On February 25th 2016, The News Center in West Virginia reported that the AES Laurel Mountain LLC wind energy facility paid $30,000 in finesi for accidentally killing hundreds of migratory birds. An ABC13 story from February 3rd, 2016, detailed how a driving range spent valuable time calling animal control because they could not remove birds caught in the range’s netting. Stories like this are often under-reported, and they keep happening. But, how can you prevent birds from costing your business time and money?
The wind energy facility wasn’t the first company to pay fines for bird-related instances. A Safety News Alert story from March 29th, 2011, stated that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a construction companyii for safety violations related to several workers exhibiting symptoms of histoplasmosis, a lung infection caused by breathing in fungal spores from bird or bat droppings, as a result of inhaling dust created by sweeping and shoveling bird waste.
Diseases associated with bird droppings aren’t the only concern for businesses. Bird droppings are highly acidic and very corrosive. If buildings and equipment exposed to bird droppings are not regularly cleaned, they can become damaged and rusted. Birds’ nests also pose a threat as they are very flammable and have been known to cause ventilation problems if they are located in ducts or chimneys.
There is also the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Treaty Act of the United States, which protects migratory birds, such as the Canada goose, from being killed or captured. Violations can result in fines, or even prosecution.
Most recently, on March 4th, 2016, a CNN story said that bird droppings caused a three-day shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York. According to the news story, an official report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission stated that it is more common that the build-up of bird excrement impedes operating efficiency, but this time “…caused an electrical arc between wires at a transmission tower.”
To avoid more issues with bird droppings, plant managers are looking to take for precautionary measures when it comes to deterring birds in the future.
This is just one example of how birds affect facility operations. Josh Pierce, Bird-X Sales Manager, explained that Bird-X helps customers across all industries, especially the energy business.
“Many electrical substations are combating high cost related to bird droppings or birds themselves getting caught in the lines. Any porous material, or even steel, is susceptible to corrosion from the highly acidic bird droppings,” said Pierce.
Bird-X offers businesses safe, cost-effective pest management techniques. Using traps and poisons to fight pest birds might be counteractive, since businesses are left with captured, injured, ill, or dead animals to clean up.
One of Bird-X’s most popular humane bird control solutions, the Super BirdXPeller® PRO, is an ideal option for businesses. This product uses state-of-the-art sonic technology to frighten pests away from an area. The unit emits predator calls and distress cries that are customizable depending on the species of birds in the area.
Bird-X has been developing humane, eco-friendly ways to manage bird control for businesses for over 50 years. With Bird-X products, like the Super BirdXPeller® PRO, businesses can deter birds in a humane way all while staying eco-friendly.
Bird-X recommends that businesses should be up-to-date on federal and state regulations regarding pest control, and be proactive with bird control solutions. This is the best way to avoid a situation where pest bird problems are costing millions.
i. United States of America v. AES Laurel Mountain, LLC; Case Number 2:15CR00023-001
ii. Secretary of Labor v. All Erection & Crane Rental Corp.; OSHRC Docket No. 09-1451
Written by Ashley Estes for Bird-X, Inc.