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Pest Bird Control for Shopping Centers | Bird•B•Gone Blog

Pest Bird Control for Shopping Centers

Bird Control for Shopping Centers / Written by Alex A. Kecskes

Pest birds have long plagued shopping center owners and managers. Without an effective bird control strategy, birds can literally take over a shopping center, create a huge expense, and contribute to a number of serious health issues.

One of the biggest problems created by pest birds, especially pigeons, is unsightly droppings on signage, walkways, canopies and entrances. The weekly cleanup costs can be prohibitive, requiring special crews with protective masks to do the job–airborne fecal dust can be hazardous to workers. Failure to clean up bird droppings can affect a shopping center’s image. There’s also the legal liability, should someone slip and fall due to bird droppings on an entrance or walkway. Another thing to consider is the effect bird droppings will have on open-air eateries, which have become increasingly popular in many shopping centers. Again, cleanup costs can be high, since these establishments need to be cleaned far more frequently.

Pest birds can also cause considerable damage to rooftop air conditioning units and other electrical equipment. Nesting materials, droppings, insects and other debris near wiring, relays and motors can create a fire hazard. Over time, wiring exposed to acidic bird droppings will lose its insulation and create a potential for shorts and outages. Also affected by droppings are rooftop ventilators, fans, ducting, and drainage gutters and openings. These can become clogged with nesting materials and feathers, resulting in backed-up or standing water to create roof leaks and other damage.

Finally, pest birds can damage rooftop electronic surveillance equipment like motor-driven cameras, antenna arrays and light sensors. Maintenance and cleanup of these devices and equipment can be expensive.

Before attempting any lethal means of bird control, shopping center owners and property managers should contact their local wildlife management office, since many species of birds are protected by local, state and federal statutes. Of course, one can always turn to humane bird control measures, which have been proven effective in many shopping center venues across the country.

Bird Spikes

These devices have proven their worth time and again, especially in deterring pigeons and other large birds.  Bird Spikes won’t allow birds to land on rooftops, signs or any other similar perches. They are easily mounted on flat or curved surfaces and require very little or no maintenance once properly installed. They have blunted tips, which makes them humane and harmless to birds or maintenance crews. Bird Spikes come in strong, rigid unbreakable polycarbonate or flexible stainless steel.  The poly spikes are a bit less expensive. Bird spikes even come in different colors–crystal clear, brick red, light grey, brown, black and tan–to blend in aesthetically with a shopping center’s exterior décor.

Electric Tracks

Often used as a bird control measure against pigeons, seagulls or larger birds, Electric Tracks use a harmless “jolt of juice” to convince birds to move on. Electric tracks are easily installed on ledges, signs, rooftops, and most any flat or curved surface. The best electric tracks have a low profile design that makes them almost invisible from ground level. Some also offer a flow-through design that keeps water from damming up on a rooftop. Consider, too, corrosion-resistant tracks that resist alkali and acidic environments.

Bird Spiders

Ideal for a variety of areas in a shopping center, Bird Spiders are portable bird-control devices that can be readily moved from one location to another. The Spider’s long spindly arms waving in the breeze work to scare pest birds away. Spiders are often strategically placed on outdoor tables, awnings and patio covers, or on rooftops and lamppost assemblies to frighten birds away. Spiders are available in a variety of diameters (arm lengths) to deter a wide range of pest birds.

Bird Slopes

To prevent pest birds from nesting in alcoves, nooks and crannies, or any 90-degree area under an eave or façade, Bird Slopes will deny them access. These angled, slippery PVC panels simply won’t allow pest birds to get a solid footing to land. Bird slopes are easily screwed, glued or nailed to most any flat surface. They are now available in several colors to match a shopping center’s exterior color scheme.

Bird Netting

A very popular exclusionary bird control measure, Bird Netting blocks birds access to specific areas–like dumpster zones, loading docks and certain rooftop facilities. Bird netting comes in several mesh sizes to block out sparrows, starlings, pigeons, seagulls and larger birds. And you can now get netting in several colors–white, stone and black–so it’s less visually intrusive. The best netting meets ISO 1806 protocols and is U.V. stabilized, flame resistant and rot- and water-proof.

Bird Gels

Ideal for rooftop areas, ledges, parapet walls, conduit, pipes and other areas where pest birds tend to frequent, Bird Gels can be quite effective. Once applied, the gels skin over and leave a sticky, tacky surface pest birds hate to walk on. Bird gels are ideal for use against most pest birds and need only be re-applied every six months for maximum effect.

Bird Wire

Another proven bird control system, Bird Wire will deter large birds–like pigeons, crows, gulls and other large birds from gathering on ledges, parapet walls, rooflines and similar areas. This low profile deterrent is basically a nylon-coated stainless steel wire suspended between poles and attached to springs. Pest birds try to land on the wire and soon realize that this is one unstable perch. Bird Wire is easily installed and requires little or no maintenance.

Solar Bird Repellers

Here’s a way to gain some “sustainability points” from your customers while deterring pest birds. These solar powered bird control devices keep seagulls, pigeons, and crows, from landing by whisking them away with large rotating “arms” that cover up to five feet in diameter. The arms turn continuously at 30 RPM. The heavy duty, brushless motor is powered by sunlight during the day and stored energy at night. Solar Bird Repellers can be placed wherever they’re needed to deter flocks of pest birds.


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