Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Health Hazards of Pest Birds

For property owners bird control can be very difficult, especially in concentrated urban populations.

Without effective bird control, birds can cause a variety of problems, including:
·       Damage to buildings (including blockage of rainwater systems)
·       Property defacement (especially architectural features)
·       Health hazards (from bird diseases such as ornithosis, cryptococcosis)
·       Accident hazards (people could slip on droppings or guano)
·       Personal safety hazards
·       Increased Maintenance Costs
·       Loss of goodwill

Urban pest birds promote the transmission of many types of disease infections and illnesses. Buildings infested with pest birds place at risk the building occupants, customers and maintenance workers. These nuisance birds: pigeons, starlings, house sparrows and nuisance gulls, to mention only a few, transmit disease in four ways:
  • Food and water contaminated with faeces;
  • Inhalation of contaminated dust;
  • Transference by parasites associated with nuisance birds, i.e., fleas, ticks, mites and other ectoparasites;
  • Direct contact with faeces.
Numerous cases of food poisoning such as Salmonellosis occur every year. Food poisoning is caused by the Salmonella bacterium getting into left out food. A main source of the Salmonella bacteria is dried faecal dust from air vents covered in bird droppings.

Nuisance birds harbour ticks, fleas, mites and other ectoparasites, which live on these birds; in their nests and in places they roost. These parasites are responsible for the transmission of several hundred viral and bacterial agents. These diseases include those highlighted above. Control of these parasites is a crucial phase of containing health hazards to humans.

The final, and most rare, manner of transmitting any of these diseases is through direct contact with faeces. This situation arises when people get faecal dust or droppings in an open wound or open cut when cleaning or repairing an area contaminated with them.

Infection can occur locally at the location of the wound or, in serious cases, infection within the bloodstream can also occur. Proper Personal Protective Equipment and intrinsic care must always be taken when cleaning and disinfecting a bird site or installing bird control systems. For more about effective solutions for bird control