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Bird Control – Serious Business for Healthcare Facilities

Feb. 2, 2007

For 26 years Frank Sorentino has managed the outside structures and grounds of the Beaumont Hospital 106 acre complex in Royal Oak, Michigan. The main campus sits on approx.115 acres. Seventeen separate buildings occupy the site with the main building just over 10 stories high. In addition 3 parking decks are also located around the facility, providing parking and enough nesting sites for more birds than you can imagine.
Bird control is an ongoing project for Sorentino and his crew. "Birds have been a problem since day one," says Sorentino. "Back in 1988 with the first parking structure, we encountered an enormous bird problem. It was a mess. Pigeons and Starlings and Sparrows had found that the 4-story structure made a perfect bird house. Their droppings were all over the walls and floors-it was staring at every hospital visitor and patient. Talk about first impressions! Obviously, bird control had become a priority for me right from the start."

Sorentino researched various forms of bird control, from sticky gels, solar devices, balloons, radar gadgets, and finally, pigeon spikes. Sorentino said he also has used some other devices to help control the birds, such as 3-D birds with moving eyes and plastic owls and hawks.

Finally, Sorentino installed Nixalite's Premium bird spikes. "This was back in 1988 and we've been ordering bird spikes from Nixalite every year since. In many areas of the complex, we are dealing with smaller birds such as starlings and sparrows, which are able to nest between the larger pigeon spikes. So we always order the Premium Nixalite because the spikes are closer together and point in different directions, preventing the pigeons as well as the smaller birds from roosting."

Vegetation also has to be considered, according to Sorentino. "No matter how much we keep the birds off our structures, they love trees and other vegetation. We've had to re-think what kinds of trees we use in our landscaping near the hospital buildings. For instance, fruit trees and fragrant trees really attract the birds and we end up with droppings everywhere. We have had to refrain from planting crab apples and Bradford Pears because they are such favorites of the birds."

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning ducts on rooftops are another important consideration for bird control-especially at hospitals, according to Sorentino. "The pigeons go to the air handlers-the HVAC vents on the rooftops. When dried bird droppings turn to dust and get sucked into the HVAC system, you're dealing with the potential for spreading more than 60 diseases throughout the hospital. It's just not an acceptable risk. We've used Nixalite spikes around the HVAC ducts where there are particular concentrations of birds."

For more information on Nixalite’s comprehensive line of bird control products call 800-624-1189 or visit www.nixalite.com.

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