Problem Pigeons: Are Pigeons Roosting on Your Premises?
Pigeons tend to be attracted to densely populated areas, feeding off discarded food and roosting on or in buildings. They favour high places, and often opt for shop fronts or rear areas to roost and nest.
Why are Pigeons a Problem?
The feral pigeon can be a big pest problem for shop owners. Many people refer to pigeons as “rats of the sky” due to the number of diseases they can carry, and the health risks associated with their droppings, also known as “guano”. According to the BPCA, up to 49% of feral pigeons could carry an infectious disease that is transmissible to humans. Transmission often occurs when droppings have dried, and particles become airborne.
Diseases associated with pigeon droppings include:
- Cryptococcosis is a potentially fatal fungal infection, mainly affecting the lungs. Symptoms include headache, nausea, fever, chest pain, and skin rash, amongst others.
- Histoplasmosis is another fungal infection primarily affecting the lungs. Sometimes other organs can be affected, known as disseminated histoplasmosis, which can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms include dry cough, muscle pain, fever, chills, headaches, and fatigue.
- Psittacosis is a bacterial pathogen commonly known as “Parrot Fever” or “Ornithosis”. Symptoms typically present as atypical pneumonia, including tight chest, fever, chills, muscle pain, fatigue, dry cough, and blood in spittle. In some cases, there may be swelling of brain tissue, which can cause permanent damage.
Pigeons roosting or nesting above your shop therefore creates an unsafe working environment for you, and your employers. It also creates an unsafe shopping experience for your customers.
Bird droppings are unsightly and can cause a slip hazard for shoppers. This can hurt the customer, your reputation, and your bank balance if they attempt to claim for compensation.
If this wasn’t bad enough, pigeon droppings have a high acid content, which can cause deterioration of stone and cause lasting damage to your building.
How can I Prevent Pigeons from Roosting on My Premises?
The BPCA state that removing food sources for birds and blocking off sites where they typically perch, nest and roost is the best way to deal with your pigeon problem. There are multiple bird control products available on the market. External bird proofing on signage and entrance points will prevent birds from perching and roosting. Many companies favour spiked strips to deter pigeons, others prefer bird netting, decoy kites, lasers, or bird gels. At Avon Pest Control we will listen to your concerns and requirements and discuss bird control options to ensure the correct product is installed for you.
Please note: the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states it is illegal to harm or kill pigeons unless you have a specific license.
Bird proofing and prevention requires specialised skills and tools; time to call in the experts!