Pigeons are just one of the species of birds, along with the mynah and starling, that were introduced to Australia when it was first colonised. Today huge numbers of feral pigeons can be found roosting in cities and towns across the country. Let’s learn more about why feral pigeons are classed as an invasive pest.
The term ‘invasive’ applies to pigeons because they breed in great numbers and the large feral population drives out native birds because they take over food supplies. Many people think there’s nothing wrong with feeding them a bit of bread in the local park but feeding pigeons makes the problem worse because it attracts them and encourages them to breed.
Another issue with pigeons is that they like to roost in nooks and crevices of buildings but their acidic droppings cause corrosion and this a problem for historic stone buildings.
Here are some more common household pigeon problems:
- Clogging gutters and drains with nests
- Corroding metal and paint with droppings
- Water damage
- Solar panel damage
- Getting into vege gardens and fruit trees
- Contaminating tank water
Pigeon faeces are also detrimental to humans and you may get ill without even realising that a pigeon was the culprit.
So how exactly do pigeons transfer disease to us? Well, basically their droppings dry and get breathed in as dust. Potential hazard areas are attics, ledges in schools and office blocks and warehouses, anywhere that pigeons like to roost and nest. If you’re walking through a park with lots of pigeons it’s unlikely you will catch anything but the risk is heightened if you kick up dust from droppings.
Some of the nasty diseases you can catch from pigeon droppings are:
- Cryptococcal Meningitis – swells the membrane in the brain and can be fatal, causes blindness.
- Salmonella and Listeria – harmful for pregnant women and babies.
- Viral Encephalitis – permanent nervous system damage, harmful for children and older people.
- Ornithosis – can cause severe pneumonia.
- E. Coli – exhibits the symptoms of food poisoning, if you’ve been feeding pigeons wash your hands thoroughly.
If your home needs protection from pigeons then we can help. Call our team of experts today to discuss how we can best assist with pigeon control.