I took a trip with a technician to a well-known shopping mall. Much to my chagrin we were not there to browse the new autumn/winter collections but had been dispatched on company business.
We glided through the sleek air-conditioned shopping mall and entered the store which had called us for help. After introducing ourselves we were ushered to the back of the shop and to the loading area. I glanced at my shoes, which were new; the area was daubed with guano. A pigeon flew over my head, narrowly missing my hair, and perched just above the entrance.
We had been called in to sort out the mess a pair of nesting pigeons and their numerous off-spring had created. The store staff were getting tired of playing Russian roulette with the ever-pooing pigeons preying above their heads every time they wanted to unload the lorries. All sorts of toxic bacteria such as histoplasmosis, aspergillosis, cryptococcis and listeriosis can lurk in pigeon poo and the mall owners really don’t want that trodden over their gleaming floors. Clearly there was a need for bird control.
Anti-bird spikes had been installed above the entrance but the fiercely territorial pigeons had pieced together a sloppy nest constructed from packaging and wedged it behind the spikes close to an air conditioning unit which was blowing out a toasty stream of hot air. Lucky pigeons.
An empty crisp packet rustled past. Looks like the pigeons had room service too in their five star pigeon hotel.
Part of the solution was to educate the staff to take their litter with them and dispose of it responsibly. No food, no pigeons. The spikes would have to come down and an alternative bird control solution installed such as bird scaring or wiring which would stop them from gaining access to their vantage points on the pipes.
In a few days the pigeon hotel would be closed down and the back of the store would look just as clean as the front.