Repel Geese From your Property

By Elana Moriarty
(Previously Published)

Winter is on its way. Along with colder temperatures, this season also brings an overwhelming number of migrating Canada Geese. As a passerby these birds can be innocuous or even charming. However, when it is your land that the geese have claimed as their winter vacation getaway, they suddenly stop seeming so harmless. Not only are geese irritating—they can be dangerous as well. Part of the difficulty with solving the issue of goose infestations is that once a cycle of migration nests on your property, the new generation of geese have already been ingrained to return with each season. When a layperson attempts to deal with a goose infestation on his or her own, without any knowledge of goose behavior, it becomes clear where the saying “a wild goose chase” originates.

Just like the saying hints at, chasing a goose is futile. The key is to be proactive rather than reactive. To be clear, the origin of your problem is not the geese. The problem is that your property is attractive to geese. Take away the geese that are on your land right now and another flock will take its place. This is why solutions like the use of a border collie trained in chasing the geese away only last as long as the border collie.

Likewise, while you might be tempted to do something unsafe and ridiculous like shooting the geese that land on your property this is unnecessary and unhelpful. In addition to the fact that you will possibly be breaking laws and endangering your neighbors by taking this sort of action, you will also find that it has a very minimal, if any, effect on your goose infestation in the long-term. Instead, you will find that you’ve gained a new pest in addition to your goose problem: people protesting outside your property. Temporary solutions will only prolong your frustration. These types of situations trap you in a never-ending cycle and force you to keep shelling out cash. Products that focus on the environment that you provide rather than the geese who respond favorable to it will be much more effective for a lasting solution.

One thing to keep in mind is that the sooner your take action, the easier it will be to get a quick result. Ideally, you should prep your land before the geese arrive so that they know to travel elsewhere before laying down roots and starting the nesting process. If a full-fledged infestation is already in progress, start strategizing and execute your strategies as soon as possible. The longer the geese stay on your property, the more comfortable they will get. Once a goose realizes what a nice home he has found on your land, it will be much harder to convince him that there are better homes elsewhere.

If you have already let your goose problem go on for a long time it is not too late to solve it.

Environmental and Health Hazards of Goose Infestation

When geese come to your land they bring their appetite with them. They eat everything in their path. When they come in large numbers, as they often do, they can completely strip the land of plant growth. In one report published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service , the population of Canada Geese at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge started at 350 in 1989 and jumped to 5,000 by 2007. This population required approximately one half-pound of food per adult goose each day. The geese at said refuge ravaged the tender roots of aquatic plants, over-browsed the ground vegetation and contributed to a 40% loss at the refuge’s cornfields this past year. This problem was made worse when compounded with the fact that this ravenous eating leads to copious waste.

In the case of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, bird fecal waste leached into the water and degraded the water quality. Build up on the local driveways and parking areas of the visitor center was actually deemed a safety hazard due to the possibility of a slip-and-fall accident. Still, the most disturbing aspect of the waste from geese is that a plethora of avian diseases are passable to humans and fecal matter is rife with the possibility for transmission. While you may not have a population of geese as large as the wildlife refuge, you probably also do not have the resources that it is able to provide the existing geese. It is clear from this example that geese will populate an area until its resources are used up.

Solutions to Goose Infestation:

The first step to dealing with an infestation of geese is to get as much information on the population as possible. When do they arrive? What direction do they come from? Where are they settling? What are the environmental factors that make your land appealing to the geese? It will be easier to strategize ways to combat the problem if you have a full understanding of what the problem consists of. Start with a clean slate and get rid of all evidence: nests, fledglings, droppings, dead birds, and the residual scent – adult birds will return to protect their young, or to a familiar, “marked” scent. Also remove food spillage, garbage, nesting material and other items that make eating and nest-building easy.

