Bird Repellers – Hi Tech Versus Low Tech
In this day and age, technology is seen not just as the solution to everything, it is often seen as the logical end for everything. For our area of discussion here, i.e., bird repellers, we want to clearly identify the very real, practical and cost effective low-tech solutions to bird problems around your home and your business.
Let me first identify what we mean by bird problems, although if you have them, you pretty much know what we’ll be mentioning here. The first problem identified is typically the mess. Bird droppings drip down your building, accumulate on your sidewalk, patio or parking area, and corrode your car paint or concrete walkways. This is a smelly, unsightly and unhealthy problem that can actually incur health department fines for businesses that ignore these issues. In residences particularly, noise is often the next problem. During nesting and fledging stages, baby birds can be very noisy – if you’ve ever had active nests in your rafters or building overhangs, you can attest to the constant and ill-timed peeping and chirping that often occurs during early morning hours. Finally, the sheer numbers and natural activities of congregating birds can cause damage to buildings, agriculture, property and people. The cooing pigeons in the outdoor square may look harmless but, when disturbed, this mass can and will panic as they take flight, regardless of what is in their way.
The key to any bird repeller is in convincing the bird(s) to go elsewhere. The low-tech approach is to simply bar their entry and use their natural “flightiness” to keep them on the move.
Bird spikes and bird netting keep birds off of surfaces and out of possible nesting or perching cubbyholes. Signs, buildings, piping, railings, statues, architectural elements, beams, rafters, exterior lighting, gutters, antennas, etc. – the potential nesting areas are numerous and varied. If these areas are attracting birds, cover or block them with netting or use spike strips to stop birds from landing. Spikes and netting are made from durable materials that will last outdoors, in all kinds of weather, when installed correctly. And for the aesthetically-minded, netting and spikes are not eye sores. Even on a 1-story building roofline, these barriers to birds fade into the background and preserve your property values.
Another low-tech solution actually has a lot of research behind it. This is the area of visual scares. To keep birds out of rafters and structural areas where they might try to nest. Lifelike predator scares can be quite effective. Most of us have seen the plastic owls that are commonly used to keep away pigeons. And while those are part of this type of solution, be sure to look for both representational and non-representational scares that might be best for your situation. All this means is that visual scare balloons with a “scary” face or shimmery holographic “lights” from a strip that blows in the wind can be just as effective as the lifelike predator in sending your problem birds elsewhere.
There is, of course, a hi-tech implementation of the visual scares. This is where a sonic and/or ultrasonic bird repeller is integrated into the scare. For example, a lifelike fox used to keep geese or seagulls off of a lawn might have a sonic repeller with accompanying predator sounds emanating from the fox figure.
With representational figures like owls and foxes, you may want to move them from time to time as persistent birds can become used to a scare that doesn’t move. You can also look for scares that actually have some movement, sort of like a bobble-head figure toy, where the head or wings may move in a limited way with the wind.
Two parting notes here: first, be sure that you clean up any existing messes that point you to the problem areas before you install your bird repeller solution. Second, don’t net off areas where there are active bird nests. Be patient and wait until the young have left the nest before removing the nest and mess and installing your netting or spikes.