Keeping pest birds at bay is a very real problem for farmers especially coming up to harvest time. As the fruit matures the potential harvest is at risk of being destroyed or at least partially ruined. This impacts the farmer’s profit margin in the long run. Fruit that ripens early is at risk when other sources of food are scarce, and again as the fruit ripens and changes colour. It is believed that the birds are attracted to the changing colours of the fruit.

Birds are notoriously difficult to keep away from crops and once a food source has been identified, they will return again and again. So if the crops are out in the open as opposed to under cover the farmer has a choice to either accept the loss or reduce the damage by implementing a bird control solution.

The size of the bird has a direct result on the extent of damage done to the fruit. Crows leave deep triangular peck marks in the fruit and will also tackle larger fruit. The damage done to the individual fruit can be extensive. Smaller birds are more likely to feed on fruit like berries and grapes. While the damage to the individual fruit can be less extensive than the larger birds, the smaller birds like starlings tend to move in flocks often resulting in greater overall damage.

Studies show greater bird damage rates occur on the edges of the fruit crop block. While some farms are fortunate to have some form of natural predation like raptors and hawks, their presence is usually not enough to deter birds from damaging the crops.
Bird damage to crops is not necessarily random as the size of the orchard and its location has a direct effect on the amount of damage done by birds. Where farms are located next to each other the damage is noticeably less towards the centre and on the boundaries with the neighbouring farm. Orchards and vineyards that are close to town suffer the most from birds like robins and starlings that are prolific residents in urban areas.
Overall the damage will be deeper and more extensive for smaller orchards closer to residential areas.


Managing Crop Damage with Eagle Eye Bird Control – A Client’s Testimonial

Eagle Eye in the Vineyards - Amani wines

"The grape harvest is one of the most important moments in the creation of a great wine. Throughout the year we’ve done our absolute best to assure that the grapes are bursting with flavour and ready for top quality wine.

The only problem is that the birds also love the grapes. Birds can be one of the most destructive and costly pests to vineyards, especially for small vineyards. Crop value and percentage of crop damage value will determine the economics of bird control methods.

Many bird species will eat grapes. Birds that peck or tear berries generally cause the worst damage as they don’t take the whole berry. Piercing or tearing berry skins exposes the whole bunch to infestation of disease. Birds that pluck whole berries are potentially the least damaging but can also take large quantities of fruit if they are in sufficient numbers.
One of the final steps in looking after the grapes prior to harvest is trying to prevent the birds from feasting on the grapes. We use the Eagle Eye bird scarer. It is an optical bird scarer that harmlessly deters birds from unwanted areas by making use of light beams reflected from direct sunlight or artificial light. The reflective pyramid rotates via an electric motor, sending the beams around in a menacing pattern. The light spectrum reflected back by the Eagle Eye disorients birds in flight by limiting their vision significantly. This causes the bird to deviate in flight and fly to another destination.

The Eagle Eyes have made a huge difference for Amani last year. At the beginning of the ripening, we realized there were close to ten times as many birds around than ever before. We had bought three Eagle Eyes last year and they were up but, the uncovered areas were being savagely attacked. We bought five more and then added the ultrasonic and predator audible devices to augment and our damage was very limited. Had we done nothing we would have lost up to ten percent of our crop! At the end of the day, we lost less than one percent."

Incorporating bird proofing early into the design-stage of the building can save clients the future headache of having to spend a fortune to eradicate a bird infestation.

Ensuring that the building is kept pest bird free shows forward thinking on the part of the Architect. Although Eagle Eye Bird Control products are easy to fit and install and do not require special design consideration in the planning stage, it is still more efficient to have them installed early in the life of the building. Prevention is better than the cure and a bird infestation can cause massive damage and be hazardous to the health.


When considering the design for the building it is assumed that all the health and safety issues have been covered such as fire exits, extinguishers, structural integrity, security, etc. The problem is that once the building has been ”completed” it is left to fend for itself and it doesn’t take a few pigeons long to exploit a freshly built roosting place. Building maintenance should not be left to clean up the mess of an easy to prevent oversight.


