PiCAS UK pigeon control home page
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Pigeon Control Advisory Service
PiCAS International

Hercules House
4 George Street
PO12 4SY

Email: enquiries@picasuk.com

Skype: picas.uk

PiCAS is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 05206567 VAT No: 858 1204 26

Member of The Federation of Small Businesses

Skype PiCAS UK

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Architect Services

New-Build Projects   Refurbishment   Historic Buildings/Listed Buildings/Ancient Monuments   Site Survey and Assessments   Telephone/Web-Based Consultancy   Maintenance Service Agreements   Project Management

PiCAS offers a bespoke service to Architects, their clients and those responsible for the design and long-term management of both commercial and residential buildings.

PiCAS is the only consultancy service worldwide that offers completely independent and expert professional services to Architects and their clients with no commercial ties to products, product suppliers or service providers. This ensures that all advice and recommendations provided are free from any vested interest or commercial bias.

The PiCAS Group has worked with Architects and Architects practices worldwide for decades and as a result has developed the necessary expertise to guide both Architect and client through the difficult and often demanding process of protecting a building or site from wild bird occupancy.

Unlike the pest control industry, PiCAS provides a holistic view of bird control and offers Architects and their clients a view based on the potential for bird-related problems and sustainable solutions to deal with those problems. Conventional pest control services simply deal with an existing problem by using standard pest control products, many of which severely compromise the aesthetics of a building and/or fail to offer a permanent and sustainable solution.

Any project, be it new-build, refurbishment or the protection of a historic building must take into consideration the potential for bird-related problems either during the course of the build/refurbishment or upon handover to the client. Although bird-related problems can be extreme and have the potential to seriously compromise both the aesthetics and the fabric of the building concerned, these issues are rarely taken into consideration during planning or design stage. By the time these issues are brought to the attention of the Architect or client planning permission has normally been passed and it is often too late to design out potential problems. The result is that the Architect or client is forced to retrospectively install pest control products, many of which are invasive and can dramatically compromise the aesthetic appeal of the design. Likewise, Architects or their clients may raise the issue of bird control at an early stage and then design in a low-profile system that is aesthetically pleasing only to find that the system that has been sold to them is completely ineffective for the control of the target species. This is an extremely common problem.

PiCAS will work alongside the Architect to identify the potential for bird occupancy problems during the build (or refurbishment) and through to completion. In a vast majority of cases bird occupancy problems can be designed out simply and easily by making minor adjustments to angles and features and without the need to install any type of conventional bird control product. It is also the case that buildings that may appear to offer considerable potential for pigeon or gull-related problems due to the design (or existing features in the case of refurbishment projects) are in reality a low risk and do not require protection. Just because a building appears to offer potential for a bird-related problem it does not necessarily mean that problems will arise. It is the infrastructure around the building or site concerned that usually dictates the potential for bird-related problems, not necessarily the design of the building itself.

PiCAS will work closely with the Architect from the design and planning stage, through demolition and ground-works to the point where the site or building is ready to hand over to the client. PiCASís Maintenance Service Agreement will then provide ongoing technical support for both Architect and client thereafter. Although emphasis must be placed on close cooperation during the design and planning stage in order to design out potential for bird-related problems, demolition can be a demanding and often difficult process should the building or site already be occupied with wild birds. Many derelict or vacant buildings that are awaiting demolition are subject to occupancy by various species of birds, some highly protected, and therefore there are often legal implications. PiCAS will survey the building or site, prior to demolition, to assess what birds are present on-site and whether the removal of birds and nests has any legal implications for the client. Should breeding birds be found on-site PiCAS will arrange for them to be removed humanely and non-lethally in order to ensure that the project suffers no delays and that the operation is undertaken in accordance with the law. It is a serious offence to interfere with the nest of any breeding bird, particularly in the case of bat populations where penalties for doing so can be considerable.

New Build Projects

Probably the most common enquiry that PiCAS receives is from Architects involved in new-build projects where the need to broker in protection against bird-related problems has been identified, but after planning permissions have been sought and granted. Also, in many cases, once works have already started. At this stage both budget and timescales make it impossible to change any detail and yet there is a clear need to protect the building or site concerned.

Many Architects will simply search the internet for low-profile and aesthetically pleasing bird control products that can be installed during the build process and which will not interfere with or compromise the design. As previously mentioned, however, this approach can result in a very expensive and totally ineffective system that will need to be replaced with products such anti-roosting spikes or nylon bird netting; products that can severely compromise the aesthetics of any build. These retrospective works will inevitably have budgetary implications and may result in an extremely dissatisfied client to say nothing of a build that is covered with ugly and often ineffective bird control products.

