by Alex A. Kecskes
Birds will often gather on windowsills because they provide a perch and shelter. If pest birds tend to gather on your windowsill and leave dollops of bird droppings for you to clean up every day, you may have to implement some serious bird proofing measures. Aside from jamming up your windows, bird droppings can carry any of 60 known diseases–including West Nile Virus, Avian Flu, and Histoplasmosis–which can waft into your home whenever you open your window. In addition, the uric acid in bird droppings can eat into the paint, wood, vinyl or aluminum of your windowsill and permanently mar these surfaces.
To discourage birds from gathering on your windowsills, you can use a product called Transparent Bird Gel. Ideal for use against both small and large pest birds, this gel is a low-profile bird deterrentthat works well anywhere pest birds have become a nuisance. Bird gel comes in a standard 10-ounce caulking tube, 12 tubes per case. Each tube of bird gel is enough to effectively treat an area approximately 10 feet long by 3 inches wide. The gel is easily applied using a standard caulking gun and it stays sticky and effective for up to six months outdoors.
Incidentally, if you have birds flying into your window, or pecking at it, there are decals you can apply to the window that will help birds recognize the surface and ignore their reflection.
If, on the other hand, pest birds are always pecking and pooping on your rooflines, you’ve got an equally annoying and potentially costly problem. Birds often gather on the highest points of a house to gain the best vantage point for predators and food. The problem is, birds often tear apart food items they bring up to your roof. This involves pecking at it with their beaks and ripping at it with their claws. This can damage and degrade the roofing crowns and tiles, and eventually cause leaks.
Here, again, Transparent Bird Gels can be an effective bird control option. But you can also use Bird Spikes to get rid of birds on rooflines. The spiked strips create a most inhospitable landing zone that birds would much rather avoid. Blunted and safe for birds, pets and people, the spikes come in durable stainless steel or stiff, unbreakable polycarbonate. To blend in more naturally with your roofline, poly spikes now come in several colors–including crystal clear, brick red, light grey, brown, black and tan. Another advantage plastic spikes offer is that they can be used in areas where steel spikes might cause signal interference problems with your TV dish or ham radio antenna. Bird spikeswith a U.V.-protected polycarbonate base are recommended in harsh weather.
For homes near the sea or other large body of water, there’s the Mega Spike, which features intimidating 7-inch spikes to deter seagulls, cormorants, turkey vultures and raptors. The marine-grade stainless steel spikes are extremely durable. You can also get crush-proof, non-reflective spikes with a metal finish that blend in aesthetically on most roofs.
Finally, there are the Bird Sonics. These bird repellent devicescan keep birds from landing, roosting and nesting anywhere near your home—including windowsills and rooflines. The devices emit predator and distress sounds that birds instinctively want to avoid. They also exploit a bird’s natural fear of predators, as well as their acutely sensitive hearing (birds can process sounds in 1/200th of a second; humans process sounds in 1/20th of a second).
Sonic bird deterrentsare ideal for deterring pigeons, crows, starlings, swallows, gulls, woodpeckers, sparrows, grackles, cormorants and many others. One sonic system on the market blasts the sound of Peregrine falcons (a pigeon’s dreaded enemy) defending their territory. Another system targets starlings and seagulls, emitting the sounds of predator hawk screeching and gulls under attack.
The best sonic systems will continually alter the pitch, frequency, timing and intensity of their sounds. This keeps pest birds “on their toes” so that they won’t become accustomed to repetitive sounds. One popular system emits distress and predator calls for as many as 22 types of birds. The calls are repeated regularly–about once every fifteen minutes.
The other good thing about today’s sonic bird deterrents is that they are highly effective without harming birds, pets or humans. In many cases, the sounds they emit sound like normal bird sounds to the human ear.
Keep in mind that the longer birds inhabit an area, the harder it is to get rid of birds. So act as soon as you notice a problem with effective bird control measures. This can prevent many costly repairs later on.
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