The Eagle Eye units and FlashFlags themselves look more like something that you would expect to see on a high structure to warn low flying planes that there is an obstacle in their path. Seen flashing in the sun they attract attention but their purpose is seldom devised by most passers-by and assumed to be an integral part of the design. In other words they “fit in” with the architecture of the building and don’t look ugly or out of place.


The Nightmare Sound System is installed inside the building and lies in wait to scare off intruding pest birds that seek to gain access. The sound is in the high frequencies and is largely inaudible to most ears. If installed in ceilings, hangers and warehouses the sounds emitted are only heard by terrified birds desperately trying to exit the building in the fastest way possible!


Bird Spikes are effective for preventing pest birds from landing on ledges, roof peaks, beams, gutters, etc. These can look unsightly but our Stainless Steel Bird spikes are less visible and more hard-wearing than plastic versions.


Used in conjunction they ensure that a building has an effective bird control solution that keeps a building pest bird free.

Bird control for the home and business is much more than just keeping some stray pigeons from landing on the window ledge or treating the roof as the local hangout. The birds themselves are not just random visitors taking a break from flying around all day. They are actually regular visitors or looking for a decent place to roost. Birds are by nature habitual in their behaviour so once you have some birds that have decided that this is their spot, it is difficult to convince them to move on to find some other lodgings.

When you have a pest birds on your property the problems start piling up - faeces, for example. The bird faeces are not only unsightly but also mildly corrosive. The faeces can eat into waterproofing on roofs such as tar-based surfaces and will ultimately shorten the expected life span of building structures. Left unchecked the faeces builds up and can compound any damage caused to the building. There have been reports of roofs, already heavy with bird faeces, collapsing after heavy rainfalls (the bird poo absorbed the water and got really heavy).
Once the birds are inside the roof the potential problems increase. Notwithstanding the damage caused to the roof, ventilator and other forced entry points, the resulting build-up of faeces and nesting materials are a fire and health hazard. Once again ceilings have been known to collapse from a sustained bird infestation problem.

Bird Control is an active process requiring constant attention unless you use Eagle Eye Bird Control products.
Eagle Eye Bird Control manufacture and sell a range of bird control products that are low maintenance and eco-friendly. But in order to increase their effectiveness a bit of housekeeping needs to be done.

Active bird control prevention tips

Remove or secure any food and water sources
Easy access to water and food makes your building a pest bird target. So keep the rubbish under wraps and make sure gutters allow water to drain.
Assess the building to determine whether there is easy access to suitable roosting. Ledges and any easy to access undercover areas that offer some weather protection will be 

Bird proof the building
Look for access points such as cracks in tiles, open loft windows, ventilation systems and structural damage that will allow birds to get into the roof. Once a bird is inside the building the bird faeces can wreak havoc on manufacturing and food processing plants.

Install bird control products
Bird spikes – keep the birds from landing on the ledges and eaves. This is usually the bird’s first access to the building to look for suitable roosting spots so if you can keep them off then there is less chance of an infestation.
Eagle Eye Units – These units are designed to reflect light that irritates the birds and drives them away.
Sound System – install this in the attic or loft for getting rid of birds that have gained access to the inside of the building.
Bird Breezers – Similar to the Eagle Eye this creates a flash of reflected light that the birds perceive as a danger and so will move away. The slightest breeze will keep the Bird Breezers moving and they are perfect for urban neighbourhoods as the flash is less intense but still highly effective deployed against pest birds.

 

 

 

Q. What happens in cloudy weather?
A. The Eagle Eye only works while sunlight or artificial light is reflected from the surface; however, once their pattern is broken and they find another roosting spot, they will not easily return. 

Q. Will the birds get used to it?
A. Birds will get used to most artificial frightening devices, but not the Eagle Eye. The Eagle Eye is specially developed to focus on the eye of the bird (The most sensitive part of the bird). Birds may discover the blind spots and gain access through that, but in general they will not get used to the Eagle Eye. The longer the Eagle Eye system is in place, the better it works.

Q. Do the Units need cleaning?
A. Yes. It works by reflecting a certain light spectrum from the sun or artificial light back to the bird. If the unit is dirty, this will hamper the working of the Eagle Eye.

