The Westgate Arcade was built in the mid-1930s to provide a vital link between Cumbergate and Westgate in Peterborough and was the city’s first indoor arcade. Much has changed since that Charleston era, yet the historic Westgate Arcade with its independent and boutique shops is still an integral part of Peterborough’s heritage.
Over time the arcade had attracted the attentions of feral pigeons as it offered shelter from the elements and a potential source of food to them. This had led to pigeon guano (pigeon poo) spoiling the shop fronts and fouling on the floors. This not only looked unsightly but was also a potential slip hazard for shop employees and customers. The pigeons were roosting on the ledges above the shop fronts. Not only was this noisy, messy and unsightly but the detritus and nests were a breeding ground for diseases such as Ornithosis, E.Coli and Salmonella and flying and biting insects, such as bird mites, textile beetles and fleas.
Rentokil AviGo non-toxic bird proofing gel was the perfect solution to the initial signs of a bird infestation. The gel is made of food grade ingredients and is safe to use on any structure with no drilling required, which means no damage to the treated areas. AviGo works by encouraging birds to move on by causing temporary irritation, making it uncomfortable for them to remain in the area that has been treated. The gel creates an intense sensory reaction that is strong enough to overcome the homing instincts of the pigeons, reducing the risks of them returning to established roosting areas.
In contrast to more traditional bird control measures such as bird spikes and bird wire, AviGo cannot be seen from street level, creating a virtually invisible barrier. Any type of structure can be treated with the gel; including heritage or listed buildings, statues and signage.
AviGo was applied to the leading edges above the Westgate Arcade shop fronts. This then reduced the pigeon population in the vicinity by around 80%. With the reduction of the number of pigeons the arcade was then able to proceed with a refurbishment, which included the installation of a new lighting scheme which utilises low energy and LED lighting, giving the arcade a softer ambience whilst also reducing its environmental impact. When the refurbishment was completed the AviGo proofing gel was reapplied to the ledges above the shop fronts. Bird netting was also installed to the troughs which were out of view to the arcade customers to complete the bird proofing measures.
Matthew Keane, Site Manager commented: “The aesthetics of the arcade are important to us, which is a benefit of using AviGo – the arcade still looks original and the customers cannot see the bird proofing measures which have been implemented.”