A wood pigeon in a tree

Pigeons are one of the most common problem bird in the UK and pose problems in both urban and rural areas. Having any type of pigeon, whether its wood pigeons or feral pigeons nesting in and around your property can cause a number of problems. This includes aesthetic damage from droppings and nest building, as well as overcrowding and general hygiene issues (this is especially apparent in commercial properties).

However, in this article, we will be looking at the best ways on how to get rid of pigeons from trees, whether this is in a domestic or commercial environment. Before we provide solutions, it’s important to understand why pigeons nest in trees.


Like all birds, pigeons nest in trees because they offer everything they need to build and sustain a safe environment for their young. Height, shelter, protection, warmth, materials and even food can be found in and around trees. A tree is a pigeon’s natural nesting environment, which can make getting rid of pigeons from trees particularly difficult because it’s their natural habitat.

However, there are ways to deter pigeons and other problem birds from nesting on your grounds and in your trees without having to literally remove and relocate them. We’ll start with the basics and move onto the more professional forms of pigeon removal.


Feral Pigeon or Rock Dove

Pigeons are arguably the least fussy eaters when it comes to their diet. Surviving in both rural and urban environments has introduced them to a wide variety of foods outside their natural diets. Anything you leave in your garden, be it sweets, meats, vegetables, crisps and even rubbish, they will eat.

This is why it’s essential to ensure your garden is kept clean of any food as well as debris. Food will allow pigeons to feed their young, while debris acts as good nesting material. Ensuring pigeons have access to neither will leave them little to use to create a safe nesting environment in your trees.


There are a variety of tried and tested home remedies to help get rid of pigeons from trees, here’s a few to consider before contacting a pest control professional:

  • Hanging reflective items from your trees or around your garden – birds become distracted by reflective items and are unlikely to nest in areas where they’re abundant. Try hanging CD’s, small mirrors, reflecting tape or other reflective materials to stun and deter birds from nesting in your trees.
  • Scarecrows – while they’re old-fashioned, scarecrows still retain high success rates regarding deterring smaller birds from outdoor areas. 
  • Predator statues – similar to scarecrows, predator statues of larger birds (hawks, eagles and owls) should deter pigeons from nesting in trees as they will naturally fear the predator bird.
  • Having pets – if you already have a cat or a dog, they’ll be helpful in deterring pigeons and other birds from nesting in your trees. Cats naturally hunt pigeons and as soon as the pigeon realises there’s a cat in close proximity to its nest, it will most likely leave.
  • Ultrasonic and audible devices – while they do come with some controversial success rates, you may want to consider audible repellers. They work by imitating sounds of predator birds and birds in distress. The reason they aren’t as popular as other methods is because of their price tags and if your garden is small, or your tree is near to your house, you may also hear the noises.


If the above has not proved effective, you may want to consider professional bird control intervention. Each of the below services is carried out by an AMES Group pest control expert and according to NPTA guidelines and the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.


Bird netting is one of the most effective ways to stop pigeons and other problems birds from infiltrating properties. Although bird netting is typically used in hospitality sectors (cafes, restaurants etc) to stop pigeons from disturbing customers, it can be used in gardens. Netting can be used to protect plants, vegetable gardens, crops and other areas that would provide pigeons with access to food. Additionally, bird netting can also be placed across certain parts of your garden to deter nesting. You would need to speak to our bird control team to discuss dimensions etc.


Bird spikes provide a fantastic solution to pigeons nesting and perching in both domestic and commercial environments. Although they are typically used to line balconies, rooftops, window sills and the inside ledges of properties, they can be used in trees. Being made of a polycarbonate base, they are able to bend and warp to suit almost any surface. For more information on installing bird spikes in trees, get in touch with our bird control team. 


If any of the above does not work for you, or you’re considering a different approach, we also provide alternative pigeon deterrent and removal methods.


This method is aimed at trapping and relocating larger pigeon populations so they do not return to the nest site. This is a structured program that can remove up to 70% of a pigeon population from your garden and should only be considered if you have a severe infestation of pigeons. To see if this option is appropriate for your garden, contact our team today. Alternatively, for more information on how this deterrent works, visit our alternative bird control page. 


Again, this is a structured programme that should only be conducted by a certified bird control expert. This process involves delicately removing eggs and replacing them with fake eggs to prevent further laying during the first visit. A minimum of six treatments is usually required, with the final visit involving the removal of all nests and eggs (all of which are humanely relocated by AMES Group).


AMES Group has been providing expert pigeon control solutions to customers across Birmingham for over 30 years. We offer a trusted service that ensures pigeons and other wild birds are removed and deterred from returning to your property. For more information on our services, quotations or even bird control advice, contact our team today. 

Contact AMES Group



    Pigeons in the street

    Pigeons can cause a major problem for your health and quality of life. Nesting pigeons will leave droppings and pigeon poop is potentially harmful to humans, as well as pets or other animals. The noise that pigeons cause, particularly during times of the year when they breed, is also very annoying – and causes sleep disturbances for people. As a result, bird proofing is a popular form of pest control.

    There are several approaches to deter pigeons, as well as other larger or smaller birds. You can choose to scare pigeons by manipulating their natural responses or repel them with things they dislike. Bird repellents make areas less desirable for pigeons to nest or perch and bird scarers stop them from entering attractive spaces. Both approaches help with pigeon proofing solar panels and other areas.

    Nesting birds will naturally focus on window ledges, balcony spaces and places nearby a bird table or other food source. As experts in reliably providing professional solutions to control birds, and other types of pests, we can recommend how to deter pigeons effectively. Many of the methods we discuss are possible to try yourself – but for a professional result please feel free to contact us for a quote.


    The following methods of deterring a pigeon community from roosting or nesting will be effective against feral pigeons, wood pigeons and many other types of birds. Some are useful specifically for pigeons and large birds but will still allow other less problematic bird species to use a space, bird table or feeder.

    The best deterrents will manipulate the physiological or psychological nature of a pigeon – and while some can cause slight distress this list is humane and harm free. 

    The following are the best ways to deter pigeons:


    A roll of aluminum foil isolated on white background

    The reflective surfaces of mirrors or other shiny objects will trigger a pigeons flight response. As a result, having a reflective surface on a window sill or balcony rail can easily deter a pigeon from roosting or perching there.

