My relationship with birds is completely two-sided. On the one hand you have the odious pigeons and seagulls……and on the other hand you have majestic red kites, adorable red robins, beautiful owls, the colourful blue tit – I think you can easily guess, which I prefer.
I affectionately refer to pigeons as “rats of the sky” and seagulls as “dinosaurs of the sky”. Apart from their appearance (which I will not linger on, not wishing to offend any pigeon or seagull lovers), they can be a classic pest, in every sense of the word. Whether they are just sweeping down to steal your chips or defouling your patio, which took you weeks of hard work to finish (mentioned in a previous blog on bird control) I just wish they would fly off elsewhere.
Therefore, I would feel no pangs of guilt in employing bird control measures to prevent them nesting or roosting on my property. Thankfully we mostly just have to deal with pigeons making a nuisance of themselves in our garden. Our friends, however, who live in Bath, have to contend with seagulls too.
A lot of people may not agree with my views on pigeons and seagulls, which is fine – each to their own. But there are certain things to bear in mind, if you do come into regular contact with these birds or have the misfortune of being “marked” by their mess (never happened to me before and I don’t believe people who say it is a sign of good luck!).
Pigeons can spread diseases such as Ornithosis and Salmonella and if you do allow them to nest on your property it could potentially encourage secondary insect infestation – then you may have another pest problem to deal with.
It disappoints me that any mention of disease is left to the end of a post about pest control. Instead you seem more concerned about killing living animals based upon whether or not you find them pleasing to the eye – surely this isn’t official Rentokil policy?
All I ask is that you swap birds for humans in this blog post – then you might be able to realise how ridiculous it is to place a value judgement on a living creature based upon whether or not it is ‘adorable’ or ‘colourful’.
This is completely and utterly shocking. Has this blog even been seen by anybody senior at Rentokil? If it had, it surely would have been removed. To make these horrific comments based upon whether the bird excretes on your patio, your car or your shoulder or whether you dislike their appearance is barbaric and cruel
These birds are sentient creatures. I implore you to imagine a world where we might be targeted due to our appearance or certain natural behaviours….can you do that for me?
Rentokil deal with pest control issues when there’s a health and safety risk and in the bird world this is largely seagulls and pigeons.
I have a love-hate relationship with pigeons. Hailing from oop North my grandpa and lots of his fellow veterans in the village kept pigeons. From a young age I remember going to the pigeon club and awaiting with barely containable excitement the arrival of the first pigeon back from from France. Grandpa’s mantlepiece groaned with tropies. I was proud of his pigeons. I loved the way they they landed on my grandpa’s hand and nuzzled him. The way they cooed in their shed. When I got older I left the clean, green hills of Derbyshire for London and encountered nasty, dirty, pooing pigeons. Vile, disease ridden things with dirty feathers. They must know I’m a secret pigeon lover because if I’m within 100 feet of them they pass on their yucky good luck. Unfortunately most people have only encountered city pigeons and may never know the pleasures and social aspect of keeping racing pigeons.
I can’t agree more with Ross. Pigeons and gulls (note the correct term – they rarely spend time ‘at sea’ hence why, as your piece points out, there are some in Bath!) are fantastic birds to watch.
Assuming that because wildlife is where you don’t want it to be means that it’s a pest is wrong. And as for complaining about them fouling the patio, humans quite happily foul inland waterways and seas where many birds might fish.
I find the tone of this post slightly disturbing. I remain to be convinced by the health aspects of having pigeons nearby, however I am willing to accept the need for control – what I don’t accept is the sheer pleasure that seems to be taken at the killing of any creature. If needs be then control is an option, but it should be humane and the glorification of killing should never take place.
We have created a problem for ourselves by filling these birds with chips and pastries, thus encouraging them to gather and create disturbance and mess. That is OUR fault not the bird’s.
Though the risk of contracting a disease from a pigeon is low, feral pigeons and their consequential droppings are a health risk, particularly if you have an open wound, consume it (tip: never touch the poo on park bench then scoff your sandwiches) or have regular contact with birds. Another unpleasant side affect of seagulls and birds is their proliferation of poo. It’s extraordinarily slippery in wet weather which is why we work closely with local councils, government and customers to manage bird control through the use of netting and spikes. Next time you’re in town look up – you’ll see lots of spikes above shops and on office buildings. This deters birds from landing on a favoured spot, particularly important for those customers who have an outdoor cafe, shop or office entrance beneath a ledge popular with the local pigeon crowd.
Thanks for all your interest and feedback on this blog and I’ll research the area further and blog about it soon.