Many landlords will go above and beyond to make sure that their tenants are happy whilst living at their property. However, dealing with a major bird infestation is not usually in the cards for most landlords, but it can happen.

For obvious reasons, birds can become a real nuisance for landlords and tenants alike. It’s not just the mess that they make; birds can also cause damage to the property by blocking gutters and dislodging roof tiles. Worst of all, birds, such as pigeons and gulls can become a potential health hazard for tenants.

Here’s everything you need to know about bird infestations and, most importantly, how to get rid of bird infestation in your property.

How does bird infestation start?

It’s no secret that birds have adapted to the urban environment. Today, pigeons and seagulls are less afraid of humans and have learnt how to scavenge from our waste.

Bird infestations generally occur in urban areas where gulls can make the most out of tall buildings and turn flat roofs into nesting areas. In fact, roofs appear to be a firm favourite among the bird population, with pigeons preferring roof spaces to roost and will even shift loose or damaged tiles to get into buildings. Did you know that a pigeon can fit through any gap larger than 25mm? So, it’s quite easy to see how a bird infestation could start.

The likelihood of a bird infestation can increase in cases where neighbours dump rubbish and do not take pride in the upkeep of communal areas.  So, if this is an ongoing problem that your tenants are experiencing with neighbours, it’s best to get on top of the issue sooner rather than later.

What are the signs of bird infestation?

It’s not always easy to tell whether you’re experiencing an infestation or if it’s just a one-off occasion. With this in mind, it’s important to know what the signs of bird infestation are. That way, you can be confident that you have an actual problem on your hands. These are the signs you should look out for:

  • Droppings, particularly in areas where birds roost
  • Continuous bird noises, particularly the crying of baby chicks
  • Birds settling on ledges and/or roofs
  • Blocked gutters and damp as a result of debris from nests and feathers
  • Damaged stock due to bird fouling and pecking
  • Nesting materials scattered around your property and garden

How bird infestation could affect your property?

Aside from general mess and potential damage to your property, it’s also worth mentioning that droppings from pigeons are highly acidic. If droppings land on valuable belongings, such as cars or garden furniture, this may lead to corrosion.

On top of that, birds are not necessarily the cleanest of animals. Experts suggest that are over 60 diseases that birds can carry – many of which are airborne and can be transferred to humans just by being around droppings.

The good news is that these diseases shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as researchers suggest that diseases can be controlled through preventative action, such as ultrasonic disrupters and roost inhibitors. That said, it’s important to quickly get on top of a bird infestation to avoid potential damage to your property.

How to get rid of birds

Unfortunately, controlling bird infestations will usually fall on the shoulders of the landlord, unless a pest control clause is included in the tenancy agreement.

Without a doubt, one of the best ways to get rid of bird infestation in your property is to remove their food sources. However, this can be tricky to achieve if your property is located in the city. But, don’t give up hope! There are a few other ways to get rid of birds:

  • Put barriers over windows and ledges to remove access to nesting areas
  • Remove litter from around the property and any other potential food sources
  • Gulls have sharp beaks that can make quick work out of black bags, so make sure that bins lids are closed and secure
  • Spread bags with spices, such as black pepper across nesting areas. Pigeons are not big fans of strong spices and will tend to stay away
  • Tie string across roosting areas to make landing uncomfortable, which may prevent pigeons from coming back
  • Clear out birds from any gaps or holes.

How to keep birds away

Once you’ve managed to control the bird infestation, you will want to make sure that the birds stay away for good. Often, the best way to do this is to seal off any gaps or holes after they’ve been cleared. It’s advisable to do this in the morning to avoid roosting birds getting trapped.

It may also be a good idea to regularly carry out property inspections, particularly between October and February when most birds are looking for an ideal place to hunker down and build a nest for winter.

If you’re worried about how a bird infestation could negatively affect your property, it may be worth taking a look at landlord insurance. Here at CIA landlords, we can help you find the right policy that suits your wallet and protects your property. Get in touch today and see why we are specialists when it comes to landlord insurance.

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