These birds are regarded as the most important bird pests of the urban environment. Their significance will vary from country to country and other species will, from time to time, cause problems in towns and cities.
This is the number one urban pest bird throughout the world. Descended from birds which were originally domesticated for food, these birds have reverted to their wild state, but now live in close proximity to Man. Much loved by the general public, they are responsible for most of the bird-fouling of buildings and statues in towns and the transmission of bird diseases, such as ornithosis, to humans.
Scaring: As no distress call has yet been isolated, scaring with auditory or visual systems is rarely successful for long.
Proofing: Many systems are available, but great care must be taken with choice of bird proofing product for each part of the building. Bird netting with 50mm mesh is the most successful method.
Control: Can be a good option for removing specific individuals; large-scale culling is rarely successful for long and incurs very significant adverse public reaction. Removal of food and shelter will help.
This can be a major problem in certain localities and of no significance in others. The problem occurs when large numbers (can be tens of thousands) gather for night roosting. The noise, smell and extensive fouling caused by these congregations can be horrendous. Fungi associated with the dried guano can give rise to serious human disease problems.
Scaring: This species has a distress call, recordings of which can often be used successfully to prevent night roosting.
Proofing: Few systems are effective, due to the bird's small size and agility, with the exception of 28mm mesh bird netting.
Control: Not usually a practical option, due to the sheer numbers of birds often present in the flocks.
These large, aggressive seagulls are causing an increasingly significant problem due to their recent use of buildings as sites for breeding colonies. The noise, mess and smell associated with such sites can cause serious distress to those in the buildings concerned.
Scaring: This species has a distress call, but playing recordings of this back at the birds can have variable results.
Proofing: A number of heavy-duty systems is available, with bird netting using 100mm mesh being the most successful.
Control: Can be a good option for removing specific individuals; large-scale culling is rarely successful for long and incurs very significant adverse public reaction.
This is a major problem for the food industry, with populations becoming established inside warehouse and retail premises. These "flying mice" gain entry through very small holes and then damage and foul stored food. They are extremely difficult to deal with and are now linked in NZ with salmonellosis, which is causing widespread deaths in the sparrow population (2001) This is of great significance for our domestic animals and primary industries by placing stock at greater risk from secondary salmonella infection and from infection of contaminated stock feeds.
Scaring: No distress call has yet been isolated; scaring with auditory or visual systems is rarely successful for long.
Proofing: Few systems are effective, due to the bird's small size and agility, with the exception of 19mm mesh bird netting.
Control: Can be a good option for removing specific individuals; some methods require Special Licences e.g. to use avicides such as the narcotic Alphachloralose at high strength.
Other birds which can also be urban bird pests from time to time include the Black-Backed Gull (Larus dominicanus dominicanus), Welcome Swallows (Hirundo tahitica neoxena) Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), and Mynahs (Acridotheres tristis)
It is essential to check on the legal status of these birds before action.