    The following are some ways to deter pigeons by using reflective surfaces:

    • Aluminium foil: You can place a layer of shiny aluminium foil over a window sill and balcony rail very easily. With careful wrapping, it is entirely possible to create an undesirable perching space that does still looks good.
    • Mirrors: For a larger space, such as a roof or the edges of solar panels, mirrors are a good option. A mirror will reflect light very well and provide an effective deterrent for pigeons. Small mirrors can work on a window sill.
    • Old CDs: If you have a bird table or feeder that you want to deter pigeons from then hanging an old CD is a simple home remedy to try. They are small and using string can help them move in the wind for more reflectivity.

    Choosing reflective surfaces to deter pigeons will take advantage of their natural responses, but it does not cause any distress. Reflective surfaces are more of a confusion to a pigeon – and will result in them simply nesting elsewhere.


    Plastic owl

    Pigeons cannot tell the difference between a real owl in a tree and a false one. As a result, mock owls or other static items can be effective pigeon scarers. You can easily place bird scarers at strategic points that are particularly problematic.

    The following are some tips for scaring pigeons away from a nesting area:

    • Brightly-coloured balls: The spherical shape of a ball will trick a pigeon into believing it is the eye of a predator. You can try placing old tennis balls on sticks or on the end of fence posts to scare them away from the area.
    • Predator decoys: Pigeons are smart but, from a distance, they can not tell the difference between a real predatory bird or a decoy. You can purchase plastic models of owls, herons and falcons to warn off curious pigeons.
    • Ultrasonic sound devices: Using a machine that emits ultrasonic sound, that only birds can hear, will stop pigeons from nesting in an area. Ultrasonic sound is less of a scare tactic and more of an irritant to birds.

    Choosing bird scarers is arguably less humane than other approaches because they trick the pigeons into thinking they are in danger. However, pigeons are resilient and will seek out other nesting areas and scarers do no physical harm.


    City pigeons in the street

    There are many ways to make a pigeon fly away and find another roosting space or tree, one of which is to make use of bird gels. Bird gels create an ultraviolet light that resembles flames in the mind of a pigeon, so wards them off very well.

    You can buy bird gels and place them in areas yourself, remember the following tips:

    • Place gels in the direct vicinity of pigeons: Pigeons need to be close to bird gels, which can make them difficult to place on high levels such as balcony spaces or near solar panels. Magnetic gel pots can help with placement.
    • Give birds the full access: Gels work by sight, smell and touch, each of which deters a pigeon – so make sure they are visible, not masked by other outdoor smells such as bins and are in a location where a pigeon can touch them.
    • Space them out evenly: Bird gels will work only in their specific area, so if you are hoping to keep pigeons away from a larger space using this deterrent then you need multiple gel pots that are evenly spread out.

    Bird gels are made from natural oils, the smell of which pigeons also dislike. Again, this method manipulates the birds’ natural responses, so will cause alarm – but causes no physical damage whatsoever and is entirely humane.


    White naphthalene balls on white wooden background

    If you are looking to try a home remedy then making use of strong-smelling substances, something that pigeons hate, is a good option. Many of the smells that pigeons dislike are from common household items, so they are easy to try at home.

    Remember the following when trying to deter pigeons with strong-smelling substances:

    • Mix with vinegar and water: Vinegar is a strong-smelling substance that you can combine with fiery peppers and spices – such as cayenne or cinnamon. This combination will make for a more potent deterrent.
    • Use a spray bottle: Putting your mixture into a spray bottle is an easy way to coat the area evenly. It is also much easier to keep an existing spray bottle to hand instead of concocting a new mixture each time you need it.
    • Try mothballs: Aside from spicy smells, pigeons particularly hate mothballs – similar to those you might use to protect clothes. You can try placing mothballs at specific points in n area, which eliminates the need for spray.

    When using smells to deter pigeons you should remember to keep applying this smell to the affected area, as there will be a loss of potency over time. Pigeons simply avoid the smells they dislike and there is zero distress or physical harm.


    Anti-pigeon netting

    Choosing bird netting is a very humane, cheap and instantly effective way of keeping pigeons away from an area. Bird netting is particularly effective on a balcony or near a bird table that is only meant for smaller birds.

    The following are some benefits of using bird netting to deter pigeons:

    • Weatherproof: When bird proofing buildings weather can diminish the effectiveness of certain methods, particularly those that rely on smell or sound. Bird netting is very strong and will work year-round in all weather.
    • Useful for all areas: If you want to cover a statue or other space, such as bin stores, netting is effective as it is possible to install it over any shape or object – including specific trees and plants or air conditioning units, for example.
    • Discrete: Choosing bird netting is a discrete way of deterring pigeons, and the netting is almost invisible even at short distances. The combination of being discrete and highly-effective makes netting a good all-round option.

    Bird netting requires a professional installation to work properly, particularly when installing at a high level. As a result, netting is not the best home remedy for deterring pigeons as it requires skill and safety equipment to carry out.


    Bird and pigeon spike deterrents

    Bird spikes might look domineering and scary, but they do not harm the pigeons. Birds can navigate into many very tight spaces without any problem, and the spikes simply push them off of an area should they try to land.

    Choosing bird spikes is a good deterrent for the following reasons:

    • Suitable for specific areas: When you are not covering a large space and simply have a problem area then bird spikes are a wonderful way to provide a targeted deterrent. Target areas may include bird feeders for small birds.
    • Durable and long-lasting: Many deterrents lose their effectiveness over time, but spikes are usually made from stainless steel and have polycarbonate bases – so they will not fall off and will work for a long time.
    • Low-maintenance: There is no additional maintenance necessary for bird spikes once they are in place. You can enjoy the benefits of bird spikes for many years as well as throughout all kinds of weather.

    The drawback to bird spikes is that they require professional installation and proper spacing for them to be effective. If bird spikes are too far apart then they will potentially make the area more desirable for roosting pigeons to build their nests.


    The above sections highlight the top recommendations of how to deter pigeons, with minimal hassle and with the best results. Many of the methods are suitable for people to try themselves and home remedies may work in many cases.

    We are experts in pest control and provide a wide variety of bird deterrent options for our clients, so we have the knowledge to suggest the most effective methods. If you would like a professional solution for deterring pigeons please get in touch.


