduit, pipes, ledges, I-beams and parapet walls. You apply this goop with a caulking gun and it never really dries—it just skins over. You’ll need to reapply the gel after about six months for best effect.
Neutralize with Nets
Bird Netting is an ideal way to bird proof large areas–like groves, vineyards, enclosed courtyards and patios. And you can get net mesh sizes to deter a wide range of pest birds–including pigeons, sparrows, starlings and seagulls. For demanding outdoor applications, opt for netting that’s U.V. stabilized, flame resistant, and rot- and water-proof.
Balloons and Banners For Birds Who Lack Manners
The Scarecrow with a Brain
A sudden blast of water, the sound of spray and a scary bird’s head all combine to make the Scarecrow a most effective bird proof system. The motion-activated sprinkler device produces a sudden blast of water whenever it senses a bird flying or walking near it. Ideal for use in gardens, backyards, pools/spas and many outdoor areas.
Sounds Like a Real Bird Proof Solution
Audio Bird Repellents create a variety of predator and distress calls that convince pest birds to take flight pronto. Sonic repellents have been used with considerable success to deter pigeons, sparrows, starlings, and seagulls other types of birds.
Electric Track Bird Repellants are popular because they are humane and effective. They zap virtually any bird that happens to land on their electrified tracks. Ideal for pigeons, seagulls and larger birds. Opt for tracks that feature a flow-through design that won’t allow water to pool around them to damage surrounding areas.