Travel hubs are places where large numbers of people gather and where people are, pests will surely follow. Train stations in the south-west are no different.
With over 2.5 million passengers passing through Plymouth train station each year, the second busiest in Devon, management of the station concourse and platforms is a 24-hour, seven day a week task. A part of these ongoing activities is effective bird control at train stations, from principal stations such as Exeter and Plymouth to smaller branch lines from Penzance to Torquay through to Taunton.
Rats and rabbits are known to cause problems to the rail beds and embankments but at train stations, there is one issue that continually causes problems: nuisance birds like pigeons and seagulls.
Pigeons and Seagulls: What’s the Problem?
Pigeons and seagulls are not just an issue at train stations, neither are they an issue confined to coastal towns and cities.
Both species of bird have learnt to adapt to the habits of humans thus, a seagull rifling through a refuse bin in the hunt for food is much ‘easier’ than working to catch fish at sea. Seagulls are intelligent and will repeat actions that are beneficial to them.
The pigeon has also adapted, enjoying the shelter and ready food supply at train stations and other places, as they would their natural cliff habitat.
Bird control at train stations is essential from a health and safety point of view;
- Increasing numbers – pigeons and seagulls flock in large numbers. Doing nothing to prevent birds roosting and feeding at stations means that essentially, more birds gather.
- Droppings – fresh droppings on platforms present a slip hazard and with bird droppings also damaging to the façade of a building, the station building can soon begin to look unappealing to passengers.
What Does Effective Bird Control at Train Stations Look Like?
Birds are everywhere, all of the time and so, effective bird control can seem like a futile exercise. However, there are steps and actions that can be taken that reduce the number of birds roosting on or near the station concourse, as well as minimising the damage that they do.
Effective bird control is about prevention, rather than extermination;
- Investing in humane bird control methods includes humane bird spikes and netting, both of which prevent birds landing, roosting or nesting on station property.
- Management of rubbish on and around the train station is also an important part of controlling not just birds, but all pests, rats included. Regular emptying of bins, especially during busy periods minimises the access of birds to a food source, the main reason why seagulls and pigeons flock to train stations and other busy places.
There are other methods too from flying birds of prey to deter pigeons and other birds, commonly used at airports, to flying large objects such as weather balloons from roofs.
There is no one simple answer that magically rids a train station of pigeons, seagulls and other nuisance birds. Laying of poison, especially in such a busy area, is not recommended and so, ‘prevent and deter’ is the way forward – and with a professional pest control company creating bespoke solutions to bird control at train stations, the results are impressive! Contact us on 01752 929292 to see how we can help you.