Because pigeons tend to breed and roost in groups, the build-up of pigeon feces on buildings and other structures is visually unappealing. In addition, pigeon droppings are acidic and erode metal and stonework. Pigeons have also been associated with a variety of diseases, including histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis.
DID YOU KNOW?
Often described as "rats with wings," pigeons are found in nearly all environments where people are found. In fact, pigeons are highly dependent on people to provide them with food and nesting sites. Pigeons are primarily seed eaters, however, they will also feed on nearly anything provided for them by people.
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Do pigeon infestations create potential health hazards?
Yes. Pigeon droppings contain the organisms responsible for diseases such as Ornithosis, Encephalitis, Cryptococcosis, Toxoplasmosis and Salmonella, to name a few.
Buildings which have large pigeon populations constitute health hazards for the occupants of those buildings.
Huge stores of food, intended for human or animal use, can be contaminated by pigeon droppings in silos, storage bins and other grain handling facilities.
Other organisms may exist in old, dry droppings, and in empty nests, and are transmitted to humans through inhalation.
Ectoparasites of pigeons, such as lice, fleas and mites, may also affect people if they are in close proximity to nesting areas. The northern fowl mite is a very important pest of poultry, and is found on, and transmitted by pigeons.
These points illustrate the importance of eliminating pigeon infestations, thoroughly cleaning areas where they once roosted, and preventing re-infestation.
How can pigeon infestations be prevented?
Long term control requires the elimination of sources of food, water and shelter. Unfortunately, these processes can be extremely costly and, in most cases, are highly impractical as they often require the modification structures and landscapes.
Exclusion is practical and affordable method of control, and it is highly effective if done properly. Exclusion involves eliminating access to lofts, steeples, vents, girders and eaves with metal, glass, screens, wire mesh and plastic or nylon netting.
Roosting may be prevented through the use of mechanical repellents often known as Porcupine Wire.
These materials consist of numerous metal or plastic prongs which project upwards at different angles. When strategically placed on a surface, pigeons are prevented from landing.
Other means of prevention include the non-toxic repellents which, when applied produce sticky surfaces which pigeons dislike and will not land on.
Sanitation is essential around residential, businesses and farms. Sources of food and water should be eliminated, and people should be discouraged from feeding pigeons in public areas.
The safe and proper removal and exclusion of pigeons from a structure can be a difficult and time-consuming endeavour and should be done by professional pest control technicians.