Bird-proofing Churches, Priories, Cathedrals and Historic Buildings

Bird damage is a real problem for many historic buildings and churches in the UK – it’s always better to prevent the problem by bird-proofing than let the problem come home to roost!

Our client approached us complaining crows were picking up loose stones from their roof and dropping them at height. Their roof had sections of loose pebbles, which helped with the drainage of rainwater. The stones were dropped onto skylights and glass ceilings causing damage. There was also the concern that the stones would be dropped on people below.

Bird Pest Problems:

  • Bird droppings are unsightly:
    There’s nothing that says neglected more than the site of a building covered in filthy bird droppings – it puts everyone off and looks just plain horrible. It’s not just buildings that feral birds target; they’ll happily mess up visitor cars, sculptures, picnic areas, pavements, and if you’re really unlucky people walking below them.
  • A health hazard:
    There are many transmittable diseases and parasites that can be carried in the bird poop; some are potentially fatal – recently two patients died at an English hospital after they inhaled spores of the Cryptococcus fungus in bird dropping dust.

There are over 60 transmittable diseases and parasites carried by feral birds including Salmonellosis, Candidiasis, e.Coli, Cryptococcus and ticks that themselves carry many serious diseases. Most bird infections are relatively mild and have no symptoms, or cause mild flu-like illness. But in certain cases, the infections can be very serious leading to meningitis, fever, pneumonia and as previously mentioned, death.

Note: This is a real problem for contractors like electricians, roofers and scaffolders who have to enter into confined loft spaces in historic buildings that birds frequent; their dried up droppings form toxic dust whose particles are easily breathed in.

  • They cause property damage:
    Bird droppings are highly corrosive, and as a result can cause serious damage to buildings, including metal surfaces, painted surfaces and even concrete. This is due to the fact that dried bird excrement turns into salts and ammonia, in damp, humid conditions or mixed with rainwater a chemical reaction occurs that causes corrosion.
  • Increased risk of structural damage:
    Birds can and have been known to cause major structural damage to buildings just by pecking at roofs and gutters. If the birds interfere with electrical cables a short circuit could lead to a risk of fire.

How to prevent birds becoming a problem in your historic building:

Obviously, prevention is better than cure; there’s a lot that can be done to prevent birds entering and damaging your church, priory or cathedral. Unlike modern buildings, historic buildings pose their own set of problems as they weren’t subject to modern building codes. Don’t worry, Microbee has the experience and expertise to deal with any eventuality.

At Microbee environmental we know the best results are achieved using a combination of humane, bird-friendly technologies and an eco-friendly attention to detail. These include:

• Bird spikes
• Netting
• Gutter spikes and posts
• Anti-perching wire
• Visual scares – ( see Agrilaser )
• Sonic & ultrasonic devices in specific cases

Microbee discourages the use of harmful chemical pesticides and poisons. They are illegal, inhumane and can put other non-pest birds, domestic animals and people at risk of poisoning.

Areas we cover to control bird pests:

The MICROBEE bird control team covers churches, cathedrals and other historic buildings and monuments throughout London and the South West of England. We can go further afield on request.

If you have pigeons, parakeets, crows or other birds that are causing your building a problem please contact the MICROBEE bird team on 0208 8540 9968 during office hours, or alternatively use the contact form