Features Pest

Stadiums are the perfect place for pests to set up shop. Plenty of food scraps to feast on, places to shelter (harbourage, as we call it in the pest biz) and most crucial of all: easy access points. Anyone who has managed a pest control contract for a stadium or similar structure will tell you that access is basically impossible to prevent. How do you proof somewhere

control kicking out problem birds

that has such an open design? Birds, in particular, love that stadium real estate for roosting. Many are in built-up areas, which means birds can use them as an anchor point from which to scavenge nearby estates or towns. And as soon as an event is over the birds

can drop down into seating to eat discarded pie, chips and whatever else visitors may have left.

Our feathered friends are a regular smorgasbord of bacteria

Can’t we just all get along? and


carrying such treats as Ornithosis, Listeria and E-coli. When dry, pigeon droppings can become airborne in small particles, which can lead to respiratory complaints such as psittacosis. They can also cause structural damage, as

bird droppings are acidic and can corrode/ erode metals, stonework and brickwork. We’ve all regretted parking under that tree, right? And buildings covered in

fouling look

unpleasant, can smell and projects a poor image of a business, potentially ruining a hard-earned reputation.

22 FSM Nature at its best

Arguably the most effective way to combat problem birds in this kind of environment is by using birds of prey. Phillippa Hawkins, of BPCA member company

Falconry Services Bird & Pest

Control, has worked in pest management for 20 years and specialises in bird control. “One of the contracts we carry out is

for the Principality Stadium in Cardiff,” says Phillippa. “It has a retractable roof which is open 90% of the time and is like a giant Meccano set, so realistically you can’t proof that area. “The easiest way to go up there is with

a bird.” There’s also a public image issue to bear

in mind when considering pest management. Of the options available, falconry is one of the least controversial and most natural methods of control. The birds of prey work as a deterrent and although not guaranteed (after all, nature gonna nature) they don’t generally attack the pest birds. Instead it’s a psychological stand-off to claim the territory. Falconry works by trig- gering the survival instincts of the pest bird.

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