Bird Proofing Schools and Hospitals

Bird Proofing Schools and Hospitals


Pest birds present particular problems for schools and hospital since they deal with children and the sick, individuals who are especially vulnerable to disease. For this reason, school and hospital administrators must be ever vigilant and pro-active in their pursuit of bird proofing their properties.


Birds Invading Schools


Birds, as school administrators and educators know, are attracted to school grounds and structures. Undoubtedly, because there’s an abundance of food scraps on these grounds. Allowed to gather and roost, birds can quickly become pests and pose a number of health and safety hazards. Unfortunately, the rock pigeon, European starling and house sparrow seem to create the most problems around schools. Nests, droppings and other bird debris can block AC and ventilation systems. This is why bird proofing has become so important to schools.


Some schools suffer from roosting turkey vultures, which can become particularly offensive due to their odors. Gulls have been known to harass young school children for food. Swallows may nest on the sides of school buildings, creating a problem by droppings and mites. Flocks of water birds, especially Canada geese, often plague school grounds and athletic fields. These birds can damage turf, and contaminate exterior pools and ponds. Crows have been known to damage certain roofing materials and woodpeckers often drill into wooden buildings. Bird proofing can rid schools of these pests.


The droppings of most any pest bird can create serious potential health hazards. A single pigeon, for example, can excrete up to 25 pounds of droppings every year. These droppings usually end up on outside eating tables, benches, and chairs where students gather for lunch. Droppings also find they way on playground equipment–slides, swings, teeter-totters and jungle gyms–places where younger children play.


Younger children are particularly vulnerable because they tend to be less concerned about washing their hands after recess and during lunch. This poses an alarming health risk since the bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites in 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. Children of all ages can also slip and fall on fresh bird droppings or those recently dampened by rain or drizzle. This can result in a huge liability for the school and its district. Clearly, bird proofing is an important part of child safety in schools.


Birds Invading Hospitals


Starting with parking structures, pest birds can be a huge problem for hospitals. Pigeons, starlings and sparrows love to nest in the many nooks and crannies of these open multi-level venues. What’s more, their droppings contribute to a negative first impression on hospital visitors and patients.


Heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts on hospital rooftops are other areas where pest birds have been known to cause serious problems. Pigeons like to gather around air handlers–like HVAC vents. Wind and sun often turn dried bird droppings into dust, which gets sucked into HVAC systems. These fine particles can spread a number of diseases throughout an entire building–a huge risk for any hospital.


Humane, Effective Bird Proofing Solutions


Poisons, shotguns and noise-making devices are not good pest bird deterrents near schools or hospitals. They may also violate federal, state and local wildlife protection ordinances. Fortunately, science and bird psychology have been brought together to create some pretty effective bird proofing solutions for these venues.


Bird Spikes


A highly effective and humane pest bird deterrent, bird spikes deny birds the opportunity to land. Recommended by building contractors, architects, and municipalities, the blunted spikes won’t harm birds or maintenance crews. Bird spikes have been approved by almost every humane group in the world–including The Humane Society of the United States and PICAS. The spikes come in rows of spike strips and won’t get clogged up by entrapping most debris. They are typically available in 3-, 5- and 8-inch widths and two-foot sections, and they can be glued down, nailed or screwed into most any surface.


Some manufacturers offer a Mega Spike, which is typically 7 inches high and fabricated of marine grade stainless steel. These are ideal for deterring large birds like gulls.

Also available is the Gutter Spike, recommended to keep large pest birds from nesting and clogging gutters or drains. Gutter spikes come in two-foot long strips. Some have adjustable clamps at the base so they can be conveniently attached to the lip of a gutter. The best bird spikes have a flexible base to easily conform to curved areas, an ideal feature for hard-to-cover areas.


Bird Repellent Netting


Bird repellent netting has been used with considerable success to keep pest birds away form large outdoor areas. It comes in various types and mesh sizes. If you have a problem with large birds like pigeons or seagulls, you might consider a 1-1/8″ to 2″ mesh size net. For birds like sparrows or starlings, you should install a 3/4″ mesh net. Better repellent netting usually meets ISO 1806 protocols and will last longer. The best netting is also U.V. stabilized, flame resistant and rot- and water-proof. Today, some of the best bird repellent netting can withstand fairly harsh temperature extremes–from flame resistant 250 degree F melting point to “sub-zero” temperatures. In areas where electrical conductivity or radio frequency interference is a problem, you might opt for non-conductive netting. Also note that netting now comes in various colors match a building’s aesthetics.


Finally, Consider Trees Before You Plant


Whether you’re trying to bird proof a school or hospital, it’s important to avoid certain kinds of trees in landscaping near these grounds. For example, fruit trees and fragrant trees will attract birds, resulting in droppings everywhere. You should also avoid planting crab apples and Bradford Pears–birds love these plants.


Alex Kecskes is a freelance writer focusing on effective and humane bird control measures. If you are experiencing a bird problem at a school or hospital, call Bird-B-Gone Inc. – they have an network of experienced installers who can help solve virtually any pest bird problem. 1-800-392-6915

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Bird Proofing Schools and Hospitals

Posted by admin | Posted in Bird Feeders | Posted on 08-02-2011

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