Winter has officially begun! Snow is falling, ice has started to gather on storm drains, and most birds have made their seasonal southbound departure for warmer weather. Unfortunately, some bird breeds didn’t get the memo and are happy sticking around through the colder months to keep us company.
Unfortunately, their presence can prove annoying to some, especially in the parts of Wisconsin where they make new homes in office buildings or other commercial spaces.
Wil-Kil sympathizes with business owners that scratch their heads over this dilemma, and we are here to help. We’re going to explain which birds are likely to cause you the most trouble, and what bird control steps you can take to keep them from nesting in your rafters.
Winter Birds in Wisconsin
The first order of business is to know your enemy. Though the local wildlife obviously doesn’t purposely mean to be a nuisance, sometimes it can’t be helped. Despite how pretty some of them may look against the snowy backdrop, finding them in your business isn’t pleasant. While there are several birds that may be a nuisance to your business, Wisconsin has strict laws protecting birds so there are only a few that pest control companies can target for exclusion. Here are some of the main offenders:
- Pigeons: Especially ‘rock pigeons,’ which are so common in urban environments that some cities have issued ordinances against feeding them, to discourage their gathering.
- Sparrows: You are likely to see a few different kinds of sparrows sticking around this season. They are often considered non-native pests and will invade your space without encouragement or provocation.
- Starlings: Known to gather in extraordinary numbers, starlings will inhabit just about anywhere and anything that suits them.
The Midwest is a playground for birds of all shapes and sizes, all year long, so we cannot exhaustively cover every bird you might see this winter. But what we can do is give you some preventive strategies to control bird populations and discourage their nesting habits if they’re a little too comfortable in your territory.
Discourage Nesting for Birds in Wisconsin
Like most animals, birds have a few simple priorities: they need food, water, and protection from the elements and predators. They will build their nests in locations that provide one or more of these things, but sometimes that location isn’t necessarily a good place for the rest of us. For example, some smaller birds are known to cultivate nests on top of fire sprinklers, and while they aren’t likely to set it off, the risk isn’t worth letting them stay.
Reasons you might want to prevent nesting include:
- Self-protection from nests constructed in a duct vent, gutter, or dryer vent that could be hazardous or within the range of curious customers and children.
- Aggressive bird parents who are protective of their newly hatched chicks. If there’s a fresh nest of chicks near one of your doorways, the parent is likely to see your approach as a threat, and attack appropriately.
- They make a mess, since their nests are often made of, or near, their waste (which will also be all over the ground), discarded nesting pieces, molted feathers, and other things that might cause congestion or stains within the space near the nest.
- Bird droppings can be hazardous to your health. Not only do they cause slip hazards, but they can carry diseases such as Salmonellosis, E.coli, Histoplasmosis, and others.
- Some people are genuinely afraid of birds. Strong fears of birds are not uncommon and could cause distress for you, your employees, or your clientele if there are too many winged pests too close for comfort.
Prevent a Bird Infestation in Your Wisconsin Business
Whether it’s for the safety of your employees and customers, to prevent damage to your business’s structure or a combination of the two, there are a few steps you can take to make your business and surrounding property less attractive to birds searching for a safe place to land during the winter months.
Start by eliminating all holes and cavities that make for easy nesting grounds. Pipes, storm drains, shady nooks and crannies, and windowsills are just a few of the most common places birds will try to make a nest around your property. It can be difficult to locate and eliminate all possible nesting spaces, but if you observe a few popular spots around your business, try adding wood scraps, hardware mesh, or expanding foam to seal off the nesting place. In the case of the ledges around a lamp or signpost where there’s nothing to “seal,” try installing a sloped block or board that will make it impossible for a nest to be constructed there.
Try adding small mirrors in common areas you’ve found birds gathering. The reflected light or images of themselves could trick them into thinking another bird is already occupying that space. In a similar vein of thought, birds are disturbed by noise, so installing wind chimes or mylar strips could also prove an effective bird control countermeasure.
Lastly, make sure there’s no obvious food source that keeps birds in the area. If there’s someone walking around and dropping sunflower seeds or breadcrumbs on the sidewalk, for example, then your feathered friends can and will find a way to stick around, even if you boot them from a specific nesting spot. The convenience of easy food will be too strong of a draw for them to ignore.
Quality Bird Control for Your Business at Wil-Kil
Wil-Kil loves birds as much as anyone else, but that doesn’t mean they should have free reign over your space. If you’ve run into problems with nesting birds, we have a series of safe and effective exclusion techniques we can use to discourage common winter birds in Wisconsin from taking over your business.
If you have any particular questions about our process or services or are ready to schedule your free quote, give us a call or contact us online today, and we’ll take care of the rest. We want your winter season to go off without a hitch, and look forward to helping you build a safe, clean environment for your business.