Monday, September 3, 2018

Time to Bird Proof Your Property



It happened in Norway. Policewoman Jorun Lyngstad was just riding her bike through the woods when Europe's biggest game bird, a wood grouse, rammed her from the side and sent her flying through the air. With her foot stuck in one of the pedals, Lyngstad had to use her bike as a shield as she tried to fight off the aggressive bird, which repeatedly came at her. The policewoman finally pinned the bird's head underneath the bike's front wheel. Once released, the bird fled back into the woods. Lyngstad suffered only minor scratches and a big bruise in her side where the wood grouse rammed her. This is not surprising, since a wood grouse can be up to three feet tall and weigh close to nine pounds. Lyngstad, who was wearing a bright yellow vest at the time, said she couldn't understand what provoked the bird to attack her.

While most of us don't have to worry about 9-pound birds knocking us off our bikes, smaller pest birds can knock us for a loop when it comes to property damage. Thousands of homeowners, boat owners, facilities managers and municipalities have suffered the ravages of pest birds. The nests, the droppings and the destruction and diseases they carry cost Americans millions annually. Many people have decided to fight back by bird proofing their property.

Modern Bird Proofing Methods

Today's bird proofing solutions combine technology with some good old-fashioned bird psychology to deter pest birds. The new breed of pest bird deterrents covers a wide spectrum of applications and bird types and sizes.

Yikes, it's Bird Spikes

First, and perhaps the most popular bird-proofing device is the highly effective Bird Spike. These spiked strips may look threatening, but the blunted spikes are safe for birds, people and pets. It's not hard to imagine how they work: they simply can't land on or near them. The spiked strips come with long-lasting stainless steel or rigid unbreakable polycarbonate spikes. Installation is fast and easy on virtually any flat surface or ledge.

There are several types of spikes for differing applications. The Mega Spike, for example, is considered the Godzilla of bird spikes. Its long spikes--typically 7" high--will persuade most seagulls, cormorants, turkey vultures, raptors and other large birds to move on. Mega spikes made of marine-grade stainless steel will last longer. Try to get spikes with a crush proof, non-reflective metal finish. The best bird proof spikes have a U.V.-protected polycarbonate base that you can angle to fit curved surfaces.

Want to keep pest birds and nests out of your rain gutters? Try the Gutter Spike. They work quite well in discouraging large pests like seagulls, crows, and pigeons from gutters. Like most bird spikes, gutter spikes usually come in two-foot long strips. The best come with adjustable clamps at the base for easy installation to the lip of a gutter.

Birds Hate Spiders Too

People aren't fond of spiders, and birds aren't fond of one particular spider--the Bird Spider. They hate the spindly arms of this novel device. The arms wave threateningly in the wind to scare birds away. You've probably seen these spiders on restaurant tables, canvas boat covers, awnings, patios and other flat surfaces. Bird spiders are available in a variety of arm lengths to scare away a wide range of species.

Bird Proofing with Safe Chemicals

Pest birds make us angry and cost us money, but we really don't want to hurt the little buggers. Which is why using lethal poisons are out and humane chemical methods are in. Enter Bird Foggers and Misters. These nifty systems spray a fine mist of food-grade methyl anthranilate. Basically a grape extract, this chemical is harmless to birds and humans, but it bugs the heck out of them when they fly through it. Fog/mist systems run the gamut from simple to sophisticated. Simple units have a sprayer and a canister of chemicals. Advanced systems have timers and multiple nozzles that let you direct the mist to very specific sites and varying times/durations.

Pest Birds Slip on this Slope

If they can't land, they can't nest. That's how Bird Slopes bird proof so many properties. These unassuming, slippery PVC panels fit just about anywhere and prevent pest birds from getting a grip. After several landing attempts, birds abandon the area and head for better landing zones. The angled panels are ideal for use on eaves, ledges, beams and other similar niches. They're easy to install on almost any surface and will deter a wide range of pest birds.

Birds are Gone with this Goo

Birds hate to get their footsies stuck in anything. And while Bird Gel won't trap them, it's gooey enough to feel like it just might, which is why pests really detest this gel. The stuff will deter a wide range of pests and it goes on just about any surface--you squeeze it on with a caulking gun. Gels have been used with great success on conduit, pipes, ledges, I-beams and parapet walls. The gel hardens after about six months, so you'll need another application for best bird proofing results.

Bird Proofing with Nets

Pretty simple, really. If they can't get in, they can't damage anything. Bird Netting has been used for years to bird proof large areas--like groves, vineyards, enclosed courtyards and patios. Depending on the type you want to keep out, net mesh sizes vary top deter pigeons, sparrows, starlings and seagulls. The best bird netting is U.V. stabilized, flame resistant, and rot- and water-proof.

Things that Bob and Weave in the Wind

Birds don't like things that bob and weave in the breeze. That's the theory behind Bird Scare deterrents. These include reflective foils, shiny tape banners and balloons. Some balloons feature a giant eye, which adds to the fright factor. By creating an "Optical Distraction Zone," these simple devices shoo birds away. Some of these deterrents combine a visual distraction with a crackling sound. Balloons can also be used in swimming pools and other water areas to float on the surface and frighten pest birds away.

Using Water and a Little Bird Psychology

Birds hate surprises, especially the water kind. And the Scarecrow delivers--big time. This motion-activated sprinkler device produces a sudden blast of water whenever it senses flying or walking near it. It's the smart and sure way to bird proof gardens, backyards, pools/spas and many outdoor areas. The Scarecrow is so effective because it combines a blast of water and its sudden sound with a scarecrow's moving head. After a few blasts, pest birds get the idea and never come back.

It's more than Just Bird Control - Its Faith, Family & Friends!

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