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Questions and Answers

What is the difference between pest control and bird control?

Pest control and bird control are two distinct types of services that are often used to manage different types of pests and wildlife. While both services are designed to help control and manage unwanted animals, they are not interchangeable, and each has its own specific purpose and methods.

Pest control refers to the management and elimination of pests, which can include insects, rodents, and other small animals that can cause damage to property or pose a threat to human health. Pest control services typically use a variety of methods to eliminate pests, such as baiting, trapping, and chemical treatments.

Bird control is specifically designed to manage and deter birds, which can cause damage to property and pose a threat to human health in certain situations. Bird control services typically use a range of methods to manage birds, such as Bird abatement falconry, bird proofing, and bird deterrents.

What is the difference in controlling a pest and controlling a pest bird in law?

The control of pests is required in law and allowing pests to affect others can lead to sanctions and fines. All birds in the UK are protected and are legal not a pest; this means no person has a legal duty to control bird numbers. However, the mess they make can lead to prosecution if it’s found to cause safety or health issues.

Why do companies say pest bird control if birds are not a pest?

We use public perception and the dictionaries definition of a pest which is any animal or plant which harms humans, their food or living environment. 

Why do pest control companies do/or offer bird control?

In 2018 the licensing requirements had a big overhale making the regulations much tighter and the licensing requirements much tougher, Unfortunately, some pest controllers may not be aware of the changes and the legal requirements and regulations for bird control, or the specialized knowledge and expertise required to carry out bird control activities safely and humanely. Many pest control companies still offer some sort of bird control to try and hold face with their clients and to stop other pest control companies coming on-site that could take a lucrative contract from them.

How can I tell if a company has the required knowledge and acting in our best interest, while controlling birds?

Sadly, there are no formal licenses needed in the UK to carry out bird control, this means many companies can offer substandard and illegal methods to unknowing clients. Even companies that you think you can trust. The British pest control association, provide training and exams in bird control to its members so if using a member of the BPCA ask them for their Bird management certificate. The BPCA at the time of writing this are the only association to offer this. Professional bird control companies will other multiple solutions for bird control, not just offer to shoot or trap them. Ask for reports of methods to be used and their results to keep on record. Qualifications such as RSPH in pest control or just being a member of NPTA or BPCA does not mean they are professional bird controllers.

By setting a clear agreement in place with the bird controllers that outlines the scope of the work, the methods that will be used, and the legal requirements that must be met. The agreement should also include details about the licenses that are required, as well as any other legal requirements like insurances.

If you hire someone to carry out bird control on your behalf in the UK, it is your responsibility to ensure that the control measures are carried out legally and in compliance with the law. This means that you should ensure that the person you hire has the necessary licenses to carry out bird control activities, and that they comply with all legal requirements and regulations.  

you can reference the general licenses issued by natural England. you and your bird control company are liable to an unlimited fine and a possible jail sentence if your contractor breaks the law.  

What methods and services do you offer for bird control?

bird control measures depend on the species of bird and the specific circumstances of the problem. A licensed and qualified bird control professional will assess the situation and develop a tailored plan that is safe, effective, and humane. Take a look at our website to see the different dispersal methods and proofing solutions we have to offer or contact us for a consultation.

How do you train your birds to be effective? 

We use two types of birds in our bird abatement falconry service Falcons and hawks.

Our Falcons are trained to hunt a piece of equipment called a lure; this is swung around in a circular motion when the falcons reaches the desired height which then sees the falcon dive/stoop to the lure emulate a hunting bird of prey. In wild falcons once they have caught their prey they will leave the area and rest for a couple of days and they will normally hunt in a different location. However, ours can go back to work within minutes if needed enforcing it really is not a safe place to be. 

Hawks in bird control is more about the handler having the knowledge and recognize a safe location to release the hawk so nothing gets killed while at the same time allowing the hawk to think it stands a chance of catching the bird. When done correctly there is little chance of the hawk catching as they are quite slow compared to other birds (don’t tell the other birds that).

Why do you train your birds not to hunt? 

Having birds of prey hunting for control purposes is never good.

Bad PR should a pest bird be killed in front of the public.

Possibly a breach of the 1981wildlife and countryside act

Technician spending more time off-site tracking down his falcon as they can end up miles away when chasing a bird.

Hawks if they kill usually end up in hard-to-reach areas like on the roof.

If birds of prey bulk feed, they become unresponsive.

Trained abatement birds tend to hold to the sites being worked making it easier to keep pest birds away.

With the birds having a controlled amount of food, they can continue working until the end of the visit if any pest birds make themselves present.

Why don't Buzzards scare the pest birds away?

Birds like pigeons and gulls are agile and very fast compared to a buzzard. So buzzards don’t bother exerting the energy.

We have wild peregrines nesting why do we have pest birds? 

Peregrines very rarely hunt close to their nesting site; this is so the young of the peregrines have live prey to practise catching for a few weeks before they fledge. Outside the breeding season, Peregrines can travel thousands of miles and don't hold to any given location for more than a couple of weeks at a time. Hence, the threat only lasts a short time. If a peregrine catches a pigeon, it is likely not to hunt again for a few days after.

Why does flying your trained birds of prey work at scaring pest bird's when they don't find wild birds of prey scary enough to find somewhere else?

To answer this, we must look at wild birds of prey first. In the UK there are only a few birds able to catch pigeons, gulls, and members of the crow family. Most don't live in urban environments, so they will never be a threat. That only leaves the sparrow hawk, Buzzards, and peregrine falcon.

Sparrow hawks are small birds and mainly hunt song/garden they are no threat to a gull or corvid, if they catch a pigeon, they are unlikely to feed for a few days and due to it usually eating smaller birds is not likely to hunt pigeons for quite some time. Hence, the threat to the local population of pest birds is low.

Buzzards are unlikely to catch birds as they are not agile or fast enough their feet are relatively small, so gripping a bird is difficult as well. 

Peregrine’s falcons are a wandering bird, and their name means just that and can travel thousands of miles a year. They are not a real threat for very long on a given population, they only hold to a given location during the breeding season and Peregrines tend not to hunt near to their nesting site, as they like to leave any birds like pigeons for the young to practise on before fledging.

So, answering this question why does flying a bird of prey work. When we start a contract we provide a number of visits to emulate our bird of prey has set up a territory in your area. And your site is the hunting grounds. When we fly our birds the targeted pest birds feel they are being hunted with the use of the lures, or our casting of the hawk and with its re-call. Over time the targeted birds which would normally get a let up from wild birds become to stressed and start to leave for safer grounds.

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