Pigeons that we see in our urban areas of Greater Salt Lake City, Utah are descendants of the Rock Dove, a species of pigeon domesticated by humans for food and as pets. The rock doves that were released or escaped became today’s city pigeons. Now you probably can’t imagine a pigeon sitting in a nest as a serious problem. They do however become an issue when their numbers get large and they take up residence in areas they aren’t supposed to. Pigeons do not have natural enemies in urban areas and will reproduce very quickly if they have a place to do it. A well-fed pigeon can produce 25 pounds of droppings every year. That’s a lot of poop! Not only are droppings ugly to look at, they can be harmful to your health, cause damage to buildings and become a serious liability.
Diseases Caused by Pigeon Droppings & Feathers
Bird droppings act like a sponge for pathogens and can create many health risks that come from inhaling the spores produced by bird droppings. Some of the diseases that pigeons can transmit include:
• Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that can be deadly. The largest outbreaks of histoplasmosis in the United States occurred in the late 1970’s in Indiana. Over 120,000 people became sick and 15 died after a building containing bird droppings was demolished.
• Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection that affects the skin, mouth, respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract.
• Cryptococcosis is caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons. It can lead to pulmonary disease and can affect the central nervous system in later stages.
• Salmonellosis can be found in bird droppings and causes “food poisoning”.
• E. Coli infection is one of the most common infections caused by an enteric bacteria.
• Bird droppings and nests that collect around HVAC systems can block airflow into buildings and result in a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide.
• Pigeons can also introduce parasitic pests like ticks, fleas and bird mites into your home.
Corrosion & Damage Caused by Bird Droppings
Bird droppings can become extremely slippery when they get wet. A man in The Bronx was awarded $1.36 million for the pain and suffering that he endured when he fell down a flight of stairs. The jury agreed that his injuries were caused by pigeon droppings that were left to accumulate on the stairs. Droppings can also become a structural liability. Bird droppings that have been left to accumulate can clog drainage systems, corrosion and other damage to roofs. The roof can then leak and even collapse. Remember how much poop one pigeon can deposit in a year? Multiply that by many birds and you have a problem.
Roosting Bird Control
Other than the fact that birds can be hazardous to your health and property, they can be annoying. Take preventative measures to keep them away and maintain your sanity. The sooner potential problems are addressed, the better. Call Specialized Pest Control & Lawn Care for professional bird control services. We have humane options and the experience to keep birds away from your property. We look forward to hearing from you!