There are about 146,000 retail gas stations and convenience stores in the United States. That's the good news for late-night shoppers and folks running out of gas. The bad news is, many of these stores lack effective pigeon control, which means feral pigeons can pretty much do what they please.
The last thing customers want to touch is a pump handle covered with pigeon poop. Or see the roof or hood of their car splattered with poop when they return with snacks in hand. Theses stores have a pigeon problem because the pesky little birds love to roost in gas station and store canopies. And they do so hundreds at a time.
Without effective pigeon control measures, this often-neglected nuisance can cost commercial property owners thousands of dollars in maintenance and repairs. Keep in mind that just one healthy pigeon creates an average 66 pounds of droppings each year. If you've got a flock of these birds nesting in your gas station canopy, you're looking at several tons of poop over a short period of time.
If you think the damage is all cosmetic, consider what happened to a gas station canopy in Yuma, Arizona. A build-up of pigeon poop clogged up the canopy's drains, causing it to crash to the ground after a heavy rain. A Hummer and a BMW were smashed in the process. Needless to say the gas station owner's insurance policy went up.
Roosting and nesting pigeons can create an unsightly mess on signage, windows and gas pumps. They can clog drains, block out security cameras and jam doors and windows. They can also wreak havoc with rooftop AC units.
As if that weren't enough to implement aggressive pigeon control measures, pigeon droppings are also breeding grounds for a number of diseases. Fecal droppings in pigeon infested canopies can create an environment for bacteria and fungi spores to grow and multiply. This filth can attract mites, black widows, rats, mice and other vermin.
Consider the problems such an environment presents to a gas station that has a full-service food preparation kitchen. If you've got flocks of pigeons gathering on your rooftop or near air induction vents, these air conditioning and air circulation systems could easily suck in pigeon dander, spores and viruses.
Cleaning roofs, parapets, HVAC, ventilation systems and other roosting sites can aerate these areas and increase the risks of exposure to disease. Gas station and store canopies offer the ideal place for pigeons—plenty of food in garbage cans and safe roosting areas.
Failure to implement pigeon control measures can be very expensive in the long run—repairing a canopy can set you back as much as $100,000. And that doesn't include lost sales, city or health violation fees or full canopy replacement.
Some effective pigeon control measures include bird netting, which works to effectively exclude the pests. You can also use chemical fogging systems to drive out entrenched flocks. Both measures are safe to use on pigeons and will save you a lot of grief and expense.