A bird infestation in a warehouse can cause significant problems for business owners and manufacturers. Birds can tear into and damage products and their droppings and feathers are unsanitary and can spread parasites. Bird feces are also highly acidic, and over time, they’ll wear away at metal constructions, shelves, and equipment, causing them to rust prematurely.
Here are a few essential methods for removing and discouraging resident birds:
- Identify and seal openings and doorways where birds enter.
- Install bird netting to cover openings.
- Install bird deterrent spikes.
- Reduce nesting areas.
- Use predator decoys to repel birds.
- Invest in a sonic bird repellent device.
- Hire a humane pest control company to remove birds.
While birds are only trying to live the best they can in our built-up living spaces, they can be annoying and potentially destructive. However, one may address the issue without resorting to harming these innocent creatures. In this article, we’ll dive into each of these methods for removing birds and help you to regain control of your warehouse.
1. Identify and Seal Openings and Doorways Where Birds Enter
The first step to removing birds from your warehouse is to locate entry points. Because birds are such small creatures, they are experts in finding small openings in your building. Their instincts drive them to find suitable nesting areas in caves and sheltered spaces.
Check for open doors in your warehouse. If you’re frequently loading and unloading merchandise from delivery trucks, make sure all external doors close behind each person. A two-layer door system may keep birds from flying straight into the building.
If you can’t install two doors per entry, consider using vinyl strip doors. These will allow warehouse employees to move merchandise in and out of the building quickly. The vinyl strips will swing closed after each employee, avoiding open doorways.
After identifying and sealing all doors, check for small openings in your roof or walls. Birds can easily enter the warehouse through open ventilation systems or rusted-out corners.
Depending on your warehouse materials, you can seal these holes by welding extra metal to the building or using drywall and siding. For a temporary fix, duct tape or caulk can close off entry points, but birds may be able to tear their way through eventually.
Always ensure that the birds are no longer nesting when you attempt this avenue of deterrence. Call a humane expert to relocate any fledglings professionally if you cannot wait until after nesting season. Always ensure that they place the relocated nests nearby so that the mother birds may access their young.
2. Install Bird Netting To Cover Openings
It may not be possible to seal your warehouse from the outdoors completely. You may need sufficient airflow to keep the building from getting too hot in warmer months. This problem is especially concerning for warehouses with no central heating or cooling.
The second option for reducing birds in your warehouse is to install special bird netting. Pinning bird nets to the ceiling will keep birds from nesting in the rafters. You can also try pinning the netting as a drop-ceiling to keep birds from accessing the merchandise below.
This Boknight Bird Netting (available on Amazon.com) would work perfectly for keeping birds away from warehouse stock and nesting areas. The one-inch (2.54 centimeters) square mesh is a perfect size for most avian pests like pigeons, common grackles, and starlings.
A potential downside of using bird netting is that birds may become trapped in the building. If you install bird netting, you may need to release birds from one side to keep them from dying inside the warehouse.
If the birds are nesting or have fledglings, inform your local humane society and relocate the nestlings compassionately and safely.
Bird netting is more effective when combined with one of the other tactics in this list. Netting will keep birds from accessing and nesting in certain areas, but it won’t always prevent them from entering the warehouse.
3. Install Bird Deterrent Spikes
Bird deterrent spikes can also help keep birds away from areas you don’t want them. Unlike nets, you won’t have to worry about birds getting trapped on the wrong side.
Use bird spikes to prioritize areas that need to be kept extra clean, such as the shelves above food stocks or medical supplies. Try placing spikes in the rafters and corners, near entry points, and on top of shelving units. You should also place spikes where you commonly find birds nesting or perching.
One way to determine where to put bird spikes is to look for bird droppings on the ground. If you find a lot of bird droppings in one area, birds are likely perching or nesting above them.
These stainless steel Valibe Bird Spikes (available on Amazon.com) cover up to 43 feet (13.1 meters) of the perching area. Bird deterrent spikes are extremely easy to install. They can easily screw into wood or glue onto smooth surfaces like metal.
The deterrent spikes won’t actually harm the birds. This humane aspect makes spikes better for the environment than some other solutions. Ideally, the birds will have nowhere comfortable to perch or nest in your warehouse, and they will want to seek shelter elsewhere.
4. Reduce Nesting Areas
Discover what species of birds you have and research their nesting season. While it may be unavoidable, it is best not to remove the birds during nesting season. This action can be unnecessarily cruel to the birds and damaging to the environment.
Destroying nests or killing birds will create havoc in your warehouse. This method is inhumane, and the birds will likely spend more time in the warehouse searching for their lost babies. In the end, killing is a lose-lose situation for all involved.
You’ll want to avoid just creating another problem with the odor of rotten eggs or bird corpses. Additionally, eggs and carcasses can create a biohazard with bacteria and parasites. This scenario is especially concerning for food supply warehouses.
Instead of trapping birds inside, try to get ahead of the curve. Block all of the building’s openings and install bird netting and spikes before the nesting season begins. Identify and cover areas in the rafters, walls, or shelves where birds might try to nest.
You shouldn’t try to remove the nests after the nesting season has already started. This method is cruel to the animals and won’t be very effective in deterring the birds in the future. Instead, make the warehouse unsuitable for birds before nesting season begins.
5. Use Predator Decoys To Repel Birds
After making the warehouse inaccessible and uncomfortable for nesting birds, you can also try to outsmart them with predator decoys. Researching the bird species and knowing their nesting season may also give you clues about their natural predators.
For most birds, predators include birds of prey such as owls, hawks, eagles, and falcons—purchase decoys like these three Hausse Scarecrow Fake Horned Owls (available on Amazon.com). Place them around your warehouse where they are in plain view.