      A Definitive Guide to the Five Main Types of Pigeon

      There are hundreds of different types of pigeons and doves across the world, below we have named those varieties that rank among the most common and known to the UK. We’ll begin with the broader terminology and groupings for pigeons.

      Name: King Pigeon

      Two Beautiful White Pigeons On The Ground
      • Size – Large
      • Weight – 900g+
      • Colour – Predominantly white
      • Wild? – No, bred for food
      • Lifespan – Varies, typically between 3 – 10 years depending on captivity conditions
      • Located – Southern Mexico and Central America

      King pigeons are specifically bred for food for us to eat. They are one of the largest species of pigeon but they are very unlikely to fare well in the wild. King pigeons struggle to fly due to their size and genetic problems caused by excessive breeding. Most king pigeons are bought as pets, as they are very mild-mannered and easy to care for. They are not varied in colour, most of which are blue or white.

      Name: Racing and Homing Pigeons

      Painted Racing Pigeons
      • Size – Medium
      • Weight – 200-400g+
      • Colour – A variety, but typically blue, similar to wild pigeons
      • Wild? – Yes, but can be caught and trained for homing purposes
      • Lifespan – Typically between 5 – 15 years depending on environmental factors and breeding
      • Located – Columbia (originally) but can be bred almost anywhere

      Homing pigeons are similar to domestic pigeons but have a homing ability. Originally derived from rock pigeons, homing and racing pigeons have an in-built homing system that allows them to travel or be taken great distances while being able to remember and return to their original residence. In terms of their colour, there’s not much variety – racing pigeons are simply domesticated pigeons bred and trained for racing. 

      Name: Fancy Pigeon

      Jacobin pigeon also known as a fancy pigeon or capucin pigeon
      • Size – Small to medium
      • Weight – 200-400g+
      • Colour – A wide variety 
      • Wild? – No, they are bred for domestic use
      • Lifespan – Typically between 5 – 10 years 
      • Located – Germany

      As their names suggests, fancy pigeons are specialised breeds that are bred for several uses. Some people will breed fancy pigeons to showcase at competitions, others may simply breed them to sell or keep as extravagant pets. Fancy pigeons come in many varieties, including pouters, tumblers and owls. Fancy pigeons require high levels of personal upkeep to ensure their coats remain healthy.

      Name: Feral Pigeon

      Feral Pigeon or Rock Dove
      • Size – Small to medium
      • Weight – 300-500g+
      • Colour – Usually blue with a hint of purple
      • Wild? – Yes, derived from rock pigeons
      • Lifespan – Typically between 5 – 10 years depending on several environmental factors 
      • Located – All over the UK

      By far the most common type of pigeon, feral pigeons can be found throughout the UK, dominating many of our busiest towns and cities. Originally derived from rock and cliff pigeons, they have swiftly adapted to our urban way of living and thrive in our communities. 

      Despite not causing any immediate threat to our way of living, feral pigeons can cause a number of problems in larger numbers – not least health concerns. Crowding, pigeon droppings and hygiene are among the main concerns, problems that our team at AMES Group deal with on a daily basis.

      Name: Band-tailed Pigeon

      Laughing Neck Dove On Tree Branch Under Sunrays On A Summer Morning
      • Size – Medium, longer than other pigeons
      • Weight – 400-600g+
      • Colour – Grey with a white band across the back of their head
      • Wild? – Yes
      • Lifespan – Typically between 5 – 12 years 
      • Located – North America

      This type of pigeon gets their name from their long, often grey banded tail. They’re slightly taller than the average feral pigeon and most have a distinguishable white band on the back of their neck. They typically live in forests and woodlands (much like wood pigeons) and are very rarely seen in urban environments (unlike feral pigeons). Their diet revolves around foods they forage in the woodlands; berries, nuts and small insects being core inclusions. 

      Suffering from Pigeon Problems?

      If you find that pigeons are causing a problem in your home or commercial property, AMES Group can help. We specialise in providing humane pigeon removal and deterrent services across the UK. For all pigeon and problem bird-related issues, contact AMES Group today.

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      Are pigeons intelligent?

      Pigeons are renowned as one of the most intelligent bird species on the planet. Pigeons can be trained to deliver messages, race for sport and even save lives at sea. They typically fall behind in the intelligence scale, however, to ravens and crows.

      Where did pigeons originally come from?

      Pigeons were originally found in Europe, North Africa and parts of Western Asia. Now, pigeons can be found across multiple continents and have a projected population of around 15 – 30 million in Europe.

      Do pigeons have facial recognition qualities?

      Pigeons, like crows, are thought to be able to remember faces, especially if they are harmed by that person. Like crows, pigeons seem able to remember different faces, regardless of whether the person changes their clothing.

      How do pigeons find their way back onto my property?

      Pigeons have an innate homing ability that allows them to retrace their flight path and return to their nest. Scientists believe this is because they can sense the Earth’s magnetic fields. No matter how much you shoo a pigeon, they will be able to find their way home. The only way you can successfully relocate a pigeon is through a structured process carried out by pest control experts.


        Do Pigeons Carry Diseases?

        Pigeons in the street

        Feral pigeons dominate most of our biggest towns, cities and urban areas and can not only become a nuisance regarding crowding, but they also carry a risk of transmitting and spreading diseases and viruses to humans. 

        Pigeons are capable of carrying harmful diseases in the same way as the common rat, which is why it’s important to safely rid and deter pigeons from entering your commercial or domestic property if you have a pigeon problem. 

        Can Pigeons Carry Diseases?

        Yes, pigeons carry a number of diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans. Unlike most other birds, pigeons nest in their own faeces, which attracts mites and increases the transmittance of other diseases. 

