Urban birds are on the increase with aided by the abundance of food, roosting options, and the dwindling natural predators. This population explosion has caused some birds to become pests by their sheer numbers. Look at Geese for example or Haddidas, not your typical pest species, but due to their numbers, they can be considered a pest by some.

As these pest species increase in numbers, they inevitably must spread out to find suitable roosting areas for the next generation. Feral pigeons can live up to 4 years and in their lifespan can lay up to 32 eggs. These eggs will hatch in 18 days, the young will be out of the nest in 35 days and looking for a mate as early as 7 months. The cycle perpetuates and the species rapidly increases.

The average Feral pigeon is not too fussy when it comes to picking a roosting spot. All it needs is food, water and somewhere relatively safe to sit. This makes office buildings and industrial areas ideal for a young feral pigeon couple looking to settle down and start a family. As these birds do not migrate and prefer to stay near their birthplace, they can be troublesome to remove. Once you have a pigeon problem, things are not going to get better by themselves, you will need to look at your pest control options.

What sort of damage can you expect from feral pigeons?

Outside the building

Pigeons will foul the areas below their roosting areas. Their tactic is to back-up over the edge and release a stream of droppings on anyone and anything that is unlucky enough to get caught below.

For business premises, this causes and unpleasant scene for visitors and can damage cars parked below and create an injury and health hazard.

For industrial areas and warehousing, the pigeon droppings can damage goods, raw materials, food packaging, etc. resulting in financial loss.

Birds roosting outside in the gutters will disrupt the buildings’ drainage causing water to build up, allowing insects to breed and increasing the risk of water damage to timbers, metal fittings, and wall cladding.

People outside the building may experience aggressive bird behaviour when they come too close to any nests containing chicks or while eating their food. Gulls and starlings are particularly aggressive when it comes to stealing food from people.

Meanwhile…Inside the building

While pigeons are not too fussy where they roost, they will prefer to be somewhere warmer than hugging the ledge or external piping. They will gain access to the building if they can and that is where your trouble really begins.

Property damage

Feral pigeons have the time and tenacity to wear down the defenses of your building. They will dislodge roof tiles, make holes in roof spaces and exploit any weaknesses in the building's structure.

Once inside their droppings will build-up, along with the additional pests (mites), bacteria and diseases that accompany the feral birds.

Birds are not tidy house guests and will quickly make a mess of the insulation in the roof spaces along with any air conditioning installations, lift motor machinery and anything else stored there that they can sit on, poop on or peck.

For food manufacturing and food warehousing, the pest birds will inevitably gain access to the storage areas and spoil the food and packaging.

Risk of Disease

Feral pigeons are host to multiple types of bacteria, diseases, pathogens, and viruses (E. coli, Salmonella, Histoplasma). Their general living habitat is a petri dish for all manner of nasties that can get into the building air supply, contaminate the water supply and food, causing sickness and disease.

Pests attract pests

A pest bird infestation attracts other pests – fleas, ticks, mites, lice. This, in turn, creates its own new ecosystem where larger insects come to eat the bugs. The insects and birds attract the rodents and reptiles and soon your ‘unused roof area’ is teaming with life.

If you would like your building to be more like a place of business and a lot less like a bio-hazard wasteland, then get in touch and we will be happy send the pest birds packing!

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 07:49

Why are Pigeons a Health Hazard?

Feral Pigeons

Feral Pigeons are sometimes known as flying rats and are descended form Rock Doves which interbred with racing pigeons and domestic pigeons.

Domestic Doves were originally bred from Rock Doves and their natural habitat was sea cliffs and mountains. They have adapted to urban life and find the ledges of buildings to be a substitute for rocks and cliffs.

Pigeons don’t migrate which means they will stay near their place of birth – your building!

Pigeons have a lifespan of about 4 years and will lay up to 8 eggs per year each; their young will leave the nest in only one month.

Health Hazards in Bird Infestations

Bird infestation can lead to health problems for the people who occupy and visit your premises.

Bird droppings are the main source of disease transmission between birds and humans and more than 60 diseases can be transferred from birds to human beings, sometimes with fatal results.

Infectious diseases are caused by foreign invaders (like birds) and grouped in five categories:
1. Viruses
2. Bacteria
3. Mycotic (fungal)
4. Protozoal (Protozoa)
5. Rickettsial (highly pleomorphic bacteria)

4 Main ways infectious diseases are transmitted from Birds to Humans:
1. Through inhalation of contaminated dust through air holes and air vents.
2. Disease is transferred via parasites like fleas, ticks and mites.
3. Direct contact with bird faeces.
4. Food and water contaminated with bird droppings.

Eagle Eye Bird Control provides you with an Optical Bird Scarer, approved and recommended by the Department of Nature Conservation. It does not harm the bird in any way and results show a reduction of bird infestation of up to 80% within 3 months.

1. Through inhalation of contaminated dust through air holes and air vents.
2. Disease is transferred via parasites like fleas, ticks and mites.
3. Direct contact with bird faeces.
4. Food and water contaminated with bird droppings.

Eagle Eye Bird Control provides you with an Optical Bird Scarer, approved and recommended by the Department of Nature Conservation. It does not harm the bird in any way and results show a reduction of bird infestation of up to 80% within 3 months.

Published in Blog
Monday, 28 June 2010 14:57

Bird Diseases

Known Diseases from birds and their droppings/nests

More than 60 transmissible diseases (some of which are fatal) are associated with geese, pigeons, starlings and house sparrows.

These include:

  • Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that may be fatal.
    It results from a fungus growing in dried bird droppings.
  • 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.  Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection
    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.
  • 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 bugs.
  • 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 that 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.
Published in Did you know