Use a site survey before treating for birds

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September 21, 2023

Anna Berry

Anna Berry, BCE

Successful bird jobs tend to require several complementary management methods used together to form a comprehensive control plan. Sometimes those methods require extensive equipment, such as a lift, or installation training and supplies, as for netting or spikes. They almost always require a substantial time commitment because of control tool installation, watching flight patterns, or visiting traps and nets.

The vital first step to putting together an effective plan is a thorough site survey. While this is an important tool for any pest, it tends to be overlooked for bird work. Birds may be perceived as less “important” to customers, but because of the risks they bring to food and structures, their risks must be addressed in the site survey.

Use a form or checklist to ensure all the relevant information is compiled:

  • What species are there?
  • Are they roosting, nesting or flying?
  • What and where is there food availability for them?

Even if we don’t see birds at the site survey, we may see evidence of their activity, such as droppings or nesting. This must be documented to ensure corrective actions are relayed to the customer.

Finally, because not everyone is comfortable with bird work, ensure the site survey is conducted by someone who understands the nuances of the control options. This may mean subcontracting with a bird expert. Many birds are protected by federal and/or state regulations, and the options for management will vary based on that.

Ensuring all the bases are covered based on the site survey will lead to a smooth and effective implementation of the control plan.

About the Author

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BERRY is a technical director at B&G Equipment. Previously, she worked as training manager for McCloud Pest Management Solutions, South Elgin, Ill. She is a Board Certified Entomologist, ServSafe certified and instructor and proctor for the National Restaurant Association and is certified in HACCP. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in grain science from Kansas State University.

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