Birds can spread disease because they travel great distances, harbor over 40 types of parasites and can internally host over 60 types of infectious diseases. Here is content that you can re-share on your website or in a 1-sheet with your customers to properly educate them about the concerns of bird disease.
How Pest Birds Spread Disease
- Bird droppings
- Roosting materials
- Bird harboring parasites
Bird Droppings Contamination
When a diseased bird directly defecates into a human food or water source., trouble follows. New York faced a health crisis when a 100 people came down with a mysterious ailment. The illness was traced to sea gull droppings in a city reservoir. Besides direct contamination, airborne spores from drying feces found in air ducts and vents can transfer disease also. Several thousand cases of food poisoning (Salmonella) every year are attributed to this transmission route. Airborne spores in HVAC units and public areas can also cause health issues for the very young, old and health compromised as we now see on a yearly basis through CDC reporting.
Inhalation of Fecal Dust from Bird Droppings
As bird feces on building structures, contaminated soil and pavement, dries or is disturbed, microscopic pieces break off and become airborne. These airborne particles can contain dormant fungi and/or bacteria. When breathed into the lungs, the lining provides a breeding ground for the infectious agents. Common symptoms are flu like in nature: coughing, elevated temperature, restricted breathing, and general body fatigue, and last roughly 2 to 4 days. Most of the time, the body’s defenses will contain the invaders even before minor symptoms appear but in a small percentage of cases, major infection causing long term disability and even death can occur. It is worth noting that there is no known medical cure for internal fungal infections.
After the Northridge earthquake in Southern California, several thousand people came down with flu like respiratory symptoms. The ailment was called "Valley Fever" and was caused by people breathing in dust and airborne debris filled with histoplasmosis spores and related fungal agents stirred up by the earthquake.
Direct Contact with Bird Droppings
Infection occurs when a worker or resident gets fecal dust or droppings in an open wound or cut. This commonly occurs when handling old rusty, wire ledge products which are covered with bird feces. The wound site becomes red, puffy and puss filled. Antibiotics are often needed to cure the infection. In some rare cases, infection of the blood (Sepsis) or internal infection can also occur causing serious illness or death. Proper attire and care must always be used when cleaning a bird site or installing bird control products.
Parasite Transfer of Bird Disease
Pest birds harbor ticks, fleas, mites and other ectoparasites. This occurs because parasites inject their saliva into the host bird when feeding. Over 40 types of parasites live either on the birds, in their nests or in the places they roost. They are responsible for the transmission of hundreds of viral and bacterial agents. These diseases include encephalitis, pox and meningitis, to name a few. Control of these parasites is a crucial phase of the bird control project. The threat can be aggravated when bird control products are installed. Unless the parasites are exterminated when the birds are excluded from a site, the mites, fleas, ticks, etc. will seek a new host, often the human inhabitants. Therefore, a proper bird control project will always include parasite extermination.
Protecting People from Health Risks Due to Birds
Bird infestations should always be taken seriously. When evaluating a health risk potential look for the following: droppings or nesting materials inside air vents, birds around food or beverage production facilities, or large amounts of droppings in enclosed areas. These are the most common problem areas where disease can be spread.
Bird Barrier America believes in protecting people, property & profits with modern bird control solutions. To learn more, get a consultation on your project, or be put in touch with a bird control professional in your area, call us at 1.800.NO.BIRDS.