Q. What is the expected lifespan of a unit?
A. Each Eagle Eye unit is guaranteed for a period of 24 months, but under normal conditions a life expectancy of five years is possible given that its serviced regularly. Service Agreements are available from most of our agents.

Q. Are the beams harmfull to humans and other animals?
A. No. They can be irritating if the reflection is into a window, but it is not harmfull. Please consider neighbours before installing the Eagle Eye system. Shields can also be added to the units to block flashes into specific directions.


Q. Will it chase away all of the birds?
A. No. We do not claim that the Eagle Eye will chase away all of the birds. There are always some stubborn persistent birds that refuse to give up its favorite roosting spot. They can only be removed through a culling program or by spiking their roosting/ nesting spots. Up to 80% reduction in bird infestation can be expected.

Q. What happens if the Eagle Eye gets struck by lightning?
A. It will disintegrate!! Call your insurance broker!!

Q. How long will a normal car battery last if that is the power source?
A. Up to two months.

Q. Can more than one Eagle Eye work off 1 solar panel?
A. It is advised that only one Eagle Eye unit is connected to a 10watt solar panel.

Q. How long before the birds will return if a unit breaks?
A. Once the bird has moved to another roosting spot, it will not easily return because his pattern has been broken. It may take two to three weeks before they will start to return.

Q. Does it work for all bird kinds?
A. No. We are still testing on various bird species but we have found that it has no affect on most of the predator birds. It only affects the birds while they are in flight therefore, chicken and ostrich are safe!!

Q. How do I know how many units I will need for my building?
A. Follow the placement guidelines on our website. 
Photos of your building or problem areas can be sent to our e-mail address and we will gladly assist you.
Contact your local agent.
If you need a professional consultant to visit you, contact our office via e-mail and we will set up a meeting.

When it comes to bird proofing people are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to keep those pesky birds from making a mess, damaging property and disturbing the peace. We can blissfully go through a day without noticing a problem but as soon as we focus on something it really begins to gnaw on the vitals. Like those pigeons making a racket outside the bedroom window far too early on a Saturday morning!

When you become aware of a problem then possible solutions begin to take shape but sometimes these ‘solutions’ are not all they are cracked up to be.

Chickens and swords
A friend was house sitting on a plot and had quite a raucous evening, as some do when they are supposed to be looking after another person’s prized possessions. Early the next day, through foggy dreams and music deafened ears, he heard a Rooster getting busy to greet the morning. The sun rise was a long way off which didn’t faze the bird at all, it appeared to be quite content to scratch at the roof, clear its’ throat and do a few trial runs, then the rooster finally got stuck into (as in persistent and loud crowing) the ritual of welcoming the day.
This was just too much for his poor girlfriend who in a very lady like way said “you better sort that bird out right now or I will make your life unbelievably miserable!” Galvanised by this motivating pep talk he sprang out of bed, steadied himself by the desk until gravity was once again restored and dashed out to face this inconsiderate fowl. There was much clapping of hands, waving arms and swearing loudly! Apparently the bird had a good self-image and remained on course with its morning ritual.
Incited by this lack of reaction and shouts from the bedroom of “hey you lightweight, what are you doing out there?” he ran back inside and looked around for a suitable bird scaring device which happened to be a pair of ceremonial swords hung over the fireplace. So as the sun came up it was greeted not by a well-practiced cock-a-doodle-doo but by a poor rooster being chased around the plot by a half-naked sword-wielding, foul-mouthed, red-eyed madman!

Bridges and Cannons
In Portland the Department of Transportation has set up air cannons to scare away birds that come to roost each year on the I-5 Bridge. This is fine for scaring birds but the residents must feel like they are living in a war zone. In fact the Department of Transportation has since scaled down on the amount of cannons placed on the bridge.

Hawks on a string
The Molson Canadian Amphitheatre is an open air venue for summer concerts, and nothing spoils the evening like a pack of sea-gulls patrolling the airspace waiting to strike and fly away with a claw full of hostage french fries or to drop a bomb! So a hawk named Bitchy was pressed into service to fly some counter defence manoeuvres above the concert grounds.

Foil hanging out to dry
A blogger writing about building a cabin in the wilderness noticed that when he hung wine box inner sacks on the line to dry out on a clothes line the birds stopped trying to steal his jerky (the bags were going to be used to insulate the cabin walls – a good way to excuse a heavy drinking habit!).

