Are pigeons pests and vermin? | Do they cause any harm or threat

Feral pigeons or city pigeons are well adapted to living in cities. They can be found everywhere ranging from building ledges to parks and roads. Pigeons are called flying rats due to their uncanny resemblance to the rats. 

Are pigeons pests? 

Millions of homeowners around the world are flustered with the ever-growing number of pigeons. These birds feed on everything and multiply rapidly, which is the main reason for their exploding numbers.

Pigeons mostly stay on the windows, terraces, and other crevices in the buildings. They damage the property and spread diseases with their droppings. Pigeon droppings are the source of many diseases. Moreover, they spill rubbish everywhere, which makes the surroundings untidy. 

Most of the city councils and pest control agencies consider pigeons as pests due to the nuisance caused by them. 

Damage Caused By Pigeons

  • Pigeons are in a big way responsible for blocked drainage systems. Their feathers and nesting materials collect in the drains and lead to blockage. Sometimes, pigeons also build their nests in drains and gutters, which results in instant blockage.

Related Read: When do baby pigeons leave the nest?

  • Pigeons can damage the roofing tiles as they lift and break the tiles to get a suitable spot for nesting. These holes collect water and become breeding grounds for parasites. The water accumulation in these holes can also lead to building corrosion and decay. 
  • They make nests in every part of a building and spoil the aesthetic look of the property.
  • Their droppings can cause slips and falls. 
  • Pigeons are noisy. They disturb the calm of your home with their constant chattering. 
  • During the nesting season, they may become aggressive and attack humans if you are close to their babies. 
  • Pigeon feces is corrosive in nature. It can cause damage to the metal and other materials used in the construction of buildings. 
  • Pigeon droppings are a potential source of disease. 

What is A Vermin?

A Vermin can be anything that destroys grains, crops, livestock, or even another living society. Pigeons are often called vermin but the definition is vast, and thus, no bird is legally called vermin. Pigeons destroy places. They have increased manifolds, so they eat up other birds’ food, and thus, they are sometimes termed vermin.

Are Pigeons Vermin? 

Though domesticated pigeons are not vermin as they are vaccinated against some diseases, feral pigeons are considered to be vermin. Feral pigeons carry a variety of parasites and fleas that can cause diseases in humans. 

  • Pigeon droppings are a huge public health risk. They may cause some life-threatening diseases such as Ornithosis, Salmonella, toxoplasmosis, etc. 
  • Pigeon feathers can cause breathing problems in humans. 

Pigeons are not vermin if you go by the definition. But the nuisance caused by these birds and the health risks posed by them led to them being classified as pests and vermin.

Are Pigeons Bad For Your Health?

Apart from the buildings, sewages, and public places, pigeons around your house pose a great health risk. Their feces, when dried, carry bacteria into the air, which may cause great risk for patients suffering from asthma and breathing-related issues.

Their droppings carry fungi and parasites, and if it infects a human’s food or water source, it can be highly infectious. Diseases like Cryptococcosis and Histoplasmosis.

Pigeon droppings are hard to clean, and thus, the person may get infected by breathing in the fungi. It causes Histoplasmosis, which starts showing a few days after infection.

The infected experiences fever, fatigue, and chest pain. Cryptococcosis is more severe. The symptoms start with a headache which turns into a migraine. The infection then affects the brain, spine and tragically causes blindness if not treated on time.

Then there is Psittacosis and Candidiasis. These are not very severe, but any infection, if increased, can cause serious illness. Patients who are already fighting chronic diseases like HIV or cancer need to be extra cautious.

How To Keep Pigeons Away?

Pigeons live where they can feel safe and find something to eat. If they see a small place, they make it their home. By being cautious, you can keep pigeons away.

Don’t Let Them Make A Nest

If a pigeon is regularly visiting your house or window, it wants to build a nest. The most common places for pigeons to make nests are under solar panels, in lofts, on bridges, below bridges, outhouses, garages, rooftops, terraces, barns, etc.   

If a pigeon is visiting any of these places in your house, scare it away, or soon you will see two tiny eggs, and then you will find it hard to shoo away a mother.

Bird proof Your Place

Bird proofing is a technique in which a Bird proof gel is used to make the places unpleasant for birds. You need to apply this gel on windows, ledges, solar panels, beams, sills, gutters, etc. It is a safe way to prevent birds from turning your house into a dropping place. The best thing is, it does no harm to birds.

Keep Your Garden Clean

This is the reason why your mother always gave you the garden cleaning duty. The garden has twigs, little branches, and other materials which pigeons use to make a nest. If your garden is clean, they will not find any material to make a home.

Keep Food Sources Away

There is a reason why pigeons are called flying rats. These birds are not very picky when it comes to eating. If they find a piece of food in the garbage can, they eat it. Then they start frequenting your garbage can. Always keep your garbage cans lidded. Dispose of food waste every day and keep your surroundings pigeon-free.

How To End A Pigeon Problem?

If you have tried everything, but pigeons are causing problems, the last resort is to call in pest control. They are professionals and know how to deal with pigeons. They remove birds, bird fouling, and any infected goods.

Final Words

Pigeons are the result of human interference as these birds were bred for meat and then for use as a messenger. Now they have adapted and lived alongside humans.

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