By Fogel, Kevin M.
Journal of Property Management , Vol. 71, No. 6
Real estate managers face many problems but few are as great a nuisance as birds.
The potential problems they create range from unsightly messes, to moderately annoying behaviors, to serious health hazards. Despite these challenges, humane methods can be implemented to solve pesky bird problems and protect a property's bottom line.
Bird nuisance problems often start with just a few birds landing on a building, but they quickly multiply: Taking decisive action at the first sign of birds attracted to a building is essential.
Birds usually fly to flat areas where they can easily land to rest, find food and shelter, and breed. Flocks of birds on the ground can obstruct sidewalks and pedestrian walkways, and their discarded nesting materials and clumps of feathers can also block roof drains and rain gutters--resulting in standing water that can damage the roof and lead to costly repairs.
And wherever birds travel, they leave bird droppings behind. Bird droppings can create a number of concerns like slippery steps, sidewalks and fire escapes. The droppings are also highly acidic and can damage wood, stone, concrete, marble and shingles, as well as sheet metal, copper and steel. Even more serious, germs and parasites can be found in bird droppings and may cause illnesses like tuberculosis and histo-plasmosis.
A bird-free property enhances the appearance of a building, reduces the risk of health hazards and results in lower maintenance and repair costs. The solution to preventing pest bird problems is making a building unattractive to birds so they won't stop there in the first place.
The methods used to rid birds from a property must be permanent solutions, cost effective, easy to install and not harmful to the birds. Because birds are smart, tenacious and persistent, it is best to use multiple methods to keep them at bay.
Scare devices play on a bird's instinct to avoid natural predators like hawks and owls. Such devices are lightweight, easy to set up and often rely on the wind to move around, enhancing their effectiveness. These devices must be moved periodically to avoid familiarization, which would render them useless.
Small round disks containing a highly reflective background and a silhouette of a predator bird can be placed in windows to scare the birds away so they do not crash into the windows; this is especially useful if managing office buildings with ultraviolet-reducing coated windows. …