Go to Main Content

Environment & Energy news

  • Korea Uses Piano Wire to Ward Off Pigeons for the First Time

  • Environment & Energy news SMG 4872

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government has developed a novel solution to keep birds away and prevent the damage that they cause by using piano wire for the first time in Korea; and it has been quite effective. The solution is based on the simple idea that the birds will be unable to land on the extremely thin wire, which is installed on bridges, overpasses, and tall structures, and would fly away after failing at several attempts to perch.

    For quite some time, many bridges and elevated roads have been infested with pigeons, spoiling the image of our city and causing bad smells, noise, and squalor. Pigeon infestations not only deteriorate the living environments of our citizens, but also cause corrosion, making it difficult and expensive for the city government to maintain the facilities. Pigeon droppings contain ammonia and acid, which cause corrosion of steel structural parts when mixed with rainwater. The droppings are also a nuisance to pedestrians walking under bridges and overpasses.

    The idea of using piano wire was born when citizens passing underneath Seongsan No. 1 Bridge petitioned the Seoul Metropolitan Government to do something about the pigeon problem. A city government official from the Seobu Roads and Bridges Maintenance Office came up with the idea after weeks of contemplation, and he applied for a patent for the idea. Also, the idea was awarded the top prize in the 2014 Seoul Creative Awards in May 2014.

    The piano wire-based bird repelling device is an improvement over prior solutions, such as the bird blocking net, which was unsightly and difficult to install in small spaces. It is also more cost effective than any other solution, reducing spending on the pigeon issue by half. Also, its installation is very simple, with no need to regularly replace the device, because there is a lever and elastic spring that allows the tightness of the wires to be adjusted depending on the temperature. Since the wire is made of tempered high-carbon steel, it is durable and maintains elasticity for long periods of time. In addition, it does not cause any inconvenience during safety inspections.
    Before and after installation photos

    Location Before After
    Seongsan No. 1 Bridge
    Seoul Station Overpass
    Hannam 2 Overpass