Most pests become an issue when an environment offers three key ingredients – food, shelter and a place to breed. Birds are no exception. While your parking lot or entrances may be providing birds with their next meal, your building’s design and structural elements may also be offering up the perfect place for birds to nest, loaf and roost.
Birds in your commercial establishment aren’t something to take lightly. Seeing a bird, or any indication of them, should leave you with the same feeling you might have if you found a rat in your business. They pose major threats to the health of your customers and employees, and can lead to an audit failure in a third-party audited environment.
Understanding the signs, risks and types of birds that may become a problem is your first step towards prevention. Keep your brand intact with the Copesan guide to pest birds in your business.
The Risk of Birds to Commercial Buildings
Birds are known to carry over 60 diseases, including E. coli and Salmonella, in addition to parasites, bacteria and viruses. Bird droppings, feathers and nesting materials aren’t just unsightly. They are also the primary way birds can transfer diseases to humans.
Diseases can be transferred when a customer or employee inhales airborne spores from dried droppings or ingests products that have been contaminated with bird droppings or feathers.
Damage to Your Brand and Product
If your business is third-party audited, birds, or evidence of birds in your facility, can lead to an automatic audit failure or complete shutdown. Birds can also cause costly product damage, by destroying packaging to get to food or seed products, or by contaminating open product through the transfer of droppings of feathers.
The safety of your employees can also be put at risk. In addition to the health risks, bird droppings left untouched can be the cause of slip and fall accidents or cross-contamination when they are tracked in on the shoes of your staff members. A shut down, recall or employee complaints can also damage your brand’s reputation. Protecting your business from birds means protecting your reputation.
Building & Equipment
Birds can severely damage the structural integrity of your building resulting in costly repairs. Birds can dislodge roof tiles, destroy insulation and their nesting materials can block drainage systems such as gutters, which can result in roof flooding and internal leaking. HVAC, cooling systems and vents are all common areas where birds will try to nest, which can lead to fire hazards and carbon monoxide issues if not removed.
Bird droppings are also highly acidic and can cause damage to buildings, equipment and vehicles if not cleaned in a timely matter. Because of the habitual nature of many bird species, even after removing nests and clean-up, some birds may return to your building to nest or roost. The best way to ensure your facility is free of birds is to work with a Copesan bird professional to create a bird program that deters birds from your business.
Lost revenue due to a shutdown or product damage, or the cost of a major bird waste clean-up can be detrimental to your business. Working with a pest professional to provide ongoing inspections and prevention can be the most cost effective solution to any bird issue you may have.
Solutions for commercial bird issues and pressure vary case by case, and can be unique to each location. Copesan collaborates with you to find the best combination of prevention, exclusion and removal techniques to prevent or correct the bird problem, while meeting budget and environmental handling expectations.
Habits of Common Bird Species
House sparrows nest in protected areas in, on, or near buildings, such as building ledges, gutters, signs, light fixtures, and under eaves and bridges. They can also be found nesting inside warehouses, airport buildings, stores and stadium roofs.
Sparrows easily enter facilities through open doors, and can even learn how automatic doors work. Because of this, they may enter and leave your facility on their own repeatedly to feed. However, they are also perfectly content to stay inside a building that provides them with a place to nest and an endless supply of food and water.
Attracted to cities where they can nest and roost on ledges and eaves, pigeons can cause damage to buildings and cars with their droppings. Roosting sites, where pigeons rest or sleep, are often high off the ground, such as exposed roof girders, protected ledges, etc., and are sometimes located near nesting, feeding or loafing areas.
Pigeons become challenging to manage in commercial facilities when there is an abundance of favorable roosting sites, spillage or other food sources.
Starlings travel in numbers – sometimes in the thousands. This makes them extremely difficult to control and a high risk for property damage. Starlings typically nest in small nooks likes wall voids and gutters.
The biggest threat starlings pose is to your property – especially roofs. Their nesting can cause clogged rain gutters leading to leaks inside your building. Because of their sheer volume, droppings can quickly accumulate leading to slip and fall accidents.
Want to understand more about the various bird species that can be problematic for your business? Check out our pest library for that and more, including all types of pests you may find have settled in.
Signs and Prevention
There are a few things you can do to make your building less attractive to birds. Eliminating access to key ingredients like food and shelter is your first line of defense. Regularly clean and sanitize areas that may provide food sources, such as break areas and outdoor patios, and keep windows and doors closed when not in use.
We’ve broken down some key areas of your building to pay special attention to and regularly maintain. Download, print and share with your employees to keep educate your staff on bird prevention and your brand protected.
A one-size-fits-all, standard approach to pest management doesn’t take into consideration the nuances of your business. Our best-practice driven Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs and services are designed to fit the unique needs of your industry and can be further customized to your business. Contact us today to learn more about our specialized Bird Control & Removal program.