Pest birds of many kinds can wreak havoc on food plant structures and facility environs. Even a single bird entering a food processing facility can result in a slew of issues, including failed audits, product contamination, plant shutdown, production halt, lost revenues, fines, structural damage, human health risks, and fire threats.
In most circumstances, a food processing company has a foolproof bird control plan in place; nevertheless, birds are almost usually an afterthought in most pest management programmers. I hear the same narrative over and over after evaluating and consulting several food plants: “I have a guy in the warehouse who can chase them away” or “are birds really a major deal?” and the list goes on. Birds are a major deal, and you should treat them seriously, despite what you may believe.
Methods of Bird Control
Your facility should have a bird control management strategy in place from the beginning. Unless your team has been adequately taught and has a bird management plan in place, you should not let bird problems to be addressed internally.
The Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects the majority of birds. Pigeons, sparrows, and starlings, on the other hand, are non-migratory birds and are not protected by the Act. Despite the fact that these three bird species are not protected, humane control methods are nonetheless required. If euthanasia is chosen as a control option, your bird control programmer must also follow the American Veterinary Medical Association (“AVMA”) Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. House Sparrows, Feral Pigeons, and Common Starlings are considered “Free-Ranging Wildlife” by the AVMA. And only certain methods of humane euthanasia are permitted for free-ranging wildlife.
Various restrictions addressing the relocation of birds/nests may also apply in addition to the aforementioned regulations. I also recommend double-checking with local and state agencies to make sure there aren’t any applicable local regulations. Bottom line: Don’t rely on sloppy internal procedures; a single blunder could result in significant financial penalties and fines.
First Line Defense for Bird Management Strategies
1.Immediately put an end to any bird feeding surrounding the site
Employees should not be allowed to feed birds as part of any bird control management scheme. Birds that have been accustomed to regular feeding will continue to return.
2.Remove any sources of standing water.
It is necessary to remove any standing or pooled water. As a result, regular roof inspections are required to ensure that drains are functioning properly.
Landscape irrigation should be regulated to avoid water puddling in places with little solar exposure.
3.Observe Proper Sanitation Procedures
When not in use, make sure the dumpster lids are closed.
Trash removal is done on a regular basis.
Spilled food must be cleaned up right away.
4.Entry Points Must Be Removed
5.Make a thorough inspection of the facility to confirm that all holes have been properly sealed.
6.Bumpers and doors in the truck bay
7.Exhaust vents are filtered adequately.
Based on the intensity of the bird pressure, the best bird management technique will be established. In most circumstances, you will only be able to apply bird exclusion measures if the bird pressure is high (birds have nested). Bird deterrence measures can be utilized if the bird pressure is modest to moderate (birds have not nested). This is a crucial distinction to make. Bird exclusion is physically altering the environment in order to permanently keep problem birds control.
Planning and awareness are the most effective preventative strategies. Before birds get close to or inside the facility, conduct a bird audit and design a bird management plan. The most important thing is to act fast after an incident occurs. When I’m called in to consult or service a food plant, I frequently discover that the birds got into the facility and no one knew what to do, so the birds stayed for an extended amount of time, increasing the risk of exposure. When a bird is unfamiliar with its surroundings, it is considerably easier to remove it. Removing birds from a facility with a long-standing bird problem, on the other hand, is far more challenging.
Who is in charge of the bird management plan once you have one? Is it possible to determine and define thresholds for different regions of the facility? For instance, what about a zero-threshold in industrial areas? The location and sensitivity of the indicated site will be used to determine the threshold values. What efforts will be done to get rid of the bird? What is the duration of each step? To remain ahead of bird concerns, these questions must be answered and developed.
As many favorable conditions as feasible should be eliminated. The longer a favorable condition exists, the more likely it is that birds, as well as other wildlife or rodents, will be drawn to the site and discover a way into the facility.