Hitchcock was onto something when he made his 1963 classic, The Birds. The master of suspense took many creative liberties to present the horror of a bird infestation, but perhaps the reason that the film still makes people squirm is because, well, certain species of birds are disgusting health hazards which should be dealt with in the same manner as any infestation. If only all birds displayed the cheery demeanor from Disney films, but alas, many species are just disease carrying pests. If Snow White had only known, maybe she’d think twice about letting birds dress her every morning.
Certain species love to reside in residential and commercial property, and can cause costly property damage with their nests and droppings. Bird nests can also clog drains and rain gutters, which can lead to water damage on your home or business. A nest built on or next to electrical wires can also be a fire hazard.
It goes without saying that droppings create unsanitary conditions, and cleaning them up is a costly endeavor, but airborne diseases transmitted through bird droppings are the most urgent concern when dealing with these pests.
Birds common to San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties – including pigeons and house sparrows – have been known to transmit up to 60 diseases through their droppings, including E.coli and salmonellosis. Histoplasmosis, another disease found in fungus growing on bird droppings, is a respiratory disease that has proven to be fatal.
Birds like to roost in attics, schools, offices, warehouses, mills, park buildings, signs and well, everywhere – once again proving why Hitchcock’s movie remains so frightening. An avian infestation in your home or office building is a serious health concern, and we recommend contacting Lloyd Pest Control as soon as possible.
Birds will also bring other pests into your home or commercial space, including bed bugs. It’s like they’re little Ubers for pests (UBIRD? Eh? Sigh…).
Pigeons, house sparrows and gulls
These are three of the more common birds we find in Southern California. Pigeons (columba livia), of course, are everywhere and easily recognized by their head-bobbing walk. They populate our urban areas and basically strut about like they own the place, eating our discarded food and litter. Pigeons have rightfully earned the reputation of being rats with wings given how many serious diseases they can transmit to humans through their droppings. The obvious sign of an infestation is the presence of nests and droppings.
Anyone who’s been to a Southern Californian beach will have strong opinions about gulls. These notorious beach-picnic scavengers will creepily prey on anyone holding a morsel of food. No Dorito is safe! Just like other pigeons, their droppings can spread disease (including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis) and cause costly structural damage.
House sparrows (passer domesticus) are the world’s most common bird, populating urban, rural and suburban locations. Generally, these birds are dull-colored with a black face, black bills (females have a yellow bill), gray breast and reddish-brown wings. House sparrows are aggressive foragers, and will invade bird feeders by threatening other birds. They will build nests in just about any house opening, shop signs, traffic light, and anywhere with a protected crevice. An obvious sign of a sparrow infestation is their incessant chirping.
Just like your roommate who’s trying out for American Idol, this may seem cute at first, but then they don’t shut up. Sparrows can also transmit diseases through their droppings, so getting rid of them should be a health concern. (Lloyd Pest Control can deal with your birds, but you might need someone else to deal with your roommate.)