You must consider that, like you, birds are multi-sensory. Just like you can put up with an irritation if an environment is appealing overall, geese will also stick around if you only approach the problem from one direction. Be prepared to take a synergistic approach that challenges all the senses:

Terror Eyes

Sight: Sight aversions are designed to look like predators. While some sight scare aversions are virtually useless due to the fact that geese become accustomed to their presence, others have been modified for maximum effectiveness. Rather than the traditional statue of an owl, try a balloon with mylar eyes. These are designed so that the eyes appear to follow any goose within a given area. Rather than sitting on the ground, they can be hung in trees so that they blow in the wind and move as a real predator would. For even more impact, they can be moved periodically to keep the geese from getting used to them. Also, holographic tape can be useful as the geese will feel ill-at-ease as the reflection changes with the light. Sight scare tactics are an economical and easy approach to dealing with bird troubles. They are very effective especially if you have a smaller property.

Goose Chase

Smell: Geese utilize something called the trigeminal system which is similar to our sense of smell. A constituent of concord grapes has been found to be so unappealing to Canada geese that it actually seems to overwhelm them to the point that they are driven away from the treated environment. Despite its dramatic effect on bird infestation it has been used by the food and drug industry for over 40 years to flavor candy, sodas, gums, and drugs, is listed by the US FDA as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS), and is classified by the US EPA as “reduced risk”.

Touch: For specific areas that you would like to protect, netting can be used to block an area off from geese.

Taste: Products that utilize the same part of concord grapes that were mentioned in the

“smell” section also act upon the sense of taste. Geese will not want to graze on your property when the overwhelming sensation of these products hits them.

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Sound: There are goose-specific sound devices that project the sound of distress calls into an area. While many companies carry sonic bird control devices they are not all created equal. In fact, all but one of these sonic devices uses distress calls that were recorded in a laboratory environment. As a result, the calls obtained by the researchers are not the same calls a flock would use to signify real, immediate danger in the wilderness and are, therefore, less effective. Bird-X manufactures and distributes the first and only sonic goose repeller with varied recordings obtained from the wild has been developed by Dr. Philip Whitford after 23 years of research in Canada goose behavior and vocal communications. This includes the very rare “alarm call” which is elicited for only the most dire emergencies.

These devices are especially useful if you have a large property or farm which is otherwise difficult to monitor. One unit covers 5-7 acres of land and adding another unit extends the coverage to 15-21 acres. After a couple scares geese will remember you’re your area is considered unsafe and find another, safer environment for when they are molting and nesting—times when they are most vulnerable.

YardGard Gets Rid of Evil Cats and Squirrels

 

5 Star Customer Review

From a satisfied customer:

We had a problem with a neighbor’s two cats using our adjoining flat roof as both a litterbox and a soundstage for howling. We’d tried all sorts of things and nothing seemed to deter them so my wife was looking online for a solution and came upon this gadget. We put it on the roof and to give you an idea of its effect, imagine if you can, the look of a terrified running cat with his paws over his ears. It’s worked on both those guys so well that they haven’t been back in the past year although they’re constantly looking over at it, apparently to see if it’s on.

Our next problem was with squirrels in our backyard. We live in Brooklyn, NY and have about a 20′ x 20′ backyardthat has for years been savaged by squirrels. Last year I humanely trapped seven squirrels for relocation before I finally gave up. This spring we bought another one of these units for the backyard and although they still dance along the chain link fence separating the yards they’ve yet to actually enter our yard to dig it up. For us this thing is a technological marvel and so far has a 100% success rate with annoying critters.

View the YardGard Cat and Squirrel Repeller here.

Effective Bird Control and Why It Is Important

More than 60 transmissible diseases (some of which are fatal) are associated with geese, pigeons, starlings and house sparrows.  For example:

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is transmitted via mosquito bites from infected birds and animals to humans. Often serious enough to require hospitalization, it may be fatal to the elderly or immunologic ally compromised, and can leave serious after-effects among infected patients.

Histoplasmosis

Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that may be fatal.  It results from a fungus growing in dried bird droppings.

Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons.  The disease affects the skin, the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract, especially the vagina.  It is a growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge.

