The Dangers of Birds and How to Stay Safe
A lot of people see birds a simple nuisance as they leave droppings on windshields or build nests in inconvenient places. What most people don’t know is that birds are much more than just a nuisance, they can be very dangerous.
Avian Flu or “Bird Flu” is a common news item these days, but what is typically ignored is the laundry list of other transmissible diseases and parasites birds generally carry.
Cryptococcosis – caused by the yeast/fungus found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings, this disease can result in tumors in the lungs and sometimes the brain. Symptoms include fever, cough, skin lesions, headache, and altered mental status. This fungus is generally found in attics, ledges, mills, barns, and other roosting or nesting sites.
Histoplasmosis – an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus found in bird droppings. These spores are most commonly transmitted when they become airborne during demolition projects or cleanup. Soil can also be contaminated by bird droppings making landscapers or farmers more susceptible. This typically is not a serious disease but can be fatal if spread throughout the body.
E. coli – Cattle carry E. coli 0157:H7 and when birds peck on the cows’ manure, this strain of E. coli goes through the birds. The infected droppings can then land in an area’s food or water supply.
Candidiasis – a fungus infection that is typically spread by pigeons where the skin, mouth, respiratory system, and intestines are affected.
Salmonellosis – traced back to pigeons, starlings, and sparrows, the bacteria is found in bird droppings and dust from bird droppings that are sucked through air conditioners and other ventilators. This typically appears as “food poisoning” because more often than not, it contaminates food and cooking surfaces in restaurants or food processing plants when dispersed through the ventilation systems.
In addition to the many diseases and illnesses birds directly carry, birds can also be associated with over 50 kinds of parasites.
Bed bugs – known to be carried by pigeons, starlings, and house sparrows, bed bugs can consume up to five times their own weight in blood. They can be small enough to fit into the holes of stitching in mattresses and can cause victims to become weak and anemic.
Bird mites – known carriers of encephalitis, an inflammation of the nervous system, bird mites can also cause foul mite dermatitis and acariasis (a rash). They feast on the blood of pigeons, starlings, and house sparrows and can also attack humans.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
If you want to take a proactive approach protecting yourself from the many diseases and parasites birds carry, there plenty of options available to help you deter birds.
Bird Spikes – deter birds away by making an area undesirable to nest or perch. Depending on the type of bird spike you use, they’re effective against all types of birds and at all levels of infestation. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Bird Netting – keeps birds from perching or nesting on all types of objects, openings, and structures. Available in a variety of sizes and mesh openings. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Acoustic Hailing Systems – transmit concise communications, warnings, animal calls, and instructions over extremely long distances. These devices focus sound waves into a well-defined acoustic beam that can be directed at targets several miles away. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Bird Hazing Systems – designed to disperse a thin haze of bird repellent to disperse flying birds. The haze teaches birds to associate the repellent with the location and ultimately keep them from returning. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Visual Deterrents – there are many products on the market that can visually deter birds from certain areas. Reflectors, motion activated scarecrows, and UV decals are all viable options. It must be noted, however, that many species of birds will realize that these visual deterrents are harmless and may become ineffective. CLICK HERE to learn more.
HOW TO CLEAN UP BIRD MESSES
Due to the toxicity and dangers associated with birds and their droppings, it is imperative to clean and disinfect areas that have been contaminated by birds or their droppings. Since a lot of illnesses and diseases are airborne, it is important to protect your lungs from the droppings depending on the severity of the mess. Small messes can be cleaned up by simply using soap and water, but larger quantities of bird droppings require more work and more protection.
- When cleaning up, make sure to seal all cooling/heating air ducts and shut down the systems.
- Wear a respirator, disposable gloves, hat, overalls, and coverings for your shoes.
- Use cleaning products that are bactericides, sanitizers, fungicides, insecticides, and mildewcides so that the area can be safe again. CLICK HERE to learn more.
- Dispose of the waste in sealed bags.
- Modify the structure so that birds won’t return (bird spikes, bird netting, etc.)
Nixalite of America Inc. is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird, pest, and animal control products. Nixalite offers everything that you would ever need to fix your bird control problems including the items that were discussed previously. Nixalite of America Inc. would be happy to discuss your bird control problems and assist in developing an action plan.