Nuisance birds are being kept away from Middlesbrough’s historic buildings and statues using a high-tech ultraviolet gel.
Listed buildings such as the Town Hall are being protected from damaging pigeon droppings using the gel which is painted on ledges and potential nesting sites.
Invisible to the human eye, the gel has a flame-like appearance to the birds and acts as a powerful deterrent.
The visual effect is further enforced by the natural oil’s smell and taste which the birds find particularly disgusting.
The approach is ideal for listed and historic buildings as an invisible alternative to traditional methods such as metal spikes and netting which can be unsightly.
Bird droppings are acidic and can damage stone and brickwork as well as being unsightly. They also have the potential to spread fungal bacterial diseases.
The method has been used successfully in the UK and Europe on sites such as railway stations and bridges, but this is the first time it has been used by Middlesbrough Council.
The gel – affectionately known as ‘lemon curd’ due to its yellow colour – is being applied to the Town Hall this week by Middlesbrough Council’s Pest Control Team, and other buildings are being considered for treatment.
Officers are also asking people using the town centre not to feed the pigeons and to dispose of food waste responsibly using the many bins available.
Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Community Protection, said: “We have an excellent Pest Control Team who are always at the forefront of applying new and innovative methods and techniques, and feral pigeons are just one area of the work they undertake.
“This virtually invisible high-tech solution is ideal in cases where more traditional methods such as spikes and netting are not suitable.”
The bird deterrent system has many applications in both the private and commercial sectors. To find out more, call the Pest Control team on 01642 728157 or 728151.