Cryptococcosis

Cryptococcosis is caused by a yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings.  The illness often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system.  Since attics, cupolas, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, mills, barns, park buildings, signs, etc. are typical roosting and nesting sites, the fungus is apt to found in these areas.

St. Louis Encephalitis

St. Louis Encephalitis, an inflammation of the nervous system, usually causes drowsiness, headache and fever.  It may even result in paralysis, coma or death.  St. Louis encephalitis occurs in all age groups, but is especially fatal to persons over age 60.   The disease is spread by mosquitoes which have fed on infected house sparrow, pigeons and house finches carrying the Group B virus responsible for St. Louis encephalitis.

Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis often occurs as “food poisoning” and can be traced to pigeons, starlings and sparrows.  The disease bacteria are found in bird droppings; dust from droppings can be sucked through ventilators and air conditioners, contaminating food and cooking surfaces in restaurants, homes and food processing plants.

Besides being direct carriers of disease, nuisance birds are frequently associated with over 50 kinds of ectoparasites, which can work their way throughout structures to infest and bite humans.  About two-thirds of these pests may be detrimental to the general health and well-being of humans and domestic animals.  The rest are considered nuisance or incidental pests.  A few examples of ectoparasites include:

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius)

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) may consume up to five times their own weight in blood drawn from hosts which include humans and some domestic animals.  In any extreme condition, victims may become weak and anemic.  Pigeons, starlings and house sparrows are know to carry bed bugs.

Chicken mites (Dermanyssus gallinae)

Chicken mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) are known carriers of encephalitis and may also cause fowl mite dermatitis and acariasis.  While they subsist on blood drawn from a variety of birds, they may also attack humans.  They have been found on pigeons, starlings and house sparrows.

Yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor)

Yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), perhaps the most common beetle parasites of people in the United States, live in pigeon nests.  It is found in grain or grain products, often winding up in breakfast cereals, and may cause intestinal canthariasis and hymenolespiasis.

Visit Bird-X.com for humane, non-lethal bird control solutions that aid in reducing disease-bearing bird infestations.

Keep Your Food Processing Plant Bird and Health Code Violation Free

By Dave KoganMaintaining a building’s facilities is a challenge for most facility managers. Maintaining food processing facilities that must pass regular health inspections is even more challenging. Birds roosting and/or nesting at or near the facility can make it a losing battle.

Birds are naturally attracted to food and moisture, so they routinely try to infiltrate food facilities of all types. Birds like to perch outdoors, awaiting their opportunity for entry.

The most common “offenders” are pigeons, sparrows and starlings. They either try to roost on the outside of facilities – where droppings can form and degrade food service areas such as loading docks – or they fly in and out to find places to roost, nest or forage for food.

Particularly vulnerable are places where garbage is removed or placed in a dumpster. One can almost time the bird activity based on garbage disposal and removal.

Birds near food are recognized as a major health issue. Any evidence of adulteration or filth is not tolerated by government regulators and that includes bird droppings, feathers or nesting materials in food processing plants, warehouses or any other food establishment.

It’s not just low tolerance, it’s NO tolerance. All objectionable bird activities must be prohibited in the area to prevent contamination.

Undoubtedly, bird control is a critical issue in the food industry, but solutions can be simpler than some people realize. Part of a facility manager’s job is to educate their companies on the issues and find solutions to eradicate the problem.

Cleanliness outside the facility is a key factor. The less there is to eat, the less attractive the facility becomes to them. Food facility managers need to take active measures to prevent food spills and access to garbage and disposal areas. AND there are other effective measures to deter birds.

Preventing A Serious Crime

Loading dock with spikes.

One of the primary methods of controlling bird pests in an outside area is to erect a physical barrier. By nature, birds are inclined to hop on platforms. Find ledges, overhangs and niches to settle on, and squeeze through structural cavities in search on a fly-in space. A physical barrier disrupts this normal pattern of bird behavior. If the bird is made uncomfortable enough, you can change its pattern.

