Technical Papers

Pigeons: Carriers of Diseases & Parasites

Monday, July 6th, 2020 by Bill Cowley

Pigeons

Pigeons are common birds found in major cities that have large populations. They have a blue-grey head, green or purple chest, red feet and legs, and a black bill. Unlike other birds, pigeons don’t need to migrate and can withstand both the cold and snow. They will constructs nests anywhere they can on a home such as window ledges, overhangs, attics, pergolas, underneath solar panels, etc.

Pigeons are perfect disease carriers. They can harbor dozens of different parasites and infectious diseases through their droppings. The spores from the drying feces can enter the vents and air ducts of your home and settle on the food or water. This can result in food poisoning due to salmonella infection. The airborne spores usually contain dormant bacteria and fungi. When they are inhaled, the moist and warm environment of the lungs offers the perfect breeding ground for the airborne pathogens.

Pigeons also harbor a wide variety of different parasites, primarily bird mites. Bird mites are parasites that feed on the blood of birds and are naturally found where pigeons nests are located. However, once a bird leaves its nest, they can move into living spaces in houses and climb on walls, ceilings, and beddings in search of a blood meal from humans. Bites from bird mites can cause severe irritation.