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The Problem With Pigeons: Bird Infestation Concerns

Rodents or insects are the usual problems in a pest infestation, but they are not the only creatures pest control services remove. Birds can also be problematic if they choose to take up residence in a home. Pigeons are common in many areas, but homeowners may not realize the amount of damage they cause and the diseases they can spread.  

Spread of Disease

Histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis are three potentially dangerous diseases spread by pigeons. Histoplasmosis is caused by a fungus in bird droppings. If humans breathe the fungus into their lungs, they can develop a respiratory infection similar to pneumonia. Fatal cases occur when the disease spreads throughout the body.

A cryptococcal infection is similar to histoplasmosis, as it also begins as a respiratory infection and is spread through pigeon droppings. Advanced infections cause damage to the nervous system and skin lesions. People with weakened immune systems are most at risk, but anyone can contract the disease.

Psittacosis is known as Parrot Fever, but it is spread by many types of birds. Humans that come into contact with infected birds are at risk of contracting the disease. Psittacosis causes severe flu or pneumonia-like symptoms and is potentially fatal for some people.

Danger to Home

The droppings the birds leave behind on the exterior of a home and around its perimeter is the most noticeable problem with a pigeon infestation, especially because the diseases spread through droppings. The average pigeon produces 25 pounds of droppings per year, so a large number of the creatures in one area can become a serious problem, even just aesthetically due to the acid level in the waste that can dissolve roofing tar.

Pigeons also build nests, and this is another worry for the homeowner. The birds roost up high for their own protection, so the areas they choose on homes include chimneys, gutters, and vents. The dry materials the birds collect are a fire hazard, and the blockage the nest creates in gutters, chimneys or vents can lead to a lot of maintenance concerns.

Danger to Vehicles

Pigeon droppings contain high levels of uric acid that puts vehicles at risk, too. Car owners need to immediately remove any deposits the birds leave behind on vehicles in order to protect the finish on the vehicle. When the droppings remain, the acid dissolves the clear coat over the pain and leaves behind a dull spot. If left for too, long the acid could even etch into the paint.

Damage to Gardens

Another concern is that pigeons like to eat a lot of the items humans plant in their gardens. Both flower and vegetable gardens are at risk to the hungry birds. Pigeons eat at least 10 percent of their body weight in food each day, so a flock of the birds can leave a lot of destruction behind.

Common targets of pigeons include cabbage, broccoli, and peas, as well as cherries and currants. Lilac trees and nearly any berry and fruit trees are also at risk. Pigeons will eat the leaves, buds, and fruit from a variety of bushes and flowering plants.

The risk of contracting a disease from a pigeon is small, but it is possible. However, the most common risk is the potential for property damage. It takes only a few pigeons to become a potential expense for a homeowner. Contact Cliff's Pest Control, Inc. for assistance if the pigeon population has increased around the property or nesting materials are found on your home.

Our professionals can remove the pests and offer tips that will help to discourage any return visits from the birds. Call us today to arrange an inspection or to begin removal services.  



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