BCCSi is the only independent consultancy service worldwide that offers expert advice on all aspects of bird control. We will work closely with the
Client to understand why their bird control problem exists and, wherever possible, assist the Client to design out the problem rather than resorting
to ineffective and expensive deterrents such as bird netting and bird wire systems.
Pest control is an unregulated industry and a majority of pest control contractors do not have the necessary expertise or understanding of the target
species in order to offer the client a solution that will permanently resolve their bird control problem. Essentially, pest control contractors are
product sellers and product installers and not bird control experts. In the main, services provided by pest control companies will be a quick-fix
based on profitability rather than their client’s needs.
Bird Netting, Bird Wire or Anti-Roosting Spikes?
Many of the industry standard products provided by the pest control industry, such as nylon bird netting and bird wire systems, degrade rapidly and often
require invasive fixings, many of which cannot be used on modern cladded structures. Nylon bird netting will rarely be guaranteed for over 5 years by the
installer due to the speed at which the product degrades. Bird wire systems are often installed with no guarantee at all as they are prone to failure and will, in some cases, fail within a matter of weeks of installation.
These systems are not only expensive to install and degrade rapidly but the standard of
installation is often extremely poor further escalating the rate of failure. Anti-roosting spikes are probably the most effective of all the industry standard
bird deterrents and they are relatively inexpensive to install but, like bird netting, they are ugly and can severely compromise the aesthetics of any structure
upon which they are installed.
BCCSi will rarely recommend the use of nylon bird netting and will never recommend the use of a standard bird wire system (post and wire system) as offered
by pest control contractors. On occasion BCCSi will recommend the use of anti-roosting spikes as they are an extremely effective bird control product.
Anti-roosting spikes are not only inexpensive and simple to install but they are also reversible making them a good choice in the right situation. However,
BCCSi will only recommend their use when they can be installed without compromising the aesthetics of a building or where they are being used to protect an
industrial site where aesthetics are unimportant.
Bird Culling is Ineffective and can be Illegal
Pest control contractors commonly recommend the use of culling for the control of pigeons and in some cases for the control of gulls. Methods include cage
trapping and killing for the control of pigeons and shooting for both pigeon control and gull control. Although killing any wild bird to reduce flock size is strictly controlled by the General Licencing system, few if any pest control companies abide by the terms and conditions of the licences.
Scientific research has proven, conclusively, that the use of lethal means to control pigeons and gulls is completely ineffective and yet this is a service favoured by a
majority of pest control contractors. Why? Because it is a highly profitable service and not because it is effective, or in the Client’s best interests.
BCCSi will never recommend the use of culling as a means of controlling bird populations. Lethal control is a completely ineffective control option; it is
expensive and often used in direct contravention to the General Licences as provided and overseen by Natural England (in the UK) and similar legislative
bodies in other countries. Where culling is used for the control of pigeons, flocks will re-populate within a matter of months following a cull thereby making this control option a waste of time and resource.
Where culling is used to control gull populations it is even more ineffective. However, the culling of gulls is now strictly licenced
and this legislation is overseen by Natural England and bodies such as the RSPB and the RSPCA.
Permission to cull gulls is rarely if ever provided, other than in extreme cases, and the penalties for killing gulls can be extreme.
Every property owner should be aware that if a pest control contractor offers to kill any species of bird as a method of control it is the property
owner and not the contractor that is legally responsible for ensuring that the use of lethal means is justified under the General Licences.
Bird Control on New Build Projects
Pest control contractors will rarely offer advice on new build projects as the opportunity to sell products is minimal. Furthermore they do not have the
necessary knowledge or expertise to work from a set of drawings. Pest control contractors never undertake in-depth site surveys or area-wide surveys to
assess daytime bird activity and they never offer evening surveys to their clients. These are essential services when making a judgement as to how a
building or site should be protected against bird occupancy.
BCCSi’s services are particularly suited to new build projects where the Consultant will work closely with the Architect and Design Team in an effort to design
out potential issues with birds.
The Consultant will undertake a full review of drawings prior to attending site and will then undertake a site
assessment and area-wide survey, including an evening survey, to assess the extent of bird activity on the site itself and within the area around the site.
The findings of the survey will provide a basis for the recommendations made to the Client. The Consultant will confirm how the building or site could be
protected or indeed if it needs to be protected at all. Recommendations will be based on designing out bird occupancy wherever possible rather than simply
supplying a list of specifications for industry standard deterrents such as bird net, bird wire systems and anti-roosting spikes. This approach ensures
that the integrity of the design is fully protected.
Bird Control on Renovation and Refurbishment Projects
Pest control contractors may provide quotations for the provision of bird deterrents on renovation and refurbishment projects as there is potential for selling
product and installation services. However, without a full area-wide survey and evening survey to identify the extent of bird activity in the area,
these recommendations are worthless.
BCCSi will work closely with the Architect and Main Contractor on renovation or refurbishment projects to ensure that the right choices are made where the
installation of bird control deterrents are concerned and will, wherever possible, suggest how bird occupancy issues can be designed out.
Likewise with new build projects, it is essential to fully assess the site and the area around the site before making any recommendations for bird control systems.
It is common for Clients and Architects to assume that an effective pigeon control or gull control system will need to be included on a specification for any
renovation or refurbishment project. However, it is often the case that the site surveys will identify little or no bird activity on or around the site and therefore
bird controls are rendered unnecessary. In these cases BCCSi will recommend an in-house monitoring programme to ensure that if birds do start to show an
interest in the site, steps can be taken to protect sensitive areas.
Bird Control on Historic Buildings, Listed Buildings and Ancient Monuments
In many cases pest control contractors will be engaged to provide recommendations for pigeon control and gull control on Historic Buildings,
Listed Buildings or Ancient Monuments. Where Grade 1 Listed Buildings or Ancient Monuments are concerned it is rare for permission to be granted
to install bird netting or bird wire systems due to the fact that both products must be secured to the structure by drilling and bolting into the
fabric of the building. However, many pest control contractors are ignorant of these requirements and can cause major damage, sometimes irreparable damage,
to historic structures. In these cases it will be those responsible for the property, and not the pest control contractor, that
will be held responsible for
the damage caused.
Guy Merchant, Director of BCCSi, has extensive experience of working on Listed Buildings and Ancient Monuments working alongside organisations such as
English Heritage and also with Listed Buildings Officers to provide non-invasive pigeon control and gull control systems. Some bird control deterrents,
particularly pigeon deterrents, can be adapted for use on Listed Buildings and Ancient Monuments. These standard products, combined with tailor-made
control options, can result in an effective and non-invasive system that will maintain the aesthetic integrity of the building or site whilst at the
same time ensuring that the fabric of the building remains intact.
The Value of Expert and Independent Advice
If you have an existing bird control problem, or if you are responsible for a new build project or renovation/refurbishment project where the
Client has specified bird control systems, it is essential to ensure that you receive expert and independent advice before specifying pigeon or gull controls.
BCCSi will discuss your requirements with you and provide a commercially unbiased assessment with no obligation to engage our services. If we are
unable to assist you we will never offer consultancy services. Furthermore, we will never recommend a pest control contractor. BCCSi is a truly independent
consultancy service offering professional services to
our Clients that are based on experience and not on the sale of pest control products or installation services.