What works for many battle weary food facility managers are spike needle strips. These branched, plastic protrusions are typically installed on ledges, roofs, architectural outcroppings and other favorite bird landing sites. The densely branched and spaced spikes prevent birds from roosting and also from squeezing between the spiky extensions.

A physical barrier won’t necessarily prevent birds from getting in, but it changes their pattern of behavior. The birds may alight on a fence or other object instead. If the birds are moved over one-hundred feet away, that’s enough to inhibit them and prevent droppings in vulnerable areas.

Assessing Vulnerability

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules and various state regulations governing food facilities are quite rigorous. The FDA regulations are worded very strongly, including any food that is “packaged, processed or held under unsanitary conditions where it may cause a problem or become adulterated.” This statement leaves the door wide open to regulatory violations that can be cited by agents or inspectors.

Some companies use audible and/or inaudible sound deterrents coupled with various visual scare devices such as scare balloons, fake owls and holographic tape.

Bird problems are highly visible and can not only be a health issue where food is concerned, but can also be a threat to a worker’s health and safety. Slip-and-fall accidents and disease spread from bird droppings are the two main reasons for cleaning up bird mess and deterring birds. The recent salmonella poisoning found at the Peanut Corp. of America in Georgia is just one example of poor bird control. Since the peanuts were not properly roasted, the feces from the birds that had infiltrated the plant and/or roosted on parts of the broken roof were able to deposit their droppings right on the peanuts during the production process.

Some companies have even used poison, but poison in today’s society is not acceptable in terms of environmental concerns and safety issues. Plus, poison doesn’t change the behavior of new roosting birds. They don’t know that the area is inhospitable because their “friends” are not around to tell them.

The best way to assess problem areas is to thoroughly inspect a facility. Grocery stores and bakeries, for example, are attractive to birds at the back door receiving area, especially if the receiving area includes overhangs and ledges that provide weather protection for the birds plus an occasional opportunity for flying in to grab food. Birds are totally objectionable around grocery stores because shoppers coming in and out see the birds and their droppings in full view. And of course, so do state and federal regulators.

The bird problem is magnified in food storage warehouses and processing plants due to the occurrence of even more doors, ledges, windows and delivery vehicles coming and going through open doors.

Impressions Count

Inspectors judge on general appearance. If birds are visible nearby, their mere presence can trigger a closer inspection. Further, bird droppings can be a health hazard, harboring disease and parasites that are harmful to humans as was with the recent outbreaks of salmonella found in peanuts, tomatoes, spinach, etc.

The goal of the spikes and other barriers is to prevent the problem from showing up in the first place. Spikes are sold in convenient 12-inch segments and are easy-to-install with a caulking compound or other adherent. On wider ledges, customers can apply two rows of Spikes for fuller coverage.

While there’s no single answer to bird control, a physical barrier used in conjunction with visual scare devices and electronic sound repellers tend to be the ultimate solution in keeping birds away. And they save in clean up costs. These solutions are relatively inexpensive and are one-time costs.

One cannot put a price tag on being cited for a critical regulatory violation. In the worst case, a facility could lose its license to operate. Nobody wants that kind of hassle.

For more information or to find a solution for your bird control problem, visit us at bird-x.com

How to Get Rid of Your Annoying Woodpecker Problem

On the Level: Possible ways to stop woodpecker’s ruckus on gutter

A recently-published article gives great tips on how to get rid of annoying woodpeckers. Woodpeckers tend to attack homes that have either a desirable food source that they can easily scavenge for (e.g. insects, larvae, nuts, fruits, suet), ideal things to peck erratically with the intent of luring a mate (e.g. gutters, sidings, trashcans), or an attractive nesting spot.