If instructed during the design stage PiCAS will work closely with the Architect to confirm whether the building or site is likely to experience bird-related problems and, if so, to assist the Architect to design out this potential by making small changes to the design. If the problems cannot be resolved via PiCASís Telephone and Web-Based Consultancy Service a consultant will survey or assess the site, including the area around the site, in order to build up a picture of what species have the potential to occupy the building or site and to what extent. Once the survey has been completed PiCAS will then provide a consultancy report to the Architect detailing its findings and recommendations.

The area around the proposed build and the design of the build itself may not be bird friendly and therefore there will be no need to impose restrictions on the design or broker in unnecessary bird control products with resultant budgetary implications. However, if the survey has confirmed high levels of pest species of birds present in areas around the proposed site a technical meeting may be required at which time one of PiCASís technical consultants will discuss every aspect of the proposed design with a view to designing bird occupancy out at an early stage. This is the most effective and the most cost-effective approach.

If works have already started prior to identifying a need to offer bird controls on the site, PiCAS will still be in a position to work closely with the Architect and client to advise on the most effective and cost-effective approach in respect of dealing with the problem. A survey may still be necessary to gauge bird occupancy levels in the area concerned, as would the need to look at each and every available control option including minor design changes if these were still possible in order to offer the client the widest range of available options.

As PiCAS does not sell any products or installation services we are in the unique position of being able to guide the Architect and client through the difficult and complex process of choosing the correct deterrent, exclusion device or anti-roosting product to address the problem. Once a system has been chosen, any works to install bird control products should be undertaken during the build process in order to minimise costs. Most bird control products are relatively simple and inexpensive to install whilst the build is scaffolded and sheeted, yet the cost of installation can be extreme if they need to be installed retrospectively. PiCAS will train on-site contractors to install the recommended bird control products should this service be required.

PiCAS will provide ongoing technical support to both Architect and client throughout the process of implementing design changes, or installing bird control products, in order to ensure the highest standards of protection upon handover. This unique and highly regarded service offers the Architect an assurance that all advice provided is not only in the best interests of the client, but is also comprehensively supported by PiCASís technical team. This ensures that recommendations are not misinterpreted and that the controls provided are provided as recommended.

Where PPP initiatives are concerned the provision of comprehensive and sustainable defences against bird-related problems are critical, particularly where long-term maintenance contracts are concerned. PiCASís Maintenance Service Agreement is of particular value in this situation. Full ongoing technical support is provided to the Architect and client on a contractual basis and when combined with PiCASís Consultancy Service this represents the most comprehensive package available.

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The refurbishment of a building or site, particularly one that has not been used or occupied for some time, can be fraught with bird-related problems. For example, where colonies of roof-nesting gulls have been using a building or site for many years resulting in entrenched problems for architect, client and contractor alike. It may be that the building or site has been home to a large colony of wild pigeons resulting in large volumes of excrement present on-site coupled with large numbers of adult and dependent birds in situ. As pigeons breed all-year round this problem can manifest itself at any time of the year and can cause major logistical problems as a result. Whatever the problem, or the scale of the problem, PiCAS can assist with a variety of services ranging from the humane removal of live dependent birds (to wildlife rehabilitators) through to advice and assistance with the purchase and installation of bird control products.

Refurbishment projects are often less problematic than new-build projects due to the fact that there will be history available if the building or site has previously experienced problems with wild birds. Controls can then be chosen and/or designed for installation during the course of refurbishment works, thereby reducing cost. Access is always one of the most expensive aspects of any operation to install bird control products and therefore, if the correct product is chosen and installed whilst the building is scaffolded and sheeted, and if the product is sourced and installed in-house, the cost to the client will reduce dramatically.

Although conventional bird control products can be used to great effect during refurbishment projects there may be a need to provide more sympathetic tailor-made controls in some circumstances. The consultant will discuss all of the conventional options with the Architect and/or client as well as working with the Architect to design and provide bespoke tailor-made control options. These options will often cost significantly less than their commercially available counterparts. Not only this but they are usually straightforward to install and can be designed and produced in such a way as to maximise the aesthetic appeal of the structure concerned.

As with new-build projects, however, a detailed site survey or site assessment may need to be undertaken prior to providing recommendations. A survey will include an assessment of the site or building concerned, including a view of the immediate area around the site, in order to assess bird activity and to identify which bird species have the potential to cause problems for the client upon completion. Once a survey or assessment has been undertaken and a consultancy report provided PiCASís technical support service will be available for the Architect, client and contractor for the duration of the refurbishment. PiCAS consultants will, if required, provide basic training to on-site contractors in an effort to ensure that bird control products are installed in-house rather than requiring the services of a specialist contractor.

