9/13/2013<< Back to Facilities Management Press Releases Home
Bird Control at Schools
By Dr. Rob Fergus, PH.D Ornithologist
Dr. Fergus is an expert in his field, specializing in urban bird conservation, urban ecology and human/wildlife interactions. He served as the Senior Scientist of Urban Bird Conservation at the National Audubon Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 2004 – 2009. Dr. Fergus now consults to the industry in addition to being a professor of Urban Ecology and Biodiversity at Rosemont College in Philadelphia.
Birds, natural habitats, and nature education at schools have been shown to improve learning and test scores in children. However, some birds may create problems at schools, so school grounds and buildings should be managed to avoid health and safety issues sometimes associated with birds and their droppings.
Birds and Health Issues at Schools
Birds are a natural part of a healthy environment. Most of us do not usually come into close contact with birds, so they aren’t normally a health concern for most people. However, birds and their droppings can carry disease organisms that infect people—especially the elderly, young, or people with compromised immune systems. Dangerous diseases occasionally passed from birds to people include Histoplasmosis, Cryptococcosis, Salmonellosis, Cryptosporidiosis, and Avian Influenza. Occasional bird droppings on a school sidewalk or playground should be avoided and washed away, but are not usually a significant threat. However, accumulations of droppings should be prevented.
Droppings accumulate wherever birds spend a lot of time, or where they congregate—such as at nesting or roosting sites. Birds should not be allowed to nest or congregate where students play or spend time, such as on sidewalks and playgrounds, or near food preparation areas or outdoor eating area. Birds should also be excluded from the vicinity of building ventilation systems. Bird congregations on buildings can be deterred with humane plastic or stainless steel bird spikes, or an electric bird jolt flat track. Birds nesting on building ledges or under eaves can be excluded with a bird slope mounted on a ledge, or with durable and virtually invisible bird netting.
Common Bird Problems to Avoid
Pigeons congregate where there are food sources such as waste food or garbage, and at covered nesting sites such as building ledges, rooftop utility structures, or covered walkways. Whenever possible, exclude pigeons from school grounds using bird spikes where they roost or bird netting where they nest.
House Sparrows and European Starlings nest in vents, gutters, or other holes in buildings, causing property damage and introducing disease organisms into the building. Block these birds using netting, screening, or other physical barriers to seal any holes larger than 1 1/8 inches.
Barn and Cliff Swallows nest under building eaves. As beneficial predators of mosquitoes and other flying insects, try to leave them alone unless they are nesting directly over walkways. Swallows and their nests are protected by federal law, so install bird netting to exclude them from vulnerable areas before they finish building nests and start laying eggs.
Canada Goose flocks congregate on athletic fields, where droppings create an unsightly and unhealthy mess. Treat lawns with safe and non-toxic chemical goose repellents that taste bad to the geese and encourage them to graze elsewhere.
School maintenance workers should watch for these common bird problems and other situations where birds and their droppings come into regular contact with students. Native birds can be encouraged and welcomed elsewhere on the school grounds, but effective use of bird control technologies ensures that schools remain safe and healthy learning environments.
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About Bird-B-Gone, Inc.
Bird-B-Gone, Inc. is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional grade bird deterrents. Founded in 1992, our products have helped solve pest bird problems in commercial, industrial and residential settings across the globe. A majority of our products are manufactured in the USA, ensuring they meet the highest standard of quality in the industry and allowing us to offer the longest guarantees.
At Bird-B-Gone we make it our business to stay on top of the latest advancements in the bird control industry. We incorporate new technologies with tried and true methods to develop the most effective bird deterrents available. More information is available on the company’s website at: www.birdbgone.com.