UAE | General

Pigeon droppings can cause infections

Experts warn residents against letting pigeons rest on AC systems

  • By Sharmila Dhal, Chief Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 July 17, 2013

  • Image Credit: Francois Nel/ XPRESS
  • Live wire: A Rentokil technician installs a wire system to prevent pigeons from sitting on the pipes.
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Dubai: Pigeon droppings in homes and offices can lead to major health problems, experts have warned. Dr Hussain Hattawi, Consultant and Head of Immunology at Dubai Hospital, said: “Pigeon droppings can be very harmful to health. They contain a fungus that can cause severe respiratory infections. They can also cause meningitis among those with weak immune systems or those on prolonged use of antibiotics or steroids.”

James Nicholson, General Manager of Rentokil Pest Control, who gets two-three calls for a bird control job in a week, said: “The concern largely stems from pigeons resting or nesting on AC systems typically in balconies. The bacterial dust from pigeon droppings can enter your home through AC units and contaminate food and cooking surfaces causing diseases like salmonella.”

He said another common disease resulting from pigeon droppings is histoplasmosis, a respiratory illness caused by the bacteria feeding on dried bird droppings. Nicholson said pest control companies do pigeon-proofing as an effective form of pigeon control. “This could entail gels, spikes, netting or electronic methods, all of which prevent the birds from nesting. We use a combination of these methods.”

Comments (1)

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  1. Added 11:17 July 18, 2013

    We have pigeons laying their eggs and roosting inside shafts of our apartment building. This was reported to management but no action was taken. The entire walls and windows of the shaft are covered in pigeon excrement yet no one will clean it. All that's needed to keep birds and verimin away is a screen on the roof access to the shaft! Beside the health risk the constant cooing noise of the resident-pigeons distrurbs the residents.

    Louie Tedesco, Dubai, United Arab Emirates