Early in my career I did a lot of bird work. It was exciting climbing on roofs, catwalks, silos and towers. Back then our bird control products were limited to Avitrol corn bait, Nixalite strips which are stainless steel spikes on a role, hotfoot applied with a caulk gun and various nets and visual devices. It was dangerous hard work so naturally we had a lot of safety meetings. They went something like this; “Don’t fall, make sure you tie up and DON’T LET ANYONE SEE YOU, PARK IN THE ALLEY, IF NEWS CAMERAS SHOW UP CALL THE OFFICE.” To this day I’m sure companies that engage in bird work have similar meetings. People would get so upset at the thought of someone poisoning beautiful birds. News crews would literally descend on our office if more than a few birds would be found dead downtown close to where we were working. How could a company be so mean and who on earth would pay money to have birds exterminated?< What they didn’t know and would never accept is that our techniques and products would either just deter the birds or kill very few. The dying birds would send out a distress signal which warned the others and kept them away. Dead birds made news and the stigma has never been lifted. Approximately one billion birds are killed every year in the United States and it’s not due to exterminators. Even the dreaded pesticide poisoning myth is being debunked as studies and autopsies show this to be far less than thought. Unfortunately birds can’t see glass so millions die by striking buildings. Many more die by disease and parasites such as worms. Large numbers of birds are also killed by hitting planes. The most famous of which happened recently in New Jersey. No human casualties due to the heroic efforts of the crew but more than 200 people have been killed since 1988 in airplanes due to bird strikes.You can listen to the captain call out the strike and the heroic moments afterward. Incidentally the first recorded strike was in 1905 when Orville Wright’s plane hit and killed a bird.
Why is bird control necessary?
A few birds would pose no significant problems but birds such as pigeons gather and move in huge numbers. Their droppings land anywhere and everywhere. (Wash your car lately?). These droppings carry diseases such as Histoplasmosis, Crytococcosis and others. These are nasty spores from the droppings that can affect your eyes, skin and central nervous system but mainly your lungs with pneumonia type symptoms. It can be fatal and the spores can stay active for 2 years.
There are many more products on the market for bird control such as sound blasters, use of ultraviolet lights, trained dogs that chase nuisance birds and even predatory birds such as falcons who do the same. Even with this there are just as many bird fanciers who lack the understanding of bird control and why it’s so important. Well that is of course until droppings are found on their car, then it’s rock throwing time.