Wild birds in Singapore’s residential neighbourhood are generally timid and fly away when approached. However, with increased urbanisation, some birds may choose to perch in your area and quite commonly, on the aircon ledge. This creates inconveniences and possible health issues as well when their fecal matter and feathers start to build up. Asides from the noise pollution they bring, cleaning up the bird poop can be a hassle and I’m sure you have better things you would rather do. In this article, we will look at why birds are attracted to your aircon ledge, why it is important to keep them at bay and how to do so.

Birds can cause health problems


Even if they seem cute to have as a pet, such wild birds, especially crows, may defend themselves when provoked. These birds can also be potential carriers of harmful diseases and cause health problems such as:


–   Salmonella — this is a common bacterial disease that affects your intestinal tract. Typically, this can be spread through bird faeces and may cause diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps within 8 to 72 hours 
–   Histoplasmosis — refers to an infection caused by a fungus called Histoplasma, which grows in pigeon droppings. When cleaning up birds droppings, a person without proper protective equipment may breathe in some of the fungus where high exposure can result in a serious infection.
–   Psittacosis/Ornithosis — refers to a bacterial infection of the lungs that come with pneumonia-like symptoms. You can get infected by inhaling the harmful bacteria from bird droppings or touching infected pigeons.
–   Bird mites — these are parasitic mites that use birds as their host where they feed on their blood. Bird mites may also attack humans and they can be found on birds and also in nests and roosting places.

3 Good reasons to keep birds away


1) Health and safety for your family members or pets: Asides from the various health hazards, if you own any pets, they may get agitated or restless when they sense a bird’s presence nearby at the aircon ledge.


2) Easier maintenance for aircon technician: By having the aircon ledge bird-free, the technician can have an easier time performing the job which will result in quicker maintenance/servicing timings. In the most extreme scenario, if a bird is nesting on your aircon ledge and is too defensive of its territory, the aircon technician may not be able to perform the job until pest control arrives to remove the bird safely.


3) You can utilise the aircon ledge (ideally not for prolonged periods of time as it’s against the rules): By having a clean and bird-free aircon ledge, you can utilize the extra space there to temporarily place certain items under the sun e.g., pillows, bolsters to kill off any germs, dust mites or allergens. Temporary use of the aircon ledge space is fine as long as you try not to put anything else there on a long-term basis.


Why do birds enjoy visiting your aircon ledge?


Even though birds are very free in nature – they can fly anywhere they want, at any time. If they want to take a vacation, they are freely able to travel all around Singapore, or even venture overseas if they wanted to. However, birds are creatures of habit, and they know where’s the best place for food or shelter and will regularly return to such places. The 3 most common types of birds found in your neighborhood are probably the mynas, crows and pigeons.


Ultimately, birds come to your aircon ledge because they seek shelter and security. Unless there is a provision of food or water at your area, birds would mainly visit your area regularly as a resting spot while scouting for a nesting place as well. The sequence would be scouting first, then revisiting the same place multiple times as a resting zone before deciding to make the area its nest. Depending on the stages, it will get harder to chase the birds away once they recognise the area as their own territory. Be sure to act as early as possible or you will face a difficult time and might be required to expend more time and energy as it drags on.



Ways to deter birds from your aircon ledge

Birds get scared off easily as they fly away as soon as they notice your presence creeping near them. However, we cannot be physically available to keep chasing them off round the clock. What the birds value in your area is shelter and security – and by taking these away, the birds will naturally go away to find another place instead.


Bird spikes: Preventing the birds from landing onto your area can be an effective method to deter them away. Despite looking inhumane, bird spikes are effective, safe and environmentally friendly method to keep those pesky birds away. The spikes themselves usually have dull tips that will not hurt the birds. The main purpose of the spikes is to prevent the birds from landing on the ledge from the beginning as it would be an uncomfortable experience. When used properly, no harm or injury will be caused to the birds. One good thing about this method is that once the birds believe that your aircon ledge is a bad resting area, once they have that in mind they will usually not return. Therefore, you have the option of keeping the spikes back indoors after the birds are conditioned that your place is a no-go.


Baking soda/double-sided duct tape: These items are usually found in every household.  Birds generally dislike baking soda and tape on their feet. This is the easiest to implement with minimal cost if you already have those items. The effectiveness of this method may vary.


“Scarecrow”: What scares a bird better than a scary looking predator? You can use a scarecrow in a form of a sizable toy that looks like a dinosaur, hawk, owl or snake, etc. By natural instincts, the birds know what a predator looks like and if they sense one lurking around the area, they will know it’s best to stay as far away as possible. If your home has an existing toy that looks scary and big enough, that could also work.


Bird netting barrier (highly recommended): This method works very similarly like a mosquito netting, where a barrier net is installed, fencing off the area preventing birds from entering. Not all aircon ledge locations are suitable to install a bird netting barrier as it requires adjacent support from the walls or other nearby objects to keep it upright and sturdy. Bird netting barrier is the most effective and recommended method to safely keep those pesky birds away from your place. However, it requires some you to either set it up yourself or to pay a fee for a professional to get it done for you. If you need a long-term and effective solution, this is most highly recommended method to choose.


Commonly used solution that we do not recommend

Reflective hanging objects: Birds are diurnal (which is the opposite of nocturnal) and are more likely to perch on your area during the day when they are more active. Hanging reflective objects such as old CDs or using aluminum foil might make sense to reflect the sunlight back onto the birds, which will cause them to be annoyed and fly away. However, not only the birds will be annoyed, but your opposing neighbours too, who might raise a complaint against you if this keeps up in the long-term.


Quick Fix: Cleaning Services

Before you implement any of the methods above, if you have an unwanted visitor nestled at your aircon ledge, it is recommended that you get the area cleaned up as soon as possible. As part of our air-con condenser cleaning services that you can contact us for an appointment, we will head down to inspect the condition of your area first. Once we have a clear understanding of your situation, we can then provide servicing for your outdoor aircon condenser unit, as well as to help clear and clean up any mess the pesky birds have left behind. You can also book our cleaning services for your indoor aircon unit as well.


It is recommended that you act as soon as possible once you notice birds coming regularly to avoid a territorial battle against them. The sooner you chase the birds away, the less likely the birds would have become attached to your area.


One final thing to note is that using water to flush them away may be a little tricky unless you live on the ground/2nd floor. If the weather happens to rain, then we will be able to conduct some light washing and clear up as much as possible without disrupting your neighbours below.