Bird Control at Hospitals

Ohio State University Medical Center

Consistent with rodent and insect mitigation, bird control at health care facilities is a critical element for maintaining a clean and disease free environment for patients.  Pigeons often gather to roost on a hospital’s roof, under parking structures, in receiving bays and loading docks, and around exterior employee lunch and snack areas. Fecal dust drawn into hospitals through rooftop heating, ventilation and air-conditioning ducts represents a serious health hazard.  Without effective bird control, a serious infectious disease problem can develop.

Although the exclusion and removal tools have their place, pigeons are very adaptable and require an integrated program of pest management (“IPM”) for effective control. Pigeons have the capability to breed rapidly.  Left unchecked, just five mating pairs can produce up to 400 offspring in only two years.  And, while removal options often appear tangible and immediate, due to the bird’s rapid reproduction, these methods do not have a sustainable impact on the overall population.  In other words, removal often represents an ongoing “harvest” of birds.

Due to the rapid turnover of the population and relatively short lifespan of pigeons (2-3 years), a contraceptive tool is very effective in reducing pigeon numbers.  When applied according to label directions, OvoControl interferes with egg hatchability.  Since no new birds are hatching, the population of birds declines naturally and continuously.  Data shows an 88% decline in the population over 28 months and field studies show a reduction of approximately 50%, annually.

Contraception should be an integral component for all large area bird mitigation programs, especially at health care facilities.  See the User’s Guide for tips and information on installing an OvoControl program at your healthcare facility.