        The different types of diseases pigeons carry have been detailed below:

        • E. coli. – this disease occurs when pigeon droppings find their way into our water or food sources, which become contaminated. When humans consume E Coli-contaminated food and water, it can result in nausea, fever and cramps. 
        • St Louis encephalitis – when mosquitoes feed on the blood of an infected bird, they carry the pathogen that’s responsible for spreading St Louis encephalitis. While this disease won’t cause too much trouble to younger people, it can be particularly dangerous to adults over 60. Symptoms of St Louis encephalitis include drowsiness, fever and headaches. 
        • Histoplasmosis – a respiratory disease that occurs when fungus grows inside pigeon droppings. If left untreated, histoplasmosis can be fatal.
        • Candidiasis – another respiratory disease that is caused by fungus infecting the droppings. This disease can affect any or a variety of areas, including the mouth, skin, respiratory system and intestines. This disease is thought to occur mainly, or at least have a greater presence, in women. 
        • Salmonella – commonly referred to as “food poisoning”, salmonella occurs when infected droppings infect food. Transmission can be subtle, as when droppings turn to dust are blown into food and water sources. 
        • Cryptococcosis – another disease caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings. It can cause problems with the central nervous system if left untreated. 

        In addition to the above, pigeons are frequently exposed to other creatures and insects that can transmit diseases. These creatures are known as ectoparasites and can carry several human pathogens. The ectoparasites can hitch a ride on the pigeons and so come in contact with people. Although that sounds concerning, only about two-thirds will cause harm to our general health, with the rest causing minor problems, such as itching and scratching.

        Ectoparasites that are associated with pigeons include:

        • Bed bugs – bed bugs are one of the most nuisance pests to deal with. They are capable of costing thousands of pounds worth of damage and are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Bed bugs are able to cause anaemia in some humans. Pigeons, starlings and some other small birds are known to carry bed bugs
        • Chicken mites – capable of causing dermatitis and acariasis, both of which cause mild flaking of the skin. While it’s uncommon that chicken mites attack humans, they may do so if they come into close contact with them. This happens through contact with birds such as pigeons and house sparrows.
        • Yellow mealworms – although not found in the UK, yellow mealworms rank among the most common ectoparasites in the USA. They live inside pigeon nests and can find their way into our food.
        • West Nile virus – although not directly transmissible from birds to humans, if a human is bitten by a mosquito who has sucked the blood from an infected bird, they may get West Nile virus. Symptoms include fever, flu-like illness,  aches and pains as well as fatigue. In some cases, this can last for up to a week or several months. 

        How Do Pigeons Spread Disease?

        In almost all cases, pigeons transmit diseases to humans through faecal matter (dry droppings). While it’s very uncommon for us to come into direct contact with pigeon droppings and receive any disease or virus this way, droppings that have been left to dry out are where the problems begin. Dry droppings that are infected with bacteria can enter our airways when they’ve been left on windowsills, rooftops, cars and other areas we frequently come into contact with. 

        Droppings eventually turn into a powder form, which becomes easier to inhale. When inhaled, the pathogens can infect and cause disease in humans. 

        Are Pigeons the Most Disease-ridden Birds?

        Yes, pigeons actually carry the highest number of diseases in comparison to any other bird species. Pigeons also carry more diseases than rats, with their droppings being one of the core causes of disease. They also carry bird mites, which are extremely common among all pigeons.

        Do You Have a Pigeon Problem?

        Pigeons are responsible for a number of potentially fatal diseases that can be transmitted to humans through poor hygiene and pest control problems. AMES Group provides fast, effective and certified bird control services to alleviate the threat of pigeon-based diseases. Contact our team today to get rid of pigeons and keep your property safe.

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          How to Get Rid of Pigeons in Buildings and Gardens

          Pigeons scared off bus shelter roof

          Pigeons are commonly found in urban areas and will nest in buildings, roofs, balconies and trees across our towns and cities. Finding a pigeon, or multiple pigeons, nesting in a building is very common but leaving them to continue nesting can cause a number of problems. 

          Below, we have outlined the most effective ways to get rid of all pigeon types, including wood pigeons, feral pigeons and other small wild birds from any commercial or domestic building.

          1: Trapping and Relocating 

          Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in buildings? – Yes

          Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in gardens? – Yes

          How long does it take? – anywhere up to one month to remove all pigeons from the building

          Pigeon trapping is one of the most effective ways to get rid of pigeons in any domestic or commercial environment. Pigeons have a genetic homing instinct which can make them particularly hard to deter. However, our certified pest control technicians are able to employ a structured programme that can remove up to 70% of a pigeon community (which takes around 18 months to recover). 

          This trapping method creates disorientation within the pigeon community, as it focuses on removing dominant birds and relocating them elsewhere. In turn, this disperses the pigeon population and forces other pigeons to follow suit or simply disband. This technique is humanely performed by AMES Group and focuses on removing both pigeons, their nests and their eggs in a safe and controlled manner.

          2: Bird and Egg Nest Removal

          Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in buildings? – Yes

          Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in gardens? – Yes

          How long does it take? – typically up to a week, depending on the number of nests

          Egg nest removal is another effective way to get rid of pigeons, but this method must be carried out by trained pest control professionals. Removal of pigeons nests and eggs means they will be unable to raise their young in this environment and they are unlikely to return as they will deem this area unsuitable to raise young. 

          Learn more about our alternative bird and pigeon controlling methods.

          3: Bird Scarers

          Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in buildings? – Yes, but only outside of the building

          Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in gardens? – Yes

          How long does it take? – immediate effect

          Bird scarers can be an effective way to get rid of and deter pigeons from returning to almost any outdoor area. As their name suggests, bird scarers are designed to scare away problem birds such as pigeons, starlings, gulls and more. They can come in many forms, such as a large statue of an owl, or ones that are tied to an object and mimic the flight of a predatory bird. By replicating the physical presence and flight path of predator birds, bird scarers naturally deter pigeons from nesting in your garden.

          4: Bird Spikes

          Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in buildings? – Yes

          Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in gardens? – Yes

          How long does it take? – once applied, bird spikes will stop pigeons from returning to this location and deter others from nesting and perching

          Bird spikes rank among the most common and effective ways to get rid of pigeons from any building. The spikes work by stopping pigeons from roosting, nesting and even perching on ledges and any targeted area around the building. They can be made of plastic or metal and come in strips that can be cut or bought to specified measurements. Bird spikes can be placed anywhere and they are very easy to install. You will first need to identify where the pigeons are, remove them via a certified pest control technician (or other means mentioned in this article) and then fix the spikes into the specified area.

          Spikes essentially deter pigeons in a safe and humane manner. However, if the pigeon(s) have already nested, spikes won’t help unless you remove the nest and insert spikes in its place.

