What Diseases Do Pigeons Carry?

If you live in London, you know how many pigeons there are. They are literally everywhere! Known as ‘rats with wings’, people normally consider pigeons to be vermin. They can transmit some truly horrible diseases. Local authorities and councils in the London area frequently take action to try and decrease the pigeon population.

The diseases pigeons carry can become a lot worse when there are a lot of pigeons around. Their droppings and feathers accumulate in their nesting sites, and it just becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

Here are some diseases pigeons carry that can infect humans…

  • Histoplasmosis – This is a disease that is transmitted through the air and inhaled. Because it’s fungal, the spores move freely in the air and are easily inhaled. Histoplasmosis fungus thrives in damp areas, which is where pigeons are normally roosting. Signs of this illness come out as flu-like symptoms, and become more and more serious the longer they go ignored. For those who are particularly vulnerable, it can be fatal.
  • Cryptococcosis – This disease is also fungal, and researchers have found it to be in 84% of pigeon nesting sites. Even old and dry droppings can still carry this infection, which when inhaled can make you very ill. If you are a person with very weak immunity, you can be particularly prone to cryptococcosis because when you inhale it, it can cause a lung infection.
  • Psittacosis – This is an infectious bacterial pathogen which becomes airborne when pigeon droppings dry. Coming into contact with this diseases may just cause flu-like symptoms, but in some cases has caused pneumonia and death.
  • Toxoplasmosis – This is usually associate with cat faeces, but you can find it in all warm blooded creatures. It comes on as a parasite that causes an infection, and attacks your immune system quite aggressively. If you are a pregnant woman, you should always stay away from anything that could carry this disease.

Pigeon problems can be a messy inconvenience, but also carries a huge health risk if you have people with low-immune systems nearby. The pigeon population is constantly on the rise, and new ways are being thought of to try and cull this pigeon boom.

Whenever you have problem, you should call one of our pigeon control technicians in to help you with pigeon prevention.


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