Observations should be conducted on different days and different times of day in order to develop an understanding of the behavior and movements of target birds. Binoculars may be needed to scan high places such as ledges, windowsills, roof edges and high roof overhangs of tall buildings. When inspecting for birds at food facilities, the roofs of buildings should be inspected where possible as it is common to find pigeons nesting, roosting and loafing, on, under, and around heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units on roofs. From these locations, bird contaminants and adulterants can enter the air handling systems of a structure and be distributed throughout a food facility.
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A variety of management options are available for addressing bird problems at food facilities. These include:
Prohibit Bird Feeding
Management must establish and enforce a clear written policy prohibiting people from feeding birds at food facilities. Pest birds are creatures of habit and they will return to a site where they are fed on a regular basis.
Eliminate Water Sources
Avoid or minimize unnecessary use of water outdoors so as not to provide pests with a critical survival resource. Repair outdoor water leaks, calibrate and adjust landscape irrigation systems so as not to cause runoffs that create puddles. Fix or repair low spots in landscapes and hardscapes that could catch and retain water. Clean and repair gutters and downspouts to prevent water accumulations and facilitate drainage. Bear in mind that standing water is an ideal breeding site for mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus. Crows and other members of the corvids (the bird family c) are excellent reservoirs of West Nile Virus.
Good sanitation practices, such as prompt removal of unwanted food, food debris, food wrappers and food containers, will go a long way towards reducing the attractiveness of an area to birds. If employees consume food outdoors, it is important that everyone clean up after themselves or someone be designated to promptly clean these areas. Adequate numbers of covered trash containers should be provided for disposal of unwanted materials. Trash receptacles should be emptied and cleaned on a regular basis so that odors emanating from them do not attract flies, ants, and other pests.
Physical Bird Deterrent Devices
A large number of bird deterrent devices are available to dissuade birds from perching on certain locations of buildings. Two good sources of these materials are www.birdbarrier.com and www.birdbgone.com. Every situation is different and each may pose unique problems based on its location, etc. Thus, each must be assessed and evaluated, and materials that are cost effective and appropriate to that area must be carefully chosen. A good bird management professional should be able to provide expertise on smart, effective and economical choices of bird deterrent devices.
Places where pest birds are roosting, loafing, or nesting can be screened off with good quality bird netting of the appropriate mesh size to exclude these feathered creatures. Nets should be installed using quality installation materials and in a professional manner so that they do not become an eyesore and detract from the aesthetics of the facility. Professionally installed bird nets, can in some cases, actually complement and enhance architectural appearance of structures.
Pointed spikes can be installed on surfaces, including pipes, on which pest birds perch. These spikes prevent birds from landing but do not harm them. Bird spikes are available in different materials and configurations and the appropriate ones have to be selected for certain situations. Polycarbonate bird spike can be obtained in colors that match the color of a structure. On ledges and roof edges, proper spacing of spikes is important so that birds do not access and use areas between rows of spikes. Bird spikes should be inspected periodically to make sure that they are still in place and are not compromised by birds piling debris on them.