          Install bird spikes with AMES Group

          Other Methods

          5: Ultrasonic

          Ultrasonic pigeon deterrents are relatively new and their effectiveness is highly questioned in the pest control world. Although they may offer positive results in first instances, pigeons and other problem birds are able to quickly acclimate to the noise. While ultrasonic is used in larger-scale commercial areas such as airports (and with positive effects), they are not well-suited to smaller commercial and domestic environments.  

          6: Low-level Shock Strap Systems

          Not as popular or tried and tested as other methods, these systems work similarly to bird spikes by not allowing the pigeons to nest or perch in certain areas. The straps give a very minor electric shock to the pigeon, alerting them that this is not a safe area to be. 

          7: Controlled Shooting

          Bird shooting can only be carried out by trained professionals and in accordance with the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. AMES Group are certified to carry-out such controlled shootings if and when required. 

          8: Bird Netting

          Bird netting is another popular method for deterring pigeons from nesting in both domestic and commercial environments. However, while it is effective at deterring birds, you will first need to get rid of the pigeons. Netting is commonly used in outdoor areas such as cafes and restaurants to stop birds from stealing food or generally disturbing the public (ideal for seaside cafes, bars and restaurants). Bird netting can also be used to stop pigeons from accessing and damaging crops in gardens.

          AMES Group provides a comprehensive and effective bird netting service

          For Commercial or Large-scale Pigeon Problems in the UK, Contact AMES Group Today

          While the above methods for getting rid of pigeons may prove useful in certain scenarios, if you’re suffering from a severe infestation or crowding, you may require professional intervention. This is where AMES Group can help. We employ a range of pigeon deterrent methods that safely move and relocate pigeons without hurting them. These methods are typically fast, cost-effective and minimally invasive.

          Contact our team, explain the specific problem you have and one of our pest control experts will be able to help. 

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            What Do Pigeons Eat? The Definitive Pigeon Food Guide

            City pigeons in the street

            Pigeons are wild birds that typically survive on a mixture of different foods. Whether they are wild or domesticated, all pigeons have roughly the same diet of seeds, small insects and even small lizards. As bird control specialists in the UK, we’re able to provide accurate and helpful information regarding pigeon diets and lifestyles. Below, we’ll explore some of their most common dietary foods and habits and what they can’t eat and shouldn’t be fed.

            What Do Pigeons Eat?

            Generally speaking, the pigeons that dominate our cities and urban environments will eat almost anything, from insects to leftover food we throw out. Wild pigeons will eat whatever nature throws their way. Again, this includes insects such as worms and ants, as well as seeds, fruits, berries and vegetables.

            Despite originally living in coastal areas, forests, gardens and cliffed areas, these pigeons have now adapted to thrive in our settlements; specifically towns and cities. 

            A Closer Look At What Wild Pigeons Eat

            Unlike urban pigeons, wild pigeons have access to a much healthier diet. Wild pigeons typically live in forests and coastal areas, so their diet depends entirely on what nature provides them with. The most common foods they will have access to include:

            • Berries
            • Seeds
            • Grains
            • Nuts
            • Vegetables
            • Grit (for digestion purposes)
            • Plants
            • Vegetation
            • And fresh water

            Although wild pigeons are natural herbivores, it’s not uncommon for them to stray from their herbivorous diet if necessary. Pigeons will eat almost anything if they are hungry enough, which can see them eat insects, spiders and even lizards. Their diet also demands protein and fat to remain healthy, whether that’s from nuts, fruits or other animals. They do not have a “favourite food” but they enjoy eating seeds, nuts and vegetables more than anything else.

            What Do Pigeons Eat in Urban Areas?

            Pigeons have very successfully adapted to our urban environments and are able to nest, feed and thrive in our busiest towns and cities. However, when it comes to their diet and living situations, they aren’t as lucky as wild pigeons. Urban pigeons live on whatever they can find and their diet covers almost anything, including leftover food we throw away/drop. This includes:

            • Bread
            • Pasta
            • Meat and fish
            • Confectionary (chocolates, sweets, etc.)

            The reason these types of pigeons can eat what we eat is through decades of adaptation and evolution. It’s not uncommon to see pigeons scavenging from rubbish bins when they’re desperate for food. In most cases, this is very bad for them as they’re likely eating contaminated food that can be fatal.

            Regardless of the type of pigeon, they all share very similar diets.

            What Do Baby Pigeons Eat?

            Pigeon eggs in the nest

            With baby and newborn pigeons, it’s important that their diet includes a high volume of protein in order to help with their early development. Adults do not require such high levels of protein, but macronutrients are crucial for baby and newborn pigeon muscle, tissue and physical development. If baby or newborn pigeons do not receive these nutrients and proteins, they can suffer from a protein deficiency. 

            Their diet from this age is based solely on milk produced by their parents. This is a special type of milk known as crop milk, which is secreted by both male and female pigeons. This unique feeding process lasts for no more than a week. If baby pigeons did not receive the essential nutrients from the crop milk they are unlikely to survive, and their digestive systems will not be able to develop to the point where they can eat what adult pigeons eat.

            Baby Pigeon Diet – After One Week

            After one week or sometimes less, baby pigeons will be able to eat other food alongside their staple crop milk. It’s only around the third week that baby pigeons no longer require crop milk and their digestive systems are able to digest adult pigeon food. Baby pigeons will only be able to digest crushed foods with the help of the crop milk provided by their parents (to help aid digestion). 

            Baby Pigeon Diet – After One Month

            After a month has passed, baby pigeons will be able to safely consume other foods. However, in order for them to efficiently gather and consume food, they must first be able to safely leave their nests and fly.

            Should I Be Concerned About What My Pigeon or Dove Eats?

            As pigeons and doves (and stock doves) get older, their digestive systems are able to consume most foods without any problems. Obviously, urban pigeons are more likely to consume a wider variety of foods, some of which will be harmful (such as food sourced from rubbish bins etc.).

            As stated above, pigeons and doves, whether they’re pet pigeons or not, require a healthy diet of seeds, fruits, nuts and vegetables in order to remain healthy. 

            What Can Pigeons Not Eat?

