Pigeon Droppings Damage Historic Gothic Cathedral Dating Back to Middle Ages

According to The Slovak Spectator, the Cathedral of St Elisabeth in Košice, Slovakia has recently uncovered tens of thousands of dollars of damage to the church’s interior. The cause of this damage is determined to be a build-up of fecal matter left behind by pest pigeons. A project to restore the church has been able to relieve the emergency state of the damage with a sum of €18,500 (roughly $21,740 USD); however, additional finances are needed to fully clean, restore, and install bird prevention measures.

On behalf of the Košice Archdiocese – Roman Catholic Parish of Saint Elizabeth, Tomáš Harbuľák stated, “Birds that nest above the attic of the cathedral have polluted it for several years with its droppings. This dangerous biologic material disrupts the interior of the cathedral because it falls from the arches to the presbytery and nave of the cathedral, sometimes during masses and tours,” he said, “It is at risk and in a seriously acute state,” he added, as quoted by TASR.

How Can Historic Churches Prevent Costly Bird Damage?

It is a well-known fact that bird droppings are corrosive and cause major damage to the integrity of buildings. Churches and historic buildings that want to preserve the aesthetics and longevity of the building have a few options. Several different pigeon deterrents are available to help. Here are the preventative measures that can be taken to keep pesky pigeons away from buildings.

Thoroughly Clean & Sanitize

The first step to any major project is to thoroughly sanitize the affected area and remove all bird droppings and debris. You want to make sure there are virtually no traces of a bird infestation left, as birds can be attracted to areas they have repeatedly “left their mark.”

Using a microbial cleaner specifically labeled for the removal of bird droppings will wield the best results. For information about how to safely sanitize and remove bird dropping build-up, read these basic safety steps as detailed by a bird control professional.

Install tried-and-true Bird Control Methods

The next step is to determine what kinds of bird control methods to use. There are plenty of effective and humane systems that can be installed by a bird control professional to keep birds away for good.

For ledges: Traditional methods such as bird spikes have a high rate of success as long as there was no previous nesting in the area. If you prefer methods that will have minimal visual impact on the building, shock track and bird wire are both excellent choices.

For openings: If you detect any openings where a pigeon may be able to get into the building, install bird netting after any repairs have been done. When installed properly, bird netting is 100% effective at keeping pest pigeons out of the treated area.

Alternative Methods for Extra Protection

Adding an extra layer of protection to these traditional methods can make the area feel even more unwelcoming to pest birds. Not to mention, it may be necessary to take additional steps for an older, ornate building with plenty of nooks for birds to hide in.

A sonic deterrent, such as the Super BirdXPeller Pro, can be installed as an additional bird control measure. Sonic devices keep pigeons away by creating a “danger zone.” They operate by broadcasting naturally recorded pigeon distress and alarm calls as well as menacing predator calls. This mechanism uses birds’ own instincts to warn them of imminent danger nearby and encourages them to seek shelter elsewhere. Setup can be tricky and we highly recommend contacting our team of professionals to help walk you through the setup for your specific situation. You can contact us by calling 312-226-2473 or by completing the form below.


The Slovak Spectator

Written by Annie Gavin, Marketing Manager for Bird-X

Do you need help protecting a historic building? Contact our dedicated team.

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