Below is an excerpt:

For the last several weeks I have been awakened by a woodpecker beating on the rain gutter outside my bedroom window. He’s like clockwork showing around 6:40 each day. He doesn’t appear to be going after any insects; just pounding on the gutter like a tom-tom. This morning I woke up early and went outside in anticipation of his arrival and noticed I could hear the sound of his pounding on several rain gutters throughout the neighborhood. Right around 6:40, there he was right on the end of my gutter and, even though I was standing on the patio and clapping my hands, it didn’t seem to bother it. As a matter of fact, it flew down to a tree branch near me as if to challenge me. After it flew up to a higher branch, I noticed the arrival of a second and third bird, following the same routine of pounding on my gutter and then moving on to my neighbor’s gutter and doing the same. Is this some kind of bird communications ritual? I know there’s a Federal law against harming a migratory bird. Does this mean the woodpeckers have migrated to our neighborhood in Annapolis?

While checking the Internet for information, I found a variety of unusual deterrents being advertised. I am looking to you for advice on what’s practical, reliable and legal to do to deter this woodpecker practice. This is also the first time I have experienced this situation in the 25-plus years I have been in my home. Thanks for any advice you can offer. I’ll certainly convey it to my neighbors since I’m sure they would be glad to rid themselves of the annoyance as well.

The entire article can be found here: http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/hom/2009/04/25-18/On-the-Level-Possible-ways-to-stop-woodpeckers-ruckus-on-gutter.html

For basic woodpecker problems, we recommend using bird spikes, bird netting, Irri-Tape bird scare tape, or Prowler Owl bird scare owl. For a more persistent woodpecker problem, we suggest using the woodpecker repellent Woodpecker PRO.

Woodpecker PRO

Woodpecker PRO

Keeping Raccoons Away From Your Yard

A family member of mine owns a lovely home in a suburban community a few hours away from Chicago. Some time ago I decided to pay her a faithful visit since we had not seen each other in so long.

After arriving and surveying the front of her home thoroughly, I greeted her with a displeased look accompanied by subtle sympathy. My obnoxious reaction had been targeted towards the repulsive jumble of rattled vegetation that she called a yard. It was an absolute mess. The trash can had been tipped, her yard grass had been deliberately ripped from the earth, feces were spread awkwardly on the ground, and the sides of her home were scratched up pretty badly.

I asked her about the mess and she confessed to me that she was at constant war with the pests that chose to designate her property as their personal residence. She was tired of constantly cleaning up after their nightly escapades. The most annoying of them all was the raccoon pack that discreetly established themselves as the rulers of her yard. Their lack of concern for her aggressive shooing tactics led her to give up on them. She once considered installing an electric fence but eventually came to her senses after thinking about the potential harm that the fence could bring to her young children.

She modestly asked for my help and I was more than happy to give her advice about getting rid of those pesky ‘coons.

I told her about the general problems that were affiliated with raccoons:

  • Raccoons adapt very well to almost any environment with ample food and water sources.
  • You will rarely witness raccoons in the act because they are nocturnal. The only sign of their presence is a tattered lawn with occasional feces lying round.
  • Raccoons will eat virtually any food that they can put their grubby little paws on.
  • Raccoons are wild animals, so handle them with caution! They are infamously known for their susceptibility to viral diseases, such as rabies, canine distemper, and raccoon parvoviral enteritis. Also, their feces may contain raccoon roundworm spores, which can seriously sicken humans if inhaled.
  • Raccoons are not easily intimidated and can be ferocious animals; test them and they may perhaps sink their sharp teeth into your precious skin.

Tips for Getting Rid of Raccoons:

You must make sure that your home is not a desirable location for raccoons to inhabit.

  • Secure the lid of your trash can (e.g. attach a bungee cord to both handles and let its elastic rope naturally fasten the top of the can).
  • Station your trash can so that raccoons will not be able to knock it down easily (e.g. put a heavy brick inside).
  • Apply raccoon repellent granules onto the lawn. Granules last longer than liquids and have a stronger scent. (Consider using Shake-Away Repellent Granules. These granules are 100% organic and are made up of predator urine, which signal danger to the raccoon.)
  • Install a scarecrow sprinkler on your lawn. (Bird-X’s HydroBlast ScareCrow sprinkler is motion activated and shoots an extraordinarily potent water spray that scares animals away.)
  • Most importantly, consider investing in an electronic, sonic pest repeller. (The Bird-X Yard Gard will surely do the job but if you have a more serious pest problem, check out CritterBlaster PRO.)

