Over the past decade, the number of warehouses in the U.S. has steadily grown: from 15,000 in 2010 to over 19,000 in 2020, adding up to over 10 billion square feet of space and more than 7 million employees. These numbers are expected to increase as the online market grows.
Like all businesses, warehouses have to be kept clean for the health and safety of employees as well as to keep products safe. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations require employers to provide a place of employment free of recognized hazards. That includes birds.
Birds are a major source of unsanitary conditions in warehouses, with damage that reaches $30-50 million yearly, including structural damage to roofs and ventilation systems and unusable product.
When birds fly into and get trapped in warehouses, they can also spread illness and diseases like Salmonella, E. coli and fatal upper respiratory infections through their waste. Birds will roost and nest in rafters, nooks and crannies where waste drops onto whatever is below.
Photos: Bird droppings above and around employee lockers and hooks where personal items are stored. Birds that become trapped can also die and decay unnoticed in hidden or unreachable places.
A decaying bird in a perimeter wall of a warehouse.
Prevent Costly and Unsanitary Bird Problems in Your Warehouse
But while bird conflicts can be challenging, there are steps you can take to prevent bird intrusion and the resulting spread of disease in your facility:
- Birds will stay where food is abundant so create a company policy that restricts eating and food disposal to the lunchroom or outside.
- Keep doors closed when not in use, including dock doors: open doors in spring are an invitation to nesting birds.
- Remove all visible signs of birds and sanitize the area. This includes droppings, feathers, and nesting materials.
- Remove non-essential landscaping from outside the facility especially around doors. This creates a safe spot for birds to hide in and from which they can easily enter your building.
- Consider adding bird control deterrents and exclusion systems like netting or spikes to bird congested areas.
Bird problems can feel overwhelming but there are solutions. At Wild Goose Chase, our biologist led team can work with you to evaluate your situation and customize a cost effective solution to your bird conflicts.