Pigeons can be messy, unsightly and potentially dangerous to have around. Many people that feed birds and allow them to live on their property don’t realize the danger that they are putting their family & friends, or customers in. Pigeons not only carry and transmit parasites, they can also carry dangerous diseases.
Pigeon Associated Parasites
Pest birds harbor ticks, fleas, mites and other ectoparasites. These parasites can be passed to any pets or humans that some into contact with the bird or their nests. These parasites can cause discomfort, itching, bites, and possible disease transfer. The parasites that pigeons carry can transfer diseases through biting an infected animal, receiving its contaminated blood, and then biting its next victim. This transfer occurs because parasites inject some of their saliva into the host when feeding, therefor transferring a small amount of the germs from the previous victim. Over forty types of parasites live either on 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.
Common Diseases Spread By Pigeons
There are multiple diseases that can be spread from pigeons to humans. Some of which are extremely dangerous. These diseases can be spread from the bird itself, from parasites that the bird caries, or from the pigeon droppings. The most common way that pigeons transmit diseases is through their droppings. Once the droppings have dried, they become a powder, which then becomes airborne on a windy day or when kicked around. The inhalation of this powder is the most common way pigeon diseases are spread to humans.
Here is a short list of possible diseases that pigeons can spread:
This respiratory disease can be fatal. It results from a fungus growing in dried bird droppings. It is a dimorphic fungus that can be either in yeast form or in filamentous form.
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. It is a growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge.
This illness often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system. Since attics, cupolas, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, mills, barns, park buildings, signs, etc. are typical roosting and nesting sites, the fungus is apt to found in these areas. Cryptococcosis is caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings.
St. Louis Encephalitis
This disease is 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 house sparrow, pigeons and house finches carrying the Group B virus responsible for St. Louis encephalitis.
Often occurring as “food poisoning”, this disease 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.
It is one of the common infection caused by an enteric bacteria. This bacteria often traced in the fecal 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
If you have a pigeon problem, it’s essential that you call U.S Pigeon Control as soon as possible to reduce the risk of disease and parasites being transmitted to your loved ones and customers. Call us today to schedule an inspection.