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Include Bird Proofing In Your Building Maintenance

September 19, 2010
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As a facility manager, you know the value of regular building maintenance.

To ensure heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are operating properly and to meet health and safety codes, you must be ever vigilant about maintaining the safety aspects of your buildings.

Pest control, particularly pest bird control, is an all-important part of building maintenance.

Effective bird proofing can, for example, prevent droppings, nests and other bird debris from damaging many vital rooftop systems — HVAC systems, electrical wiring, ventilation turbines, solar heaters, etc.

Bird excrement can seriously damage roofs because the acid in bird droppings can quickly eat into tar-based roofing materials and painted signs.

The right bird proofing can save building owners from expensive roof repairs and unsightly messes.

Bird droppings should not be allowed to collect on outdoor walkways, tables and chairs used by employees because these surfaces are susceptible to damage.

Similarly, plumbing systems, drains, drinking fountains, sprinkler systems and timers should be cleared of bird droppings and other debris to function properly.

Bird proofing these areas will also keep disease-carrying droppings from infecting employees and the public.

Security cameras must also be kept unobstructed and operational to ensure the safety of visitors and employees.

Proper bird proofing prevents the droppings and debris that can often obscure and render these systems inoperative.

Sufficient bird proofing can further ensure building security by keeping bird droppings from corroding and damaging exterior locks, doors and windows.

Today''s bird proofing solutions are humane, effective, easy to install and are virtually maintenance free.

And, best of all, they deter a wide range of pest birds from buildings and facilities.

Bird Netting

Bird netting can control many bird species and comes in different types and mesh sizes to deny pest birds access without trapping them.

Heavy-duty bird netting is manufactured of strong polyethylene and is made from an ultraviolet-resistant mesh available in various sizes and custom cuts.

No-knot bird netting, which is made of non-conductive polypropylene — a chemically inert material that is highly resistant to acids and alkalis — is exceptionally lightweight, strong and easy to handle.

This flame-resistant, multi-strand fiber has ultraviolet inhibitors and will not rot or absorb water and will inhibit the growth of mold or mildew.

For large birds like pigeons and seagulls, a 1-1/8-inch to 2-inch mesh size is recommended.

For smaller birds like sparrows and starlings, a ¾-inch mesh works best.

Although bird netting now comes in various colors, black bird netting offers natural ultraviolet protection and won''t discolor when it gets dirty or dusty.

Another option is bat netting, which is a 3/8-inch polyethylene mesh that is more robust than most other netting to keep bats — commonly stronger than other pest birds are — out of your facilities.


With a loyal following, bird spikes have been used to deter pest birds in thousands of applications worldwide.

The menacing-looking spikes have proven quite effective in intimidating most birds by denying them the ability to land.

The blunted spikes are harmless and come in stainless steel or rigid, unbreakable polycarbonate.

Bird spikes keep pest birds from landing on rooftops, signs, building ledges and other outdoor areas, effectively eliminating their ability to cause damage.


Bird slopes are simple and elegant in their appearance and function.

Try as they will, pest birds simply cannot land on these slippery, angled polyvinyl chloride (PVC) panels and instead slip and slide off like wet tomato seeds slip through your fingers.

Bird slopes are easy to install using glue, nails or screws and are the perfect solution for eaves, ledges, beams and other 90-degree angled areas where pest birds tend to gather.


Quite effective for spot area deterrents, bird gels discourage pest birds from sticking around because they can''t stand the insecure feeling of something tugging at their toes.

Once you apply this sticky chemical, it takes up to six months to completely harden and dry, making gels a cost-effective solution or supplement to other bird proofing efforts.

Gels are safe for most birds, won''t harm humans and will not make for extra work to be performed by cleaning and maintenance crews.

Electric Tracks

Proven to be effective over the years, electric tracks deter pest birds by using a startling — but harmless — zap of electricity to convince them to move on.

Tracks are humane, highly effective and work convincingly to deter pigeons, seagulls and larger birds from structures.

The best electric tracks have a flow-through design that prevents water from pooling around them, which could damage adjacent areas.

Sonic And Ultrasonic Deterrents

Humane and easy to use, sonic and ultrasonic bird proofing systems are highly effective in deterring a wide variety of pest birds.

The list includes pigeons, crows, starlings, swallows, gulls, woodpeckers, sparrows, grackles, cormorants and many others.

The best sonic repellants will continually alter the pitch, frequency, timing and intensity of their sounds, which prevents birds from acclimating to a specific sound.

These sounds can vary from peregrine falcons defending their territory to predator hawks screeching during an attack.

One popular system emits distress and predator calls for as many as 22 types of birds.

Some sonic systems can be set up to emit distress and predator calls day or night.

Most sonic systems emit natural sounds that don''t bother humans while ultrasonic systems emit pulses above the range of human hearing.

Alex A. Kecskes is a national award-winning writer/journalist and founding principal of ak creativeworks, a writing services company providing search engine optimization (SEO) articles and web content. He is widely published in print and web, covering art, health issues, green topics, automotive news, filmmakers and celebrity interviews.

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