Maidenhead Pest Control: experts in all aspects of bird control - please phone for a no obligation quote - 01628 30 20 48
Why are pigeons such a pest in Maidenhead and can they be controlled?
Maidenhead has a high population of pigeons which all live in small flocks, the problem arises when a flock is dislodged from a roost site and needs somewhere else to live.
If your flat is vacant for just a short period of time then by the time that you come home home you may find that you've got unexpected visitors - the pigeons have moved in!
With enormous pressure on the flock to find itself a new home and the ability to breed all year round, any balcony left empty for just a couple of weeks whilst the human occupants are away is an invitation to the birds to make themselves at home.
This was a balcony we cleaned in Bracknell - the owners came back from holiday to find two pairs of pigeons with chicks already in the nests, they left the birds to it thinking that in a couple of weeks they'd be old enough to leave.
Pigeons are different to many other bird species; we are used to seeing smaller birds like robins and blackbirds where the chicks fledge early and leave the nest with small undeveloped flight feathers.
These young birds will be found in gardens sitting on the ground or low branches waiting for mum and dad to come back and feed them; this is dangerous for the birds as magpies and cats will predate and kill the chicks.
Pigeons have adapted their behaviour so that the young birds known as squabs stay in the nest until adults: its not an urban myth when people say that you never see a baby pigeon - the people at this flat saw loads.
Pigeons will keep on producing egg's, squabs and more adults over and over until the ending is pretty much like this one - a balcony that has become a health hazard.
The before picture
Pigeon poo or guano smells horribly, these poor people couldn't open their windows and the neighbour's must have suffered too. Eventually they had had enough and we were called out to deal with the problem, with something like a balcony we will either use the existing building to form the 'frame' for the net or we will make one with steel poles.
A translucent net is suspended over the opening and pulled tight against its mounting points; this physically stops the birds from flying onto the balcony. By stretching the net so its taught we can stop birds from hitting it and getting tangled up in it; it acts like a drumskin and they bounce off with no harm done.
Pigeons aren't stupid and although stubborn they will only hang around for a short period before they move off as a flock in seek of pastures new (probably the next balcony along).
Having got rid of the pigeons and making the balcony a 'no fly zone' we now set about cleaning up the mess; bird guano contains some nasty stuff. Fungus, bacteria, viruses, insects and blood sucking parasites to name a few.
We use strong chemicals to clean the surfaces killing off the bacteria and viruses and we pick up and remove the guano to get rid of the insects and parasites.
We then wash the area down again and you can have your outdoor space back; new and improved! Now that the net is in place you can leave windows and doors open all the time as birds just can't get past - daytime or nigh-time you can have a nice flow of clean air through the flat.
This was a property in Bracknell where the pigeons had been in place for just two months - don't let pigeons get you in a flap; if you need professional help with your balcony give us a call.
The after picture
Bird control across Maidenhead, Marlow and Henley
We work on commercial properties providing solutions across air conditioning plant
Balconies and domestic houses
Mixed use properties / retail on the ground floor and residential elsewhere
Birds have made a mess on our balcony, what can we do?
When we talk about birds we use the term pressure: low pressure is where the birds will rest for a short period and then fly off; this is easily stopped by installing spikes or post and wire systems that prevent the birds from setting down. Medium pressure is where some birds may roost overnight; spiking may work here but there are other things like 'Fire Gel' which mimic flames as birds use the ultraviolet spectrum to see in. Heavy pressure is where the birds are roosting every night or nesting; the best method here is netting to barrier the area off.
Visual deterrents can be expensive and a joke - we've seen birds perched on plastic owls meant to scare them off. The feral pigeon is not stupid and it has been proven that they are one of the few species that can recognise them own picture, so don't think a plastic owl is going to get rid of them.
Could we just leave the bird poo, after all it will wash away in time?
The answer is no: the smell is certainly bad enough but with the risks from the fungus and bacteria contained with the matted buildup of bird poo its a very high risk. The mess is highly acidic and will be eating away at the surface below - wood, stone, paint, metal and concrete will all be degrading by the acid leaching minerals and salts. Economically it make sense to get rid of the mess and stop the birds from getting back into the area.