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To see a more detailed list of diseases -

Click Here

 

Dirty Bird Pictures

 

 

 

   

 

   Health Risk Associated with nuisance pigeons & birds

 

FACT: Pest bird can harbor over 40 types of parasites and host internally 60 types of infectious diseases that can be spread by the dried bird droppings to you, your family, employees and pets.

Pigeon feces can build up in  a very short time - smells awfull

 

 

People who would never tolerate a colony of rats living in their attic or home will turn a blind eye towards pigeons or other birds entrenched in the overhangs or rafters of their roof. Yet, in terms of disease and damage, the two pests are quite similar.

    In order to better understand how nuisance birds (or rats with wings for that matter) spread disease we need to understand the basics of disease and transmission.

To see a more detailed list of diseases - Click Here

 

What is a Disease?
When normal body functions become disrupted due to a foreign invaders or an internal malfunction, we call the disruption a disease. Diseases caused by foreign invaders are called infectious diseases. The invading agents that account for the majority of infectious diseases are grouped in the following five categories; viruses, bacteria, mycotic (fungal), protozoal and rickettsial. From a layman's standpoint, the classification and definitions of disease are less important than how these diseases spread and how can we protect ourselves from them. Diseases need to be transported from place to place in order to spread.

Birds are a perfect mechanism for spreading disease because they travel great distances, harbor over forty typesPigeons need a flat surfce to walk on most don't hang out in trees of parasites and can host internally over sixty types of infectious diseases that can effect you, your family and pets and now with the possible treat in the next few years of bird flu, controlling pest birds around your home or business is even more important.

   Fortunately, human interaction with most bird species is minimal, thus drastically reducing any health threat from most birds. However a few bird species have successfully adapted to our urban environment. The pigeon, starling and house sparrow have learned to thrive living in our buildings and eating our food. Their adaptation to our communities has brought them into close proximity to humans. These three non-native birds have become a major nuisance in our cities and they pose a serious health risk.

  How Pest Birds Harbor and Spread Disease
The five types of infectious agents listed above can be associated with birds in the following ways: the disease lives in the bird and is passed on when the bird defecates; the disease lives in the birds surrounding environment and is spread by the birds lifestyle; the disease lives inside a parasite that the bird harbors. From understanding how the bird harbors diseases we can demonstrate the four ways the diseases are passed by the bird to humans.

Food & Water Contaminated with Feces
The most obvious example is when the diseased bird directly defecates into a human food or water source. In the summer of 93, New York faced a health crisis when several hundred people came down with a mysterious ailment. The illness was traced to sea gull droppings in an old city reservoir. Health inspectors are quick to shut down a food processing plant if nuisance birds are found inside. Besides direct contamination, airborne spores from drying feces in air ducts and vents can settle on exposed food and transfer disease. Several thousand cases of food poisoning (Salmonella) every year are attributed to this disease transmission route.

Inhalation of fecal dust
Please don't feed the birds they carry diseases and one pigeon will turn into many in a short time.As bird feces and/or the contaminated soil it rests on, dries or is disturbed, microscopic pieces break off and become airborne. These airborne particles can contain dormant fungi and/or bacteria. When breathed into the lungs, the warm, moist environment of the lung lining provides a breeding ground for the infectious agents. Common symptoms of this type of infection are flu like in nature: coughing, elevated temperature, restricted breathing and general body fatigue, and last roughly two to four days. The vast majority of the time, the bodies defenses will contain the invaders even before minor symptoms appear but in a small percentage of cases, major infection causing long term disability and even death occurs. It is worth noting that there is no known medical cure for internal fungal infections. After the Northridge earthquake, several thousand people came down with flu like respiratory symptoms. The ailment was called Valley Fever and was caused by people breathing in dust and airborne debris filled with histoplasmosis spores and related fungal agents stirred up by the earthquake.

Direct contact with feces
Infection occurs when a worker or resident gets fecal dust or droppings in an open wound or cut. This commonly occurs when handling old rusty, sharp porcupine wire ledge products which are covered with bird feces. The wound site becomes red, puffy and puss-filled. Antibiotics are often needed to cure the infection. In some rare cases, infection of the blood (Septis) or internal infection can also occur causing serious illness or death. Proper attire and care must always be used when cleaning a bird site or installing bird control products. If a cut or injury occurs, thoroughly wash and disinfect the wound and cover with a sterile bandage to minimize risk of infection.

Associated Parasites
Pest birds harbor ticks, fleas, mites and other ectoparasites. Parasites transfer disease in the following manner. The parasite bites an infected animal and sucks in blood containing the germ. When the bug bites its next victim it passes along the germ to the new victim. This occurs because parasites inject some of their saliva into the host when feeding. Over forty types of parasites live either on the birds, in their nests or in the places they roost. They are responsible for the transmission of several hundred viral and bacterial agents. These diseases include plague, encephalitis, pox and meningitis. Control of these parasites is a crucial phase of the bird control project. Paradoxically, this threat can be aggravated when bird control products are installed. Unless the parasites are exterminated when the birds are excluded from a site, the mites, fleas, ticks etc. will seek a new host, often the human inhabitants. Therefore, a proper bird control project will always include parasite extermination.

Two of the most common known diseases:

Histoplasmosis is caused by a fungus (Histoplasma capsulatum) found primarily in the areas drained by the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The disease is transmitted to humans by airborne fungus spores from soil contaminated by pigeon and starling droppings (as well as from the droppings of other birds and bats). The soil under a roost usually has to have been enriched by droppings for two years or more for the disease organism to reach significant levels. Although almost always associated with soil, the fungus has been found in droppings (particularly from bats) alone, such as in an attic.

Pigeons building their nests in old plastic spike - what a messInfection occurs when spores, carried by the air are inhaled especially after a roost has been disturbed. Most infections are mild and produce either no symptoms or a minor influenza- like illness. On occasion, the disease can cause high fever, blood abnormalities, pneumonia and even death. In some areas, including portions of Illinois, up to 80 percent of the population show evidence of previous infection.

 

Cryptococcosis - Pigeon droppings appear to be the most important source of the disease fungus Cryptococcus neoformans in the environment. The fungus is typically found in accumulations of droppings around roosting and nesting sites, for example, attics, cupolas, ledges and water towers. It has been found in as many as 84 percent of samples taken from old roosts. Even when old and dry, bird droppings can be a significant source of infection.

Some of the diseases Associated with many Pest Birds;

Bacterial
Paratyphoid
Vibriosis
Salmonella
Listeriosis
Pasteurellosis

Fungal
Histoplasmosis
Candidiasis
Sarcosporidiosias
Blastomycosis

Viral
Encephalitis
Meningitis
Newcastle Disease
St. Louis Encephalitis

Protozoal
Toxoplasmosis
Trichomoniasis
American Trypansomiasis

Rickettsial
Rickets

Above list does not include diseases spread by parasites which live on the pest birds or in their nests like bird mites, bed bugs or ticks.

  

 

   
           
   

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