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Historic Buildings/Listed Buildings/Ancient Monuments

Many grade-listed buildings, historic buildings and ancient monuments are prone to bird occupancy problems, in the main due to the nature of the architecture concerned. The bird most commonly associated with this building type is the pigeon and pigeon-related problems can become deeply entrenched based on the numerous and inaccessible architectural features commonly found on this building type. Restrictions imposed on Architects and property owners by organisations such as English Heritage and those responsible for grade-listed buildings can be very considerable, making the choice of controls both complex and expensive.

PiCAS specialises in bird control on this building type and will liaise with listed buildings officers and representatives of English Heritage on behalf of the Architect and client. PiCAS will negotiate a course of action that will satisfy all parties to ensure that both the fabric and the integrity of the building are not compromised by the installation of bird controls. PiCAS consultants will then provide specifications for both materials and installation processes based on the restrictions imposed on the building by its grade, listing or by other restrictions. PiCAS will also provide examples of bespoke tailor-made bird controls that will have no impact on the fabric of the building, or compromise aesthetics, but which will be both effective and cost-effective.

Many grade-listed and historic buildings that have fallen into disrepair are home to large numbers of birds such as the pigeon, with significant breeding colonies in situ as a result. PiCAS will assist the client to remove any dependent flightless birds (to wildlife rehabilitators) prior to the installation of bird control products. This ensures that the highly emotive process of excluding birds and protecting the property is undertaken in a humane yet effective manner, negating the potential for negative publicity for the client.

A detailed survey may need to be undertaken and if this is the case access to all areas will be required for this purpose. A report outlining the available options, based on the restrictions imposed, will then be provided. PiCASís technical support team will provide ongoing support for the Architect, client and contractor throughout the process of protecting the building or site and will, if necessary, provide on-site training for contractors in respect of installing the recommended controls.

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Site Survey and Assessments

PiCAS offers two options where on-site consultancy is deemed appropriate - a Detailed Site Survey or a Site Assessment.

A consultancy report will be provided in the case of a Detailed Site Survey and a letter detailing findings and recommendations where a Site Assessment is concerned. In both cases the client will be provided with an independent view as to why the problem exists and the various options available in order to deal with the problem in an effective and sustainable manner. Product sources will also be provided, if required, so that products can be sourced direct from the manufacturer. Where tailor-made and bespoke controls are deemed appropriate these will be discussed with the Architect and outlined in the report.

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Telephone/Web-based Consultancy

PiCAS offers a standard telephone and web-based consultancy service to its client base throughout the UK but this service, when offered to an Architect, will be resourced by a senior consultant with specific experience in this area. The consultant will discuss the problem in as much technical detail as is required and assess whether a site survey or site assessment is required. In many cases problems can be discussed and resolved solely by using this service and without the need to undertake an on-site survey, thereby minimising the cost of consultancy. Plans and drawings can be emailed or posted in advance of the consultation or can be viewed online during the consultation. Conference calls are also encouraged where the client and/or the clientís representative can attend.

This service is designed to be extremely user-friendly and most Architects find the service to be of considerable value. Whether the problem involves a small design tweak to resolve the potential for roosting or perching on a windowsill or architectural feature, or whether the problem is deeply entrenched and requires the provision of bird control products, the service is equally appropriate. Consultancy is offered on an hourly basis and can be tailored to suit the busy schedule of both Architect and client.

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Maintenance Service Agreements

PiCAS offers both Architects and/or their clients a Maintenance Service Agreement package on a 3, 6 or 12-month contract. This service, normally provided in conjunction with a consultancy package, offers the Architect telephone and web-based support for any PiCAS-approved control system for a fixed period. The Architect has full access to PiCASís independent team of technical experts to discuss any issue relating to a control system provided on their building or site.

PiCASís team of technical experts will guide the Architect, client and the clientís on-site maintenance team (or the clientís chosen contractor) to maintain and renew, where necessary, all bird control devices and complimentary controls provided. Advice will be provided on the following:

ē The choice of products and product sources (in the case of replacement)
ē Maintenance of complimentary controls
ē The installation and maintenance of products
ē Any issue relating to the behaviour (and the non-lethal removal) of birds resident

The service aims to offer both Architect and client complete peace of mind following the installation of a bird control system and will cover virtually every problem that can arise. Unlike the pest control industry, PiCASís consultants are acknowledged experts in the field of bird control and as with all aspects of the service that PiCAS provides, all advice is free from commercial bias in respect of both products and services.

