Pigeons are flying urban pests and are carriers of some contagious diseases, as well as being hosts to fleas, mites etc., all of which are readily transmitted to humans. Some of these diseases can also be caught from pigeon faeces. A pigeon’s nesting debris is usually made up of its own faeces and attracts other various pests eg. Rats, cockroaches and maggots, which each have their own problems associated with them.
The pigeon is known to carry over a dozen different disease organisms harmful to man. Some of the more common diseases contracted by human’s are:
Histoplasmosis: A systemic fungal disease which affects the lymph nodes and the trachea and bronchi of the lung. Microscopic spores of this disease are contained in the dust particles of dried out faeces and are transmitted to humans when they become airborne via ceiling vents or air conditioning vents etc.
Aspergillosis: Another fungal disease that affects the ears, sinuses and lungs and may cause lesions and skin infections.
Toxoplasmosis: An influenza type disease that has serious debilitating consequences and is particularly dangerous to pregnant women.
Encephalitis: A viral disease, which can be transmitted to humans from the pigeon by mosquitoes.
One of their favourite habitats are roof voids and roof air-conditioning units, which can be particularly dangerous as their diseases are spread throughout buildings via air vents etc. Pigeon faeces are highly corrosive and will damage electrical and metal fittings while blocking gutters and down pipes. This will make ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes and midges and can also result in internal flooding. Pigeons are natural homing birds and once they have established a breeding area, they will remain there for the duration of their life. Pigeons are not native to Australia and are an environmental danger as they displace our own native birds from their own habitat.