How Birds of Prey are Used in Pest Control

When people think of commercial pest infestations, it’s usually insects, mice and rats etc. which spring to mind rather than bird control issues. However, an infestation of nesting birds such as pigeons can cause a lot of problems for businesses.

Bird faeces is acidic and can cause permanent damage to vehicles, clothing, property and merchandise. It requires

constant maintenance to clean up as it’s unsightly and poses a slipping hazard, which can cost businesses both time and money.

Birds can also carry a multitude of serious diseases – viral, fungal and bacterial – and can spread them via contact with their bodies and discarded feathers or through inhalation of atomised faecal dust.


Infection from these diseases either to staff or customers, can result in a significant loss of revenue due to absence, lawsuits and lost business.With this in mind prevention is better than cure.

An Ancient Solution

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Beginning in Mesopotamia – an area covering parts of modern day Iraq, Syria and Turkey – falconry spread across the Middle East, medieval Europe and Mongolia as both a sport and status symbol amongst nobles. Around 500BC in ancient Rome, falcons were used to hunt ducks and from then these birds were widely used alongside dogs as hunting animals. An interesting fact for you; In the 7th century, the Quran of the Islamic faith considers prey caught by birds of prey to be halal (permissible) for consumption.

However, it was in the ancient Persian Empire (modern day Iran) where falcons were first employed as a bird control measure. Land owners would deploy the birds to ward off any other animals which might threaten crops or livestock.

In the 21st Century

Today, birds of prey can provide “green” bird control option for control of pigeon and gulls. Feral pigeons often like to roost on the exterior of commercial properties, such as warehouses and other high-ceilinged locations that can provide them with plenty of elevated rafters and ledges upon which to nest. Reaching these areas can be problematic and potentially unsafe for business owners.

There are many pest bird proofing measures available with both positive and negative options – to each solution.

However, in some instances, proofing is not feasible.

Nevertheless, another option is at hand. Introducing a bird of prey to an established roosting area can have an immediate and long-lasting effect. These birds of prey are able to displace pigeons and gulls which have already taken up residence and discourage newcomers from setting up home. The best thing about a bird of prey pest control solution – apart from its superb efficacy – is that it’s 100% environmentally friendly.

The birds of prey are not trained to kill the pest birds, but simply discourage infestations by way of their mere presence. Also, with a bird of prey solution, there are no chemicals or machines used and there are no permanent fixtures.

Bird of Prey Solutions with Safeguard

Safeguard’s resident bird of prey expert, John Lacey trains and handles the company’s bird of prey, offering protection to customers in all kinds of environments from warehouses and train yards, to heritage sites and stadiums. Some of John’s avian colleagues are a male Harris hawk named Beau and a female called Rio – female raptors (another term for birds of prey) are larger and more aggressive than males. John was first inducted into the world of falconry at the age of 12, keeping a Kestrel called Kes, and has since joined the nationally accredited LANTRA falconry award programme.

If your business has a bird control issue, and you would like more information about Safeguard Pest Control’s effective and environmentally friendly bird of prey based solutions, please get in touch today. Our friendly and professional staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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