Clay goblins and fake cats
One lady makes clay goblins that are an attractive alternative for those who are a bit bored with garden gnomes and want to spice things up a bit. Interestingly birds are more drawn to the conventional gnome garden folk!
The fake cat is a flat bit of metal with a round face cut out, and then a colourful piece of plastic painted with cat eyes is hung in the hole so a breeze will make the face rotate. Must be more like walking through a horror story rather than an enchanted garden!

Spices, water and plastic toys (For those who like their pest control to be a high maintenance job)
Apparently birds are not big on spiced food (especially when it comes to themselves) so sprinkling some pepper where they roost keeps them from coming home to eat their dinner. The nest has to be kept well-seasoned so buy in bulk!

If you have a hose and plenty of patience another method is to keep a watch going and every time a bird looks like it fancies your house for its home, run out and spray water like mad in the air.

Rubber snakes, plastic birds of prey are sometimes used to make birds think twice about coming too close, but they have to be moved around a bit or the birds will figure out that this threat is plastic and hollow.

OR you can put your trust in Eagle Eye Bird Control to get the job done!

 

A boat represents freedom, the ability to step onboard and leave the cares of the world behind and seek new horizons and adventures, even if you're only heading out to do a spot of fishing on the lake. 

As most boats are only really used once in a while, they tend to be left unattended, except that is for the birds. Boats are a wonderful platform for birds to perch and roost on. Swing moorings are especially suited to birds as they are removed from daily human traffic but close to the main action of the harbour to keep a beady eye out for a quick snack. Moorings and jetties quickly become a regular hang out for Seagulls, Geese, Ducks, Cormorants and any waterbirds passing through resulting in a smelly mess. Not the thing you want filling your nostrils when you try to breathe in the fresh air as you stroll down to your boat.

Don’t let birds spoil your boat

Plans are made by those who are fortunate to own their own boats – all that seems to be required is to set the dates, pack the cooler box and pick from the many keen crew, friends, and relatives who want to go along too (this can be a long list)….Until you get there and notice that the boat left floating in the marina is covered with bird droppings. Let’s face it you are going to have a tough time convincing anyone that it is fine to do some sunbathing on the foredeck, let alone step on-board if the boat is a reeking bird toilet. 

This mess is a real killjoy and a planned outing will turn into some very hard labour as you end up spending your day off on your knees swabbing the decks. 

Bird Damage to Boats

Birds that roost on the boats will quickly become a menace, as they tend to favor the same spot, resulting in a concentration of bird droppings. The bird droppings are not just concentrated in relation to area, they are acidic that will corrode and damage boat fittings and waterproof seals.

Health Hazards of Marine Birds

 Like other pest birds, the droppings contain multiple types of bacteria, diseases, pathogens, and viruses (E. coli, Salmonella, Histoplasma). Their general living habitat is a petri dish for all manner of nasties that can get into the boats, contaminate the onboard water and food stores, causing sickness and disease.

Boat and marina surfaces covered in bird droppings will become a slipping hazard when the decking becomes wet.

So make sure that this doesn’t happen again next year!

What to do to keep your boat and marina bird free? Invest in an Eagle Eye Kit, or a few if the mooring is large and have the units installed to keep the birds off the jetty and boats. The red units have been specially designed with marine birds in mind. 

The Red Pro-PellarPro-Pellar kits are also a cost-effect means to keep pest birds away from the marina. 

For bird control on the boats, you can use the Flash Tape on masts, antennas, railings and other areas that the birds like to roost on.

The units and tape are not expensive but if you don’t want to pay for the units yourself, get the boat club to pick up the tab or get some fellow boat owners to chip in. They don’t have to be in the same boat as you but will be equally tired of scraping bird dropping off their boats!

As with all bird control measures, prevention is much better than the cure, so get your boat and mooring fitted with bird control before you have a pest problem.  We are happy to be of service so get in touch for expert advice and installation assistance.  Talk to an expert on +27 87 237 9600

 

 

While you are still wiling away the winter evenings snuggled under your favourite blankie, listening to the crackle of the fire and sipping on a glass of sherry to keep the cold at bay, the birds are drawing up secret plans of invasion for your home.

