The birds on your building are not the problem… their droppings are!

BCS deals primarily with feral pigeon populations. We also deal with urban populations of naturally occurring birds such as red winged starlings and sparrows. Each of these birds poses their own specific problems which can cause havoc in the long run for stored goods and personnel alike.

The Problem

South Africa is home to over 850 species of birds and is considered to be a birders’ paradise. While this diversity in our country is an incredible privilege, it is only a handful of birds that we are faced with as a problem in day-to-day life.

Accumulating and decaying bird droppings create offensive odours and will attract flies and other disease carrying insects such as lice. Droppings are also highly corrosive, not only to metal, but concrete as well. On-going cleaning of bird infestation sites are a drain on any house-keeping budget while droppings onto goods stored in infested areas can make the products unsaleable. Many different methods have been contemplated or tried in an effort to get rid of infesting pigeons, but most have drawn a blank as to how to tackle the problem… Abandoned buildings, rejected consignments of goods and stock, staff illness and lice infestations being the costly outcome.



Increased maintenance due to deterioration of machinery, equipment & work surfaces resulting from the acidic bird droppings.



Financial losses suffered as a result of droppings on products in storage or awaiting shipment which requires cleaning or replacement.



Potential condemnation of stored products, especially food products, due to unsanitary conditions.



Birds create a constant and great amount of mess leading to increased janitorial costs for labour, cleaning and disinfection of work areas.



Nuisance factors involved with flight patterns over the area resulting in droppings on vehicles, people and machinery.



Birds’  play host to over 60 airborne diseases and parasites which pose a real and serious risk to employees.

Health & Environmental Hazards

When it comes to birds there may be more than just avian flu to worry about. It has been suggested that there are over 60 diseases that birds and their droppings can carry. The problem is especially worrisome in working and living environments, as many of them are airborne and can be transferred to humans just by being around droppings.

Birds, and their nests, also play host to numerous species of bird lice and mites which account for skin rashes, irritation and disease.

Not only are bird droppings an unsightly mess that can be difficult to remove and cause slip-and-fall accidents, they also harbor numerous human pathogens. The most serious health risks arise from disease organisms that can grow in the nutrient-rich accumulations of bird droppings, feathers and debris. How dangerous are bird droppings to human health? The question seems simple but quantifying a human’s risk of acquiring disease from a bird or its droppings is difficult since exposure to the pathogens does not always result in disease. The only guaranteed way to mitigate this possibility is to remove the source of the problem – for good!

Problem Species

When it comes to birds there may be more than just avian flu to worry about. It has been suggested that there are over 60 diseases that birds and their droppings can carry. The problem is especially worrisome in working and living environments, as many of them are airborne and can be transferred to humans just by being around droppings.

FERAL PIGEON – Columba Livia

ECOLOGY – Pigeons are highly territorial birds which feed and roost in well-defined areas. They have a life span of 10 to 20 years and reach full growth after 6 months of life. They reach full maturity after 2 to 3 years and keep propagating until they are about 10 years old. Their diet is widely varied and hence they are well suited to living in cities.

LIVING HABITS – Pigeon flocks occupy a defined territory and in each flock there are always several couples and dominant birds. The propagation of pigeons is high. Young birds will leave the nest after approximately 40 days. Eggs are laid up to 8 times a year, 2 at a time, so 16 birds are potentailly hatched per annum to a single pigeon pair.

RED-WINGED STARLING – Onychognathus Morio

ECOLOGY – Preferring mountainous and rocky regions, these birds have adapted well to cities and suburban areas. Starlings usually feed on insects when living in mountain regions, but when they migrate to the coast their diet consists mainly of grains, seeds, fruits and berries. The staining properties of their dropping often creates problems.

LIVING HABITS – Starlings characteristically leave the roosting area at sunrise and travel up to 70 kilometres over well-established flight lines to reach their feeding areas. They return to roost just before sundown. Nesting birds are very aggressive and will defend their nests with hostility to anyone who ventures close to their nesting site. Their nests are very messy with mud and grass falling below the nest site.

HOUSE SPARROW – Passer Domesticus

ECOLOGY – Introduced in 1890’s to Durban and colonised most of the sub-continent by 1960’s. This invasive species is considered a nuisance, an aggressive competitor with native birds, and an agricultural pest.

LIVING HABITS – Prefers areas that have been modified by humans, including farms, residential areas, and urban areas. Nests are made from grass and straw, or any material that resembles grass. In some instances, these nests get added to from one breeding season to the next, and the volume of nesting material which is tinder-dry, becomes a very real fire hazard. Sparrows crowd out native birds, disrupt food supplies, damage crops and transmit diseases. Large aggregations around buildings produce annoying noise and large quantities of faeces.

RED-WINGED STARLING – Onychognathus Morio

ECOLOGY – Indian Mynahs live in large communities, sometimes numbering many thousands, returning to the same rossting areas every night. Their roosting, nesting and breeding takes place in comfortable, easily accessible locations such as well branched trees, loading bay roof areas, awnings and ventilation ducts.

LIVING HABITS – A mynah pair will produce three young, twice a year. These young will usually remain in the general vicinity of their parents’ nest until fully grown. Thereafter they will join the general community, thus adding to the bird population of the area. Besides their damaging, unsightly droppings and lice contamination, the mynah is an exceptionally noisy bird, especially when returning to roost in large numbers at dusk.

Are birds messing with your business?

Contact Bird Control Services now for a guaranteed to your bird infestation problems.