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September 2018

What to do when a bird gets stuck in your office

Written by Nicole Horne
Cleanliness and Hygiene

I’m certain this kind of thing has happened at least once in your lifetime. Well, it has happened to me and in the sitcom, The Office!, although in that case it was a bat (of course, a less tasteful version of how to handle a bat!).

How not to handle flying animals in your office

via Gfycat

The technique which worked well for me was to capture the bird with my cardigan and then set it free outdoors. This was much more challenging than it sounds. Three of us running up and down the stairs shouting is, well, less than ideal. Of course with the worry of bird mites on my favourite cardigan, it immediately went to the washing machine!

What are the risks of birds in the office?

As we discussed in a previous blog post, birds pose all sorts of unsavoury hygiene risks:

  • Their faeces contain pathogens which can spread diseases cause colleagues to  become ill. This can lead to an increase in staff absenteeism, and thus a less productive workforce.
  • Bird droppings pose a “trip and slip” risk.
  • Birds harbour parasites, ticks, and fleas which can lead to an infestation the office building.
  • They can damage office property as they can dislodge roof tiles, and their droppings are acidic which can lead to damage of paint of walls, vehicles, and equipment.
  • Birds can also pose a risk of office workers becoming hysterical. (Yes, it is true that some people have a phobia of birds).
  • Lastly, the presence of birds is not conducive to creating a positive impression for guests and staff.

Tips on what to do if a bird is trapped in your office:

If a bird does happen to get trapped inside an office space, be sure to communicate to staff to keep calm, since a panicked bird in the office get confused and besmear even more surfaces as it flutters about.

Here are two simple techniques you can make use of to get a stuck bird outdoors:  firstly, close all the windows except for one (the escape route!). Turn off the lights. This will encourage the bird to fly out of the ‘escape window’.

If this isn’t successful, let the bird calm down. It will fly around in a tizzy until it eventually tires and perches on something. This is your chance to catch it! Since you might not have anything useful on hand at the office (such as a net), make use of a towel. Gently toss a towel over the bird, scoop the loose ends underneath the bird and then take it outside to fly free.

Be sure not to touch the bird, or come into too close contact with it, as birds can carry diseases. Even worse, it may try to peck you to defend itself!

Once the bird is outside, be sure to sanitise any surfaces in which either the bird or its droppings were in contact. Using antibacterial wipes or a disinfectant spray for both surfaces and your hands. If the mess is serious, contact Initial for an Antibacterial Fogging service.

What is Antibacterial Fogging?

Antibacterial fogging utilises minuscule droplets in a fog state to disinfect surfaces. These micro droplets can reach even the most challenging of areas, for example between cracks and crevices and out of reach surfaces. This is a fast, effective and water wise way to reduce the overall bacteria count in your office.

If you find yourself with a serious bird infestation on your premises, be sure to call the experts to get rid of birds in your office. They’ll implement humane bird control solutions to prevent birds from roosting on your building.

If you’re looking for more tips on keeping your office hygienic, take a look at our Hygiene Hotspots map for some insights on keeping each area of your office clean and hygienic.

Discover Hygiene Hotspots

For more hygiene top tips visit our hygiene insights page or subscribe today to get our articles sent straight to your inbox.

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Nicole Horne

Nicole Horne

Nicole is a Digital Marketing Executive at Rentokil Initial Hygiene in Johannesburg. A self-proclaimed germaphobe, her love for hygienic environments and curiosity of all things “beneath the surface” fuels her enthusiasm for writing about the impact of germs in the workplace. She is passionate about creating awareness and sharing her knowledge on the impact of good hygiene practices. Follow Nicole on Twitter and LinkedIn for updates on the the good, the bad and the germy.

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