Bird droppings are extremely dangerous. They can carry all kinds of infectious diseases and
parasites. They are especially dangerous when dried, because fine particles can be released into
the air and then aspirated (inhaled). If you are going to handle them you should wear gloves and
a mask and wash thoroughly afterwards. As with all infectious agents, young children, the elderly
and people with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
Histoplasmosis is a fungal disease contracted through airborne spores in pigeon droppings. If
pigeons have been on your roof for a while, these spores can even infect the soil in your garden
down below. Its symptoms may be anything from a mild influenza to blood abnormalities and
fever, or even death. An eye condition has been linked to the bird disease histoplasmosis and can
lead to blindness in those who contract it.
Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons. The disease affects the skin, the
mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract, especially the vagina. It is a
growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge.
Cryptococcosis is caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings. The
illness often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system.
Since attics, cupolas, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, mills, barns, park buildings, signs, etc.
are typical roosting and nesting sites, the fungus is apt to found in these areas.
St. Louis Encephalitis, an inflammation of the nervous system, usually causes drowsiness,
headache and fever. It may even result in paralysis, coma or death. St. Louis encephalitis occurs
in all age groups, but is especially fatal to persons over age 60. The disease is spread by
mosquitoes which have fed on infected house sparrow, pigeons and house finches carrying the
Group B virus responsible for St. Louis encephalitis.
Salmonellosis often occurs as "food poisoning" and can be traced to pigeons, starlings and
sparrows. The disease bacteria are found in bird droppings; dust from droppings can be sucked
through ventilators and air conditioners, contaminating food and cooking surfaces in restaurants,
homes and food processing plants.
E.coli. Cattle carry E. coli 0157:H7. When birds peck on cow manure, the E. coli go right
through the birds and the bird droppings can land on or in a food or water supply.
Besides being direct carriers of disease, nuisance birds are frequently associated with over 50
kinds of ectoparasites, which can work their way throughout structures to infest and bite
humans. About two-thirds of these pests may be detrimental to the general health and well-being
of humans and domestic animals. The rest are considered nuisance or incidental pests. A few
examples of ectoparasites include:
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) may consume up to five times their own weight in blood drawn
from hosts which include humans and some domestic animals. In any extreme condition, victims
may become weak and anemic. Pigeons, starlings and house sparrows are known to carry bed
Chicken mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) are known carriers of encephalitis and may also cause
fowl mite dermatitis and acariasis. While they subsist on blood drawn from a variety of birds,
they may also attack humans. They have been found on pigeons, starlings and house sparrows.
Yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), perhaps the most common beetle parasites of people in
the United States, live in pigeon nests. It is found in grain or grain products, often winding up in
breakfast cereals, and may cause intestinal canthariasis and hymenolespiasis.
West Nile Virus while West Nile is technically not transmitted to humans from birds, humans
can get infected by the bite of a mosquito who has bitten an infected bird. The obvious lesson is
that the fewer birds there are in any given area, the better. This translates into a smaller chance
of an infected bird in that area, a smaller chance of a mosquito biting an infected bird and then
biting a human.
Pigeon control is not an impossible matter, many homeowners and city
municipalities have employed successful integrated pigeon management programs
to reduce populations, thus hindering the physical, economic, and health damages
associated with these pest birds. The most common misconception the public has
is that pigeon control does not work. I am sure as you travel around town you
notice bird netting on the top of gas station canopy's or pigeons resting on top of
bird spikes on the roofs of residential property's. These are signs that the bird work
was not done properly or the right program was not put into place before the
exclusion work was done, thus the situation staying the same or in some cases
getting worse. Our job is to educate the public that it is not the products that do not
work it is actually products that work being applied to the wrong areas or
situations, some products are not made to be used on all areas. There are many
products, sizes and determining factors when it comes to pigeon exclusions. Be
sure that if you have pigeon exclusions performed that the company is certified to
do that work and that the right products are being applied to the right areas.
Live trapping to get rid of and reduce pigeon flock size is always recommended
before a exclusion program is performed on commercial and residential structures
depending on the severity of the problem. This will help to remove all the pigeons
that are already nesting there and leave nothing to come back to the area that was
Bird spikes, as they've been aptly named, are another good way to get rid of
pigeons by reducing roosting sites. Bird spikes are those metal spikes you see on
window ledges, parapet wall edges and other areas that are required. Bird spikes
are very effective but have there place they are not used for all situations Do not
discount bird spikes for repelling pigeons just because of the price. You may save
money in the long run by preventing physical damages incurred by pigeon
Chemical Pigeon Control
Chemical pigeon control (Avitrol) is also very affective. Avitrol is a controlled
product so it is a expensive program and is not used for all situations. This type
of control is usually used for commercial use. If you would like more
information on this type of treatment or would like to know if this type of
treatment is right for you please call our office.
Bird netting (stealth netting) or stainless steel wire mesh fencing can be used to get
rid of pigeons by excluding them from their typical roosting sites. This can be
expensive but it is one of the most effective deterrents available. If pigeons cannot
roost nearby your property, they are likely to move on, and establish a larger
community elsewhere. Wire mesh, screening, or bird netting may be hung under
eves, in lofts, and anywhere else pigeons have been known to roost.
Bird wire and spiders are also a very effective bird deterrent. This treatment
prevents pigeons from landing on rails, roof edges, roof peaks and chimney