One thing we like getting involved in is difficult and challenging jobs. These really stretch the mind and make you come up with unique solutions to pressing problems. This particular project was no exception and so we put the grey matter to work on an appropriate solution.
So what do you do with a Grade 1 listed building, where a viewing area has been built of raised decking, on the roof of one of the tallest buildings in Oxfordshire, which is crawling with pigeons?
Simple answer really…remove the habitat and make them go elsewhere.
Over the years pigeons have discovered the gap between the roof and the bottom of the decking is a warm and safe spot to do what pigeons do best…breed.
We do a lot of work in London and the pigeon problem is bad, but I would say Abingdon is as bad as it gets, with flocks of pigeons numbering hundreds flying all over the place. The amount of guano produced is pretty amazing, and from our rooftop viewing platform we could see the extent of the problem right across the town. To make matters worse, we saw people actually feeding them on the Market Square – no wonder it’s such a problem here.
So how do you deal with a problem 35 meters in the air, basically acting as a runway and hotel all in one?
Firstly we used weld mesh cut to fit all around the edge of the decking area. This stops the problem of them getting under the decking for shelter – the first principle of bird control, remove shelter and habitat. We needed to make sure no birds were trapped inside the mesh, so using scaring techniques to move all birds away, then cameras to check no young birds were trapped inside, we worked from one end to the other, expelling all birds and checking all nesting sites. Luckily, the pigeons had pretty much left home due to all our disruption and soon we were happy everything was clear, allowing us to seal the final sections off.
Our next job was to stop pigeons getting into the Air Con machinery and switchgear, so we erected a conventional bird netting structure to enclose the equipment, but be discrete at the same time. Visitors to the viewing deck do not want to see a load of netting. Access to the machines needs to be available, so netting zippers were inserted into the structure to allow access for maintenance.
Our final job was to bird proof the Portico at ground level. This is such a unique structure that any proofing must be completely invisible. A previous attempt to bird proof the are was OK but not that successful, in fact the spiking was actually acting as a platform on which to nest in one corner, so we decided to deploy Bird Free Gel, a unique deterrent which uses light to deter birds from roosting. Apparently the birds see the light emitted for the small dishes as dangerous and avoid them. We have tested this product on many different situations and it really does work well in most cases, and we have no reason to doubt this will work here too.
It is really great to see the efforts of our labour paying off, so when we stood back and saw hundreds of pigeons attempting to roost and simply couldn’t, it is very rewarding – a job well done.
So if you have a pigeon problem and need expert advice on pigeon control and pigeon prevention solutions, call Rapid Environmental Services now on Newbury 01635 247192 or email us here.