Consider where a predator would naturally rest while hunting for prey. The tops of shelves and stairs handrails make great places for predator decoys. Birds coming into the warehouse will see the decoy owls and want to get away from them as quickly as possible.
Some predator decoys even come with flashing eyes or swiveling heads. These features make the decoys seem extra realistic and may make the decoy more effective against highly intelligent birds like common grackles.
You can also use predator call noisemakers to deter nuisance birds from your warehouse. If you don’t mind occasionally listening to the sound of hawks or owls throughout the day, these noisemakers will add another layer of defense against birds.
6. Invest in a Sonic Bird Repellent Device
Other solutions exist for invasive birds if you don’t want to listen to predator calls throughout your workday. Invest in a sonic bird repellent device. These devices emit a frequency of sound that is inaudible to humans but annoying to birds.
Depending on their age and other factors, humans can generally hear between 20 and 23,000Hz. Dogs can hear sounds at much higher frequencies than humans, which explains why dog whistles are silent for us, but they cause our dogs to bark and whine.
Sonic bird repellents work in the same way. Most birds hear sounds between 1,000 and 4,000Hz, but many can hear as high as 29,000Hz. Birds’ hearing is also more sensitive than humans, and they can distinguish sounds in loud areas.
Sonic bird repellent devices emit frequencies up to about 45,500 Hz. This frequency works like a dog whistle for birds and bats, driving them away from the area without harming them. These devices are also safe around humans, dogs, and cats.
Like this Abilly Solar Ultrasonic Defender (available on Amazon.com), some devices also have a flashing motion detection feature. Shiny, reflective surfaces and bright flashing flights also drive birds away.
7. Hire a Humane Pest Control Company To Remove Birds
The methods on this list are generally proven to be effective in getting rid of birds in a warehouse, barn, or storage shed. If all else fails, it may be time to call in the professionals.
Do your best to find a pest control company that offers kill-free and eco-friendly solutions for removing birds. This avenue is essential if you have an infestation during nesting season. Many states and counties have laws against disturbing birds during nesting season.
Humane pest control companies will follow many of the same steps listed above. They’ll attempt to locate and seal entry points and install bird deterrents to keep birds away from the building.
A professional pest control company may also be able to help you remove birds that are already trapped in the warehouse. Humane companies will capture birds alive and relocate them to wooded areas or bring them into wildlife shelters.
If you have to remove birds during their nesting season, hire a pest control company with experience moving baby birds. These companies will take baby birds and nests to safe containers just outside of the warehouse where the parents can still find them and feed them.
Common Bird Pest Species
Specific bird species usually plague warehouses, barns, and other open buildings. These birds tend to nest in enclosed areas and are comfortable living near humans.
Rock Doves (Pigeons)
Pigeons are easily identifiable by their grayish-blue coloring and distinct cooing song. These birds gather in large groups and quickly grow out of hand. Pigeons will live almost anywhere and often perch in rafters or ceiling beams.
Pigeons will feast on open trash, food, grains, or seeds left around the warehouse. Their droppings build up quickly, and pigeons carry many diseases, including toxoplasmosis and salmonella. They may also harbor fleas, lice, and ticks.
Pigeons may attempt to raise up to seven broods per year. If you must remove pigeon nests, it is best to do so between broods.
These birds are an invasive species from Mexico. They are recognizable from their sleek black feathers, long black beaks, and obnoxious screeches, and they are related to American crows and ravens but are much smaller.
Like crows, grackles are highly intelligent. If you’re storing food in your warehouse, they will not hesitate to rip into containers. They’re also attracted to trash and human food—Grackles nest in the spring for a period of about nine weeks.
European starlings are another invasive species introduced to North America in the 1890s. European starlings look similar to grackles but have white flecks all across their chest. They’ll go after growing fruits and vegetables and may also dig into the trash.
Starling droppings can corrode warehouse structures and equipment and carry infectious diseases like histoplasmosis. European starlings begin nesting in the early spring and typically have two broods per year. They will nest for a period of about five weeks per brood.
Because house sparrows are so small, they can easily invade warehouses and other buildings. They’re recognizable from their brownish-red feathers with white or gray stripes.
House sparrows generally won’t dig into food stocks, but their nests are messy and can quickly become a fire hazard. House sparrow nesting can also increase the presence of other pests, like venomous snakes.
House sparrows nest in the spring and summer months and may raise four broods per nesting season. Each brood will nest for about four weeks.
Business owners and warehouse managers should be well aware of the threat of birds as pests. Birds can quickly become a nuisance in open buildings. Their droppings are acidic and will damage the building structures and equipment over time.
By sealing entry points, making the warehouse inhabitable, and calling professionals if needed, you can regain control of your warehouse and protect your material investments. However, one should never forget that these creatures have a right to live, just as you do, and try first and foremost to do no harm.
- Louisiana State University: How Well Do Dogs and Other Animals Hear?
- Ornithology: The Hearing of Birds
- Earth Life: Bird Ears Explained: How Birds Hear
- The Spruce: 3 Birds That Are Considered Pest Birds
How To Keep Birds Off Your Pergola (and Avoid The Mess)
Are Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Safe for Birds?
Can a Bird Die From Eating a Poisoned Mouse?
Do Wind Chimes Help Keep Birds Away?
Why Do Birds Peck at Your House?
Birds peck at your house because they are either searching for food, attracting a mate, or establishing their territory. Smaller birds use the holes left by woodpeckers to make their nests, or they will peck your home themselves. You can deter them by using mesh or a flashy decoy.