Case Studies

Pests We Treat Case Studies: Pigeons Causing Patients Problems in Livingston, NJ

Thursday, October 31st, 2019 by Drew Cowley

Challenge

I went out on a service call for a new commercial client, a hospital in Livingston, NJ. Several of the managers and employees were complaining of pigeons roosting on the roof and then defecating on the lower balconies and sidewalk area. Not only do bird droppings carry a plethora of diseases, but they also present a slip, trip, and fall hazard. I arrived on location, conducted a thorough inspection of the entire roof area and discovered that the pigeons were roosting inside the air condition units.

This presents several serious issues. One of which is, if left dried, the bird droppings can accumulate and affect the quality of air circulation of the A/C units. The dried droppings contain particles that get sucked into the fresh air circulation of the A/C system. Carried as air-borne particles, they then enter into the building and can lower the indoor air quality, causing serious health concerns. In addition to their droppings, bird nesting materials include straws, twigs, and feathers – all highly flammable. In an event of a short circuit, birds nesting in and around the air conditioner, can quickly catch fire and cause damage to the entire unit, as well as other areas of the building in case if the fire spreads.

Solution

First, I set-up a row of strategically placed baited traps in order to safely capture and remove the flock of pigeons. In a short amount of time, I was able to successfully capture the entire flock, to which I safely relocated to a new humane location.

Next, I carefully removed the nesting materials and then sanitized and deodorized the air conditioning units with a solution that targets bird mites. Bird mites are tiny, semi-transparent parasites that feed on the blood of birds. When birds leave their nests, the mites are left behind without a suitable host for their next blood meal. They will enter a home and feed on the blood of humans. Bird mites are the main reason why extreme care is needed when removing a nest. I then properly sealed the air conditioning units with sturdy hardware cloth. This material doesn't hinder the airflow of the A/C untis and prevents any future birds from roosting inside.