            Aside from contaminated food they source from bins around our cities, there are certain foods that can cause harm to pigeons. Pigeons have a fairly complex digestive system which means certain foods are not able to properly digest in their systems. These include:

            • Food and drink that is high in sugar: pigeons can have bad reactions to sugary foods and drinks, and can even get diabetes from them.
            • Apples – apples themselves should cause no harm to pigeons. However, if they eat apple seeds (which contain cyanide), this can cause irritation in the gut.
            • Chocolate – another compound that causes harm to pigeons is theobromine, which is present in almost all chocolate.
            • Foods high in salt (or salt itself) – salty foods contain sodium, which pigeons and other birds have problems digesting.
            • Avocados – persin is a substance that is present in avocados and is toxic to pigeons.

            Can Pigeons Eat Rice?

            The notion that pigeons and other birds shouldn’t be fed rice is a myth. While it isn’t advised that you feed a pigeon rice as it bears no nutritional value, if a pigeon does eat rice, it won’t cause it any harm. Cooked or uncooked, rice is perfectly safe for pigeons to eat.

            Pigeons Are Able to Eat Almost Anything

            Rock pigeons, wood pigeons, homing pigeons and doves all share very similar diets. As long as they receive the correct nutrients during their adolescent years, they should develop well. 

            If you are experiencing any pigeon or bird-related issues, speak to one of our pest control experts today for further help and assistance. 

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              Essential Legionella regulations guide for commercial businesses

              For businesses looking to understand more about Legeionla regulations and their responsibilities as landlords and business owners, this article should serve as a helpful compliance guide.

              There are a number of factors to address to ensure your businesses’ health and safety is compliant with HSE’s and ACOP L8’s guidelines. Below, we have included the core regulations to ensure the safety of your business and staff.

              1a. Arranging a Legionella risk assessment 

              Arguably the most important step to ensuring your compliance with health and safety law guidelines, arranging a Legionella risk assessment is easy with AMES Group. Our process monitors the water flow and temperature of your water supplies and water systems to ensure they’re operating correctly and at the right temperatures. Our process typically involves:

              • Locating your hot and cold water systems and testing them
              • Surveying your water tanks and providing reports
              • Performing stagnation and water flow tests
              • Sourcing any potential aerosol threats
              • Our team offering helpful advice on conducting your own risk assessments

              1b. The process

              After arranging your Legionella risk assessment, an AMES Group surveyor will visit your property, identify key water sources (tanks, systems etc) and collect samples from these sources around the property. Then, they are sent to a UKAS-accredited testing station for further analysis. Your Legionella sampling results usually take around 2 – 3 weeks, and once we have received them, we will contact you and advise further action if necessary.

              2. Understanding how to conduct a risk assessment

              As long as Legionella regulations are followed, most landlords can conduct their own Legionella risk assessments. We have included a helpful guide on how to check each of your systems on our Legionella Testing article. 

              The most important factor is to appoint a competent, willing person from either within or outside your business to take responsibility for your Legionella regulations. The appointed person will have to identify the main water sources of the building and conduct the necessary control measures to alleviate the risk of Legionella bacteria to ensure the safety of the occupants.

              3. Keeping records of your risk assessments

              We strongly advise keeping hold of your Legionella risk assessment records for future reference, specifically when you are due another assessment. It’s also important in case your property is ever audited, records prove that a comprehensive assessment was carried out.

              You may want to consider placing someone in charge of overseeing all Legionella-based responsibilities. The selected person should be trained to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment as well as being able to identify potential risks and threats associated with Legionella bacteria. This would include monitoring water temperature, identifying water tanks and systems throughout the property and ensuring all testing guidelines adhere to HSE’s Legionella regulations. 

              4. Getting trained or finding a certified engineer

              Understanding the basics responsibilities for overseeing Legionella control can be achieved by most Landlords and does not require extensive training. In some cases, you may not want to place sole responsibility on someone from your business, especially if they don’t want to be trained. In this case, you can elect someone from outside your business who is trained in Legionella risk assessment.

              The main Legionella regulations in the UK

              While the HSE and ACOP L8 regulations are the benchmark to which all risk assessors adhere to, there are more specific codes of conduct that you may find useful. We’ve listed these information sources below:

              Is your property compliant with Legionella regulations?

              We understand that adhering to Legionella regulations may sound daunting, but there are only a few essential rules you need to follow to be compliant. However, if you don’t have the time or do not feel equipped to bear the responsibility of overseeing your property’s Legionella regulations, AMES Group can help. 

              We conduct hundreds of Legionella risk assessments every year,m ensuring properties are risk-free and safe from the threat of Legionnaires’ disease. If You would like to arrange a Legionella risk assessment, simply complete the contact form below and our team will get back to you swiftly to arrange a date that suits you.


              Is a Legionella risk assessment a legal requirement?

              According to HSE, landlords have a legal requirement to assess and control the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria. Although having a risk assessment is not compulsory, it alleviates liability in the event of a Legionella outbreak, which makes it appealing for many landlords. However, the Health and Safety law does not require or demand a ‘Legionnaires test certificate’.

              What temperature should water be to prevent Legionella?

              Hot water temperatures should remain above 60 degrees Celsius or higher, whereas cold water systems should remain below 20 degrees. If temperatures do not meet these criteria, Legionella bacteria has a platform and habitat to grow and multiply.

              How often do legionella risk assessments need to be done?

              We strongly advise that all properties have their water systems assessed for Legionella sampling and testing at least every two years. There is no ‘rule’ that states a landlord must conduct a risk assessment within a given time period, but landlords still have a legal requirement to control the risk of Legionella exposure.

              How long do you need to keep Legionella records?

              It’s advised that once your Legionella risk assessment is complete, you keep a record of your results for the next time you require an assessment. This could be anywhere between two and five years.

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                Legionella Temperatures; what are the rules and regulations?

                Legionella is a type of bacteria found in the Legionellaceae family and can be found in low amounts in freshwater environments, such as lakes and streams. However, when Legionella bacteria finds its way into man-made hot and cold water systems, it can cause Legionnaires’ disease, which can become fatal for certain people and age groups.

                Why are hot and cold water temperatures important?

