The question of how dangerous are bird droppings to human health is not taken seriously enough, and people look at the mess, the smell, and the noise of the birds. Still, they rarely worry about any health dangers associated with birds who are maybe roosting near or on the air conditioning or water tanks.
How dangerous are bird droppings and how can you get sick from it?
Although birds add to a fascinating view in your yard, and they also are highly intelligent and fun companions, it is important to recognize that birds can make you get sick, too.
Whether these birds are your pets or just mere visitors in your property, know that they could carry germs and bring in diseases.
Disease from a bird droppings is difficult since exposure to the pathogens does not always result in a disease and these bird diseases are not reportable to health authorities.
What disease can birds give to humans?
Examples of transmissible bird diseases associated with pigeons, geese, starling and house sparrows are:
- 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 roof, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, 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, headaches and fever. 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 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, sparrows and other rodents. 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.
- E.coli infection: It is one of the common infections caused by an enteric bacteria. This bacteria is often traced in the faecal matters. When some bird or rodent visit such sites they carry these and spread to humans. Such as when birds peck on cow manure, the E. coli (O157:H7) go right through the birds and the bird droppings can land on or in a food or water supply.
How dangerous are bird droppings?
Bird faecal matter and feathers can have devastating effects on the heating and cooling components and indoor air quality of a commercial facility. Pigeon problems can affect employees, maintenance personnel and, potentially, customers.
Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Director at EDLab was quoted on saying:
“heavy smells from the bacteria, fungi, and other organic matter from the birds can infiltrate through the ventilation system causing significant harm to not only buildings but also to the many building occupants.”
If one pair of birds brings a potential health problem, what do many birds do to increase the health risk of humans?
A single pair of pigeons can generate up to 18 new pigeons per year. Once a nest is established, pigeons are extremely territorial.
- Fresh Air Intakes: The nesting of pigeons begins at the fresh air intake along with faecal matter associated. Pigeons like the fresh air vent as a result of constant air movement, covered area from inclement weather and nesting place for the families. The fresh air intake, if not broken through, will cause clogging of the screen restricting air flow and fresh air into the building.
- Filter banks: Birds can peck though filter banks allowing for unfiltered air and pigeon contaminants to be drawn into HVAC components and supply air ducts.
- Fan Assemblies: Bird feathers, faecal matter and debris builds within the fan blades decreasing airflow.
- Evaporator Coils: Bird feathers, faecal matter and debris clogs the air conditioner coils and clogs the drain pan.
- Coil Drain Pans: With the drain pan water and pigeon faecal matter creates a potential source of dangerous/toxic microorganisms and other chemicals.
- AHU Insulation: Birds can peck at the insulation to create nesting material allowing for raw fiberglass fibers to enter the associated air conveyance system.
How do you clean up bird poop?
Since bird droppings can really be harmful to humans, it’s natural that you would want to clean them. Apart from them looking messy and disgusting, you’re giving yourself and all other people around a favor by removing them.
In cleaning up bird poop, you will need the following items.
- Dishwashing detergent
- Clean cloth
Follow these steps:
- Get 1 tbsp of liquid dishwashing detergent and mix it with 2 cups of cool water.
- Using a clean cloth, wipe the stain with the detergent solution.
- Blot until the liquid is absorbed.
Keep repeating steps 2 and 3 until the bird poop stain is removed.
If the bird droppings remain, get an eye dropper and apply hydrogen peroxide to the area then apply a drop or two of ammonia. Once done, wipe with cold water and blot dry.
Bird droppings are more stubborn when it’s been on a surface for too long, and could really leave poop stains.
Cleaning them up doesn’t solve your problem permanently. But at least, you’re reducing the risks they pose to you and your surroundings.
If it really gets out of hand, or before it becomes even more serious, it’s better that you get the help of a pest control team to fix the problem for you.
After explaining how dangerous are bird droppings to human health, ring A1 Pest Control Canberra where we will fix your bird problem for either commercial or domestic bird pest control.
Call us on 0407 065 413 for either bird or another pest control problem you may have.