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Are birds considered pests?

Birds Uncovered

Birds benefit our world in all sorts of ways. They pollinate plants, they provide us with food, they help to maintain natural habitats. They also keep pest levels down…but there are situations where birds themselves can be considered pests. 

Read on to find out when this is the case, the common culprits, and how to handle bird pest control.


Situations When Birds Become Pests

Are birds considered pests? Generally, the answer is no…however, there are three ways in which they can become a significant problem if left unchecked. 

Property damage caused by birds

Birds can cause major damage to both commercial and residential properties in two main ways. 

The first is via their droppings. These are incredibly acidic and can corrode all sorts of different materials, from paint and woodwork to metal and even concrete. If these droppings are given time to build up, they can even corrode so much that they eventually cause structural damage. 

It’s not just the droppings you have to worry about, though: it’s the damage that nesting activity can cause, too. Birds can dislodge tiles from your roof. They can fill your gutters and drainpipes with nesting material, resulting in standing water and flooding. They can even damage solar panels if they choose to nest underneath them.


Health hazards linked to birds

As well as causing damage to property, bird droppings are a serious health hazard. They can infect humans with diseases including salmonella, psittacosis and histoplasmosis, among others – and their nests can be equally toxic breeding grounds. 

Bird nests can be home to fleas, ticks, mites, lice, parasites, viruses and bacteria: they’re literal breeding grounds for all sorts of toxicity. Moulted feathers can also cause breathing issues – and let’s not forget the risk of physical injury, whether this is caused by slipping on droppings or nest debris, or being attacked by protective mother birds during nesting season.

Agricultural losses from bird pests

Feeding on pests like slugs, aphids and caterpillars, birds can often benefit farmers and keen gardeners…but this isn’t always the case. Wood pigeons and collared doves are known for the damage they can cause to edible crops, but they’re certainly not the only culprits. 

Jays love to feast on beans and peas, while thrushes, starlings and blackbirds are attracted by the temptation of ripening fruits. Other birds will happily dig around in soil in search of seeds or insects without a care for whatever crop is planted there. 

None of this need be an issue, though. If you can identify the risks and mitigate against them, you’ll vastly reduce the need for bird pest control services in the future. 


Common Types of Pest Birds
  • Different types of bird can be considered pests in different environments. To make sure you choose the right method of bird pest control, you’ll first need to identify the type of bird pest, and understand its behaviours. 

    Some of the most common types of pest birds are:

  • Pigeons: With the ability to breed up to six times each year, pigeons can prove hard to tackle. They like to nest in high-up places like roof spaces, attics and underneath solar panels and will happily congregate in developed areas and eat human food. Their urine and droppings can cause vast amounts of damage, and they’re known disease carriers too. 
  • Gulls: Over time, gulls have adapted their nesting behaviours. They no longer just stick to quiet coastal nesting sites – instead, they’re happy to brave built-up residential and commercial areas. These birds scavenge for human food, which they’ll steal from the floor, from bins, and even from people’s hands. They’re not scared of people and can be incredibly aggressive. They can return to the same nesting spot year after year if the site is left untouched. 
  • Collared doves: This non-native species will typically nest in trees, but they have been known to build nests wherever they can find space: gutters, rooftops, even satellite dishes. They are highly territorial and can be aggressive towards smaller birds. As well as being noisy, they can spread disease – including to livestock in farming areas. They can also destroy fruit crops. 
  • Sparrows: Sparrows will nest wherever they can find somewhere quiet – even in the middle of a busy built-up area. While they nest in quiet places, sparrows are anything but quiet: their noise and aggression can prove problematic. What’s more, they love to nest near accessible sources of food…which include food and drink businesses, residential properties and agricultural land. 
  • Starlings: One starling may not be a problem…but when a single flock can be up to 100,000 birds, that’s when they start to cause issues! When flocks this size nest on your roof, damage is pretty unavoidable. Starlings are also noisy and love to feed on human food scraps, including from rubbish bins. Starling droppings can transmit infectious diseases to livestock and contaminate the soil in which crops grow – and a single flock can decimate a farmer’s entire crop quite rapidly if it chooses it as its food source. 
    Bird and bird nest pest control is vital to keep these pest birds from causing damage. However, there are legal considerations you need to bear in mind before you do anything. 
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Legal Considerations for Bird Pest Control

Bird pest control is made more challenging by the fact that wild birds are protected by law. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is illegal to:

  • Intentionally take, injure or kill any wild bird
  • Intentionally destroy their eggs
  • Disturb them while they are near or at an active nesting site
  • Damage, destroy or take their nests while these nests are in use

While it’s possible to obtain a licence to control wild birds, it’s important to exhaust all other methods before going down this route. Remember, too, that we need birds for our ecosystem to work properly. As such, the best option is to deter them from your property – and a professional bird pest control company can help. 

Pest Stop Boys’ Expertise in Bird Pest Control

Our priority at Pest Stop Boys is to provide safe and effective bird pest control services that not only rid you of your problem but also do things in an ethical and non-toxic way. 

We will work with you to determine how best to remove birds’ access to nesting materials and food sources, how to bird-proof your property and how to deter birds from nesting or feeding on your site. 

Using deterrents means that we can simply encourage birds to gather away from your property – keeping your property bird-free while maintaining the bird populations we need for our biodiversity. 

The exact method we’ll choose for your bird pest control problem will depend on a few things: the type of bird that’s causing the issues, their location, the severity of the issue. These methods could include:

  • Wires
  • Posts
  • Bird spikes
  • Netting
  • Electric deterrents
  • Bird-repellent gel
How to Avail Yourself of Pest Stop Boys’ Bird Pest Control Services

If you’re considering using Pest Stop Boys’ bird pest control services, the process is simple. Just give us a call on 01273 634 826 (Brighton) or 01903 641 362 (Worthing), or fill out our contact form here

We offer a variety of non-intrusive and humane bird pest control services, including identifying the issue, applying preventative measures and disinfecting your property once the birds have left their nests. Our prices vary depending on the service you choose, but we pride ourselves on our fair and accurate pricing – as you’ll see from our Checkatrade reviews!

FAQ on Bird Pest Control

Can you tackle bird pest control without calling the professionals?

To some extent, yes. You can keep access to food and nesting materials under control, and you can buy various types of deterrent to keep birds away. 

However, some birds can return to existing nests year after year. If these nests aren’t removed and access blocked, you may find that bird pests are an annual problem.


How can I control food and nesting resources?

In all types of property, the key thing is to keep the area as clean as possible. This includes removing any spilled human or pet food, as well as cleaning up fallen twigs, leaves animal fur and other potential nesting materials on a regular basis. 

Bins should be well-secured to prevent bird access, and any crops should be covered with netting where possible, or have bird deterrents placed nearby to keep them away. 


Can you get rid of birds during nesting season? 

In short, no. It is illegal to damage bird nests or eggs – and inhumane to block access during nesting season. We will always remove nests and block access outside of this season – but other solutions, like removing food and nesting material sources and adding deterrents, are possible during this time. 


Will birds come back to my property?

If a bird has found a safe, suitable nesting place, it may well remember this nesting place the next time nesting season comes around. That’s why we always recommend removing nests once discarded, and blocking access to the nesting site where possible. 

So, are birds considered pests? They can be – but they don’t need to be. For more resources on bird pest control, see our dedicated bird pest control, pigeon pest control and seagull pest control pages.

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