It’s no secret that people who are already sick are more vulnerable to contracting diseases.And one potentially unhealthful source of disease is bird waste. As a hospital administrator, you are no doubt aware of the problems pest birds can cause. Many species of birds, including pigeons, starlings and sparrows, often gather to roost on a hospital’s roof, under parking structures, in receiving bays and loading docks, and around exterior employee lunch and snack areas. Without bird control, you soon have a noisy, smelly and potentially dangerous problem on your hands.
Keep in mind that a single pigeon can excrete up to 25 pounds of droppings per year. The bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites in bird droppings and nesting materials have been known to carry any of 60 diseases–including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, and toxoplasmosis, even the West Nile virus.
No less harmful is bird fecal dust carried into hospitals through rooftop heating, ventilation and air-conditioning ducts. Birds often build nests around air handling equipment, ducts, compressors and other vented pathways. Dried by wind and sun, this disease-infested dust gets sucked into HVAC systems. The fine particles can quickly spread diseases throughout a hospital or medical center.
Hospital administrators should also be aware of the negative visual impact bird droppings, nests and other debris can have on a hospital’s image. Finally, bird droppings can cause dangerous slip-and-fall hazards–a huge legal liability for any institution.
Today’s Bird Control Measures
Hospitals and healthcare centers are somewhat restricted in their use of pest bird control measures. They certainly can’t use firearms, noise cannons or fireworks. And poisons present too much of a liability. Besides, federal, state and local wildlife protection ordinances forbid the use of lethal or harmful bird control measures. Fortunately, there are several highly effective bird proofing solutions currently available that are safe, sane and humane.
The good thing about Bird Spikes is that they prevent many species of large birds from landing in the first place. Suddenly, rooftops, ledges, signs, light fixtures and other elevated areas are off-limits to birds. Bird Spikes come in rows of spiked strips. And you can get them in either rigid U.V.-resistant unbreakable polycarbonate or high strength, durable stainless steel. The stainless steel spikes come in 3-, 5- and 8-inch widths; the plastic spikes (which cost slightly less) come in 3-, 5- and 7-inch widths. Plastic spikes are ideal for use near antenna arrays since they won’t interfere with radiated RF energy. You can get bird spikes in a non-reflective metal finish or a variety of colors–like white, tan, gray, black, brown, brick red and crystal clear. There’s also a no-gap spike that’s easy to affix to curved surfaces.
If your hospital or healthcare center is being invaded by large birds like gulls, try the Mega Spike. Its 7-inch spikes made of marine grade stainless steel will make sure these birds get the point and leave. There’s also the Gutter Spike, ideal for keeping large pest birds out of gutters or drains. Look for gutter spikes that have adjustable clamps at the base; these allow the spikes to be easily attached to the lip of a gutter.
Lastly, Birds Spikes look dangerous, but they are harmless to birds or people. They have even been approved by a number of humane groups worldwide–including the U.S. Humane Society and PICAS (Pigeon Control Advisory Service).
Sonic Bird Deterrents
Ideal for use in certain areas of a hospital or healthcare center, Typically, Sonic Bird Deterrents emit predator and distress calls that frighten pest birds but are basically just natural sounds that are not unpleasant to humans. Some highly versatile sonic systems emit distress and predator calls for as many as 22 types of birds. The sounds are cycled every few minutes to convince pest birds that they best leave or risk being attacked. Sonic Bird Deterrents are an ideal bird control solution for deterring pigeons, crows, starlings, swallows, gulls, woodpeckers, sparrows, grackles, cormorants and many other birds.
To keep pest birds out of certain specific areas–like eaves, overhangs, patios, and parking structure recesses–there’s Bird Netting. This barrier bird control measure is available in various cuts and mesh sizes. For large birds like pigeons or seagulls, use a 1-1/8-inch to 2-inch mesh size. Sparrows or starlings, on the other hand are best excluded using a 3/4-inch mesh net. The best bird repellent netting will meet ISO 1806 protocols, is U.V. stabilized, flame resistant and rot- and water-proof. In areas where electrical conductivity or radio frequency interference is a problem, non-conductive netting is often used. Also note that netting now comes in various colors– including white, stone and black–to match a structure’s color scheme.
A great spot deterrent for ledges, rooflines, eaves, signs and most flat or curved surfaces, Electric Tracks impart a mild electrical shock when birds land on their surface. This is an ideal bird control device for use against a wide variety of pest birds–including pigeons, sparrows, gulls, starlings and crows. The best electric tracks feature a low-profile design that makes them almost invisible. The strips of electrified track are usually powered by an AC charger or solar charger. One manufacturer uses copper knitted wire mesh in a continuous tube-in-tube stocking design. This gives the track greater conductivity, strength and reliability. The copper mesh is resists corrosion and will stand up to alkali and acidic environments.
These angled, slippery PVC panels known simply as Bird Slope, won’t allow pest birds enough of a grip to land. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they just slide off like water off a goose. Bird slopes are easily installed, tucking unnoticeably into ledges, eaves, beams and other 90-degree areas pest birds often nest. The best panels are U.V. protected and sun and weather resistant. They deter a wide range of birds, including swallows, starlings, pigeons and seagulls. Some panels have a “snap-on” extender, which allows them to adapt more easily to wider ledges and coverage areas.
Bird Scare Deterrents
These inexpensive bird control devices make pest birds too nervous to nest. There’s Flash tape, an iridescent material that shimmers and crackles in the sunlight and breeze to scare pest birds. And Bird Scare Balloons, which, emblazoned with lifelike reflective predator eyes, bob and weave menacingly in the breeze to make birds really uncomfortable.