People have been attempting to control birds for decades using single-event installations with spikes, nets, noise devices and other single deterrents and have often fallen short of the goal of removing birds. With the protection status of most bird species and the human demands that birds not be injured, more and more pressure has come upon those who desire to control them to be “humane” in their approach.
Flock Free has learned over the last decade that bird control is rarely successful when performed as a stand-alone “event”. Although logistics sometimes dictate it has to be done that way, controlling birds using an integrated bird control process will not only provide better results but will often fit more easily into a clients’ budget since it is service related and does not require capital expenditures.
Birds are one of the most difficult to control pests we deal with. We use regular service schedules to deal with most pests so the question is “why not with birds?”. They fly, they are smart, they can become heavily addicted to nesting sites and we normally cannot harm them. All these factors play to solutions that are ongoing in structure.
What we have learned is that birds have to be trained to leave. They are in a particular place because it is conducive- i.e. low air flow provides nesting sites, shelter, food, water, etc. In order for them to leave they must be irritated to a point that is higher than their desire to stay.
Although familiar products like spikes and nets may be helpful, they should be used as tools for an overall bird management program, not as a stand-alone “solution”.
The Stress Concept
If birds are active at any location you can assume they are there because it is relatively stress-free. Think in terms of nature – if there are natural predators present the birds will be under stress and will leave, at least until the predator is gone. Natural stresses like raptors or dogs will work but only during the time they are present. Once again, birds are smart and will quickly learn and adapt to the pressure. That is why any successful bird management program will require layers of stress that operate 24/7. Think in terms of objects like scary eye balloons or noise makers – they may work on migratory birds that are just passing by, but once residential-minded birds figure out that the object will not harm them, they will quickly overcome the fear (stress).
Bird Management Success – 2 B Successful - B Relentless
Think of a dog on the golf course chasing geese, or a falcon flying, 24/7. Pest birds will leave permanently under this amount of stress. Likewise, when developing a program to manage birds, think in terms of applying 24/7, relentless pressure. Use products that will apply stress even when you leave. Mix and match the products/methods to achieve the amount of stress necessary to drive birds away. Take away whatever reasons they are there over time – over time being the key. You do not have to “solve” the issue in one visit. Amortize the solutions and the cost over time and you will see results over time as well.
The Flock Free Approach – Bird Control is IPM
We manufacture products, design services and procedures, and implement solutions that cause birds stress. No stress = no results. High Stress = Results – it is that simple. By adding these products and procedures to your normal services and treating birds like any other pest you can increase customer satisfaction while adding a source of recurring revenue.
Steps to Success
Take away landing, roosting, loafing areas – this is the easiest thing to do since you can stress birds by getting something on or under their feet to irritate/shock them. MEM makes a number of easy-to-install, cost-effective electric shock systems that use static shock to mildly jolt a bird. Sting Em Gel with Flock Off Ultra Violet Paint is an effective method that, unlike gels of the past, don’t melt, mess or ensnare birds and clean up with soap and water. For large jobs, these services can be done over time. For example, an apartment complex may be far too vast in scope to apply gel and UV with a single visit. However, if a budget is set over time, a service can be done on a regular basis to treat the most intensive areas as needed, thus keeping the birds under stress.
A remarkable bird spray we refer to as “Tank Mix” is a great tool to keep birds under stress. This product consists of three parts. Part one irritates the birds’ trigeminal nerve causing irritation like a tooth-ache. Part two is a mixture of natural products that irritate birds’ senses of taste and smell. Part three is an ultra violet marker only birds can see that identifies the areas treated “teaching” them to stay away. Routinely spray areas where birds sit, drink, eat or loaf, whether they are trees, bushes, balconies, buildings, lawns or dumpster areas. This product will provide constant irritation like a dog full-time on the golf course.
Add Visual Deterrents – birds naturally fear novel objects and none work better than the MEM Flock Reflector. Use as a stand-alone for migratory birds or gulls or as part of an IBC Bird Management program. Place them approximately 50 feet apart for best results.
Add Hazers – Hazers add the ultimate, full-time irritation to any bird problem. Our hazers run on timers that dispense small amounts of MA into the air every few minutes. Birds cannot get away from the irritation and will learn to stay away from areas where hazers are in operation. Hazers use Methyl Anthranilate, a food-grade product made from the skin of the concord grape to irritate birds. The concept is simple: Birds are irritated by acidity; grapes are acidic; MA is made from grapes and is thus acidic; when MA is applied to the air as an invisible haze, birds that inhale the product are extremely irritated and learn to stay away from the area where the product is dispersed.