by Alex A. Kecskes
No matter how you feel about birds, when they invade your property en masse, they can be a real nuisance. Consider the damage just a few bids can do to your gutters, rooftop AC units, skylights, air vents and solar panels. Over time, their acidic droppings eat into these areas and devices, which can be very costly to repair or replace. Bird droppings left on your car, van, boat or RV can ruin the finish, especially if you wait too long to wash off the droppings.
There’s also the problem of bird nests and nesting debris, which can cause fires when they are built too close to any electrical device, exterior wiring or light fixture.
Finally, if you fancy eating outdoors, there’s the problem of diseases that pest birds carry—they can transmit any of 60 known diseases. Unless you control pest birds with bird guards or bird barriers, they will land on tables, chairs, BBQs awnings, pool ledges and spa areas. And every time they do, there’s the potential for them to drop a disease carrying “load.”
The solution, of course, is to install bird guards and bird barriers on your property. Two of the most popular bird control devices that fall into these categories are Bird Spikes and Bird Netting.
Bird Spikes Won’t Let ‘em Land
Whether you get stainless steel spikes or plastic, these deterrents are humane and highly effective. Both are easy to install and essentially maintenance free. The plastic bird spikes cost a bit less and come in 3-, 5- and 7-inch widths and two-foot spike strips. A single row of bird spikes usually covers a 7-inch wide area. The best plastic spikes have a flexible base that adapts to curved surfaces. Each spiked strip comes pre-drilled with holes along the base. The strips can also glued in place by using a glue trough at the base of each spike strip. Concerned about how bird spikes will look on your property? Not to worry. They now come in a full range of colors--including white, tan, gray, black, brown, brick red and even crystal clear. Custom colors are also available.
Create a Bird-Proof Barrier with Bird Netting
Bird Netting creates a barrier that blocks out most pest birds. It can keep everything from sparrows to pigeons from invading the nooks and crannies of your property. What’s more, like bird spikes, netting is a humane bird deterrent that won’t harm birds.
For bird netting that lasts, opt for Heavy-Duty polyethylene Bird Netting. It’s made from a U.V. stabilized mesh and comes in various sizes and custom cuts. The key here is to choose the right mesh size for the pest bird you’re having problems with. The three most popular mesh sizes include 2-inch mesh, 1 1/8-inch mesh, and 3/4-inch mesh.
The most rugged netting is ISO 1806 protocol mesh tested, flame resistant and rot- and waterproof. This durable netting consists of 6 monofilaments, each12/1000s of an inch thick. The monofilaments are twisted together to create a tough twine with 160-200 twists per meter. This high quality bird proof netting is frequently specified by architects.
To get the most deterrent effect out of bird netting, you must install it properly. Before installing Heavy Duty Bird Netting, thoroughly clean the area of bird droppings, nesting materials, loose rust, peeling paint or other debris. Improperly installed netting will sag or droop, leaving gaps that birds can work through. The one thing to remember here is that pest birds can be very resourceful when it comes to sneaking through netting. For best results in large installations, cables should be set up around the area and the net should then be attached to this cable.