Cleaning up after some feathered friends
July 21, 2004 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Birdfilter: So some local birds have decided to make my fire escape into their main hang-out, which is fine, but it's starting to look a little grotesque out there. Any recommendations for cleaning this stuff up, beyond hot water and a wire brush? Something that is environmentally kosher is preferred...
posted by lilboo to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
What's your fire escape made out of? If it's metal, concrete or bare wood, a pressure washer can work wonders.

...of course, they can also strip off all your paint. That might be undesirable.
posted by aramaic at 10:59 AM on July 21, 2004

Corrollary question, sinc I have the same problem. Once clean, how can you keep them from returning (something environmentally friendly please)?
posted by trox at 12:01 PM on July 21, 2004

It's an iron fire escape & it has several layers of paint on it. I think the pressure washer is out, since that would disturb the neighbors. I am really looking for some type of detergent that is effective, but will not poison the groundwater, etc.
posted by lilboo at 12:13 PM on July 21, 2004

you could hire a birdherder but they don't come cheap.

depending on the type of bird you can get some sort of plastic owl or other predator to the birds to keep them away. same concept as a scarecrow.
posted by birdherder at 12:38 PM on July 21, 2004

Try putting a big plastic statue of an owl out there. Works wonders on pigeons in NYC.

Or, if you're feeling particularly cruel, you can try, which has all sorts of gadgets to get them to stay away--spikes, electric fencing, etc.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:49 PM on July 21, 2004

Wind chimes are supposed to work well, but you'll need to keep moving them around.
posted by orange swan at 6:50 PM on July 21, 2004

simple green. it will clean just about anything -- it's basically an industrial solvent/degreaser, but is water-soluble and wonderfully biodegradable.

all those orange/citrus-oil-based cleaners that have started to become popular in the last few years? this is the original (no idea why it's green tho, heh... mebbe because they never really had to market the stuff?)

technically it is even safe to drink the stuff (not that I've tried) so I imagine birds should not be harmed by it.

hell, we use it (in combination with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide) as a laundry detergent. it also kicks ass for cleaning sinks, floors, kitchens, car parts, bike parts, ...

just don't waste money by buying the consumer versions from a convenience store (if they even stock it) -- a gallon of the super-concentrated stuff is like $7-9 at most hardware stores (except, of course, the pathetic ones we have on washington st...)
posted by dorian at 8:56 PM on July 21, 2004

On How clean is your house, which aired last night in the UK, warm water is enough to remove bird poo.

The woman on the show must've had 10 canaries flying around her house, at least. Ew.
posted by ajbattrick at 5:34 AM on July 22, 2004

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