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Why Are Birds A Pest

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  • 10-08-2022
Why Are Birds A Pest

Have you questioned: why are birds a pest? This article looks at the most common pest birds in the UK and how they can be controlled.

Out of the 626 bird species in the UK, how many of them are considered pests? From bird droppings damaging our houses and cars to birds nesting and destroying our gardens, it's no wonder urban areas are affected by their presence.

Keep reading this article if you are suffering from pest birds and want to know what to do. 

Why are birds pests?

Generally, a few birds won't bother anyone. As they create nests and take shelter in and around our properties, homeowners across the UK have grown accustomed to the presence of house sparrows, herring gulls, pigeons and the more desirable songbirds being around.

However, the most common pest birds associated with fire hazards, bird parasites, and diseases can cause significant structural damage and cost you time and money in their removal costs.

The pest control industry has adapted to fighting off bird infestations and nuisance birds before they cause damage to your property or your family. But, first, you must identify the nuisance bird species to be found in your area. 

Most common pest birds in the UK

Before calling bird control when being affected by huge numbers or significant damage due to birds, read this list to find the species most commonly found throughout the UK.

Feral Pigeons

Many people are familiar with feral pigeons, typically referred to as city doves or street pigeons. These are some of the most common urban birds, feeding on human food and using tall buildings as their roosting sites.

Pigeons are a nuisance to people as they will eat most foods and collect in large numbers around gardens and buildings. These numbers can be anywhere between 50 and 500, breeding throughout the year, with the peak breeding season between March and July. 

Seagulls

When looking at other birds that affect the human population, Seagulls are a common UK species found around coastal towns, causing significant noise and being a nuisance to homeowners and shopowners.

Adult and young birds have been known to root through bins for food and nesting materials, generally gathering in huge flocks, which can become aggressive when defending the nests.

As scavengers, they will feed on almost anything, and restaurants and food establishments have established deterrents to stop birds from nesting and roosting around their property for this reason. 

SEAGULLS Why Are Birds A Pest

Collared Dove

Collared Doves are another species of pest birds, most commonly known to build nests around towns and cities.

Like most birds, they eat grains and seeds near their nests and can also get defensive when protecting their young. They are a fawn-grey colour with a signature black band around their neck, hence the name.

Unlike other pest birds, their nests are not fire hazards as often, as they will build them in trees and canopies, away from people, but they can still transmit diseases and cause illness. 

Starlings

Starlings present a risk to humans and the agricultural industry with their large numbers and ability to spread disease and cause serious damage. They can be found in crop fields and rural areas, and their dropping defaces property and spreads pathogenic fungi, proving fatal to humans.

You can identify starlings by their short tails and pointed wings, with their feathers carrying a hint of purple and green. European Starlings can create two broods each year, with six eggs in each one. 

House Sparrow

House sparrows are a health and safety risk and can damage structures and packaged goods. They are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, but general licences can be issued for pest control experts to deal with the bird problem.

Sparrows are known for spreading contamination throughout the food industry, but they are also a risk to people generally. You should seek professional assistance if you see them in large numbers, as you will need an authorised person to deal with them. 

There are many more birds across the UK that can cause damage and create health concerns, from geese to lesser black-backed gulls. While many birds do not mean to interfere, they can become dangerous and aggressive when hunting for prey and making their nests. 

Reasons Birds are a pest:

There are many reasons why birds are a pest, causing irritation and damage to properties and your health. Using netting, bird point systems, and more deters birds from landing and roosting around your property, but you will need to do more to get rid of these flying pests.

Here are the top threats birds present to you and why you must eliminate any infestations as early as possible. 

Damage To Your Property

Most notably, birds are a threat to your home and business, as bird droppings are acidic and can be highly corrosive. As they land on the roof, birds can dislodge roof tiles and cause blockages in gutters as they build nests and leave debris.

This tends to cause problems with flooding during heavy rainfall. Bird droppings deface properties also, damaging tiles, gutters, gardens and flowers. 

Unsightly Infestations

Whether the birds are nesting around crops, tall buildings or gardens, these gatherings will eventually lead to infestations and large numbers.

These infestations are not a good sight for businesses and their customers, nor do you want your neighbours judging your house for having bird droppings on the roof.

They can be loud and annoying, causing disturbances across your street, so dealing with birds before they cause an infestation is always worthwhile.  

Unsightly Bird Infestations

Safety Issues

Birds, as with all animals, pose a safety risk to humans through their natural behaviour. Their nests can become fire hazards due to the type of materials used, and birds have been known to carry cigarettes which are still lit to their nests, causing fires in gardens and trees.

During breeding seasons, birds become aggressive when humans or pets approach their nests, which means they will attack people. Birds can peck and use their talons to attack people and animals, so take care when approaching them. 

Diseases

Beyond being a nuisance and fouling around pavements and doorways, birds also carry severe diseases. Birds can unknowingly pass diseases like E.Coli, Salmonella and Ornithosis onto humans by carrying ectoparasites like bird mites, fleas, lice and ticks.

Moulted feathers and bird droppings can also spread disease quickly and easily in populated areas. Parrot fever (psittacosis) has also been noted in the UK, typically originating from poultry farms and other large confined spaces.

This is a rare infection caused by chlamydia psittaci; a bacteria birds can carry (not just parrots, despite the name). 

Related Infestations

When you spot birds at your property, you should not be surprised to find other pests. Bird infestations can lead to textile beetles, fleas and bird mites increasing in population, which can bring about mice, rats and wasps. 

he sooner you deal with the bird population, the sooner you can eradicate the other pests attracted to them. 

Controlling Bird Infestations

Many bird species are protected from trapping and killing under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, with many being native to the UK. While they can be harmful to human life and our properties, you should take care and only use professional pest control measures when dealing with bird infestations.

When nesting on roofs, you can implement netting or bird point systems designed to stop birds from landing on the roof. For the protection of your vehicles against bird droppings, we advise you to store them off the road and cover them where possible, especially if you live in urban areas with large numbers of birds.

To prevent further harm from coming to you and your family, please contact our team, and we can advise you on the best course of action to take in dealing with bird infestations. 


Are you looking for bird pest control services in Portsmouth, Southampton, Basingstoke And Hampshire? 

Follow the links below to find a pest control specialist to help resolve your pest infestation.