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Birds Fact Sheet
Feral Pigeon is descended from a domesticated strain of the Rock Dove.
- Feral Pigeons generally have red feet, a body length of 31-34cm and a weight of 250-560g.
- They build their nests in or on buildings, ledges or in hollows – often under eaves or on girders.
- If food is in plentiful supply, feral pigeons can breed throughout the year and have up to 7 broods of 2 young each year.
- The young develop very quickly, fed on highly nutritious regurgitated pigeon ‘milk’.
Gull species mostly found on buildings are:
- Black-headed gull: medium-sized with black heads in the breeding season
- Herring gull: Large with light grey back and pink legs
- Lesser black-backed gull: Large with medium dark grey back and yellow legs
Herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls regularly nest on buildings. Black headed gulls just come into urban areas to feed.
Problems they cause
- Birds and their fouling can transmit potential fatal diseases such as psittacosis, cryptococcosis, aspergillosis, toxoplasmosis, salmonellosis
- Bird infestation can be a source of arthropod infestation such as pigeon fleas, pigeon louse flies, pigeon ticks, red poultry mites, clothes moths, carpet beetles, house moths, mealworm beetles
- Bird fouling can be a slip hazard, it can damage buildings and it looks unsightly
- Gulls can attack nearby people when they have young in their nest
- Gull pecking can damage buildings
- Gulls can peck open rubbish bags creating a mess
Commercial control methods
Terminix utilises a wide array of specialist non-lethal bird management solutions including netting, spikes, wire systems, lasers, electric deterrents, repellent gels and scaring technologies. The selection of system is building-specific: through years of experience we know what system and components work best where.
Where absolutely necessary for public health and safety reasons and where legislation allows, we also offer physical removal or humane lethal control including catch and release, shooting, trapping and egg and nest removals.
What you can do to help
- Do not provide any possible food source as this will encourage these pests to take up residence nearby. Pigeon flock size is directly proportional to local food supply. [Feeding birds can also encourage rats].
- If cleaning up droppings, ensure you have appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), as serious diseases can be lurking in the fouling. Alternatively, call in a professional pest control company who will follow safe working procedures when doing this dangerous work.
- Keep external doors closed to prevent access.