I wished her the best and assured that if she followed these precautions and guidelines, she should definitely see results in no time.

For more information about how to get rid of raccoons and other backyard pests, visit Bird-X.com.

Mega Blaster Pro Keeps Birds Out of Vineyard

We just received a new testimonial from a customer who utilized the Mega Blaster Pro wide area bird repeller in his bird control operation. The mission was to keep birds out of their vineyard. There wasn’t enough time to install bird netting, so the Mega Blaster was mounted on a trailer and provided instant reduction in bird damage. In this application, the Mega Blaster proved effective over approximately 20.5 hectacres.

24 April 2009

Hello all,

We have finished using the Mega Blaster in our vineyards now and are very pleased with the results. The unit was mounted on a trailer and shifted every couple of days to confuse the birds. It was mostly used in areas we hadn’t had time to cover with nets. The 4 extra speakers and amplifier gave us maximum sound penetration. There was very little bird damage within a 200 metre radius (12 hectares) and it was significantly reduced over a 250 metre radius (20.5 hectares).

We have used electronic bird repellers for many years with various degrees of success but they had micro chips with harassment sounds which were annoying for neighbours. The customized micro chips programmed to suit our bird species, were much more pleasant and successful. Iwould have no hesitation in recommending this electronic equipment as an important tool in bird control.

Regards,
Herman S———
S——– Estate

View the Bird-X Mega Blaster Pro wide area bird control system

Wrigley Field Strikes Out the Birds

Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs

Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs

Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, celebrated its 90th season in 2003. Located at the corner of Clark and Addison Streets on Chicago’s north side, the park has an illustrious past and present. Built in 1914, just two years behind Boston’s Fenway Park, Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in the major leagues. Legendary home runs bounced and still bounce onto Sheffield Avenue in the residential neighborhood outside Wrigley’s right-center wall.

Wrigley Field got its name in 1926, when the Wrigley family of chewing gum fame bought the Chicago Cubs team. In 1937, the bleachers were added to provide more seating. The original scoreboard from 1937 continues to serve the ballpark, one of the last scoreboards in the majors where numbers are changed by hand. With its ivy-clad outfield walls and usually lush grass, Wrigley Field has attained iconic status as a real baseball park – the way baseball was meant to be played, in an open, homey, comfortable, natural setting. The design of the stadium puts the fans close to the action, enhancing the sense of personal involvement. Wrigley Field had no lights until 1988 – when the Cubs played their very first at-home night game.

Tradition and history embrace Wrigley Field and the much-loved Cubs team, whose diehard fans have always understood that the journey can be more important, entertaining and emotional than the outcome – especially during the Cubs frequent uphill seasons over the decades. When the Wrigley family ended its 65-year ownership of the team and sold the Cubs to the Tribune Company in 1981, no one dreamed of changing the name of the field. It’s here to stay. But there was a new wrinkle in 2003. As Wrigley Field prepared to play host to the usual array of National League champ wannabes, it also battled an unwelcome new pre-season rival: PIGEONS in its renowned upper deck.

Winning Series for the Birds

It isn’t only Cubs fans who love Wrigley Field. “Pigeons like to roost on the trusses that support the upper deck,” notes Paul Rathje, Director of Stadium Operations at Wrigley Field for the last six years. “This causes problems for the people seated below,” he says, tactfully understating the issue. Besides the lure of roosting in the structural beams, the pigeons are naturally attracted to the food purchased by the crowds of fans who fill the stands. A bird’s delight; a stadium director’s horror.

