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05 Dec 2005

Problematic Pigeons
A pair of pigeons decided to make a nest on my balcony. I don't know how to get rid of them. They are so noisy, and are causing an absolute mess on my patio. With all the bird flu and parrot fever diseases, I am so scared that I will contract a major disease. Please help!!!

Answer 441 views
EnviroHealth expert
envirohealth expert

01 Jan 0001

Firstly, let me assure you that it is most unlikely that you will contract a major disease from your unwelcome balcony guests. The risk for pigeons being infected with bird flu is extremely low (minuscule in this country): studies indicate that they are very resistant to the virus, and have not been shown to be carriers. There are no records of anyone ever getting bird flu from a pigeon. It really isn't something to worry about!

There are other potential diseases associated with birds, but these are rare, and only people who spend a lot of time with birds (e.g. bird breeders) are really at risk. You should also be more concerned if there are elderly or ill people, or small children in the home. But this is not considered a serious health issue for the average person.

Most of the diseases humans can get from pigeons and other birds result from breathing in or ingesting dust from bird droppings, so it's a good idea to clear these away. Simple personal hygiene (especially regular handwashing) is also important. Some people (again, usually those who keep or work with birds) develop allergies to dust inhaled from bird droppings, feathers or dander. Pigeon mites can also affect humans, but these parasites prefer the avian host.

Your pigeon pair has decided that your balcony is a haven for them - so you need to persuade them otherwise! I suggest cleaning it thoroughly, removing any pots or other objects that might make comfy nesting places, and chase the birds away whenever you get a chance. They'll get the message eventually.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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