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What You Need to Know About Bird Proofing Your Property


The bird nesting season officially lasts from February until August, according to Natural England, with the busiest period from the 1st of March until the 31st of July. Using the right bird proofing techniques is essential if you are troubled by pest birds.

Pigeons and gulls are two of the bird species that cause the most problems. But sparrows, starlings, jackdaws and others can be problematic in some situations. Large numbers of birds, congregating and roosting on rooftops and in other areas can be more than a nuisance to businesses, transport hubs, hospitals and other public locations.

It`s important to be aware that the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) protects all birds, their nests and their eggs. This means that if birds have already established a nesting site on your property, removing them is not an option.

By far the best strategy is to deter and prevent them from establishing themselves in the first place - which is why bird proofing is the best, legally compliant course of action.

What is Bird Proofing?

Bird proofing involves the use of one or more effective bird deterrents to prevent pest birds from perching, roosting and nesting where they aren’t allowed. Various physical, auditory and visual deterrents are commonly used.

Pigeons and gulls like urban environments as there is often an abundance of food along with plenty of safe, high buildings where they can nest and raise their young. The availability of food is an important point to note as reducing or removing this food source is an important bird proofing tactic that will immediately discourage pest birds from setting up their homes in an area.

Why You Need Bird Proofing

If you have ever walked under an area that’s a favoured roosting location for pigeons you will understand the mess they make. Pigeons and other birds are known to carry more 110 pathogens that can include diseases like salmonella, E.coli, and airborne pathogens that can cause respiratory illnesses. Bird droppings contain these pathogens and therefore present a significant risk to human health.

Accumulated bird droppings on pavements and walkways can be very slippery, especially in the rain. People have suffered significant injuries as a result of falls caused by slippery bird guano.

And bird droppings contain uric acid which corrodes metalwork, paintwork, brickwork and stonework. The result is not simply unsightly. It can also result in serious and expensive property damage due to water leaks and damp penetration.

For historic buildings the damage caused by bird droppings is a serious issue. Although these properties may be protected by law this isn’t enough to avoid the damage caused by acidic bird guano.

Modern buildings with external service equipment, such as air conditioning and water supply systems, can experience serious damage from the effects of bird droppings. External machinery and other systems require regular, routine inspection to make certain they are not deteriorating due to the effects of pest birds. And maintenance technicians may sometimes be understandably cautious about working on equipment covered in potentially harmful bird droppings.

Another common issue caused by corrosive bird droppings is damage to vehicles that park underneath areas favoured by best birds. If pest pigeons, for example, have gained access to car parking areas (such as underground car parks) they can cause many thousands of pounds worth of damage to vehicles.

The problems caused by pest birds are not only due to their guano, their nests can also cause a number of issues. Birds may, for example, choose to build their nest in a rooftop guttering system, or their nest may be washed into the guttering by heavy rainfall. The result being a blocked drainage system causing water to overflow and possibly create extensive and expensive damage. This might not be identified until it`s already disastrous for the effected property.

Another important concern relates to the dry material used to build birds nests which is highly flammable and known to have resulted in fires. Birds nests in chimneys are commonly reported as a source of chimney fires.

Common Mistakes in Selecting Bird Proofing Solutions

Making the wrong choices when considering bird proofing solutions can result in continued expense, damage and risk to health. Common mistakes include failing to assess the full extent of the issue and challenge. It’s important to determine whether birds are perching, roosting or nesting, what the birds are and whether numbers are increasing.

Another common mistake is going for the cheapest, ineffective bird proofing products. The problem assessment should determine exactly what’s required to provide the necessary bird proofing.

While there are many excellent, professional bird pest control services, there are also those who don’t have the right skills and experience. A mistake that some people make is failing to assess the reputation and experience of pest control service providers.

And one of the most common mistakes is to underestimate the capabilities of pest birds. They are smarter than people give them credit for and will often find ingenious ways to overcome anti bird deterrents.

Effective Bird Proofing Tactics

As noted, developing an effective bird proofing strategy takes a little thought and consideration. While a single tactic may be effective in some situations, a combination of tried and tested bird-proofing measures will sometimes be needed.

Remove or Conceal Food Sources

Pest birds tend to congregate and establish their homes somewhere they know offers plenty of food. This is why seaside towns, popular with holiday makers, can often be plagued by gulls that are sometimes quite aggressive. Similarly, areas near fast-food outlets where there is an abundance of food detritus, can be very attractive to pest birds.

Wherever possible, make certain food waste is placed in bins with lids that make it impossible for birds to reach it. And if garden produce is attracting pest birds then it may be beneficial to cover the plants with anti-bird netting.

Bird Repellent Gel

Bird Free repellent gel is by far our favoured and most widely appreciated bird proofing technique. Bird Free repellent gel is a totally harmless material made from natural ingredients which, in combination, reflect UV light that can be seen by birds, but not humans. Birds see this shimmering light, which to them looks like a naked flame, and they naturally keep away. The formulation also emanates an odour that adds to the deterrent capability.

bird free gel preloaded dish
Bird Free Gel - Preloaded Dishes


Distributing small containers of this gel around infested areas has an immediate impact. Left undisturbed this incredible gel remains effective for many years, even in highly exposed, heavily polluted environments such as train station rooftops and under bridges. We are aware of some installions that are continuing to provide effective bird proofing, in these arduous conditions, for over 5 years.

Anti Perch Bird Spikes

Anti-bird spikes are a well known technique for deterring birds from perching along fences and rooftop guttering.

gutter clip anti bird spikes
Gutter Clip Bird Spikes


Low cost anti bird spikes are manufactured from weatherproof polycarbonate but while this form of bird deterrent works well for problem pigeons they are less effective against the razor sharp beaks of determined gulls. If seagulls are your problem then you will need the stainless steel spike version.

Anti-Bird Netting

Modern bird netting is specifically designed to provide a humane deterrent that doesn’t risk trapping birds or causing them any harm. But it’s expensive, requires specialist installation to be both effective and safe for birds and can quickly become very unsightly as it accumulates rubbish blown by the breeze. Anti bird netting is typically used to protect vegetable and fruit gardens.

Bird Deterrent Wire

Bird deterrent wire systems are often preferred over anti bird netting as they are far less obtrusive and unsightly than netting. They also require far less maintenance.

Bird proofing is achieved by installing parallel metal wires, supported by posts, along the areas used by pest birds. Wires are normally at various heights such that birds find it impossible to find a comfortable perch.

Visual Bird Scarers

Motion is well known as an effective visual deterrent that will scare birds away. Gardeners have traditionally exploited this fact by using shiny old CDs and tin-foil, on string, around their plots. These flap around in the breeze, prompting birds to keep away. But some of the more intelligent bird species (such as crows) can eventually recognise the fact there is no actual threat.

Scare crows are another form of visual deterrent that are still widely used. And there are now some clever wind powered visual bird deterrent devices used by boat owners to discourage birds from perching and creating a mess.

Another form of visual bird scaring device that some report as effective are fake birds of prey. Pest birds including pigeons and gulls are naturally wary of birds of prey such as owls and eagles. For this reason some properties use fake, plastic birds of prey which they claim keeps problem birds away from their properties. But these simple devices can’t be relied upon to provide a totally reliable bird proofing solution.

Previous Bird Proofing Posts

As specialists in the supply of effective bird proofing solutions we regularly publish content on this topic. Here are some of our previous posts that you will find useful.

If you have any questions about security fastenings or if you have any special requirements remember that we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll provide you with free, expert advice.

This message was added on Thursday 14th April 2022


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