Before we concede defeat and finally admit in our wildest optimism that winter has passed and we are finally into spring (even if it is still cold!) – It’s already too late. Those crafty birds have already secured their prime positions on your real-estate. Holes, nooks and crannies have been exploited and construction on nests ended without incurring any late completion penalties.

So, while the birds are still in survival mode, huddled around a stolen fish dinner and the procreation instinct has not yet stirred and hot-wired their brains into a mating frenzy, it’s time to put a defensive plan into action.

Winter is a good time to take a walk around your premises and inspect it for possible weak spots such as storm damage and past nesting hot spots. If you have not been invaded by pest birds it is only a matter of time. The population is increasing and the volume of birds competing for prime roosting spots will force more birds to explore further afield and they will find you, wherever you are hiding! And once they have got their claws into your home, they will be very reluctant to relocate.

Birds are wary of predators and will naturally seek high nesting areas. Obvious places to start are attics, eaves, air-conditioning vents, outlet vents, chimneys (if you are not using your fire), under roof tiles, etc. Look for evidence of past nests and clear your property of any debris that could be used as likely nest building material. Remove all possible food sources as they will make your property more attractive than your neighbours. The best cure for pest bird control is prevention – The Eagle Eye units are exceptional at deterring birds from roosting. Install one now and beat the spring nesting rush!

OK let’s say that you HAD a bird infestation problem, and like most people/companies there was a lag-time between identifying the problem and rolling out the solution. So before the boys from Eagle Eye Bird Control arrived like the cavalry with their flashing units and nightmare sound systems, the birds have been getting comfortable…really comfortable...turning any flat space into roosting spots, setting up a designated area for the latrine (everywhere!) and passing around a bit of disease (as animals sharing close quarters tend to do).

Now that the birds have been scared away you’re left with the aftermath! Bird Droppings are not a pretty sight and need to be treated a bit like toxic waste, along with the obvious mess there are also Diseases and Bird Lice.

If you are now left scratching your head about how to tackle this hazard we have a few tips for you.

Take precautions and suit up

This may even help to get you in the mood! Put on protective goggles, mask, gloves and coveralls – all of which you can get from your local hardware store. Use a hard hat and a safety harness if you are scaling the heights. If you have a virus, cold or low immune system - do not tackle this yourself.

Wet it down

Cleaning dried bird faeces will stir up dust that can be inhaled and is more likely to infect you with a transmittable disease. Rather wet the area down and then use a shovel to scrape the waste away. If you decide to use a high power spay you should still wet the area gently first as this prevents the spray from creating dust. Also, be aware of your surroundings (people around or below if you are on a roof) as this method creates high-velocity splashes.

Bag it

This is where you really need those gloves and mask! Use heavy-duty bags and do not overfill them. Remember that you are dealing with wet waste that is heavy and a full bag will break - you don’t want to have to do this twice.

Dispose of it

Use a proper waste disposal service and don’t leave the bag/s where they may be broken or opened (dogs, gulls, rodents, humans, etc.)

Other nasties – Bird Lice

If Pigeons or Starlings have been nesting in your ceiling for two years or longer then you WILL have Bird Lice in your home. They are minute and not visible to the naked eye. You will detect them on a white cloth or light coloured surface. You will find them inside your home close to the nesting area. The lice will get into your clothes, hair and onto your body and you will itch.

The nest must be removed and the holes where they enter your home plugged. The whole area, inside the ceiling as well as the room below, must be sprayed and treated for lice. Your clothes must be washed in HOT water and ironed with a hot iron. Remember that the birds (and Lice) will return if you do not protect the area.

If you need any tips to get rid of birds and the resulting mess contact Eagle Eye Bird Control.

When under siege from a pest bird infestation it is not always easy to see the big picture for the best way forward. Companies have to be aware of the impact of their practices on the environment and how they are viewed in the public eye.  For a company that has to deal with the many problems of bird infestation the situation is very real and potentially costly ranging from health hazards, building damage, cleaning the faeces and dead birds, etc.  For a visitor to the same company the birds may not even be noticed or at most any visible mess made by the birds near the ground entrance level will have a minor effect on the visitor’s perception of the company. In fact some visitors may even enjoy feeding and watching the birds during a break if the company is in a business park or has an outside bench with a bit of a view.