During the prior season, Rathje had tried a few tricks of his own to defeat the pigeons. “First, we tried using treated corn,” he recalls. The kernels contain a substance that is supposed to annoy the pigeons by disrupting their equilibrium. The effect, if any, was undetectable. Next, Rathje and his crew tried applying a sticky gel on the trusses to discourage landing. But, says Rathje, there were too many trusses and beams to get sufficient coverage. It was not a practical approach. They tried plastic owls to bother the birds – to no avail.

Now it was spring 2003, with the new season opening in May. Rathje concluded that it was time to call in the professionals to discuss a sonic device he’d heard about, manufactured by Chicago-based Bird-X, Inc., for deterring birds. Bird-X, in turn, referred Rathje to a bird-deterrence consultant, Kevin Connelly, General Manager of Premier Pest Elimination in Chicago.

Professionals At Bat

Wrigley Field, Home of the Cubs

Wrigley Field

“Food service and pigeon excrement don’t mix,” Connelly states bluntly. Health issues abound. “When 40,000 fans come to an outdoor venue and you have bird droppings, the probability rises geometrically that someone will be affected by contaminants,” he elaborates. Also, he adds, the cost of cleaning up resistive bird residue on the seats and in the stands before and after each game is considerable. Connelly met on-site with Rathje, just weeks before the season opener, to assess the situation. Speed was of the essence; so was efficacy.

Connelly explained the options, including the installation of

extensive netting in Wrigley Field’s vast superstructure to restrain the birds from roosting. This would require much longer than two weeks to install properly. Even more to the point, it would break Rathje’s budget. Rathje preferred Connelly’s other proposal: installing ultrasonic devices to get the most bang for Wrigley Field’s buck, and the most coverage considering the expanses to be protected. The two men worked out a plan to install seven Bird-X Ultrason X units and seven Super BirdXPeller PRO units in the trusses under the upper deck and in the lower deck corners.

Double Play Against the Birds

The double whammy on the birds was deliberate and logical. As Bird-X President Ron Schwarcz explains, “The area to control was large enough to require several sonic units. We selected two different types of units to produce greater variety of sound. This would provide immediate results while helping prevent long-term acclimation, since birds don’t like surprises and unpredictable changes.” The Ultrason X product uses ultrasonic sound waves to repel birds and other nuisance critters.

The basic technology isn’t new; Bird-X incorporated it into its product line 40 years ago to deter birds in enclosed areas like warehouses and loading docks, where walls and roofs could magnify the impact of the sound. In a recent breakthrough, Ultrason X is the first device to take ultrasonic sound OUT of doors effectively. The second type of deterrence device, Super BirdXPeller PRO, pushes the sound much farther and is ideal for large, open areas. It works on the bird’s psychological state, as Ron Schwarcz explains: “The machine incorporates the birds’ own distress calls to repel the ‘usual suspects’ – pigeons, sparrows, starlings and other common pests.

Then we added the sounds of two predators, knowing that these cries would scare all birds universally.” For maximum effect, the Super BirdXPeller is programmable to produce random timing, volume and frequency. Connelly concurs. With 15 years of pest control experience, he concludes that these two products work better together than either one alone. “Also,” Connelly assures, “the devices don’t hurt the birds. It’s not an aggressive action.” This keeps the peace with animal lovers.

Season Opener in the Upper Deck

Connelly worked cooperatively with the union electricians on staff at Wrigley Field to devise a protocol for smooth supervision and installation. The big day came in late May 2003. When the Bird-X units were turned on, “The birds flapped out,” Rathje says. “About 90 percent of the birds left for good,” says Connelly. It wasn’t a total elimination, both men agree, but it forced the bird problem to fall within an acceptable tolerance range.

That was the goal, Connelly says, noting that realistic expectations and budgetary constraints are always factors in choosing solutions for large facilities. “We’re changing the habits of an animal,” Connelly continues. And sometimes that involves reasonable compromise.

For example, the sonic equipment at Wrigley Field is turned off during home games because it was felt that the audible portion of the sound would disturb the fans. Consequently, some pigeons return while the units are turned off. Immediately after the game, the units are turned on again, to good effect. It’s a compromise that works for Wrigley Field.