                Legionella, like other bacteria, requires certain habitats in order to survive and multiply. For Legionella to survive, water temperatures of between 20 and 45c must be met. If your hot and cold water tanks fall within these limits, it’s strong;y advised that you arrange a Legionella risk assessment with our team at AMES Group.

                Below, we have outlined the systems you should check to control and reduce the risk of Legionella in all water system units.

                Hot taps – How to check your water temperature

                Temperature checks to identify the presence of Legionella can be conducted by anyone, and only requires a thermometer. However, landlords must know what to look out for when it comes to measuring the temperature of their hot and cold water systems.

                Below is a simple step-by-step guide for identifying risks associated with Legionella:

                1. Place the thermometer inside the hot water flow for approximately one minute
                2. Record and read the temperature on the thermometer
                3. A safe recording should read no less than 50c
                4. If your recording is below 50c, it’s important you contact a Legionella risk assessor to conduct a survey of the property. This is a service we provide at AMES Group.

                Cold taps – how to check your water temperature

                In a similar concept to checking hot water tap temperatures, cold water taps should follow this format:

                • Place the thermometer into the cold water flow, this time for two minutes
                • Take a reading of the recorded temperature after two minutes 
                • Your recording should be below 20c 
                • If it is above, please contact us so we can instruct further 

                Water heaters/calorifiers – how to check your water temperature

                It’s good practice to check the water flow and return temperatures at least once a month. Temperature probes can be used to safely monitor and record the temperature of calorifiers. If the outgoing water is less than 60c, this increases the risk of Legionella bacteria forming. 

                Air conditioning units – how to check your water temperature 

                In short, air conditioning units cannot cause Legionnaires’ disease, because the bacteria requires water to form and multiply. However, there are scenarios where air conditioning units can become infected with Legionella bacteria, these may include:

                • If your air conditioning unit functions off a water-based system of cooling a refrigerant and then becomes infected with Legionella bacteria. 
                • If one of your water systems harbours Legionella bacteria, which then spreads to the air conditioning unit.

                Maintaining your water systems and performing regular checks will alleviate the theta of Legionella being transferred through air conditioning units. If you discover that your water systems are contaminated and linked up to air conditioning units, please contact our engineers for advice and support.

                Additional checks to ensure water temperature safety

                We advise you take monthly water temperature and flow checks from your calorifier as well as checking your cold water temperature once every six months. You may find it helpful to keep records of your recorded temperatures, so that in the event of a risk assessment being carried out, we can reflect on this information and come up with solutions to fix the problem. 

                The risks of not checking water temperatures 

                The biggest threat associated with Legionella bacteria is Legionnaires’ disease. This type of disease can be fatal for some people, particularly those over 60 and those who suffer with compromised immune systems. If someone drinks or inhales water from a contaminated man-made water source, they are at risk of contracting the disease, and you may be held liable if your property’s health and safety regulations were not met.

                For peace of mind and certified risk assessments

                If you would prefer one of our certified engineers to conduct a full Legionella risk assessment at your commercial property, we’re here to help. Our risk assessments are designed to be fast, affordable and minimally-invasive to ensure we do not disturb your work environment. Once we have taken water samples from your systems, it will take approximately 2-3 weeks for your results to return. Once we have them we will contact you with results.

                Book your legionella temperature test today and ensure the safety of yourself and your occupants.

                Book your Legionella risk assessment

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                  Legionella Symptoms and What to Look Out For

                  Legionella, also known as Legionella pneumophila and Legionnaires disease, is a disease that affects the respiratory system (specifically the lungs) and is the product of bacteria that develops in water systems. Below we will be discussing what are Legionella symptoms and what to look out for.

                  AMES Group provides UK customers with comprehensive Legionella tests to ensure your commercial property and workplace’s water systems remain safe.

                  What is Legionella?

                  Legionella or Legionnaires’ disease is an infection that attacks the lungs and is often likened to different types of pneumonia. 

                  People can catch Legionnaires’ disease through inhaling or ingesting drops of contaminated water from hot tubs, air conditioning units and other water tanks that regulate water temperature. 

                  If people catch Legionnaires’ disease, it can become deadly, especially in older adult patients and adults suffering from respiratory issues.

                  Legionnaires symptoms

                  Early Legionnaires’ symptoms can be compared to signs of pneumonia and include:

                  • High temperature
                  • Consistent cough that doesn’t go away
                  • Muscle aches and pains
                  • Headaches and nausea
                  • Diarrhoea
                  • Confusion and sometimes disorientation

                  Legionnaires disease that is left untreated can lead to pneumonia, but this is rare. Regardless, if you have any of the above symptoms, they remain consistent and you have recently ingested contaminated water, you should arrange to see your doctor as soon as you can. 

                  Where you contract Legionnaires’ disease

                  Legionella requires certain elements in order to survive and for bacteria to grow and multiply. For Legionella to grow, it requires the following:

                  • Suitable habitat for growth – shower heads, hot tub jets, taps and hot water cylinders are prime examples for Legionella growth.
                  • A food source – like with any bacteria, Legionella requires food to survive and this comes in the form of bacteria typically sourced from shower and hair care products.
                  • Adequate temperature – one of the most important requirements Legeionella demands is the correct water temperature. Legionella thrives in temperatures between 20c to 45c. A Legionella test will ensure that your water tank temperature will not fall into this temperature zone. 

                  Legionnaires’ disease and its relationship with Pneumonia

                  Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are often associated with pneumonia, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two.

                  Pneumonia occurs approximately one to two days after being exposed to bacterial pneumonia, which leads to bacterial infection. Other types of pneumonia include:

                  Aspiration pneumonia – this occurs when you inhale foreign objects, including chemicals, smoke or even certain foods like peanuts. Aspiration pneumonia can also be contracted upon inhaling vomit.

                  Viral pneumonia – this is caused by a virus, which includes coronavirus (COVID-19). If you do develop symptoms associated with COVID-19, it’s essential you follow government public health guidelines regarding social distancing and isolation upon noticing symptoms.

                  Fungal pneumonia – a much rarer case of pneumonia which is rarely caught in the UK. It’s more likely to affect adults with weak immune systems.

                  There is also another type of Legionella called Legionella longbeachae, which is typically found in soil and compost. When someone contracts it, it can result in Pontiac fever – an acute respiratory disease that is nonfatal and does not include pneumonia.