So how do businesses manage their pest problem and at the same time build on their environmentally friendly corporate image?

Shout it from the rooftops

Just like the birds in the loft that cause damage unseen, an eco-friendly pest control campaign will not necessarily be noticed unless it is promoted. The public likes to see that companies are proactive in protecting the environment. In fact it is now expected of companies to have a corporate greening initiative firmly in place.

Detail the process in controlling the pest problem

Inform the enquiring minds how your company is going about the process of bird control. Document the steps and publish the results for the public to see. Facebook is a great medium for informing company followers of greening initiatives. In certain circumstances this information is vital for the peace of mind of your customers - for example effective bird control at airports, less damage to crops, improved health and safety at food processing plants, etc.

Environmentally friendly

Small carbon footprint

In the case of certain practices that are on-going it is preferable that the method used has a limited impact on the environment.

Minimum urban impact

A pest problem that is left unattended and certain pest control practices make our living and working environment look ugly.

Minimum environmental impact

The greening best practice is essentially to do no harm to the environment and to strive to become carbon neutral. Poisons can leak into the water table and birds that have died of the poison are a health risk until properly disposed of. It is preferable and safer to use non-fatal bird control.

The Eagle Eye units conform to all of the above. The units that are connected to power use a minimal amount of electricity and we have solar and wind-driven options available. The units that are visible to the public do not look unsightly and we do not approve of using fatal methods for bird control.

Contact Eagle Eye for more information

A friend told me a story of when he went to Kirstenbosch as a family for a picnic recently. The usual rituals were observed of scouting around to find a shady spot with a view that was away from the public paths and not too crowded or too far from the amenities, spreading out the blanket on the much debated and finally selected spot, unloading the heavy picnic basket, taking the time to admire the mountainous view and engaging in some head nodding about how lucky they are to be living in Cape Town. The picnic was laid out, wine opened, glasses charged and plates filling up with a selection of tasty finger food – and then he noticed something wrong. His peace was being disturbed and he was feeling progressively uncomfortable as he noticed that there was a concentrated attention being directed at his food. Looking around there seemed to be no one in their immediate surroundings who was going to object to his habit of mixing the savoury with the sweets. And then he looked down and his eyes locked with the beady eyes of a Guinea Fowl which then sifted its gaze meaningfully to his plate. Its intention was clear – it wanted his food and he got the feeling that he was in the way and the bird had a tried and tested plan to separate him from his cherry tomatoes.

Being an urban animal he has been tamed by his lack of exposure to wildlife and so he had to dig deep to find his primal self and the proper responses to possible threats. He let out a timid self-conscious Waaaah! - accompanied with some vague arm movements restrained by being a bit embarrassed of feeling intimidated by a bird in a public area. This was the moment when that Guinea Fowl knew it could take him. After the dominance issue was settled the picnic party was repeatedly menaced by this bird, where it would dart in and snatch some food. Once the bird had its fill it proceeded to call its mates to get stuck in too.

Needless to say the sight of a group of maddened Guinea fowl, pawing at the grass and advancing with cannibal intent on the chicken strips, was too much for this poor family so they dashed for the nearest exit and only felt safe again once they were deep into their urban jungle.

We are aware of instances similar to these (perhaps less extreme) where a human is intimidated and sometimes put to flight by a wild animal.

Clearly these birds have adapted far beyond occupying our space and fighting for a niche to survive in the environment we have created. A few species it seems are not necessarily happy to co-inhabit and in some cases, given half a chance, want to dominate. Their ability to connect cause and effect has resulted in them being able to recognise humans as a food source and our lack of a threating enough response results in the birds aggressive behaviour. Especially when the bird expects to be fed and is used to getting what it wants! While it is fine and even desirable to be able to view these birds in their natural habitat, it is not necessarily as thrilling when the bird in question is being a nuisance.

Contact Eagle Eye to find out how you can keep birds from invading your space by using a combination of bird control methods for maximum effectiveness.