Come Out Swinging

Pigeon droppings in sports stadiums and other outdoor facilities are irritating, unsanitary, messy, smelly, repugnant, difficult to clean up, and a darn nuisance. Operations Director Rathje has advice for other facilities managers: Consider the various bird-deterrence alternatives, depending on the facility’s architecture, where the birds roost, and the expanse of the space affected.

Connelly agrees.

‘Then base your decision on the limits of your budget, the realities of the time needed for proper installation, and your tolerance level for effectiveness.” He reminds directors that a 100 percent solution can be prohibitively expensive and often is not necessary. From the professional’s point of view, bird deterrence pays for itself rapidly in reduced clean-up costs; but, says Connelly, the benefits of bird control go far beyond economics and into intellectual values of improved aesthetics, environmental safety and positive public relations.

You can’t put a price on those.

By R.W. Delaney, Business Writer

As Nuisance Birds’ Activity Goes Up, So Do Cleaning Costs

Bird-X’s own Trunita Robinson has recently published a small article in Building Services Magazine, outlining the problems and costs associated with bird damage. Here it is:


Ah, spring’s in the air – but wait, so are the birds and their mess!

Facility managers have been planning for the usual tasks that spring cleaning brings, but what about birds? As nuisance birds’ activity gears up, so do cleaning costs. The number of urban birds increases dramatically around buildings and other facilities, making some areas impossible to walk through. It is difficult for some of us to think of birds as pests, but pigeons (and geese) have adapted well around facilities.

They find their way into places where some people don’t want them resting, nesting and roosting. Their presence might be enjoyable, but their droppings are not. Their behavior becomes a menace and cleaning up their “after dinner mess” is a costly, toxic endeavor.

In some instances, professionals are hired to pressure wash affected areas, which is a temporary and expensive fix. Not only is it a short term solution, which in most cases is repeated several times a year, but also costs thousands of wasted facility maintenance dollars. Therefore, implementing an effective bird management system, without washing dollars down the drain, saves money in clean-up costs, labor, city fines, and even lawsuits.

No Stroll In The Park

Birds can be more than just a nuisance. And constantly dodging pigeons and their droppings is like trying to balance an egg on top of your head.

Not only do unsightly stains and droppings (Canada goose, pigeon, etc) make for an unpleasant environment, they pose a slip-and-fall hazard. For example, the New York Transit Authority was ordered to pay former doorman from the Bronx $7.67 Million in damages resulting from a slip on pigeon droppings on subway stairs.
To avoid the liability factor, it’s vital for building & facility managers and property owners to identify the problem, find a long-term solution, and nip it in the bud.

Eliminating Pesky Sparrows and Starlings

Big Problems with the Invasive House Sparrows and European Starlings

European Starlings and House Sparrows are invasive species in the United States. Their aggressive nesting habits can harm (and potentially kill) your fragile backyard birds.

This article offers insightful information about the gruesome damage that Starlings and Sparrows cause. It also provides tips on getting rid of starlings and sparrows while keeping your desirable birds safe.

Here is an excerpt:

What is the problem?

* House Sparrows are probably the most important causes of Bluebird decline. House Sparrows not only destroy songbird eggs, they kill the adult and the young birds by attacking them in the nest box and scalping the birds with their hooked beaks. Then to add further insult, they often build their nest over the bodies of their victims.

* If you can’t find a safe place away from House Sparrows for your nest boxes or undertake a sparrow control program, you are probably causing more harm than good to your backyard songbirds.

The complete article can be found here: http://www.yourgardenretreatblog.com/2009/04/both-european-starlings-and-house.html

If you enjoy luring small desirable birds while deterring pest birds, we recommend using Magic Halo.

Bird-X Sparrow Free Magic Halo

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If you want to get rid of ALL your pesky bird infestations, take a peek at the BirdXPeller Pro electronic bird repeller, or the Broadband Pro bird control system.