                  Can children get Legionnaires’ disease?

                  Although children can contract Legionnaires disease, it is very rare, with usually very mild symptoms or they will display no symptoms at all. People at higher risk of contracting the disease are adults with compromised immune systems and those over 60.

                  Treatment for Legionnaires’ disease

                  Legionnaires’ disease can become fatal to adults who have weakened immune systems, are over 60 and/or suffer from respiratory issues. It’s important that if symptoms persist, you should arrange to see your doctor.

                  Treatment for Legionnaires disease typically includes:

                  • Antibiotics
                  • A machine to help you breathe 
                  • Oxygen via a face mask

                  Your condition should start to improve as your treatment continues. If you are given a course of antibiotics, you may be asked to take them for approximately 1 – 3 weeks depending on the advice provided by your doctor.

                  A full recovery is expected through correct treatment, but you can expect to rest for around two weeks before feeling normal again. 

                  How AMES Group can help prevent Legionella in the workplace 

                  AMES Group offers comprehensive water sample and water testing services for customers around the UK. compliance with ACOP L8 or the Drinking Water Regulations is essential to ensure the safety and welfare of your staff.

                  Our Legionella risk assessments

                  Our water sampling and water quality tests are conducted by our certified staff in a fast and efficient manner.  Our Legionella disease control and prevention tests provide identification and assessment of the source of any Legionella risk. Upon completion, you will also be provided with a written scheme (course or action), to prevent and minimise the risk of Legionella within your property.

                  Prevention is better than a cure, book your risk assessment today

                  You can book a risk assessment test with AMES Group today to ensure your compliance with  ACoP L8 or the Drinking Water Regulations and the safety of your workplace and staff. Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease are easily preventable and only require a short risk assessment that will remain valid for two years with AMES Group.

                  To lower the risk of Legionella outbreak and to protect your workplace and staff, book your risk assessment test today.

                  Book your assessment now

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                    Signs of and How To Get Rid of Mice in a Garden

                    Signs of and How To Get Rid of Mice in a Garden

                    Mouse eating a root vegetable.

                    Mice love to eat seeds, bulbs and vegetables of various kinds from your garden. A mouse has plenty of cover from predators in a backyard and may make their bed in burrows or a shed. The signs of a mouse problem in the garden include bite marks on produce and holes in the soil where mice dig for food.

                    Mice in the garden can also spread disease. To get rid of mice in the garden you can practice a selection of techniques to shield the food sources a mouse will eat, remove or adjust potential places a mouse may make a bed and potentially use poison or traps. Poison is only usually necessary if there is a big problem.

                    While the tips we provide here will help, using a professional rodent control service is the most effective way of dealing with mice in your garden. For an affordable and long-lasting solution to a mouse problem in your backyard, you can contact us. We can assess the situation and provide the best outcome.

                    Signs of mice in a garden and why they like your backyard

                    There are many signs of mice and other rodents in your garden. The main signs are holes in the soil where mice dig to find food, such as near a seed, bulb or root vegetable. You can also find their beds underground, or possibly in a garden shed. Bite marks on vegetables and other plants are another sign of mice in your garden.

                    You may mistake the signs of field mice in your garden for a different type of rodent. There is a chance that water voles or bank voles are the cause of the damage in your backyard, but it is unlikely that rats or house mice will be the cause of your problems.

                    Field mice will choose an environment for one primary reason, which is a food source. Your garden can provide an abundance of food for mice, especially if you have extensive fruit and vegetable plants. Mice will find the natural cover of a garden another attractive aspect of your backyard.

                    3 practical tips on how to get rid of mice in the garden

                    Small mouse in garden

                    It is relatively rare for field mice to become such a huge problem that there is an infestation, but you probably find the damage they cause fairly annoying. Mice can also spread disease in your garden from their urine and faeces. As a result, you will want to take preventative measures to stop backyard mice.

                    The following are some practical tips to help control the mice in your garden. By incorporating these tips into your gardening practices, you can ensure the problem of mice remains minimal:

                    1. Protect your plants

                    You probably do not wish to give in to the problem and simply remove all of your plants. However, you can take measures to protect your plants from mice, or at least minimise their impact and dissuade them from damaging plants.

                    You can try putting mesh wire over your plant pots outside, which will stop any hungry mouse from accessing them. Mice hate biting on metal, and they are not strong enough to bite through it in any case.

                    You can also help rodent-proof your backyard shed. A shed is a key area where a mouse can make its bed and they will access potting sheds for feeding purposes too. Try using steel wool at any potential access points.

                    2. Get rid of any possible nesting places

                    Mice prefer warm, dry little nooks and crannies to make their nests. It is important to regularly sweep areas that may be appealing for mice to make their beds in for signs of an existing nest.

                    Areas to look out for include log piles, which can provide a notable amount of shelter to a mouse. Another common area you will see mice make their beds is in the garden shed. Check all corners and take a look underneath the shed too.

                    Unfortunately, finding a bed is not the best sign as it means that mice are present and may have also spread. Look for holes in the ground too, as mice can burrow to make a bed and line it with leaves or other materials.

                    3. Try poison, traps or rat boxes

                    We see lots of rodents and control different types with certain methods, which gives you a lot of versatility when you choose our services. However, unless the problem is really bad, it may be milder to avoid poison for mice in a garden.

                    You can successfully apply rodenticide, particularly under sheds or decking, but this is not always necessary. Humane traps can help by capturing the mice and there are commercial mouse repellents and deterrents you can try too.

                    A rat box will also help with rats or other rodents. It contains poison and has a design that makes it work with rats and mice without interfering with any other larger animals or pets.

                    Mice control options for your garden

                    Having mice in the garden is irritating and they can cause damage to plants. Look for small holes and bite marks or signs of a nest. Protecting plants, removing places where mice make their beds and using more traditional forms of pest control are some potential ways to get rid of the issue.

                    If you want the most effective mice control in your garden you are going to need a professional service to ensure you use the right option. Trying to do it yourself can be a challenge, but hopefully these tips we discussed above will help you prevent any significant problems.

                    If you have a bigger problem and want to guarantee a long-lasting solution to the issue of mice in your garden, we recommend contacting us so we can assess the situation and take control of the problem. You can also view our blog for more tips and information on pest control.

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