The Cambridge parish and church had such a serious problem with pigeons over the years that they have had to resort to paying for a plumber to clear their drains and spouting every two months, to prevent flooding in heavy rain.

Pigeons appear to have completely over-run the parish and church buildings at St Andrews church, Cambridge, clogging the drains and spouting with their nests and other debris.  Although a local plumber now clears the buildings of nests and debris every two months, they were still only just managing the problem and were getting no closer to a real solution.

“The debris from the birds was blocking the guttering and when there was too much rain it would just run inside,” explains Pastor Ian Dunne.  “One of our local parishioners clears the gutters for us but it is still an extra cost to the church.”

When Ian heard about the food-based bird repellent, Wingo, he thought it was worth giving it a go.

“We decided there was no harm in trying it so we applied some to the parish hall and by the back door of the vestry at the bell tower, and we noticed a big improvement straight away!”

Made from food-based products including vegetable oil and cinnamon, Wingo is harmless to humans, animals and the environment.  The primary deterrent to birds is the feel of the gel oil, while the cinnamon smell creates the longer-term barrier reminding these pests that the gel is in the area.

As Ian explains further, “The pathway to the bell tower used to be a disgrace but now it’s not.  We applied it about three months ago, and we noticed that the birds stayed away from those areas immediately.”

After such great results from their trial run, Ian is now putting in place a programme to put Wingo in other areas where the birds are a problem including the Lady Chapel and other surrounding buildings. 

It’s still a work in progress but Ian is very pleased to report that they are managing to keep the birds away from those main problem areas.  “The amount we’ve applied has significantly reduced the problem - there is a noticeable difference.”

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