Bird Control for Big Box Stores
Written By: Dr. Rob Fergus
About: Dr. Rob Fergus is an ornithologist who specializes in urban ecology and human/wildlife interactions. Dr. Fergus received his Ph.D. in urban bird conservation from the University of Texas at Austin. He has teamed up with Bird-B-Gone as the official Bird-B-Gone Ornithologist to help close the gap between the science of nature, and the nature of bird control.
Every once in a while when I’m traveling, I see a House Sparrow flying around inside an airport terminal somewhere. One day I actually saw seven together when I was waiting for a connection in the Cincinnati Airport!
Airport terminals, retail stores, warehouses, and other large buildings often attract birds—usually house sparrows, European starlings, and rock pigeons (the more formal name ornithologists call pigeons). Keeping them off the building is usually possible with a well designed system of physical bird deterrents like bird spikes. But what can you do when the birds get inside the building?
First item of business if you have a bird inside is to figure out how the bird is getting in. If there aren’t obvious answers—like doors left open—then the bird is a messenger telling you that you have a hole or some other problem with your building that you need to fix to keep the bird out, and to keep your building climate controlled and otherwise secure.
If you have a warehouse or other building with open dock doors or other openings that are always open, keeping birds out will be more of a challenge. Look to see if you can install a door—or at least a vinyl strip doors or other type of seal or barrier. If you don’t seal up the door, you are going to have birds coming inside looking for nesting or food opportunities, or just to get in out of the weather. Urban sparrows, starlings, and pigeons are crafty creatures, always looking for ways to get inside. Some have even been observed waiting by doors or even triggering automatic doors to enter buildings!
After you’ve taken care of the source of your problem, how do you get the birds out? If possible, shut off all the lights in the building and open up the doors—birds will usually go towards the light and fly out on their own. If this isn’t possible, you can use a live trap to catch the birds and take them outside. Traps can also be used to catch and release birds that get inside if you aren’t able to seal up their entryway. Mist netting can be used by professional bird control specialists to remove birds as well. Birds fly into the net, get tangled and are taken outside and released.
House Sparrows, European Starlings, and Rock Pigeons are not native American bird species—they were brought here in past centuries—so they are not protected by federal laws that protect native birds. That means you can humanely dispatch the birds if need be, but it is always better to use non-lethal means to deal with your bird issues whenever possible. After all, removing the birds is not actually taking away the ability for new ones to return. Keeping birds out of your big box store should be easy enough to do with the simple steps outlined above.
If for some reason you still have trouble with birds, feel free to give us a call (toll free at 877-820-8205) to discuss Bird-B-Gone products that might work in your specific situation.