When birds flock and settle in large numbers they can present a high health risk to humans. Seagulls, pigeons, starlings, Indian mynahs, Egyptian geese and sparrows are just a few species who tend to take over areas where there are no natural predators to control their numbers.
Can birds be pests?
Common pests in the Western Cape
Feral pigeons are responsible for untold millions of rands of damage each year in urban areas. The uric acid in their faeces is highly corrosive.
Pigeons have strong homing instincts and mating pairs can hatch as many as four broods a year, quickly turning a small pigeon problem into a major disaster. Because pigeons will resort to laying eggs on bare surfaces, getting rid of pigeons isn't as simple as just removing their nests.
Starlings are second only to pigeons when it comes to urban bird pest species.
When starlings are in their flocking phase, thousands of starlings often overwhelm buildings and trees.
Starlings are very aggressive and will drive native birds out of their territory.
Geese can cause damage to agricultural crops year round, either by trampling or consumption.
Aesthetic damage to suburban lawns and golf courses is also common.
Geese are also a health hazard, fouling reservoirs and ponds.