Five things to look for from a bird poo (guano) cleaning service.
Saturday 10th April 2021
Yes, I am calling bird poo ‘guano.’ If you want to know why then follow this link https://www.dealey.co.uk/blog/why-do-we-call-bird
Bird guano is full of nasty pathogens so, Dealey offers a service to clean the bird poo from businesses and public spaces.
Normally when a pest controller’s website has a list of pathogens it can have the feel of scare tactics. But fairly innocuous looking bird droppings have led to some awful consequences as you will read later.
Here is a list of what might be lurking:
- Histoplasmosis which is a respiratory disease that can kill people. It results from fungal growth in dry bird droppings.
- Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons. The disease affects the skin and all the mucus membranes like eyes, mouth, throat, ears, and lady parts.
- Cryptococcosis is from a yeast found in digestive systems of pigeons, seagulls, and starlings. Illness from cryptococcosis often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system. the cryptococcus fungus is often found in roosting and nesting areas like lofts, ledges, cupolas, bell towers, schools, warehouses, mills, offices, barns, park buildings, signs, etc. This is the reason a young patient at a Glasgow hospital tragically lost her life. https://www.theweek.co.uk/99149/how-dangerous-are-pigeon-droppings
- Salmonellosis often occurs as "food poisoning" and can be traced to pigeons, starlings, and sparrows. This can be present in droppings and if the droppings are dry, the dust can move easily through air conditioning units and end up in the office canteen.
- E. coli. Lots of animals carry E. coli in their intestinal tracts. When birds peck on the manure of other animals in their habitat, the E. coli go right through the birds and the bird droppings can find their way into a food or water supply.
It is a relatively lo-fi, labour intensive job. You need to know what you are doing to get the proper results. Here is what you should look for when you ask a service company to clean the bird mess from your buildings.
- Is Bird Poo Hazardous Waste?
No. Guano should be disposed of under EWC classification code 20:01:99. That is, municipal wastes (household waste and similar commercial, industrial, and institutional wastes) including separately collected fractions.
We came up against so many waste disposal companies quoting so many different codes to us, we decided to confirm this with the British Pest Control Association and The Environment Agency.
Don’t accept massive quotes for the removal of bird poo. It shouldn’t go as hazardous waste.
It is hazardous when it is dry and puffing around your site, but that does not mean that when it has been dampened and cleaned, it should be disposed of as hazardous.
That being said, it is still offensive waste, and your contractor should still have the Waste Carriers License to hand and issue you a transfer note.
- Is your contractor sterilising the cleaned areas once the poo is cleared up?
You have read the nasty list above and the awful consequences of the pathogens. So, the logical question is, what is being done about these pathogens?
At Dealey we have specialist cleaning products which are designed specifically for bird poo and the nasties it contains. It is a bit more expensive but, we would rather not have a death on our hands for skimping on a few shiny pennies, thank you.
- What is being done to treat the cause, not the symptoms?
Again, it seems logical to ask, “why is there bird poo there and what can we do to stop it?”
The range of bird proofing and bird abatement solutions available to us are second to none. The list includes:
- Bird nets to stop roosting and nesting
- Bird ledge wires to stop perching and roosting
- Bird spikes (we use these sparingly because they are less than beautiful and, in some areas, less than safe)
- Handheld lasers for bird scaring
- Autonomic (robot) lasers for bird scaring
- Optical gel. This is the gel which birds don’t like the look of. Some people claim that it makes the building look like it is on fire to birds but I’m not sure anyone really knows. If you roll a gym ball onto a lake full of ducks, you get the same effect. It is something about the weird shininess of the plastic they don’t like. Anyway, a dish of optical gel every few feet and a top-up every few years keeps birds away. That was quite the tangent.
- Rehoming (we have a good few charities we can call on, they like our last cause lethal attitude)
- Drones for bird removal
- Audio devices (sound scaring for birds needs to be used sparingly, strategically, and part of an overall bird control programme. DO NOT let anyone ever sell you an audio scaring device on its own)
- Architectural alterations
- Amphibious scarers for waterfowl
- Nest removal
- Even an egg removal robot
Our seriously geeky bird control technicians can pick from this list to make you a bird control plan which will make bird poo on your business a thing of the past.
- Is your company qualified?
Qualifications for bird poo cleaning? You heard me!
Access equipment, high access rope work, man safes and ladder work all need the relevant qualifications. You can’t just get a ratcatcher with a broom to shimmy up a ladder. Check those certificates.
- Are they following up with health protection measures?
The bird poo may be gone but how recently has your air conditioning and air filtration systems been serviced? We can arrange this for you. It’s a necessary check at the end of each guano clearance because, while the poo may be gone, the germs can still be lurking in your air supply.
Those are our five recommendations if you are looking to have some bird excrement cleaned up from your business.
Get in touch using the button below if your contractor is not supplying these, we can help.