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Project Management Services

PiCAS recognises that many bird control operations are extremely complex, particularly when dealing with entrenched problems. Pest control companies and specialist contractors rarely handle bird exclusion or bird control operations in an appropriate or sympathetic manner, or with the desired standard of workmanship necessary to ensure that the operation is humane, effective and sustainable. The net result is bad press for the property owner and Architect concerned and, in many cases, another large bill to have poorly installed products removed and replaced.

It is also the case that in some circumstances products recommended to the Architect and client by pest control contractors are not always in the best interest of the client. A good example of miss-sold services would be lethal controls such as shooting, cage-trapping and killing operations or flying a bird of prey. Expensive and poorly performing products such as nylon bird netting or post and wire systems are good examples of products that are commonly sold to Architects and clients when cheaper and more effective alternatives exist.

PiCAS will provide an experienced Project Manager to oversee the whole operation on behalf of the Architect including the choice and supervision of the contractor and the detailing of products and product sources if required. A PiCAS Project Manager will provide a sustainable, cost-effective and humane control system tailored to the available budget and delivered on time. When PiCASís Project Management Services are combined with PiCASís Consultancy Services and Maintenance Service Agreement both Architect and client are provided with the most comprehensive package available within the industry today.

For a quotation for Consultancy Services, Project Management Services or for further information on Maintenance Service Agreements please contact PiCAS on: 0844 736 6272 or email: enquiries@picasuk.com

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New-Build Projects   Refurbishment   Historic Buildings/Listed Buildings/Ancient Monuments   Site Survey and Assessments   Telephone/Web-Based Consultancy   Maintenance Service Agreements   Project Management
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The PiCAS Group will provide advice on the control of any bird species. Advice is most commonly sought for problems relating to the following:

Pigeon or Rock Dove: Pigeons are never more at home than when roosting and breeding on buildings in urban areas and as a result they are the most commonly controlled species of bird on the planet. Conventional pest control options such as lethal control has simply acted to increase pigeon numbers, not reduce them. The PiCAS Group has specialised in pigeon control for decades, researching and designing effective and sustainable pigeon control systems and as a result is now considered to be the foremost authority on the subject worldwide. PiCAS will provide advice on the protection of individual buildings and sites through to the provision of area-wide pigeon control systems for local authorities.

Gulls: Gulls have historically caused problems for property owners in towns and cities close to coastal areas but now many species of gull, including herring gulls, black headed gulls and black backed gulls are becoming common in many inland urban areas. These species are commonly known as roof-nesting gulls. Effective gull management systems are complex and to be effective they must be holistic and deal with the source of the problem as well as the problem itself. PiCAS will advise on all aspects of humane but effective gull control.

Ducks and Geese: Ducks and geese are a growing problem throughout the UK in villages, towns and even city parks with deliberate and persistent feeding of the birds being the root cause of the problem. Duck control and goose control is never straightforward and can be a highly public and emotive issue. PiCAS has extensive experience of providing humane but effective duck and goose management systems for councils, property owners and site managers throughout the UK.

Canada Geese: This species is starting to cause major problems for property owners and site managers throughout the UK. As with most waterfowl controls, Canada goose control systems are complex and must be holistic. PiCAS has extensive experience of controlling Canada goose populations, whether they be static or migratory, and will tailor a Canada goose control programme to the specific needs of the client.

Starlings and Sparrows: Although starlings were a common problem in town and city centres worldwide during the 1960ís and 1970ís, fewer problems are now being reported. However, where starlings do roost in large numbers problems can be extreme and PiCAS will provide any property owner with a tailor-made starling control system.

Sparrow populations are in rapid decline and as a result fewer sparrow-related problems are being reported. Sparrows do sometimes cause problems in food production plants and food preparation facilities however. Sparrow control is rarely simple or straightforward due to the fact that these small birds can easily access roof voids or internal areas due to their size. PiCAS will provide advice on humane but effective sparrow control.

Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves: These species are more complex to control and are more commonly associated with rural areas. Both species are now becoming more common in urban areas where they can cause problems for residential property owners. Control options for these species are limited but PiCAS will offer advice where both wood pigeon control and collared dove control is concerned.

Rook, Magpie, Jackdaw and Hooded Crow (Corvids): These species commonly cause problems in both urban and rural areas and can be complex to control. Rook control and Crow control options are usually limited to rural areas where they are perceived to cause crop damage and predate on livestock in the case of crows, but nuisance is exaggerated. Rooks often breed in rookeries and can cause significant disturbance as a result of noise. Magpie control is more commonly sought in urban areas due to their growing presence in domestic gardens as a result of persecution in rural areas. Jackdaws rarely cause problems other than nesting in chimney pots and therefore jackdaw control is extremely straightforward. All members of the Corvid family can be controlled effectively using non-lethal and holistic controls.

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