The hard winter may have killed off my Yucca’s but the rest of the garden has flourished. Shade is a double edged sword, for it brings respite from the heat but brings birds who like to perch and ‘process’.
This weekend I was grateful for the welcome shade the trees in my garden offered. The sun was out in its full glory – a rare occasion which was celebrated by chiselling bird poop off the BBQ. Beneath the cover lay rodent droppings amongst the charcoal, some snail shells and a great deal of cobwebs underneath. A spritz of bleach and a blast of disinfecting heat and the BBQ was ready for its first sausage.
Next, the garden needed to be prepared for the sun-worshipping guests. The table and chairs were misted in a cloud of anti-bacterial vapour and scrubbed of all kind of vile excrement and debris.
The children’s play tents were not so fortunate. A bird had emptied its bowels and both were covered in gunk. My two year old daughter likes to touch and taste.
Bird poo, which according to DEFRA, can contain lots of nasty diseases such
as salmonellosis and pseudo-tuberculosis. Their faeces provide an ideal environment for the growth of the organisms causing such diseases as histoplasmosis, aspergillosis, cryptococcis and listeriosis. Although the risk of infection may be relatively low, the diseases are severe and may be life threatening. I certainly don’t want to risk my kids health over a bird poo covered play tent, so off to the tip it must depart.
Last year the bird poo situation got so bad the steps to the garden were slippery with guano and my washing was often splattered with poo. The problem was the encroaching ash trees hanging over the garden, providing an irresistible resting place for wood pigeons and collared doves to deposit their gluttonous waste on victims below.
Not longer wanting to be on the receiving end of a pigeon’s good luck I called the experts.
The solution was to compromise on shade. Rentokil provide wiring and netting to deter birds from settling on ledges above al fresco restaurants and entrances. Move the birds – move the problem! I decided to take away the perches being used for a bird version of a comfort break and pruned back the limbs which overhung the garden. It took six months to get the approval and half the village had no electricity for eight hours – the power had to be cut off because the trees were too close to the electricity cables for comfort.
My shade may have been reduced but my garden looks far cooler without the bird droppings.