Things have been going smoothly in your warehouse; its layout provides maximum efficiency, your workers are all up to date on safety training, and you recently implemented a new data storage system that has dramatically improved productivity.
One day when walking through your warehouse, though, you notice a spill of some sort on the floor. You also notice that one of your forklift operators suddenly brakes in response to some nearby movement. Soon you realize that the movement came from a bird residing in the beams of your warehouse and that spill of some sort on the floor was actually bird droppings. Now you are not only worried about somebody slipping on the mess, but you start to wonder where else the droppings are and if there’s a possibility that they are near food products.
When outdoors, birds can be harmless creatures, but when they come inside a warehouse to nest and seek warmth, they begin to be a problem. Not only can they cause messes and distractions, but they also bring in flammable debris and disease-causing microorganisms. The most common microorganism spread by birds is Salmonella - which up to 50% of house sparrows were found to contain.
While facing bird pests in your warehouse can be frustrating and challenging, there are some methods to protect your warehouse from these unwanted visitors.
CONSIDER ALTERNATE DOOR OPTIONS
Keep all doors closed when they are not in use and for doors that are used frequently throughout the day, using overlapping plastic curtain strips. This inexpensive solution won’t prevent people and vehicles from moving through doorways, but will prevent birds and other pests such as insects from entering. These strips will also block out dirt, debris, rain, and wind and control air flow.
USE SCARING DEVICES
Predator replicas, such as owls and hawks, can be used to scare birds; however, after a time the birds often grow accustomed to the decoys and begin to ignore them.
ELIMINATE ATTRACTING SOURCES
These include: stagnant water, food, and shelter that attract birds.
INSTALL BIRD NETTING
Bird netting prevents birds from reaching the rafters. It should be strong, lightweight, dark in color, have squares no larger than ¾ inch – as this is the largest size that will eliminate sparrows and starlings. This is one of the best solutions because it is an inexpensive, long-term solution that won’t affect ventilation.
COAT ROOSTING AREAS WITH REPELLENT GELS
If you have a problem with birds roosting on beams, coat those areas with either a sticky or slippery substance designed to keep birds off. They will avoid these areas because they won’t like how the substances feel on their feet. Remember, though, to reapply after six months as they substances will become coated with dirt or dust and therefore be ineffective. This method is not recommended in most situations as these gels are very messy to apply and can stain or damage your beams.
PLACE PORCUPINE-WIRE ON BEAMS
Steel wires that extend in every direction don’t harm the birds, but simply make it uncomfortable for them to rest there. These are also the best solution for maintaining the looks of your warehouse because they blend in and are barely noticeable. However, this option is often expensive and requires a lot of labor to install.
INSTALL ELECTRICAL WIRES
Wires are effective in emitting shocks to perched birds, but are also difficult and costly to maintain.
The most important thing is to make your warehouse uncomfortable, and therefore undesirable for birds to nest in. It is also important to consider:
- Where the birds are residing the most?
- What types of birds have chosen your warehouse as their new home?
- How much you’re willing to spend on this pest control?
- Are you’re looking for a visible or hidden solution?